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Fabricating Piano hinges


NOBLNG
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There are a few older threads on this subject, but it seems the closest to what I need is some photo etch items available. But...being me, I figure I’ll give it a shot on my own. Pics are self explanatory I think, and the wire is a .014” guitar string. This is a preliminary attempt and my only concern so far is the ability to glue or fasten this securely somehow to the model parts. Any advice or input appreciated.🤔

 

 

 

 

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Edited by NOBLNG
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I went and picked up some .005”  brass yesterday in order to give this a more serious attempt. First, I remade my “jig” using 3/32” spacing instead of 1/8”. Then I slotted the brass and broke off every second tab on each side. I had to clean up the slots a tad with a square file.🤨B02D2E3C-BADE-46BC-9A03-05D879A08B63.thumb.jpeg.14272cdec6883882905f95f56609bd2c.jpeg

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I used a piece of.023” welding wire during the fabrication, only this time I fluxed it up. Since I’m working with brass, I figured I would try soldering it.4BA312B8-83C6-4B55-AC1E-F3D21E9A0DB3.thumb.jpeg.1ae61545981c96e137552a48c08f1ad5.jpeg

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I tucked a 1/32” square of flattened solder under each tab and melted it in with my butane torch. I tried doing them individually with my electric soldering gun but it didn’t have the guts for it.😬63EFB0F0-9E3E-4081-AF10-4E9E6E21F0B8.thumb.jpeg.119d02e9abf6adb6237fb55f87fdc540.jpegB6FE7481-B871-4970-BA25-8B8AEDBB0FDE.thumb.jpeg.0c1e98e7c2ba01a7db4a3a63409e8d30.jpeg

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A little cleanup and it looks better. I also pulled out the .023” wire and replaced it with a .020” brass rod. It works great!👍

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The loose pin allows one leaf to be reversed for different mounting possibilities.

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Edited by NOBLNG
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I like it. I can see this being very useful on both large scale stuff and big trucks. As for the mass production idea, he would have to charge way more than anyone would be willing to spend just to make a few bucks on these. To pay for his time, overhead, materials, etc. the cost would be $50 a hinge at least.

But a great DIY project. Thanks for sharing. I will tuck this away in my memory bank for later.

Great job and again, thanks for sharing and going to the trouble of documenting it for us.

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That's nice work, Daniel!  I used to get some real fine piano hinges from Great Britain but then the manufacturer stopped making them.  Been out of luck ever since.  Best I've been able to come up with is some real small brass tubing and some stainless steel wire.

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3 hours ago, Chariots of Fire said:

That's nice work, Daniel!  I used to get some real fine piano hinges from Great Britain but then the manufacturer stopped making them.  Been out of luck ever since.  Best I've been able to come up with is some real small brass tubing and some stainless steel wire.

Thank you, Charles! I think you'd agree--figuring out new ways to accomplish a modeling task is a lot of fun, and, once it's figured, it's about as satisfying as anything can be! I think Tripart used to make them, too. The last times I searched, I believe I came up empty. That's why I made this one! I really love what Greg has done, here. This hinge is gorgeous.

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22 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

I'm impressed!  I have a soldering iron for stained glass, would that work?

I don’t see why not. Just make sure what ever surface you’re working on can withstand the heat. I warped my cutting matt real good.😬 Thankfully I have a couple of spares that I got on sale. The tabs could also be cut shorter and not soldered, which is how the photo etch hinge tutorials on here were done.

Edited by NOBLNG
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One thing to consider when soldering the brass would be to use a piece of aluminum rod or some other non-ferous material that would not become soldered to the hinge itself. After soldering is complete then the rod could be removed and be replaced with the rod section of brass or other material for additional strength.

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On 4/25/2021 at 10:04 PM, Chariots of Fire said:

One thing to consider when soldering the brass would be to use a piece of aluminum rod or some other non-ferous material that would not become soldered to the hinge itself. After soldering is complete then the rod could be removed and be replaced with the rod section of brass or other material for additional strength.

Yes, care has to be taken not to solder the pin in place. That is why I cut the tiny squares of solder and tucked them under the tabs instead of heating the hinge up and touching the solder wire to it. It limits the amount of solder possible per tab. Also, the .023” steel  wire used for the initial forming will not attract the solder near as easily as a brass pin would. Aluminum rod rod would work, but may be hard to remove when you need to.

Edited by NOBLNG
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  • 8 months later...
Posted (edited)

On a related matter, I made some Jeep hood hinges yesterday. Next time I do piano hinges I’ll combine these two methods. i made these from .016” brass with a .023” s/s pin. Initial tab length = (.023+.016)xpi=.123”….so I went a little shorter (.100”) since the tab won’t wrap completely around the wire.690C2D6E-B5F6-4DEA-A292-FCF11F8F24EB.thumb.jpeg.d3ef2ce6a9b3a38233dde47e4f6529f3.jpeg

Then I bent the tab around the pin, making sure the pin stayed tucked tightly in place.A5494076-88F2-4CA3-AB47-AF4D69CD8754.thumb.jpeg.e7bf9f949255c346aaf7c2e09682c02f.jpeg

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I added a little solder flux and a very tiny chunk of flattened solder.41C96D92-D84E-4BBD-A074-1BB44FDE9BFC.thumb.jpeg.b854a1efb744daf86347844220926d78.jpeg

Heated it with a butane lighter until the solder melted, which only took like 3-5 seconds.6C254540-F057-4837-9219-D0288F288283.thumb.jpeg.243a2fa4f3ea790dc8aa04b4f226e0c4.jpeg

I then filed the excess solder flush to the “tube”, clamped it back in my vise and filed the slots down level with the inner edge of the tube for clearance. The same method was used for the double tabs, but I didn’t get pics.3CA0C789-0F13-438F-8387-DD01FC8EE50F.thumb.jpeg.0d8777dd04091c0b86d7d056187db49d.jpeg

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Some trimming and careful filing and they look pretty good. Now I just have to figure out the best way to mount them.0C190D7B-BB0F-4258-AD51-90702A58BE9E.thumb.jpeg.05450bcc5e3285c5d9754233209213a6.jpeg

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I may attempt to file them down a tad more. They now measure .146”x.354” which is 3.65”x8.85” in 1/25 scale.

 

 

 

Edited by NOBLNG
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That is really slick! Another reason for me to add soldering to my skill inventory, as I have been rather skittish to try it. Yet I’m seeing more and more uses for it, perhaps I’m not an ole dog yet…😉

Cheers Misha 

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