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Old 03-16-2018, 05:31 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 271
Default Innovation? Experimentation New (to me) Material

So, I realize that just following the directions and buying a bunch of extrusions is the easy way to build a PBB. No one has ever accused me to doing things the easy way.

While I was at the ReStore the other day I saw this material. It was a hollow composite deck board. Try as I might I haven't been able to find it for sale anywhere near me, or in the US for that matter. I did find a bunch of European sources but nothing in the US. Anyway, it was a $1 per stick and I took all 8 that they had. It is the size of a 5/4 1x6 and is cut with 1/2" deep grooves on each side.

The holes that you see are consistent throughout and are 7/8" x 5/8" (give or take a 1/32).

What I am hoping to do is cut the top of the groove off leaving the bottom groove as a "shelf". Or cut off both legs of the groove and slice open the holes in either the 5/8" or 7/8" direction to create multi-t-slot track. As it is, I can emulate most of the available configurations where there are end t-slots, or multiple face and back t-tracks within it.

I have some maple or pvc laying around that I can try to make 7/8" x 5/8" fillers that can become my slot runners T-nuts to take maybe some 5/16 or 3/8 threads.

I am not 100% sure how well I can emulate the interactions and accessories of the SME and ez-connectors to make the squaring stops, and however, the 2-way sliding action goes, but I will be giving it a shot. I also don't know how strong this will be once slotted, but that is what experimentation is all about.

I am, however, open to any suggestions or recommendations of things to try while I have it.
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Last edited by Absinthe; 03-16-2018 at 05:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:21 PM
Dino Dino is offline
Master Carpenter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Edison NJ
Posts: 5,150

Good stuff.
it must be leftovers from a job?
$1.00 per Linear feet sounds better.
It was a mistake somewhere..

good for you.
ycf dino
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:47 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 271

That's one of the reasons that I love the restore. I went to Lowe's this afternoon and bought a whole bunch of different stuff perhaps I can find a something that'll actually fit in those holes. I also picked up some L brackets and strapping and 5/8 and 7/8 see what kind of luck I have with that. Yeah if it's at the restore it's been donated so yeah it's probably something that was left over from a job but that stuff doesn't really sell well there unless somebody recognizes it and I've never seen this stuff sold around here anywhere. While I was looking on Google everywhere that I found ones that looked like this was in Europe Asia some other country when you go to their website I mean they all have to really weird country codes in the phone number so it's definitely something that's not in the local market here. So who knows I may have found something cheaper than extruded aluminum but then again I might have found the most expensive stuff on the planet cuz I can't get any more of it. I did see something that looks similar to it at I think it was Home Depot where they had the holes in it but the holes were round that may actually be better to work with perhaps you could find the bolt or something that fits in that better than than the luck I had with this I'll keep an eye open for that see what comes of it
-- Abs
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:47 AM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 271

Okay!! So here is the dry-fit smoke-test first-blush... whatever you want to call it, but here goes.

I went to Lowes and bought some nuts and bolts and the like then came home and only after cutting the grass did some playing. You can see all my different kinds of profiles (there are about 5 if you count the raw uncut sides).

For now I left the sides un-messed-around-with so they are not much to look at. Understand that is just a table I grabbed, after I got stuff setup on it I realized I should have laid a 2x4 top on it, but at that point I decided that I didn't feel like moving everything and starting the layout all over.

I am not sure what all the parts are supposed to be called, but I will try my best to call things by some term that will make sense.

I profiled the bridge rail so that it can take 2 T-Appliances connection vertically spaced wide. I made the squaring rail profile so that it has one shelf on one edge, and a T-slot on the opposite. It then has a T-Appliance slot forward towards the bridge. In the picture, you can see how these t-slots line up so that a squaring stop can join them. I cobbled together a quick squaring stop and attached them near the center. For consistency sake I made the far back rails to match the front rails. Then you can see the central rails with some scrap 3/4" plywood laying in the shelf aspect of them as well as with the front squaring rail. There is an additional rail in the image but that is the "bridge" rail for the back, since the table is too short and it was not attached I had to put it somewhere. It shows the contrast between the two different ways of cutting the T-Appliance slots. You will also see that I stuck a weird stop to line up the piece of scrap wood between stops... just to show I could.
  • Obviously the bridge is not attached since it is currently lag-bolted to a table where it is in use.
  • So it seems like I have the base parts to get started. Are there any obvious ones that I am missing.
  • I have an idea of how to do the sliding rails so they can move in both directions, but I am open to suggestions. FWIW I was thinking of creating a saddle (imagine a slingshot) that grips the rail by its two shelfs, A slit down the center would allow a tensioning screw to clamp down keeping the rail from sliding right and left. And, I can ride this in the uncut groove of the side rail and adding a T-Appliance slot or two to the side would allow it to slide fore and aft. If there are any other ideas let me know. Had I been thinking more clearly I could have put, instead of, 2 slots on top of the rail, I could have put one on top and one underneath. It may not be too late, since the two sides are still uncut, they could have whatever configuration and swap places with the two center top rails.
  • When I attach this to a table frame, I assume some of these parts need to be fixed. I assume the front and back bridge rails and the two sides will be attached never to move again. Would the bridge rails be best off shortened to width of the table (24" in my case) or is there some benefit for them to have long overhang?
  • Should the two squaring rails be movable in both fore and aft as well as left and right. It seems that they are attached to the bridge rails and as such are kind of stuck to only left and right motion.
  • What did I miss?

This material seems to have taken well to being cut. I notice no "give" to my hand. My shop is heated and air conditioned so there should be no elements to affect this like heat and cold. I also suspect that it is impervious to moisture.

If you don't count the $21 I spent on nuts and bolts to "try", then this cost me $8.
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-- Abs
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:05 AM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 271

I have made some design decisions and will have to come up with some more cuts. I assume I need a sliding block for the cross bars, so I am going to make the sides have t-slot on top. I will probably move the cross bars that have the narrow slots down to be the side pieces, I can cut one edge to be t-slotted. Then I can follow the model of the EZ1 ... as I have been able to see it in the videos.

Hopefully I will get some time in this weekend to play some more.

So far the material is holding up with the cuts, it didn't "close up" or curl in or anything.

What I haven't been able to do is find anywhere to get any more of it in reasonable quantities. I have had a few manufacturers send me sample pieces, and there is another profile that looks promising. This one has 6 round holes, each 1/2". That would allow me to use cross dowels (barrel nuts) or possibly if I route the webbing down the center, I will have about a 1-1/8" wide slot, would be easy enough to route tenon material as track slider. With some creativity I can play into the circular shape and perhaps a beading bit to get something that might be self-aligning similar to the way the EZ stuff does.

Just seems like you can order enough to build a deck, but if you just want one or two boards you are SOL.

I will try to find some builders or deck guys to see if I can get access to their cutoffs and shorts.
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-- Abs
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