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My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

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My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:55 am

I am terrible at cutting hinge slots, especially in smaller diameter balsa and have long thought of using a Dremel tool equipped with a cut-off disk to do the job. I finally got off my duff and came up with this:



just a cobbled together stage to prove the concept, and it works. Now I need to build a better example. But the DC Dremel quickly gave way to an AC Dremel which does a much better and quicker job. I do have the DuBro tool but it's a pain to use even with (especially with) the guide.



I used a scrap piece of balsa to set the height and angle before using it on the horizontal stab and the elevator. I trimmed the plastic hinges to the rounded contour of the disk.
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rogermharris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:04 am

looks like a pretty good setup! i don't nkow if they still make them but, dremel made a circular saw blade about that size
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rogermharris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:12 am

did a search for dremel saw blade on amazon.

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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:36 am

Thanks. I have those saws but they cut to wide a slot for these little 1/2A hinges. But they would work on larger size balsa with heavier hinges. I used the thinnest sized cutting disk that I had on hand.
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rogermharris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:42 am

rsv1cox wrote:Thanks.  I have those saws but they cut to wide a slot for these little 1/2A hinges.  But they would work on larger size balsa with heavier hinges.  I used the thinnest sized cutting disk that I had on hand.

i know dremel used to have one that was paper thin. i was looking and guess they don't make it anymore
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  getback on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:25 am

That's the cats ass , Bee careful those things can get on you quick ! I am going to stitched hinges as much as possible although they takes awhile longer // and I think they look better / have used the plastic inserts and they are nice but I think better for larger models Huh...
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:22 pm

getback wrote:That's the cats ass , Bee careful those things can get on you quick ! I am going to stitched hinges as much as possible although they takes awhile longer // and I think they look better / have used the plastic inserts and they are nice but I think better for larger models Huh...  

Yeah Eric, If your talking about dremel's and their accessories. Wear eye protection when using them. A friend of mine describes dremels as the most dangerous tool in your workshop.

I have an airplane (The blue razorback Mustang) with stitched hinges and they work very well. Cloth hinges came with this kit, but I don't like to use them.
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  Marleysky on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:24 pm

rsv1cox wrote:I am terrible at cutting hinge slots, especially in smaller diameter balsa and have long thought of using a Dremel tool equipped with a cut-off disk to do the job.  I finally got off my duff and came up with this:



just a cobbled together stage to prove the concept, and it works.  Now I need to build a better example.  But the DC Dremel quickly gave way to an AC  Dremel which does a much better and quicker job.  I do have the DuBro tool but it's a pain to use even with (especially with) the guide.  



I used a scrap piece of balsa to set the height and angle before using it on the horizontal stab and the elevator.  I trimmed the plastic hinges to the rounded contour of the disk.  


Bob, I brought up this older thread as I did not want to clutter up the Bipe Build. I can see how to attach the dremel to the "holder board". How did you attach the work surface? Just a couple of small angle brackets? Is there any up/down adjustment to the cutting wheel? Or do you just move the mandrel in or out of the collet? I think I just answered my own question! Love your Idea, I'm gonna infringe on your patent, if any. Thanks, Rene
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:32 am

I tell you Rene, this arraignment has cured 90% of my build nightmares.  I used to hate cutting hinge slots.  I tried everything, even bought the Dubro hinge tool, IMHO a waste in the extreme.   Now using this system cutting slots is a pleasure.  I don't like cloth or stitched hinges, they just don't look "normal” or work as easily as hinges.  Even with the thin balsa used in the Bipe kit it worked perfectly.



I used it on my Cyclone build.  I attached all the horizontal stabilizers hinges first using a drop of CA then inserted the hinge, then followed the same procedure with the elevator.  After curing I gave the elevator a good pull, much in excess of any flight requirements and there was no movement.  I had thought of pinning each hinge but gave that up as unnecessary.  

Building it was easy.  I just took an old 1X4 and a piece of laminate (Pergo in this case)  flooring, counter sunk a couple of screws, located a hole in the center and drilled a hole for the positioned Dremel,  Found a couple of  plastic PVC straps that fit my Dremel and attached it securely.  Eventually, I will build a nicer one with a larger stage.

Yes, you can move the mandrel or simply loosen the straps and move the Dremel up or down.  Just be sure that east/west is level with the plane of the stage.  

The Pergo flooring is perfect for this application, thin, solid, and as flat as the earth before Columbus.  The clamps are cheap, and sometimes Lowes/Home Depot has laminate flooring samples free or for next to nothing.  

Sorry, I rambled a bit here.  Smile
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  getback on Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:50 am

I like this the more I see it and will probably end up building me one , the stich hinges are nice but take a lot of building time that I just don't seem to have Sad  I can also see a sanding drum on top for some quickie sanding and shaping could happen with a little tilt Huh... Thanks Bob good stuff !  a cheapie from HF would work so i would not have to keep removing it for other jobs , Eric Hats Off
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rogermharris on Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:58 am

getback wrote:I like this the more I see it and will probably end up building me one , the stich hinges are nice but take a lot of building time that I just don't seem to have Sad  I can also see a sanding drum on top for some quickie sanding and shaping could happen with a little tilt Huh... Thanks Bob good stuff !  a cheapie from HF would work so i would not have to keep removing it for other jobs , Eric Hats Off

the only problem with a cheap HF type tool is the bearings... lots of slop and wobble may make the slot too wide.

i will have to see what i can come up with. i like it as well!
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:52 am

I swapped the DC powered Dremel for an AC Craftsman.  More torque, faster cuts.  



So far I have not had to replace the cut-off disk.  If there is a down side it's that the disk does not cut deep enough to use the longer hinges.  I just cut them round to fit the circle the disk cuts.  In my other thread we discussed using the Dremel saw blade.  I tried it with one of mine and it cut's to wide.  The disk is perfect.  I will still use it for the larger hinges.

As mentioned I used it on the Cyclone too. Gave a nice tight fit after inletting the H/Stab a bit:



This is the other side of the flooring:



Sometime I will build a whole new one, maybe using this piece of flooring, although I have larger.  But this one works so well that I have no incentive to replace it.  

If you all come up with something better, not hard to do.... Smile  Post it, I would probably incorporate your ideas into my new one.  

And yes, using a sanding drum instead of the cut-off disk would work great for sanding too.
Bob
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  getback on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:57 am

So your NOT using a saw blade ? is it a cut off wheel ? the one on the Lf.  
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  roddie on Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:20 pm

Setting the wheel's initial height isn't crucial. Try setting it a little "high".. and shim the table up with a stack of paper strips until you're on-center with your stock's edge. Stick-down the paper shims with a piece of 2" wide masking tape. The tape is approx. .005" thick.. so you may want to remove one piece of paper before taping the stack down.


Last edited by roddie on Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  KariFS on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:47 pm

rsv1cox wrote:
And yes, using a sanding drum instead of the cut-off disk would work great for sanding too.

Hmmmm... Now you got me thinking. This would be a great tool for making balsa dust, and some nice wingtips and stuff. I am too lazy to build one just for hinge slots (for now) but the sanding drum would make it easy to shape all kinds of formers.

A few years ago I saw an infomercial in the wee hours (some worry and frustration-related insomnia kept me awake and a slightly non-sober state on couch all night every now and then at the time) about drill bits that would cut sideways too. Can't remember the brand name. But those bits installed on this kind of a rig would make a somewhat functional substitute for a band saw. I usually use a carpet knife for cutting balsa but plywood is a bit problematic. This would be the tool for plywood. And with these drill bits you could make lightening holes or lead-out passages in all shapes and sizes on wing ribs and such. Just first drill a hole in the area, then use the cutting bit to make the actual shape.

This definitely calls for a dedicated el cheapo dremel-knock-off to be bought and installed into a fixture like Bob's hinge-slot-cutting apparatus.

Of course I could get a router table and a real band saw, a disc sander etc but my shop is only about 210 sq ft and needs to accommodate all my technical and/or messy hobbies so this dremel-mounted-in-a-table thing is just the ticket. Unless, of course I get access to a laser cutter  lol!

Thanks for the idea Beer Cheers
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  roddie on Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:47 pm

Kari.. Laughing  I have found myself in similar states of insomnia Shh The infomercial you saw was no doubt an ad for a roto-zip type tool design.

http://www.rotozip.com/en-us/Pages/Rotozip.aspx

I see where you're going with this.. and I like it! You need to do some research though. I seem to remember the roto-zip-style "cutters" having a reverse-rotation than standard.. (patent?.. I could be wrong..) but a 1/8" diameter "Dremel-brand" router-bit would work fine for the lite-ply and balsa modeling materials you'd be cutting. (be careful of your fingers!!!!!!) I actually have dozens of 1/8" diameter router bits that I saved from working with a CNC router.. years past. They have a 1/2" length of cut.. and were used to cut a variety of materials. When the finish would start to "fuzz" on the sheet-PVC that we primarily cut; we would replace the cutter. They were still very sharp and useful.. and I saved many. I'll mail you a couple.. if you want to give them a try. They are designed to "plunge".. so there'd be no need to pre-drill a hole.. although it wouldn't be a bad idea if the cutting area is small.


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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:20 pm

Yes, the possibilities are endless.  Add some inexpensive accessories and it becomes a hinge cutter, grinder, sander, router, plunge router (if you do the plunging) and maybe more.



Anything with the name Dremel on it is expensive if bought individually.  Best to by in kits or in conjunction with other Dremel tools.



With apologies to Roger, this inexpensive "Dremel" cost just $39 with all the accessories.  It works well, but is my last choice mostly because it's such a pain to remove from the case.  



A Rotozip would work, but along with a full sized router mounted on a router table it would be overkill for our purposes.  

Eric, the only thing I have tried so far is the disk.  But any one of those cutters in the yellow box ($5) offers possibilities.

Kari/roddie, a Rotozip would work well for plywood, if you get the kit it has all the accessories that you would need. But my plunge router mounted on a Vermont American router table works better.

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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  fredvon4 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:53 pm

When Bob posted this I kept meaning to copy the design, for pretty much the exact idea...accurate hinge slots cuz I suck at using the different guides

Saturday I was shopping for Dremel router bits and noticed the Dremel 231 router table for $26 so I ordered it from Home Depot and got it today

Already set up and tested, it does exactly what Bob's home brew version does with out breaking the bank

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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  RknRusty on Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:06 pm

This is a good time for me that this thread came back to life, as I'll be slotting flap hinges soon. It'll be thick ones, maybe 5/16" or thereabouts. I was thinking of freehanding them with a Dremel cutoff wheel. I never had any love with the Dubro tool, it bends too easily and flap wood is usually tough stuff too... at least when I make the flaps. I did a nice job with a #11 exacto when I built the Yak, but my hands pay for the hard work. The creakier I get the more I'm all about Power Tools, Baby!
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Dremel saw blades for hinge slotting

Post  706jim on Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:14 pm

I have a set of those Dremel saw blades and never thought about using them for hinge slots. Thinking that they cut too wide of a slot due to set of the blade teeth.

If the set were ground off they might work fine.

The thin Dremel cutoff discs can be pretty fragile; one minute they are there and the next, nothing but a bare mandrel!
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  fredvon4 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:39 pm

No photos but I just slotted the stab and elevator for a RingMaster with 3/16th balsa using the Ez lock thin 1 1/2" cutoff wheel and even though the slot is a tad fat for the Klett hinges I think thick epoxy will hold them the way I want... I don't have the ultra thin non fibre wheels in a large enough diameter to be deep enough

The Thin cut Ez Lock wheel is 1/32 thick same as the Klett hinge but the slot is a bit wider (wheel wobble?) but feels like a good enough fit--- and the best thing is;
I did both stab and elevator in under three min...will take me 5 time that to align and glue after I get a few more dope coats on the wood

Same process with less than ideal results with the guide and xmaz tree cutter/ Xacto knife  takes me about a half hour for just 6 slots on one side
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:41 pm

I like it Fred, and not one to miss out on a good idea I found one on ebay for $29.01.  I will leave my old made up Rube Goldberg effort out in the garage and use the new one in my warmer basement.  I like the fact that it will attach to the bench.  

I will be needing it soon for this used and abused model.....



BTW 706jim, I'm still using the original cut-off disk on mine.  You just have to be careful not to overload it.

BTW X2 - The image host-it function here does not work.  I had to use photobucket.

Bob
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  fredvon4 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:15 pm

Be sure you click the "host an image" button (three to the left of youtube) and not the "insert image" button Bob

I have a set of the Dremel saw blades and holders coming and if they are too think I will just surface them down to remove any kerf and make them a tad thinner...but for now the thin fiber cut off wheel worked just fine in the balsa sheet edge

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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  fredvon4 on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:30 pm

Now what we need are a set of router bits for shaping leading and trailing edges... no luck for the 1/8 diameter shanks and I have managed to use the 1/4" shanks bits on my PorterGable router and table to partially shape leading edges in 1/2" ,3/4", and 1" but needing a bit of plane and sandpaper work to make elliptical and not just round....most of the time I order Sig LE in various sizes

One off specialty bits are obtainable but out of my price range for this hobby
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Re: My Dremel tool hinge slot cutter.

Post  rsv1cox on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:35 pm

Yes, I have used the host an image function here many times and it has always worked perfectly, now when I click it I just get a blank screen. Picture courtesy of photobucket.



I think that movable fence is going to come in handy for a lot of our modeling work.

Bob
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