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May 21, 2007, 09:31 PM
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boomerace's Avatar
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Foam Hinge Tutorial


I keep seeing posts regarding failed foam hinges from tape that pulls loose and a varity of other reasons. I have never had a hinge fail using this method.
See attached pics for the steps using a scrap piece of foam. First I cut the hinge on approx. a 45 degree angle using a single edge razor blade and a metal ruler and the table edge. After the cut on both hinge pieces I dress up the cut with a sanding board to be sure its straight without appreciable gaps when the two pieces are mated. I intend to use 1" wide 3M Blenderm hinge tape for the hinge material so lay down a thin coat of UHU glue ( get at most Craft Stores or order from the web ) just over 1/2" wide on each control half to assure the tape will never come loose. Just a little added insurance. After the UHU dries I use two small pieces of 3/4" Scotch MultiTask Tape to position the hinge before taping. I then install the Blenderm tape and smooth it down and trim the excess from the ends. Result is a super tough hinge that will survive the toughest use with the ability to provide the extreme throws I like. 3M Extreme Packing tape will also make a good hinge however it is not as invisible and not as flexable.
boomer
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May 21, 2007, 09:52 PM
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willhaney's Avatar
Great tutorial.

That Blenderm sure is tough.

Will
May 21, 2007, 10:19 PM
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boomerace's Avatar
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Thanks Will!
BTW I should also mention that the UHU Glue is great for assembling foam airplanes! Dries fast and can be used also as a contact cement. Much better than the low temp hot glue I was using and adds very little weight to the plane!
boomer
May 22, 2007, 02:24 PM
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As a side note.... I just tried tearing the hinge apart and it can't be done without tearing the foam. The tape just stretches slightly and when pressure is released goes back to it's original form! That's one tough hinge!
boomer
Jun 07, 2007, 11:39 AM
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smkn951's Avatar
where can i get some? LOWES, HOME DEPOT?
isblenderm a brand name or type of tape? any particular brand that everyone seem to be in favor of?
thanks
Jun 07, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by smkn951
where can i get some? LOWES, HOME DEPOT?
isblenderm a brand name or type of tape? any particular brand that everyone seem to be in favor of?
thanks
It's a adhesive tape used by hospitals and doctors for taping on bandages. Drug Store should have it or buy it on the web. Most of our hobby stores have it also.
boomer
Jun 07, 2007, 12:10 PM
Registered User
FYI - water based contact cement will work as well as UHU for this hinging. Lots cheaper.
Jun 07, 2007, 12:11 PM
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A member is selling Blenderm: For Sale - Building supplies
Jun 07, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by willhaney
A member is selling Blenderm: For Sale - Building supplies
Great price! If I didn't already have 12 rolls I'd buy it all!
boomer
Jun 07, 2007, 12:30 PM
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I bought two rolls on account of this tutorial.
Jun 09, 2007, 10:21 AM
You land foamies?!
VictoryRoll-91's Avatar
EPP foam can sometime be tough to hinge on account of not all tape sticks to it. I;ve found that a dropp of hot glue between the control surface and the main part works very well. Plent of movement, and comes of easily.
Jun 09, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoryRoll-91
EPP foam can sometime be tough to hinge on account of not all tape sticks to it. I;ve found that a dropp of hot glue between the control surface and the main part works very well. Plent of movement, and comes of easily.
That is the system recommended for the Superfly Series of planes. IMHO it's hard to apply the material properly and I had 2 hinges develop cracks using the hot glue which fortunately I noticed before flying. I also found you DO NOT leave a hot glued plane in a closed car in the summer. Not the problem with UHU or the taped hinge.
boomer
Jan 30, 2008, 06:50 PM
old pilot
Ickarusmelt's Avatar
Really nice explanation and pictures, Boomer, good guidance in my future adding ailerons to things. But as newbie, I don't know the terms "CA hinges" and occasional references to other types of hinges I don't understand. Wondering about the variety of ways to hinge control surfaces. Icky
Jan 30, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ickarusmelt
Really nice explanation and pictures, Boomer, good guidance in my future adding ailerons to things. But as newbie, I don't know the terms "CA hinges" and occasional references to other types of hinges I don't understand. Wondering about the variety of ways to hinge control surfaces. Icky
CA Hinges see:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXK110&P=ML
For big models or larger balsa models:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXD941&P=ML
Both are installed in slots cut into the control surfaces.
Hope that helps....
boomer
Jan 30, 2008, 08:00 PM
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Ickarusmelt's Avatar
Thank you so much, Boomer! I hadda hunch there was straightforward hinge technology available. I guess I haven't bugged our LHS clerks enough to show me the details.

To newbies: Don't let the big fancy planes hanging from the ceiling and expensive stuff in display cases intimidate you. At your LHS pump 'em for info and show you what you need to start. And ask questions here, join a club and get an instructor for advice. Go for it Icky


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