I've always hated cutting slots for hinges. CA or plastic. Got that slot cutter from Dubro or sombody, and my chainsaw could do a better job. (Possibly operator error) X-acto blades by themselves cut too small a slot. Yesterday I cut up a hacksaw blade to give me a blade 1/8 inch wide by about 1 inch long, tapering to full width with the Dremmel. Sharpened the point, and tried it out.

The sharp end pushes in easily, and the teeth on the blade remove material easily. When I got done, a plastic hinge slid in with a snug fit. The slot was "sawn" to shape, not gouged out or crushed. It seems that the thichness of a hacksaw blade is just right for a hinge.

I'll still use CA for gluing, but will also use a toothpick dowell thru each side, just in case the glue fails in flight. BTW, when the elevator hinges come out in flight, you won't have to worry about remaining fuel or battery charge. (Cheap Chinese RTF!)

Now back to that Sr Telemaster that's taking up a good poprtion of my wood shop! I may need another ticket from the FAA to fly this monster!

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Try two passes of a laser cutter 1/64" apart..oh the sheer JOY of it.

For 'top' hinging, get a file as wide as the hinge, and file a recess in the wood, then cap with 1/16" balsa. Or thin ply.

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The Natural Philosopher

Drool..... Laser cutter.... With enough power I could sell my table saw, jointer, drill press and planer! Almost as good as a light saber!

Never thought about cutting a rabbit, then filling back in. I'll bet the router table would add some precision, too. Just like a hinge mortice, little deeper. Thanks for the idea!!!!!

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The only question I might have is the weakening of the rear 'spar' of the surface. When you create the hinge hole, there is a top and bottom spar section that is not damaged from root to tip. Both parts of this spar section (top and bottom ) carries load. The rabbit idea sounds good but it sacrifices one of those spar sections. YMMV

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Around $15000 for a basic machine. Maybe less.

Even centre hinged stiff can be made by using two half trailng edges, notched and glued back together.

Once you start seeing complex cutting as essentially 'free' the whole way of designing parts changes.

Self jigging egg crate structures, holes in sheet to save weight, complex parts that come together with exactly placed holes for snakes..totally correct servo trays..

Instead of fighting balsa with tools, one fights the CAD program with a mouse..

The resultant jigsaw puzzle is unbelievably quick to assemble, and usually only needs a belt sand to finish off.

If your CAD is good enough the laser companies set up is really pretty low. One offs are not that expensive.

I am in the fortunate position of being able to drive over, and watch the cut..any gross mistakes can be corrected whilst there, more or less.

Highly recommended for the CAD literate.

YMMV, as always.

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The Natural Philosopher

Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:

If you are that concerned about the "weakening" of the TE spar, CA a

1/8" wide strip of carbon fiber to the back of the spar. If the spar breaks/fails after that, it was A LOT MORE than just a hinge hole that caused the failure.
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Ted Campanelli

That's why you glue th bit of balsa over the top..;)

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The Natural Philosopher

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