Author Topic: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench  (Read 9918 times)

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Offline tnt

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Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« on: June 03, 2011, 03:15:29 pm »
Hi,

I'm considering building myself a new work bench. My actual one has served me well but I could use a bit more space and bigger shelf for instruments. (and don't want to fix those to the walls).

So I was looking at aluminium profile to build the structure ( like http://www.tslots.com/ ) but I'm not sure of the strength of the stuff. (and then use a single cut wood panel on top)

Has anyone experience with using this as workbench material ?


Cheers,

    Sylvain
 

Offline Frangible

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 03:30:28 pm »
I think you could build a work bench on which you could park a tank.  Your budget is going to set the strength point of the finished bench more than anything else!
 

Offline bilko

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 03:32:28 pm »
We've used the extrusions lots of times for building machinery, very strong and extrusions are reusable.
Here's an example http://www.mbsitem.co.uk/item/ergonomic-workbench-system.html

 

Offline tnt

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 03:59:37 pm »
Ah yes, sorry my question should have been what dimension of T-slots should I go for ? (30 x 30  30 x 60 ...).

Budget ... something around 300 EUR excl tax for the frame ?
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 04:16:00 pm »
My actual one has served me well but I could use a bit more space and bigger shelf for instruments. (and don't want to fix those to the walls).

In the old days I would have recommended an Ikea Jerker desk in such a situation, but Ikea discontinued them. You can get them used, but you'll immediately see what the problem with them is and why Ikea discontinued them. They weight from 70 kg onwards, 90 kg or more with all the frills. Maybe the only non-nonsense piece of furniture Ikea ever mode.

Ikea replaced it with its weak cousin, Ikea Frederik. It comes in different sizes. The large one weights 40 or 50 kg including two shelfs http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/series/10216/
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Offline tnt

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 04:34:32 pm »
In the old days I would have recommended an Ikea Jerker desk in such a situation, but Ikea discontinued them. You can get them used, but you'll immediately see what the problem with them is and why Ikea discontinued them. They weight from 70 kg onwards, 90 kg or more with all the frills. Maybe the only non-nonsense piece of furniture Ikea ever mode.

Ikea replaced it with its weak cousin, Ikea Frederik. It comes in different sizes. The large one weights 40 or 50 kg including two shelfs http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/series/10216/

I actually have an Ikea Jerker as my 'computer desk' (but with no shelves, just two drawers). :)

I went to IKEA this morning and didn't really see anything I liked. The Frederik is both a little small and lists 50 kg as max load. I have two big old spectrum analyzer that weight more than that :p The shelves are not really deep either.

My current main area is 2m x 1m depth. It's essentially a single piece of wood on a wood support, all self made when I was a student 8 years ago or so. (see here http://www.246tnt.com/files/100_0381.JPG , altough it's a bit of a mess at the time of the picture and I have some more gear coming up ... hence the need for space :p )

I can live with only 90 cm depth but no less (and I'd have to find a way to maintain the table at a constant 15 cm off the wall for all the cables / rear connections). I have some old / big instruments that are easily 50 cm deep and I still need space in front of them to work. The shelves should be 35-40 cm deep and line up with the back of the desk, or even 5 cm back.

I think I should design it with 400-500 kg load in mind. (I think all the equipement there will weight in about 100 kg, then I want to be able to sit on it, and then multiply by 2 for safety and because load isn't always distributed perfectly).
 

Offline A-sic Enginerd

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2011, 06:33:45 pm »
Wow, very cool stuff.
In my former life as a mechanical tech for Uncle Sam, we made extensive use of some sort of similar extrusions, but no where as nice as this stuff.

You could go fairly small and still get the strength you want. Especially if you design in proper supports. What I mean by that is - for like a box, put in some additional uprights so you don't have too long of a span that can flex. That sort of thing. Adding in panels will add a huge amount of rigidity also, so maybe play with a couple different designs and consider trade-offs in costs for things like extra bracing and associated brackets vs. what it takes to put in panels. Also, I didn't look at the specifics of the panels they provide, but I would imagine you could use just about any kind of panel material you want (don't have to go with strictly what they offer).

I really like the assortment of brackets, fixtures, and other widgets they supply to work with the stuff. I suggest spending some time (if you haven't already) browsing around all those to generate ideas on how to construct what you want.

I would also imagine that you should be able to get some specs on the stuff to get an idea of working load, how much a span of length X will deflect under load Y, etc.
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Offline Time

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2011, 08:25:45 pm »
http://www.8020.net/

This is the same type of stuff only they have all kinds of design tools to help you out.
-Time
 

Offline Neganur

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2011, 09:13:51 pm »
I can absolutely second everything said about the 'Jerker'.

I had to give it away when I moved to Finland, it was simply impossible to transport it.  I actually thought I could just buy another Jerker here and did not realise they had discontinued it. The Frederik is no match. The desk top is not deep enough - Jerker is 90 cm (36") or something and the biggest Frederik only 74 cm (29").

My current solution is the conference table (Galant) they sell with T-legs (those other round-shaped A-legs suck). But it is not sturdy enough to carry heavy gear so I reinforced it with support beams here and there.


picture

Ah, about that Tslots stuff, it's incredible. Virtually all the assembly lines in the company I used to work for were built with Bosch aluminum profile. The 40 x 40 mm is an excellent choice for the frame of a workbench and incredibly durable.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 09:38:54 pm by Neganur »
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Using T-slot aluminium profile for a work bench
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2011, 04:22:37 am »
Hi,
I'm considering building myself a new work bench. My actual one has served me well but I could use a bit more space and bigger shelf for instruments. (and don't want to fix those to the walls).
So I was looking at aluminium profile to build the structure ( like http://www.tslots.com/ ) but I'm not sure of the strength of the stuff. (and then use a single cut wood panel on top)
Has anyone experience with using this as workbench material ?
Cheers,
Sylvain
no experience with it. but looking at material and shape, it can serve you well for a workbench. as Fragile posted in the 2nd reply, it depend on what load u putting on it. more load, more material needed to support it. its nothing fancy, just aluminium blocks.
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