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View Full Version : Aluminum 'T-Slot' tables



ninewgt
10-14-2003, 03:59 PM
I have seen a lot of people posting about T Slot table materials as of late. I just wanted to say i have some good catalogs from a couple of makers of the stuff. basically - a 4' X 8' table will cost you about 800 dollars..... maybe you can find it for less, but thats the best i found it......

The stuff is 3/4" X 4"

They also are sending me info a a new profile that is same thickness but about 10" wide.... table will cost the same......

Just lettin you guys know

Mr.Chips
10-14-2003, 04:54 PM
I saw some MDF homemade "T" slot material yesterday. Looked like they had laminated formica to the top. They said that they used a router to make the "T" slots, it took two passes. It looked good to me.

turkgeltz
10-24-2003, 09:27 PM
look at www.woodcraft.com. search for incra t-track. The easy cheap solution. Cut a slot screw it in leave it high to use for alignment also.

chuckknigh
10-25-2003, 12:55 AM
There's a commercial product called "slatwall" which is essentially a T-slot MDF material. It's used like super-peg-board.

I used it on my machine. Great stuff...and a stock item at Home Depot.

-- Chuck Knight

turkgeltz
10-25-2003, 07:00 AM
Up here in pittsburgh they don't seem to stock it. I can't find it anywhere.

ger21
10-25-2003, 08:19 AM
I've been to probably 6 or 7 Home Depots in the Detroit area, and I've never seen it either. You might want to check with plywood wholesalers, they should have it.

Gerry

chuckknigh
10-25-2003, 01:53 PM
Hmmm...every Home Depot down here (outside of Dallas, TX) has it in stock, including the brand new one that just opened a month ago, in Sherman.

If anyone's interested, I could "force myself" to go to Home Depot, and get their SKU number for it. Hard to deny its existence, when it's listed on your computer screen...

-- Chuck Knight

ger21
10-25-2003, 10:36 PM
I wasn't disagreeing with you, just letting you know they don't have it all Home Depots. I work ion a cabinet shop, and we use it all the time. Just can't get it at Home Depot here.

Gerry

chuckknigh
10-26-2003, 12:43 AM
I understand...and that's why I offered to find out the Home Depot computer numbers that would let them order it for you.

If there's interest, my offer still stands.

-- Chuck Knight

High Seas
10-26-2003, 08:33 AM
I'd take some of that action too!

Not carried here at either Lowes or HD in the panhandle of FL. But - Lowes has and can get a similar product thats part of a garage wall system.

Rather than MDF, its a formed plastic. A bit dear about 65 bucks for 2 pieces that are 2ft by4 ft as I recall. I'll get more details on my next run for house bits and post here
:cheers: Jim

lsfoils
10-26-2003, 10:46 AM
We use this stuff in our show room at work. We also buy the aluminum inserts to line the slots. Costs extra but it almost doubles the strength of the slot. I don't have the suppliers name (mail order) to post, will do that tomorrow for those who are intrested, but there is a photo on this site: http://www.slatwallsystems.com/

Doug

High Seas
10-30-2003, 09:11 AM
Got that data on the plactic/composite T-slot panels at Lowe's.

Its made by Whirlpool Corp and part of their "GLADIATOR GARAGE WORKS" - gear storage system. The system is a bit dear - no - its expensive - but the panels look very slick. No painting or insert track required.

The panels (Gear Wall Panel) are 2 per package and are 12inx96in. The slots are 3in on center and 4 slots each.

The part number (its a special order item so no SKU) is GAGWP 008LY0 or alternately GWP082PMY.
They list at 68.00 per set of 2 (or just under 4 buck per ftsq). Its a high grade composite material and the details on it can be had at:
1-866-342-4089.

I might consider getting some and if I do add it to the set up I'll pass along comments then.
:cheers: Jim

louieatienza
01-28-2012, 12:57 PM
I know this has to be the mother of all thread resurrections, but has anyone used the Gladiator wall panel system on their CNC? They have them here at the local Sears for something like $50/2 panels... Sears even has their own brand, though less heavy-duty, for a lot less...

mmonti
01-28-2012, 04:36 PM
Rockler has some pretty good looking anodized blue T-track and an intersection kit, seems reasonably priced. I was planning on using some of that on a small table I'm building

JerryBurks
01-28-2012, 07:57 PM
Rockler has some pretty good looking anodized blue T-track and an intersection kit, seems reasonably priced. I was planning on using some of that on a small table I'm building

That is good stuff if well supported. My old CNC machine (from NextWave) had such a table but the blue slats were onle held at the ends and as a result the table flexed more than the anyway soft frame.

You can use that when bolted down tightly to a solid wood table, torsion box, steel grid or similar. Otherwise the 3/4" slats are just too thin, at least for a large table. For a small machine it may be O.K.

I have now 1.5" 80/20 extrusion surface (1545 sixe) bolted to a plywood torsion box table. This does not flex a bit. I got it as surplus on Ebay directly from 80/20 and for a 36"x48" area it was about $450.

adprinter
01-29-2012, 10:09 PM
What I did on my machine, may not be the best option for building a really small machine (which uses something like a Dremel, instead of a router). But after reading through the posts, and seeing an $800 price tag- I just had to comment. While I am aware that the economy has driven the prices of virtually everything through the roof, I don't believe that it has risen quite that high for the raw materials needed to duplicate the design I used in building my table. And the finished result is heavy-duty enough that it rivals the strength of a cast iron table, in terms of holding items clamped SECURELY to the table. Please see the attached TableFrame.PDF for a better understanding. Hope this helps!

Rob K
01-30-2012, 12:15 AM
adprinter - Would you by chance have pictures of your aluminum table top? I'm at the point of making a top and was looking at your pdf description.

I was considering bolting down 8020 1545's, but its a bit expensive with a 30"x48" cnc.

I was also looking at alternating 3/4 inch mdf with heavy-duty t-track, but wasn't sure about how to secure the mdf pieces (screw to a piece of mdf below)?

Aluminum slats creating a t-slot top seems interesting to me now.

I'm feeling a little uneasy about using the slat board panels. They carry it at my local Menards, and it seems a little weak - maybe with the steel slot inserts it would be strong enough.

adprinter
01-30-2012, 02:21 PM
adprinter - Would you by chance have pictures of your aluminum table top? I'm at the point of making a top and was looking at your pdf description.

I was considering bolting down 8020 1545's, but its a bit expensive with a 30"x48" cnc.

I was also looking at alternating 3/4 inch mdf with heavy-duty t-track, but wasn't sure about how to secure the mdf pieces (screw to a piece of mdf below)?

Aluminum slats creating a t-slot top seems interesting to me now.

I'm feeling a little uneasy about using the slat board panels. They carry it at my local Menards, and it seems a little weak - maybe with the steel slot inserts it would be strong enough.

Rob, I don't have photos readily available. But I will go out to my shop and take a few to post later. Meantime, to clarify on the design: I have a 2"x1/4"x36" pieces of steel flat stock onto which I mounted ball bearings on each end of it. These bearings ride along the inner-facing horizontal plane of the angle steel frame of the table's under side. And each are tapped with 1/2" 13TPI holes on 3.5" centers (to align with the "Slots" of the table- the openings between the aluminum slats).
The bearings which are mounted on the ends of the flat stock elevate the flat stock surface to within 0.040" from the bottom surface of the aluminum slats of the table top. And since there is only a single bearing on each end, they can be positioned diagonally slightly along the length of the table. Resulting in an almost limitless positioning of items to be clamped down to the table. (the only limitation, are the cross-members of the table's frame construction- spaced at 24" intervals along it's length).
I have a pair of these flat stock pieces mounted between each set of cross-members (3 pairs total). Most of the wood I cut, is OAK. And this system has never failed to provide a secure mounting. I just have to be careful, when locking down the bolts, so as not to cause the wood the be split under the pressure of the hold-down clamps! As wood is almost always slightly warped, and the hold-down clamps pull the wood down FLAT against the table surface.
I was initially using all thread rods inserted thru short pieces of angle steel as the "bolts" (with nuts on them) for holding down items on the table. However, this sometimes presented clearance problems between my spindle lock assembly of the router (see last Winter's edition of Digital Machinist Magazine for details of the spindle lock assembly). So, I constructed a pair of "Z Rails" to act as the hold-down clamps, which only protrude 1/8" above the surface of the wood. Clearance problem solved! I will post photos of the table later today.

adprinter
02-03-2012, 06:32 PM
adprinter - Would you by chance have pictures of your aluminum table top? I'm at the point of making a top and was looking at your pdf description.

I was considering bolting down 8020 1545's, but its a bit expensive with a 30"x48" cnc.

I was also looking at alternating 3/4 inch mdf with heavy-duty t-track, but wasn't sure about how to secure the mdf pieces (screw to a piece of mdf below)?

Aluminum slats creating a t-slot top seems interesting to me now.

I'm feeling a little uneasy about using the slat board panels. They carry it at my local Menards, and it seems a little weak - maybe with the steel slot inserts it would be strong enough.

Rob,
Sorry for the delay in posting photos. I just got around to taking a few. This is how I built my table. Tried to upload two views, but the second replaced the first, so this one is the view from the BOTTOM of the table, looking up. Notice the steel flat stock in the center of the photo, with a ball bearing mounted on the end of it. If you have viewed the PDF, this photo should help to clarify what I did. On the TOP side of the table, I am using angle steel to act as the hold-down clamps, with 1/2" bolts inserted between the aluminum slats, and threaded into the flat stock pictured in the photo. (Notice the holes along the flat stock in the photo). The two similar-looking pieces at the left and right edges of the photo are the cross beam supports of the steel frame of the table, onto which the aluminum slats are bolted down to the frame. This is not necessarily a cheap build- steel (and aluminum) are expensive materials these days. But it does provide an absolutely RIGID table with "T Slot" versatility.

johnmac
02-03-2012, 07:52 PM
I found the Slatwall for my router table at my local Menards.

John

adprinter
02-06-2012, 10:56 AM
Rob,
Sorry for the delay in posting photos. I just got around to taking a few. This is how I built my table. Tried to upload two views, but the second replaced the first, so this one is the view from the BOTTOM of the table, looking up. Notice the steel flat stock in the center of the photo, with a ball bearing mounted on the end of it. If you have viewed the PDF, this photo should help to clarify what I did. On the TOP side of the table, I am using angle steel to act as the hold-down clamps, with 1/2" bolts inserted between the aluminum slats, and threaded into the flat stock pictured in the photo. (Notice the holes along the flat stock in the photo). The two similar-looking pieces at the left and right edges of the photo are the cross beam supports of the steel frame of the table, onto which the aluminum slats are bolted down to the frame. This is not necessarily a cheap build- steel (and aluminum) are expensive materials these days. But it does provide an absolutely RIGID table with "T Slot" versatility.

I was just looking at this photo, and realized that the view includes a flat stock which is IN USE (showing the 1/2" bolts protruding thru the flat stock) on the Right side of the photo. The flat stock in the center of the photo, is not currently being used to secure anything in the photo.

Rob K
02-06-2012, 09:05 PM
adprinter

Thanks for the photo. It appears the those clamping members are drilled and tapped below the slots/openings, and they are free to roll between the steel tubes (black)?

adprinter
02-06-2012, 10:00 PM
adprinter

Thanks for the photo. It appears the those clamping members are drilled and tapped below the slots/openings, and they are free to roll between the steel tubes (black)?

Exactly, the flat stock is drilled and tapped, and rolls along the inner lip of the angle stock (NOT tubes) of the sides outer frame of the table. There are six pairs of the flat stock (2 between each section of the cross-frame). Table size is 24"x48" Cross frame is on 16" centers. The square tubes used for the X axis of the gantry is visible (the black piece visible across backside of the computer monitor in the background) in the photo.