Author Topic: Aluminum t track assistance requested  (Read 1293 times)

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Offline travisj

  • Posts: 229
Aluminum t track assistance requested
« on: November 10, 2018, 06:23 PM »
I have several 8 foot lengths of aluminum t track extrusions.  I am planning on installing them set into the maple edge of my outfeed table.  I have not worked with aluminum extrusions in the past.  What is the best method of drilling/countersinking the mounting holes?  I was going to set them into a dado and place a screw every foot or so.


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Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 234
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 06:26 PM »
If I couldn't get a countersink down in there I would regrind a drill bit to match the screw head.   I drill the pilot hole first. 

I think there are machinest's countersinks for getting in tight spots you could order.  Regrinding drills is a useful skill however.  I grind my own brad point drills too.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 06:30 PM by lwoirhaye »

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 10:04 PM »

Online rvieceli

  • Posts: 865
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 07:56 AM »
@travisj evaluate whether you actually need to countersink the hole. Many t-track profiles will take a small pan head screw that is not countersunk and still allow all the pieces to slide into the track without issue.

So drill a test hole and see if what you want to use will still fit. Save the hassle of drilling and countersinking.

Ron

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2640
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 02:18 PM »
I was going to set them into a dado and place a screw every foot or so.

A screw every foot or so will probably not be enough.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 229
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 02:51 PM »
@travisj evaluate whether you actually need to countersink the hole. Many t-track profiles will take a small pan head screw that is not countersunk and still allow all the pieces to slide into the track without issue.

So drill a test hole and see if what you want to use will still fit. Save the hassle of drilling and countersinking.

Ron

1/4” t-track hardware would work with pan head screws.  I checked my Festool clamps and they will fit the track if I countersink (there is about 2mm of clearance from the lowest part of the clamp to the “floor” of the track).


Thank you everyone for the replies.  I will pick up some center drills as suggested and find a drill/screw combination that will work.  The track was relatively cheap so I bought 2 extra 8’ sections for future use or experimenting.


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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5156
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2018, 05:44 PM »
If this were my project, I'd start by measuring the width of the opening on the top of the track. That will determine the max drill diameter/countersink diameter you can use without drilling into the upper lips of the track.
If using conventional 80º-82º flat head screws, the countersink diameters will be approximately:
.656" for a 5/16 screw
.531" for a 1/4 screw
.411" for a #10 screw
.359" for a #8 screw.

I'd then find a drill bit the width of the track opening and use that to lightly mark the center of each hole, I'd do this on a drill press. The drill bit chosen will ideally fit just between the 2 upper lips of the track and will then be centered in the track opening. Just a light amount of pressure is necessary as you are only marking the hole centerlines and creating a slight pilot.

I'd then drill clearance holes for the size screw you've chosen to use, using the hole centerlines as a guide/pilot.

Finally I'd add the countersinks for the screws. The countersink may be a center drill, a spotting drill or as mentioned earlier, a drill bit reground to incorporate the correct angle. Drill bits are usually ground at either 118º or 135º and you will need to be at 82º.

The nice thing about a spotting drill if you can find a diameter that will work, is that they are available in 82º and are also available in 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" diameters.

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 229
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2018, 06:40 PM »
The nice thing about a spotting drill if you can find a diameter that will work, is that they are available in 82º and are also available in 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" diameters.


@Cheese   - as a fellow Minnesotan, is there anywhere local for spotting drills?  (I’m in the North Metro area).



When drilling aluminum, is lubrication required?


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Offline dlu@canishe.com

  • Posts: 101
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2018, 09:25 PM »

Thank you everyone for the replies.  I will pick up some center drills as suggested and find a drill/screw combination that will work.  The track was relatively cheap so I bought 2 extra 8’ sections for future use or experimenting.


If you don't mind, where did you find the T-track?

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 229
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 12:36 AM »
If you don't mind, where did you find the T-track?

I wound up in a YouTube wormhole a couple of weeks ago and saw a video on a workbench where “AlabamaWoodworker” used Misumi Engineering extrusions.  He didn’t go into a lot of detail other than to say his Festool clamps worked in his tracks (which is what I wanted).  I know nothing about extrusions, profiles, etc..., but for the price I figured I would try it.

https://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detail/110302374430/

I went with the HFSPURE6-1220 since it had the smaller external dimensions.  They ship by weight and charge by length.  They do not list standard lengths, you have to enter in what you want to see pricing, etc...  I ordered 4 pieces at 2440mm.  The extrusion total was about $66.  After tax and shipping the grand total was $85.  It took about a week before they shipped via UPS.

I need 2 8’ sections for my outfeed table.  This was about 70% cheaper than the Incra I was going to use (and it’s one piece VS. Piecing together multiple lengths).


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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5156
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 12:57 AM »
Hey Travis...the local machine tool suppliers are pretty spotty as far as inventory goes. As much as I prefer to purchase locally, I gave up on that option several years ago and now go through MSC exclusively. They inventory everything and it will be delivered to your door within 3-4 days. Guaranteed.

If drilling aluminum, lubrication is optional unless you’re drilling hundreds of holes. If you do want to use a lubricant just on basic principle, (I get that  [big grin]) then Alumnatap works well. 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 01:08 AM by Cheese »

Offline dlu@canishe.com

  • Posts: 101
Re: Aluminum t track assistance requested
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2018, 04:33 AM »

Hey Travis...the local machine tool suppliers are pretty spotty as far as inventory goes. As much as I prefer to purchase locally, I gave up on that option several years ago and now go through MSC exclusively. They inventory everything and it will be delivered to your door within 3-4 days. Guaranteed.


MSC as in MSC Direct?