September 21, 2023

Hinging with Beli-Zell

I’ve been searching for something other than epoxy to glue pinned hinges with, and I think I found it at last. Beli-Zell, from Adhesions Technics in Germany works brilliantly, it’s strong, and easy to apply. I’ve always thought epoxy was wasteful and difficult to work with. Epoxy is not easy to get it in the hinge slot, and it’s runny until it cures. Most often you have to tape or oil the hinge pins to avoid them getting permanently stuck. It just takes a long time and is difficult to get right with epoxy.

I’ve experimented with Beli-Zell before, using a file to roughen the surface area of the hinges so that the Beli-Zell glue would adhere better. I used normal Beli-Zell, the green tube which is an expanding polyurethane glue. A lot of hingepins got glued stuck, but no hinges came off. Semi-successful at best.

Two types of Beli-Zell: The white one is perfect as a hinge glue

This time I’ve tested both the green (clear/yellow glue) and the orange (white glue) tube. The Beli-Zell white (20 min) tube is simply something completely different. Using Du-Bro pinned hinges, I glued one with each type of Beli-Zell to a balsa trailing edge. The next day, I tried to remove them. I was able to, using great force, to pull the clear Beli-Zell hinge out. Looking at the hinge, I saw the glue had only partially adhered to the surface. White Beli-Zell was another story. It was stuck, and no amount of force would remove it. I cut away the wood to inspect the hinge, only to find that it was totally merged with the wood. A blob of glue from each tube confirmed that the white Beli-Zell is in fact more elastic, In the picture, the white blob is still slightly rubbery, while the clear glue is stiff and brittle. And best of all – the white Beli-Zell does not expand into the hinge pin. It’s just a a tiny bit to thick, so it doesn’t come in contact with the pin at all. What’s more, the tip of the glue tube fits the hinge slot – two licks of glue in the slot, push the hinge in, and wait for it to set – done! No mess, and no working with old knife blades and epoxy. I just hinged the entire Xigris this way using white Beli-Zell, and it was all done in one evening. I’m never going back.

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