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Install Robart Hinge Points in a Model Airplane

May 03, 2015



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Airfield Models (http://www.airfieldmodels.com/)How to Install Robart Hinge Points in a Model Aircraft

I prefer Hinge Points over every other kind of hinge.  They are easy to use, strong and have a realistic appearance.

This tutorial presents three techniques for installing Hinge Points and provides detailed instructions regarding how to align and glue them in properly.

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Types of Hinge Points

Typical hinge points.The top hinge is a Klett (Carl Goldberg) Hinge Point.  I bought these years ago and have never used them.  The web basically means that I am back to cutting slots again.  All other Hinge Points shown here are manufactured by Robart.

Other manufacturers are copying the design although I have not used any of them.

Second from the top is a 1/2A Hinge Point (3/32" diameter).  I have successfully put them into wood as little as 1/8" thick, although that was a challenge.

The lower two Hinge Points are Standard Hinge Points.  They are the same size with the lower hinge being of stronger construction.  It is wider at the center which I found out when I couldn't get one to easily slide into a 1/8" hole.  In fact, I did not even know I had two different types of 1/8" hinges until this happened and I examined the hinge more closely.

I do not believe the 1/8" Hinge Point second from the bottom is being manufactured any more.

In addition to the hinges shown here, Robart also manufactures a 3/16" Hinge Point for large scale models.  They also make a Hinge Point with a built-in control horn.

 
 

Common Myths

  • Hinge Points are difficult to align

    This is not true.  They are no harder, and I think easier, to align than standard flat hinges.  It can be tricky to get the slots for flat hinges centered in the hinged surface.

    Another problem is that the slots can get cut at an angle when viewing the slot straight on.  It is not an insurmountable problem, but you have to be careful not to let the wood grain change the angle of the slotter as it is pushed into the wood.

A properly made hinge slot is centered on and parallel to the hinge line.

This is what you want.

Hinge slots that are mis-cut are a common occurance.

This is often what you get.

Available hinge slotting guides do not resolve the problem because they are made from soft, flexible plastic.  If the slot is not located properly on the first attempt, then more material must be cut away using a hobby knife so the hinge will align properly.

This leaves a gaping hole instead of a nice tight slot.  This problem simply does not exist with Hinge Points because a Hinge Point can be rotated into perfect alignment.

  • Hinge Points can not be pinned in place so they are not secure enough.

    This is also not true.  I would challenge you to attempt to pull a control surface off one of my aircraft, but I do not want people actually trying to rip my airplanes apart.  I guarantee that the hinges will not pull out before something else breaks or the hinge itself breaks.  The hinges simply need to be glued in properly which will be addressed at the end of this article.

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How to Make Cowling Cut-outs
Make Monokote Hinges for Flying Model Aircraft

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Copyright 2002 Paul K. Johnson