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Old Fri 28 June 2013, 04:49
Just call me: Ken
Aluminum Extrusion V-Rail for MechMate - RailMate

Hi Guys,

Sometime ago, Gerald called for a custom rail specifically for MechMate use, the though stuck in my head...

Lately, I got involved in work which requires some custom aluminum extrusion,

Got me thinking... (which is a bad bad thing...)
What if we extrude some 6061-T6 rail angle, anodize the damn thing, use plastic wheel (since there are more than a few reported success stories amongst some MechMaters)
While we are at it, mark out a groove for easier drilling job & fishing-line alignment trick...

BUT!!!! Tooling $$$

How nice if we can spread out the tooling cost...

Would anyone be interested? I need a poll of some sort before I could proceed

attached is a little something which I scribbled on the run.
Comment freely, I intend to do a Open Source project out of it

Last edited by KenC; Fri 28 June 2013 at 04:58..
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Old Fri 28 June 2013, 05:31
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
Ken, I wouldn't bother with the grooves because you will spend more time explaining the grooves than selling the rails. The application should be much wider than just for MechMates.

Hard anodising with a plastic roller should give excellent life. It is amazing how hard a skin can be put onto alu. (Think of steel grinding discs that basically consist of alu oxide)

The cost of shipping is normally the killer for this type of project. The length has a big influence on the shipping costs. Once people accept that rails can be butt-jointed, the shipping becomes much easier.
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Old Fri 28 June 2013, 06:03
Just call me: Ken
Agree with the grooves, can do with or without.
Shipping length is below 1.8m or about 6ft... price sore exponentially above that, but if you don't mind snail mail, the cost for 6m length or longer is totally bearable.
I'm not worry about the weight, its 3 time ligher than steel...

There are 2 ways to butt join,
1) Mill the ends to perfect square or at least let them tilt the same angle. Its trivia job if one can get access to a run down milling machine with a solid machine vice.

2) Dirty trick butt join
Dirty trick butt joint.jpg
As shown in the attach pix, I over exaggerated the angle, normally you won't cut that badly on a chop-off saw. as long as you intentionally make your cutting error arranged as such, you have no problem bit jointing the V center-line. the mounting screw will hold the rail position exactly as intended after shimming...

BTW, I butt join my steel angle rail, MM never notice the little notch at the joint...

Last edited by KenC; Fri 28 June 2013 at 06:07..
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