Making a Pin Joint

One of the major hurdles customizers face is recreating a pin joint to create a hinged limb on a figure. I have worked up one approach, which is shown here.

What we have is a disassembled ankle joint. The base figure had a broken (and bent) pin joint that was unusable. The parts needed are very small nails, a small-diameter rubber tubing, a small paperclip, and superglue. The nail heads should be larger diameter than the hinge-joint holes, and the outer diameter of the tubing should be smaller than the holes.

Cut the pointed ends of the nails off short enough so that when placed end-to-end, they will be not quite long enough to meet when placed in either end of the hinge joint. Cut the tubing length to fit just inside the assembled hinge-joint (no overhang).

Push one of the nails into the tubing and secure with superglue. Push this assembly through the pieces of the assembled hinge joint. The joint should now operate as normal. If it is too loose, push one or two small pieces of paperclip between the tubing and the limb hole to fill the gap and tighten the joint.

Now put glue on the other nail and push it into the tubing on the other side of the joint. Move it a little to keep any excess superglue from freezing the joint. In a minute or so, you should have a nice, clean, functional hinge joint!