T-slot extruded aluminum

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rhmlnaa

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T-slot extruded aluminum
« on: June 01, 2016, 07:30:28 AM »
Chris,
Since buying my van, and joining your forum, I have been researching using 8020 t-slot as a building material.  I have not jumped in and bought any product yet, because the depth of the product line is intimidating.  So I am doing some moch-ups of my design first.

Then in the last few days of watching videos, I realized you built your bed with T-slot!  Your video was helpful, but I have a few more questions for you.

Because of the folding function of you bed:
1- did you use any bearings for profiles that slide against each other?
2- do the hinges in your design support any weight?
3- have you had any issues with any 8020 product supporting weight?

Building with T-slot:
4- did you buy long lengths of profile and then cut to length yourself?
5- did you do any other 'machining', like drilling holes or tapping for screws?
6- did you use some other material as bed slats to support your mattress?

Any other details you can share about you results after you started using the bed concerning design, strength and durability?

You might be able to tell that I have a background on project management, sorry for all the questions...

Rick and Maki

PS, when our van is completed, you will get a lot of credit!  We hope to be as supportive of other people on this journey as you have been for us.

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Chris

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Re: T-slot extruded aluminum
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2016, 02:04:30 PM »
Hi Rick and Maki,

Sorry it's been so long, I've been dealing with funeral stuff and trying to help my mom transfer assets, clear out medical supplies, etc. Let's see if I can answer your questions.

Because of the folding function of you bed:
1- did you use any bearings for profiles that slide against each other? No, although I'm thinking about adding some. Right now, the top part of the bed frame slides on top of the bottom part and what's keeping them on track are mending braces turned sideways. It's kind of hard to explain. I like that friction keeps the top part from sliding around, but I don't like that it's kind of heavy to move.
2- do the hinges in your design support any weight? No, they don't.
3- have you had any issues with any 8020 product supporting weight? No issues at all, however, I may have overbuilt the bed.

Building with T-slot:
4- did you buy long lengths of profile and then cut to length yourself? Yes, I measured everything as precisely as possible and calculated how many 8 and 10 ft lengths I'd need.
5- did you do any other 'machining', like drilling holes or tapping for screws? No, none at all.
6- did you use some other material as bed slats to support your mattress? Yes, I used redwood 1" x 6"s for the bed slats, and I used 3M Dual lock tape to stick them down to the aluminum. It turned out to be a great solution because now I can easily remove the bed slats to access the solar equipment underneath.

Any other details you can share about you results after you started using the bed concerning design, strength and durability?

One thing that I discovered after building and traveling a bit is that the screws do loosen if you don't crank them down tight enough. I've gone over the entire structure twice to tighten screws and I've found loose screws both times.

If you look at this page http://www.mcmaster.com/#t-slotted-framing/=13etl3j my favorite 90 degree connectors are the "Aluminum Braces" with the little triangle piece because they pull the extrusions into perfect alignment and they're easy to install. The "aluminum brackets are good too, but they do not pull the extrusions into alignment. Ironically, the straight "easy-install connectors" are kind of a pain to install.

You'll definitely need a miter saw and a blade specifically for cutting aluminum. I used an Oshlun blade and it cut like a hot knife through butter.

Hope that helps, and again, sorry so late!