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Miniature Piano Hinges

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Post Date : February 14
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The 3/8" wide brass plated steel hinges are excellent for operating cockpit doors, like on a J-3 Cub.

Miniature Piano Hinges

Our miniature piano hinges are unique in that they very small and are available in lengths up to 30 long. The longer lengths, as compared to a standard hinge, can be very helpful in many applications.

Dive brake assembly on Greg Hann's award winning Dauntless. NELSON Piano Hinges used for a totally functional and realistic hinge. Same hinge used on the bottom flaps.

The miniature hinges offered are brass plated mild steel .017 thick. The hinge pin is steel of .048 diameter. Hinges are available in 3/8, 1/2" and 5/8 widths. The hinge pin diameter is the same for all hinges. The hinges are supplied in 10, 20, and 30 lengths. The lengths of the individual hinge units are .200 wide.

We also have a 3/4" width stanard hinge that is more of a heavy duty, hardware store, type hinge. Typicaly this hinge would not be used for model aircraft applications. This hinge is also available in 10", 20", and 30" lengths.

Three sizes of miniature hinges offered, 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8". Actual hinge is the same for all three sizes, only the flanges are different.

When we say the flange width is 1/2", this means that each side of the hinge is 1/4" wide. Laid flat, the hinge is 1/2" wide.

Full-scale piano hinges are usually 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. Some are 3/4 inches wide. The sizes of hinges offered can come very close to exact scale, depending on the scale of the model.

This type of hinge can be used for ailerons. Cessna aircraft aileron hinges commonly are piano hinges and run the full length of the ailerons. The hinge prevents any airflow going through the hinge line, thus increasing the efficiency of the ailerons. As a bonus, the ailerons can be removed by pulling out the hinge pin.

Scale split flaps can be duplicated with these hinges. Many WWII aircraft as well as some jets use split flaps.

Operating hatches can be hinged easily and realistically with these hinges. Landing gear and bomb bay doors are another application.

The 3/8" wide brass plated steel hinges are excellent for operating cockpit doors, like on a J-3 Cub. Also good for inspection hatches and canopy hinges.

To cut the hinges, use tin snips to cut each side of the hinge next to a hinge section. Then bend the hinge back and forth and the wire will easily break. This is a lot easier than cutting it with a Dremel Cut Off wheel, which is the next best way of cutting the hinges.


Suggest attaching the hinges with #0 or #1, 1/4 long flat head sheet metal screws screwed into hardwood of some kind.

In some applications one can use a CA glue manufactured by Bob Smith Enterprises. It is a black colored CA glue. It bonds well to the the hinge and fiberglass. The glue doesn't want to wick into the hinge. Have many customers who have excellent results with this glue.

Best of Show Award at the 2004 Toledo R/C Show was this fantastic SBD-5 Dauntless by Tom Pierce. Tom used our miniature piano hinges for the dive brakes, split landing flaps, and the hatch for the rear seat machine gun.


For special applications, one can use half of one size hinge and half of another size. The actual hinges are all the same, only the flange widths are different.


If the hinge assembly must operate effortlessly without any friction or binding, then replace the hinge pin with a piece of 1/32" diameter wire. This will assure an extremely free operation suitable for use with lower power servos. If the hinges are used for control surface hinging and most likely there cannot be any friction especially around neutral, then for sure use the alternate 1/32" diameter wire.

It may be difficult to remove the hinge pin on 20 and 30 inch lengths of hinges. If a long hinge is required to be replaced with the 1/32" diameter piano hinge, suggest that two or three of the 10 inch hinges be used. To remove the hinge pin, cut off one segment of the hinge leaving about 3/16" of the hinge pin exposed. Place the hinge assembly in a vice. With an electric drill motor, attach the exposed hinge pin into the drill chuck and tighten firmly. Turn the electric drill motor on and pull gently the hinge pin out of the hinge assembly. If this is tried on the 30 inch length, most likely the original hinge pin will break at the drill chuck. The 20 inch hinge pin assembly may pulled out in this manner, but most likely it will also break in a similar manner. No problems pulling the hinge pin out in the manner with the 10" hinge lengths.

We use to be able to easily remove the hinge pin from all lengths of the hinges, but starting in early 2005 the hinge manufactures has made the hinge pin a tighter fit. We have been selling these hinges for many years and never had any problems with the hinge pin. We have tried to communicate this problem with the manufacture, but haven't had much assistance from them.


There is an additional fee of $2.50 for shipping 30 inch long hinges. 30 inch hinges will be strapped to a suitable wood support that will be enclosed in the shipping container. There is a strong possibility that if the wood support is not used the shipping box can be bent in half and even broken in two. There will also be additional shipping costs due to the weight of the wood support.

We recommend that the 20 inch or 10 inch sizes be used since they can be shipped without any great risk of shipping damage and additional handling fees.

Miniature & Standard Piano Hinges

PH3810 3/8"Flange Width x10" Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $5.50
PH3820 3/8" Flange Width x 20" Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $8.95

PH3830 3/8" Flange Width x 30" Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $12.00

PH1210 1/2" Flange Width x 10"Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $5.75
PH1220 1/2" Flange Width x 20" Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $10.25
PH1230 1/2" Flange Width x 30" Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $12.75
PH5810 5/8" Flange Width x 10"Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $6.50
PH5820 5/8" Flange Width x 20" Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $9.95
PH5830 5/8" Flange Width x 30" Long (MINIATURE HINGE) 1 $13.00
PH3410 3/4" Flange Width x 10" Long (STANDARD HINGE) 1 $6.50
PH3420 3/4" Flange Width x 20" Long (STANDARD HINGE) 1 $10.75
PH3430 3/4" Flange Width x 30" Long (STANDARD HINGE) 1 $13.50

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Clear Coat Epoxy Resin

Clear Coat Epoxy Resin

Clear Coat Epoxy Resin

SYSTEM THREE Clear Coat epoxy resin is ideally suited for applying light weight fiberglass cloth to balsa wood sheeting.

System Three? Clear Coat Epoxy is a very low viscosity (thin), almost colorless epoxy resin that has a long pot life and cures without an amine blush. It is ideally suited for applying light weight fiberglass cloth to wood surfaces. Clear Coat is used commercially to provide a clear, hard, protective, coating for wood. Cure time is about 8 hours.

SYSTEM THREE Clear Coat epoxy resin is ideally suited for applying light weight (1/2-3/4 ounce) fiberglass cloth to balsa wood sheeting. It is very thin and no additional thinning required.

With the use of Clear Coat as a glue, light weight fiberglass cloth (1/2 to 3/4 ounce per square yard), is applied over balsa or plywood. This will provide a durable and light weight surface providing a glass smooth base for the color paint. The bonding resin must be thin so as to firmly attach the fiberglass cloth to the wood, yet keep the weight to a minimum.

Clear Coat can also be used as a laminating resin. It can have many other applications where a thin epoxy layer is desired.

Fuel proofing the inside front portion of a fuselage around the engine and gas tank area is another application for this resin. Being very thin, it will add very little weight to the aircraft.

Epoxy Resins



1/2 pt.
1 pt.
Clear Coat
1 1/2 pt.

Revised 11/17/05

T-88 and Clear Coat epoxy are available from

NELSON Hobby Direct or at hobby dealers.

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T-88 Epoxy glue

T-88 Epoxy glue

T-88 Epoxy glue

T-88 is an excellent adhesive for joining birch plywood to spruce and other hardwoods

T-88 epoxy glue has been used in the full-scale home built aircraft industry for many years. It is well respected for its mechanical properties and ease of applications with wood structures. It is non brittle, and gives excellent results under adverse weather conditions. Amber in color when mixed, but becomes virtually invisible when varnished. When fully cured it is unaffected by water, oil, gasoline, and virtually all chemicals.

T-88 is an excellent adhesive for joining birch plywood to spruce and other hardwoods. Very thick and doesn't run easily. Use for high strength applications such as firewalls and landing gear mounts.

Pot life at 70 degrees, is about 45 minutes. Working or gel time is about 2 hours. Fully cured in 24 hours. It is thick, and when applied to vertical surfaces in small quantities, it will not run easily. Mixed in equal parts. For best results use at 50 degrees or above.

Use T-88 for bonding wood, most plastics, ceramics, leather and other materials. Works especially well on oily woods such at teak and birch. Will not bond to polyethylene, poly-propylene, teflon, or other waxy finish materials.

This material is excellent for joining birch plywood to spruce. Strange as it may seem, most of the standard hobby epoxies, be it 5 minute, 15 minute, 45 minutes, or whatever, really dont bond birch plywood to spruce. T-88 sands well too. Also good for joining plywood bulkheads and other woods to fiberglass fuselages.

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