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Any tips for T-slot cart building?


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So after pouring over countless T-slot cart designs I’m about to put in my own order with 80/20 for a custom cut and milled kit to build a smallish, collapsible follow cart. Wondering if any of you who have done the deep dive into extruded aluminum T-slot contraptions would have any general advice? Things to watch out for or design mistakes to avoid? Connectors you hated? 
 

Some specific questions I have..

 

how does the anodized black framing stand up to wear and tear?

 

 Anyone use the “Central connector”?

 

 Thanks!

 Derek

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I avoided the central connector. Having never used it, I don't trust it. I can't find a spec on its load rating.  I wanted everything rock solid without me worrying about failure. Hopefully, someone can provide some assuring stories about how well they work. I mostly used 4-hole inside corner gussets in compression. For lighter things I used 2-hole inside corner gussets. As you probably noticed, many people go with the flat plate joining plates.

 

Crank down the screws. I had a couple come loose.

 

Anodizing is pretty tough stuff. I went with black. No problems

 

No matter how long you study it and design it, you will want to redesign it or add to it. That's the fun thing about t-slot. It's so versatile.

 

Go with the biggest  diameter wheels you feel comfortable with. The bigger, the smoother, especially if you get onto a lawn or a field.

 

Don't forget wheel locks.

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I’ve used both external fasteners such as the L and T plates and also the standard end fasteners. Both have held up well. I’ve never had an end fastener fail. I’ve also never lost a bolt from any of my fasteners. I usually just order lengths and cut my own and invested in the jig to drill the holes for the end fasteners. If you have any basic machine skills you can bore and thread the extrusions for the end fasteners. It’s pretty quick and easy and the end fasteners are way cheaper than the external fasteners.

 

Make sure you get all of the pieces into the slots before assembling because it’s a pain when you realized that you missed one. They do have roll in nuts which are great for later adds you weren’t planning or if you want to move stuff around like hooks, or whatever you can imagine mounting to your cart.

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I was going to use end fasteners for securing a top shelf but then decided I wanted to be able to change the height of the top shelf and have it be continuously variable so I’m going with the central connector instead for that. Actually two per corner. 

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On 9/7/2020 at 11:48 AM, Derek H said:

So after pouring over countless T-slot cart designs I’m about to put in my own order with 80/20 for a custom cut and milled kit to build a smallish, collapsible follow cart. Wondering if any of you who have done the deep dive into extruded aluminum T-slot contraptions would have any general advice? Things to watch out for or design mistakes to avoid? Connectors you hated? 
 

Some specific questions I have..

 

how does the anodized black framing stand up to wear and tear?

 

 Anyone use the “Central connector”?

 

 Thanks!

 Derek

Derek, The black anodizing is relatively durable in my opinion. I will soon be selling a very amazing and versatile 80/20 based cart I have been refining for over 3 years. I have a B.S. degree in architecture and 3 years experience working as a structural engineer for Skidmore. Owings & Merrill, designers of Sears Tower in Chicago. I have been involved in audio/video production since 2009.
 

I assume you are using 15 series in order to be able to use those connectors?

 

i know 80/20 is pretty expensive with their milling charges. Their connectors are very expensive too so I designed some of my own I believe are patentable which I will soon file for a patent on. Mine are easy to install and at a minimum are twice as strong. Are you using any rack mount gear? Are you wanting to be able to check as baggage with an airline?

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Hi indiefilm,

 

 Yes, 80/20s milling fees and connector prices are high ($3.70 per hole for drilling and counter sunk panel holes!). But what are you going to do? I don’t own the tools or have the space to do that work myself. I could get my hand drill and wood working clamps out and make the best of it but it would take ages and it would be a mess. And my kids would learn too many new words...
 

Even with all that the total price of this cart should be slightly under an off-the-shelf magliner or backstage camera cart and hopefully suit my needs better and allow mods easier. 
 

I’d be curious to see your designs but sounds like you’re not ready to release it into the wild quite yet. DM me if you like. Or email at hansonsoundcorp at gmail. 

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I’ll add that no, for this particular cart I don’t need it to fly as checked baggage. I just want it to break down to just a few pieces so it can be transported in a car and quickly put back together again. We’ll see if I can pull that off. 
 

if I need a cart that I can check in on a flight I’d take my Kartmaster though I’ve never found a good way to bring the shelves along. It’s too bad that Remin never made a version 2.0 of the Kartmaster because it’s a great design and built like a tank. Mine is second hand (thanks Alex) and still going strong. I wish it were not quite as long, a little taller, had a better shelf with a lip all around and bigger wheels. But still, it’s my go-to corporate job cart when it’s just me and I need to bring in c-stands, blankets, etc and it’s all nice office building floors ;)
 

 

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7 hours ago, Derek H said:

Hi indiefilm,

 

 Yes, 80/20s milling fees and connector prices are high ($3.70 per hole for drilling and counter sunk panel holes!). But what are you going to do? I don’t own the tools or have the space to do that work myself. I could get my hand drill and wood working clamps out and make the best of it but it would take ages and it would be a mess. And my kids would learn too many new words...
 

Even with all that the total price of this cart should be slightly under an off-the-shelf magliner or backstage camera cart and hopefully suit my needs better and allow mods easier. 
 

I’d be curious to see your designs but sounds like you’re not ready to release it into the wild quite yet. DM me if you like. Or email at hansonsoundcorp at gmail. 

Thanks for your email. I will email you. Always looking for more input on the various features people want. This cart is unlike any other and more flexible as to setup than anything on the market, otherwise why bother.

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On 9/11/2020 at 6:26 AM, Derek H said:

Hi indiefilm,

 

 Yes, 80/20s milling fees and connector prices are high ($3.70 per hole for drilling and counter sunk panel holes!). But what are you going to do? I don’t own the tools or have the space to do that work myself. I could get my hand drill and wood working clamps out and make the best of it but it would take ages and it would be a mess. And my kids would learn too many new words...
 

Even with all that the total price of this cart should be slightly under an off-the-shelf magliner or backstage camera cart and hopefully suit my needs better and allow mods easier. 
 

I’d be curious to see your designs but sounds like you’re not ready to release it into the wild quite yet. DM me if you like. Or email at hansonsoundcorp at gmail. 

Did you get my email?

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