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Old 03-09-2010, 03:30 PM   #1
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80/20 aluminum extrusion

I am trying to order some 80/20 extrusion. I thought using the aluminum to do some interior framing might be lighter and stronger than wood... but I haven't found the distributer very helpful. The stuff is also pretty spendy, once you start ordering fastners in bulk. Anyone have any hands-on experience with 80/20, and if so, do you have a good distributor? I really hate begging people to take my money.

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Old 03-09-2010, 03:45 PM   #2
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For some things it works well

Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
.. Anyone have any hands-on experience with 80/20, ... I really hate begging people to take my money.
Some of my co-workers have used the stuff to build [science] test beds which require the ability to constantly re-position hardware. It works very well for that.

I won't buy it for my test beds because it is somewhat bulky. And it is expensive.

Personally, I think it is too heavy to consider as an Airstream component. The simpler extruded aluminum "T", "C" & "H" shapes available are much lighter.


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Old 03-09-2010, 04:03 PM   #3
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I think, as usual, that Tom is 100% spot on.

I can't see a use for it. Would you use it as framing for a partition and then fill it in with panels of aluminum? Use it for bed or gaucho frames?

It's a lot heavier than regular aluminum shapes beacuse it's normally used for heavy duty fixtures with lots attachments.

I've used it to make process enclosures and its expensive and hard to keep clean.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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I was thinking load-bearing frames like the bed and counter. I haven't actually worked with the stuff but I checked. The 15/15 is a pound/foot... which isn't exactly light. I could do everything in wood (which would be less expensive), but wood isn't light either. One of my thoughts was to try to make some of the components break down rather easily. I had enough "moments" gutting the Overlander where I thought, "Hey, it would have been nice if someone had thought about accessing some of this junk." I could look for some local provide of aluminum extrusion, but I'm a little nervous because of my previous experience working with aluminum. I suppose the "c" channel could be fabricated to work alright.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:20 AM   #5
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The Quick-Frame pieces look spot on for a modular look... humidity and hard use will not cause them to sag but the nylon corner pieces may not age so gracefully.

I would fear the minimum order and pricing though... (EDIT: I see they have an ebay storefront '8020 Inc Garage Sale" maintained by "8020 Inc" --- I might have to try a piece or two to supplement standard aluminum extrusions)

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Old 03-10-2010, 05:28 AM   #6
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Here's a thread where the owner used aluminum framing for furniture (not the 80/20 system). The pictures begin around page three I believe:

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Old 03-10-2010, 05:32 AM   #7
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For a source, check with Aircraft Spruce and specialty. They provide parts, and material to the homebuilt aircraft market and sell a lot of aluminum.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:19 PM   #8
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The quick frame is about $24 for a 124" stick. While I like the concept, I'm not sold on the fasteners. Given the vibration in the coach, I'm not sure the soft-mallet tap-ins are the way to go. Again, one of my concerns is breaking things down to get access to stuff. If I went with wood, I'd probably "glue-and-screw" everything. Not as expensive as aluminum, but heavier and far more "permanent." Well, I have a few days before I start throwing myself at the bed frame. Thanks for the leads.

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