Aligning and Gluing
Robart Hinge Points in any Control Surface
Note that much of what is presented here applies to flat hinges as
I always use slow-drying
epoxy for hinges. Others have told me they have had good success with
Pacer Hinge Glue although I have never used it.
Pour a small amount of alcohol in a small
container and soak the hinges in it to remove any surface oils from the
Mix up some slow-drying epoxy. Do not use
5-minute epoxy or
CA. You will not have time to make sure everything is right
before the glue sets up. It is better to have too much epoxy mixed
than too little.
thin epoxy! When the solvents evaporate the glue will shrink.
There is also the risk that the solvents will become trapped in the cured
glue which will leave it rubbery and weak for a long time. Thinned
epoxy also tends to turn brittle as it hardens.
I mix the glue in a one-ounce disposable
measuring cup and then set it in a pan of warm water to reduce the
It will be easier to drop the epoxy in the
hinge holes if the surface is held vertically between a couple paint
cans or something similar with the hinge holes or slots facing up.
You can hold the epoxy pot in one hand and the toothpick in the other.
Use a toothpick to drop epoxy into each hinge hole. Go from hole
to hole repeatedly until you've put several drops of epoxy in each
You do not need to push the epoxy into the
hole - it will flow in on its own if you have warmed it. Just
move on to the next hole and when you've put a drop in each one, go
back to the first and repeat the process as many times as necessary to
get plenty of glue in the hole.
Do not put glue directly on the hinge.
If you do this the glue will be smeared off the hinge when it is inserted.
The glue ends up in the hinge pin area and also ends up between the
control and fixed surfaces. Just put the glue in the hole or slot
and all will be well.
The hinges are not actually being glued in place in the following sequence.
I cover and finish the model before gluing hinges in.
Caution! Do not attempt to glue
hinges into both a control surface and the fixed surface in the same operation —
doing so almost guarantees misaligned hinges.
When the hinges are in one surface and then inserted into the other surface,
there is no way you can control how much the hinges shift in the first surface.
Instead, glue the hinges into the control surface and let the epoxy
cure. Now glue the hinges into the mating surface.