My Hinge Idea

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My Hinge Idea

Postby rainjer » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:11 am

I have noticed a lot of people use the piano hinge & rubber method for their galley & door hinges. This is an idea I had. Do you think it will work?

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Postby Ira » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:19 am

In other words, reverse the hinge so it attaches on the edges and doesn't attach flush?
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Postby davel » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:35 am

The only problem I see would be the UV effect on the exposed rubber.
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Postby mbader » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:37 am

I put the rubber inside the hinge, where the screw holes are.
It works mostly but a little water gets in when I open the hatch. Water that has seeped in aroud the hinge pin.
I think you idea is better.
It will be hard to replase the rubber when it go bad though.
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Postby madjack » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:53 am are also attaching thru the end grain of the may be OK but that is not the stongest place for attachment could use Grant's offsett piano hinge, allowing you to do a seal thataway and still screw into the sides of the ply...
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Postby Spadinator » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:11 am

The way you have shown is similar to the way I am doing mine. The only difference is that the rubber seal will run horizontally under the skin. The bed cover on my Chev truck has the same system and seals just fine.
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Postby Chris C » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:25 am


I think that's the way Charles did it on his Coca Cola teardrp. You might check with him.
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Postby greasywheats » Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:00 pm

Rainjer- A couple problems that I could foresee...the rubber strip looks like it is going to be heavily compressed along that very short strip covering the very top of the hinge. Unlike the flat piano hinge with a wide, flat strip over it (which provides a lot of material to absorb the flex along the width of the strip), I think this small piece might be too tight to keep from creasing and stretching a bunch. Which leads to the second issue (the one I think is the biggest)- you are asking a lot from those two beads of caulk given the compression/stretching that the underlying rubber might be prone to. Even elastic caulk is going to eventually seperate from that rubber strip with some exposure to sun and a few opening/closings, which leads to water intrusion between the rubber and plywood. I think you might find yourself replacing caulk a few times a season.
Just my observations (and I've only begun my first TD!)- sounds like maybe others have done this so they can give some real-world feedback. Maybe a mock-up might be in order to test the idea- you just need to find a volunteer to stand there and open and close the thing a few hundred times in the sun and rain...shouldn't be too hard! :lol: All the best!
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Postby Gerdo » Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:57 pm

I didn't want to worry about my hinge so I spent the money and bought Grant's "Better than a Hurricane Hinge" (Li'l Bear) I know that it isn't going to leak and I wont have to touch it for years or maybe ever.

Yes, your idea should work. But the UVs will break down the rubber and you will have to replace it. Also the caulk will probably peel off the rubber quite often.

You have to ask yourself. Do you want to do it once or have to deal with it on a regular basis? What is your time worth?
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Postby rainjer » Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:28 pm

Thanks for all of the feedback. Believe it or not, I had a dream about that design.

To address a few you your guy's concerns:

First let me say that in no way was that drawn to scale. I did it in 5 min. in MS paint. I need to do some refining.

2) That actually is the proper way to attach a piano hinge. Take a look at piano some time. That is structuraly stronger than laying it flat.

3) I plan on using a hardwood rib on both the roof & hatch where the hinge attaches. The white is FRP panel.

4) Ther caulk was more to devert water when it is closed. I may put caulk between the rubber & the spar/roof & no bead to top.

5) I know of some rubber products used in roofing I was going to play with. They resist UV damage.

I do not see me using my trailer more than 5-6 times a year. Mostly in the spring & fall. When it is not in use it will be tarped. I figure the rubber may need to replace ever couple of years. (if I don't build a bigger one.) :twisted:

Keep the comments coming, my may just talk me into a Hurracane Hinge.... :thinking:
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Postby rampage » Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:50 pm

If you're dreaming about hinge might be building a teardrop! :lol:
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Postby Guest » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:23 pm

Make sure that the caulk is compatable with both materials. (Hinge gasket and roof/hatch surface)
The caulk will need to be flexible enough and have stong adhesion on the gasket, because the gasket will want to pooch when the hatch is open.
I'd recommend taking a look at automotive urethanes, used to install windshields. (Caulk)

Postby rainjer » Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:48 pm

rampage wrote:If you're dreaming about hinge might be building a teardrop! :lol:

I will be picking up my first batch of material this weekend. If it stops raining, I should have the rest of the frame sanded & repained in a few hours.

I need to temporarily putt my tail lights & license plate back on to pick up my plywood.
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Postby 48Rob » Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:27 pm

I did mine this way, but used outdoor vinyl material instead of rubber (like automotive vinyl top material).

A small bead of sealant as you've shown will prevent leaks, adhesion to the very flexible rubber would be the only area of concern.
That is, the idea is sound, so long as the adhesive is compatable (as others have pointed out).

This "method" of weatherproofing a piano hinge is not at all new.
Trailer manufacturers have been doing it since the 30's, and perhaps even before, though they used a treated canvas that tended to fail after about 20 years.

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Postby looped » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:05 pm

good point on the treated canvas, when i was reading this thread i was thinking of an option using a durable fabric that is infused with plastidip (the stuff normally used to recoat tool handles.
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