Customs: Hinge Pin Supplier?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by creativspelerr, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. creativspelerr

    creativspelerr Member

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    I'm making my first custom/scratch figure using a 3D printer and now I need to find a source of hinge pins that doesn't involve scavenging them from other figures. Does anyone know where to purchase 1mm or 1.5mm diameter pins (some of which need to be 6cm long)? There are finishing nails that are thin enough but not long enough and I don't think their steel is as hard as a hinge pin. I found a gauge tool used for measuring hole diameters that could work but that is $11 a pop.
     
  2. Yaujta

    Yaujta Broken. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Finishing nails work well. The metal isn't as dense, but honestly, it's good enough. Unless you're putting loads of stress on the joint, you can almost guarantee that the plastic will break first.

    For actual pins, scrounging is probably the easiest option. Dollar store figures, junkers from Goodwill or old broken stuff all provide decent supplies.
     
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  3. Mizzinno

    Mizzinno Merc With A Mouthplate

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    Paper clips, nails
     
  4. Diamondback

    Diamondback Fights Like A Fat Ballerina

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    +1 to paperclips... surprisingly strong and useful things, just ask MacGyver. :) 
     
  5. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    What you want us metal dowel pins. Much stronger than paperclips and more precisely measured than nails. I got a set of 100 1mm x 15mm pins from Amazon a few months ago and I got a set of 20 2mm x 150mm rc car axle rods that I'm able to cut down for pins. Both work great and neither were very expensive.

    Here's a set of 1.5mm x 15mm: uxcell 100 Pcs Stainless Steel 1.5mm x 15.8mm Dowel Pins Fasten Elements: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    Here's a set of 20 1.5mm x 100mm rc axle rods: Amazon.com: Round Rod - SODIAL(R) RC Car Axle 100mm Long 1.5mm Dia Stainless Steel Round Bar 20pcs: Toys & Games

    I've been able to cut the rods to length using the cutting portion of a pair of needle nose pliers without too much trouble. The 2mm pins were pretty tough but not too bad. You'll probably want to put a tiny dab of super glue on the end of the pins just before you finish inserting them since they're not knurled and you don't want them to skip out.

    Regarding 3d printed pieces and pin holes, I can tell you that what I do is to print the hole at the exact diameter of the pin, knowing full well that it's going to shrink a little. Then I heat a spare pin with a torch (only do it for a few seconds - if it starts to glow, that's too much) and push it into the hole. I leave it in until it cools, then twist it back and forth to loosen and remove it. Repeat as needed for longer holes and do each piece separately so you're not fusing the plastic together. Once you can push a pin through the hole without too much trouble (you still want it to be tight, though), you can insert a fresh, non-torched pin (I'm not sure what the torch does to the metal's tempering but I assume it's not good so I don't use the torched pins in the final build).

    I like to cut my pins longer than needed until I'm fully satisfied with the build, finished painting, and ready to assemble I permanently. Then I'll cut them to the proper length and insert them for the last time.
     
  6. creativspelerr

    creativspelerr Member

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    Thanks Snaku for the links and detailed description of your procedure.
    What is the reason behind using the heated dowel pins to enlarge the deliberately too small hole? Is it to get a well-toleranced fit without having to mess with the print settings forever (or worse, inconsistent printing)?
     
  7. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Great insight from everyone. I misread the title and thought you were looking for prefabbed mini hinges. In such case l tend to use Dubro nylon hinges, though being nylon they are finicky as to which adhesives they like best.
    Screenshot_2017-07-28-19-02-00-1.png
    I echo most of the above, l have had great success with wire nails and both brass and steel metal dowels.
    Good tip from Snaku on getting a snug fit by reaming an undersized hole with a heated pin.
     
  8. Prime Noble

    Prime Noble Well-Known Member

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    I used paperclips to fix a windscreen wiper that got damaged on a really stormy day 19 years ago.

    They did the job for a year until I got a proper replacement. I was in college...
     
  9. Doro626

    Doro626 Active Member

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    I would love to see some of your results.
     

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