Using 80/20

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
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As to 10 series not looking right to your eye... I'm most interested in maximum function in a small space. With 10 series, I gain a full 2" in opening width across my back gear garage which has 3 bays. This is huge when I'm trying to fit 24" wide sailboards in the righthand bay, 2 bikes in the middle, and the utility cabinet on the left.

Also for drawers in my galley--an extra 1.5" in width is available for same outer galley dimension and sink bay dimension. Vertically, an extra 2.5" in total for drawer heights in a 4 drawer bay.

As for aesthetics, some people like Craftsman style with wide trim and others like European frameless cabinets. I happen to like both, just depends on the house they're in. For my van, I'll have a utilitarian function-driven design. For my taste, I'm not seeing any reason to use double the amount of aluminum at double the weight and cost, while sacrificing precious space, just to have 1.5" extrusions. But that's the beauty of a DIY conversion, to each their own!
My priority in conversion was to subcontract as much as I could at a reasonable cost. Found machining services and all fasteners from 8020 to fit that goal.

For various bolts and nuts I preferred using SS and found McMaster Carr to be the best vendor with huge inventory and very easy and logical ordering online system.

I eliminated wood in lieu HDPE, no finishing work, and very easy to work with wood tools like table saws or routers.

To minimize edge finishing work most of my ¼” HDPE panels are inserted into 15 series slots and vibration proofed with 1” strips of 8020 #2178. I would prefer frameless design but framed one was easier. Inserting ¼” panels to 10 series could be difficult.

All HDPE surface panels, drawer fronts, cabinet doors with rounded corners were machined on CNC (Hein).
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I have use and compared Tnutz & 8020 10 Series End Fasteners. They are the same or have the same steel thickness. Even if they were thinner, it shouldn't effect the connection strength as it sits directly between the screw head and t-slot contact points.

8020 in CAD, Tnutz in caliper.
I measured 8020 15 series end connector to be 2.2 mm, because of the rough edge it could be 2 mm.
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
I measured 8020 15 series end connector to be 2.2 mm, because of the rough edge it could be 2 mm.
My 'China' bulk 40/15 Series Nickle End Fasteners are 1.75 mm. But, their connection is just as strong as with the 8020's as thickness doesn't effect the contact points.
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
You could be correct, perhaps you could share your info with 8020 folks so they can save money with thinner end connectors and rewards you with something.
Once I finish my Metallurgical Testing to determine which is stronger or stiffer, I may just do that..... :whistle:

But, since they already pay less than $0.10 for the $1.35 retail part, I doubt they are concerned abooot saving $$.
 
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RVBarry

Well-known member
I did put some 1/4" plywood in the slots on the bottom of my overhead cabinets. I then put a 1/4" piece of plywood on top of the 80/20 for the cabinet bottom. I have lights mounted under the cabinets so use the space between the plywood in the slot and the cabinet floor to run the wiring.
Hi everyone, I'm thinking of a similar cabinet design.

If I want to put a 600W microwave (~24lbs, but that might be shipping weight) in an upper cabinet, how thick would the plywood floor need to be to not worry about it bending too much or breaking the plywood's mounting points while driving? (including some washboard roads.) I would secure the microwave to the cabinet floor to keep it from bouncing or flying.
And how thick should the vertical side panels be to significantly slow down the microwave in a crash? Assume it would have to pass two panels to reach the front. I will try to fit nylon safety tethers to the 80/20 or L-Track as well.

And same questions for an unsecured 6-8lb toaster oven?

Thanks!
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Hi everyone, I'm thinking of a similar cabinet design.

If I want to put a 600W microwave (~24lbs, but that might be shipping weight) in an upper cabinet, how thick would the plywood floor need to be to not worry about it bending too much or breaking the plywood's mounting points while driving? (including some washboard roads.) I would secure the microwave to the cabinet floor to keep it from bouncing or flying.
And how thick should the vertical side panels be to significantly slow down the microwave in a crash? Assume it would have to pass two panels to reach the front. I will try to fit nylon safety tethers to the 80/20 or L-Track as well.

And same questions for an unsecured 6-8lb toaster oven?

Thanks!
Changed the overhead cabinet design in the Transit build. In the Transit I did not put any paneling in the slots or put individual lights under the overhead cabinets. Just have a vertical front frame hung from the ribs. No 80/20 from frame to the wall. Just used 1/2" plywood from the frame to the wall for the cabinet bottom. Put string of LED lights in the bottom slot of the series 15 for the under cabinet lighting.


The microwave sits on 1/2" plywood that sits on top of the 80/20 framework. Plywood is bolted to the series 15 80/20 and the microwave is bolted to the plywood. Added four aluminum angle feet to the microwave. The vertical leg of the foot is pop rivited to the microwave sheet metal housing. The horizontal leg of the angle is through bolted to the plywood floor. In a head on crash the microwave would have to pass through two 1/2" plywood shower walls. Shower is located between the microwave and the driver.

Nothing is carried unsecured on a counter. Do have two plastic bins on bottom the shower shelf that could be a problem in an accident.
 

Airtime

Active member
I've made some progress on my overall van layout. I'm using series 10, mainly 1010-S with some 1020-S in areas for strength. I've posted some pictures on my build thread I revived now that I'm making some more progress. Posting this request for review and feedback on my use of 8020 in my build thread, rather than take up bandwidth here on specifics of my project. Thanks in advance!
Boardhead build thread
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
I did put some 1/4" plywood in the slots on the bottom of my overhead cabinets. I then put a 1/4" piece of plywood on top of the 80/20 for the cabinet bottom. I have lights mounted under the cabinets so use the space between the plywood in the slot and the cabinet floor to run the wiring.
Hi everyone, I'm thinking of a similar cabinet design.

If I want to put a 600W microwave (~24lbs, but that might be shipping weight) in an upper cabinet, how thick would the plywood floor need to be to not worry about it bending too much or breaking the plywood's mounting points while driving? (including some washboard roads.) I would secure the microwave to the cabinet floor to keep it from bouncing or flying.
And how thick should the vertical side panels be to significantly slow down the microwave in a crash? Assume it would have to pass two panels to reach the front. I will try to fit nylon safety tethers to the 80/20 or L-Track as well.

And same questions for an unsecured 6-8lb toaster oven?

Thanks!
Changed the overhead cabinet design in the Transit build...
Thanks... I'm still interested in the original design... Can any of our resident engineers comment on strength?
Would 3/8" good-quality plywood suffice for the cabinet floor?
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Thanks... I'm still interested in the original design... Can any of our resident engineers comment on strength?
Would 3/8" good-quality plywood suffice for the cabinet floor?
Use real 'europly', it is stiff.
 
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jacka714

New member
Changed the overhead cabinet design in the Transit build. In the Transit I did not put any paneling in the slots or put individual lights under the overhead cabinets. Just have a vertical front frame hung from the ribs. No 80/20 from frame to the wall. Just used 1/2" plywood from the frame to the wall for the cabinet bottom. Put string of LED lights in the bottom slot of the series 15 for the under cabinet lighting.


The microwave sits on 1/2" plywood that sits on top of the 80/20 framework. Plywood is bolted to the series 15 80/20 and the microwave is bolted to the plywood. Added four aluminum angle feet to the microwave. The vertical leg of the foot is pop rivited to the microwave sheet metal housing. The horizontal leg of the angle is through bolted to the plywood floor. In a head on crash the microwave would have to pass through two 1/2" plywood shower walls. Shower is located between the microwave and the driver.

Nothing is carried unsecured on a counter. Do have two plastic bins on bottom the shower shelf that could be a problem in an accident.
Dave how much tolerance did you factor into your cut sizes for panels or other wood pieces mounted within 80/20 framework? For example the 22" x 15" inner dimension of the 80/20 seat panel section in your drawing. What gap would you factor into the cherry plywood panel that you cut for that space? Would you cut the width at 21 7/8" to leave 1/16" gap on both sides? 21 3/4" to leave 1/8" on both sides? Were you consistent with that rule of thumb for other wood parts that were supposed to fit within an 80/20 section like a shelf?

I'm planning my build now and it occurred to me I shouldn't try to cut to exact dimensions. I figure you have seen what works first hand.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Dave how much tolerance did you factor into your cut sizes for panels or other wood pieces mounted within 80/20 framework? For example the 22" x 15" inner dimension of the 80/20 seat panel section in your drawing. What gap would you factor into the cherry plywood panel that you cut for that space? Would you cut the width at 21 7/8" to leave 1/16" gap on both sides? 21 3/4" to leave 1/8" on both sides? Were you consistent with that rule of thumb for other wood parts that were supposed to fit within an 80/20 section like a shelf?

I'm planning my build now and it occurred to me I shouldn't try to cut to exact dimensions. I figure you have seen what works first hand.
Do not recall. Since I cut all the 80/20 I suspect the lengths were not exact so being a bit undersize would allow for my inaccurate cut lengths. Suggest you do one panel as a test. Did just go out and looked at the panels in the van and they do not have a 1/8" gap. Not even a 1/16" gap. Looks like I cut them to the opening dimension and probably sanded them if the were too large. Maybe cut the fixed panels 1/16" less or 1/32" on each side?

The doors and drawers do have a gap.
 

ForestGrump

Grand FVanale
Thanks all for info on this thread... Has anyone used Maycad from Maytec - I downloaded free program and designed the units. I think they have a distributor in Riverside Calif.

I plan to use series 10 throughout. I’m wondering how wood panels are put in. Can the frames be easily separated so that the frames can fit in? I wish to use 1/8” oak paneling
 

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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Working on a small project unrelated to conversions. Had some leftover 1" 10 series extrusions. When I tried to use 1/4-20NC carriage bolts to bolt a plate to the extrusion I found that the connection could not be tightened. The square bolt shank is too long so it protrudes past the slot extrusion. Had to add a 5/16" flat washer between the extrusion and the plate.

Is it true that standard 1/4-20NC carriage bolts will not work in the extrusions? Do 80/20 carriage bolts work? Are they special carriage bolts that have a shorter square shank?

Drilling a larger hole in the plate also would work.

If the above is true then for me that would be a important reason to use the 15 series instead of the 10 series. I used carriage bolts with flats or angles for most of my extrusion connections.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Thanks all for info on this thread... Has anyone used Maycad from Maytec - I downloaded free program and designed the units. I think they have a distributor in Riverside Calif.

I plan to use series 10 throughout. I’m wondering how wood panels are put in. Can the frames be easily separated so that the frames can fit in? I wish to use 1/8” oak paneling
Looks like Maytec is metric so MayCad would not provide accurate drawings for 10 series. Is that correct?

I think you will find 1/8" panels too thin. I tried that and they were too flexible. In some locations where I used 1/4" (7/32") panels I had to glue a strongback to the back of the panel to make it stiff enough.

If you build with metric extrusions the Maytec product line is very complete. Since it is imported from Europe are the prices competitive?
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
Is it true that standard 1/4-20NC carriage bolts will not work in the (10-series) extrusions? Do 80/20 carriage bolts work? Are they special carriage bolts that have a shorter square shank?
Hi Dave,

5/16-18 carriage bolts do not fit in 10-series; 1/4-20 might fit; see below.

The 8020 3115 bolts are designed for 10-series: https://8020.net/3115.html

I have also read on this site that standard carriage bolts are not very strong compared to other 8020 fasteners. (5/16 and 1/4)

Ken (@asimba2) writes on his website:
10-Series vs 15-Series
For the purposes of our discussion the most common non-metric 80/20 profiles are the 1” bars (called “10-series”) and the 1-1/2” bars (called “15-series”). Conveniently, a 5/16″-18 carriage bolt fits nicely in the 15-series profile. 1/4″-20 bolts are “supposed” to fit in the 10-series profile. However some have reported that not all 1/4-20 bolts fit. We have used both the 10 and 15 series and prefer working with the 1-1/2” 15-series. The primary reason is not due to the strength of the extrusion, rather the hardware that bolts them together. We broke two 1/4-20 carriage bolts in the process of building our battery box with 10-series. We very well may have overtightened them, but each time we were shocked how easily the bolts broke. In working with the 15-series extrusions and 5/16” bolts, we have not had that problem. A 5/16” bolt has a 61% higher proof load and tensile strength than a 1/4-20.
 

ForestGrump

Grand FVanale
Looks like Maytec is metric so MayCad would not provide accurate drawings for 10 series. Is that correct?

I think you will find 1/8" panels too thin. I tried that and they were too flexible. In some locations where I used 1/4" (7/32") panels I had to glue a strongback to the back of the panel to make it stiff enough.

If you build with metric extrusions the Maytec product line is very complete. Since it is imported from Europe are the prices competitive?
thanks for reply. The cad program gave me the option to calculate in metric on ‘imperial’, and is showing me measurements in inches. It also gives a running total of price, and yes, seemed expensive.

I had communicated with an 8020 vendor (Numatic Engineering?) told me 1/4” paneling would not work in 1” series 10. Is this not true? This week I will be contacting Nor-Cal Systems in Milpitas - would be worth a trip there to get my material.
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
told me 1/4” paneling would not work in 1” series 10. Is this not true?
Hi,
Based on the dimensions on 8020's web site, the channels on 10 series are 0.256", seems enough?
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Hi Dave,

5/16-18 carriage bolts do not fit in 10-series; 1/4-20 might fit; see below.

The 8020 3115 bolts are designed for 10-series: https://8020.net/3115.html

I have also read on this site that standard carriage bolts are not very strong compared to other 8020 fasteners. (5/16 and 1/4)

Ken (@asimba2) writes on his website:
10-Series vs 15-Series
For the purposes of our discussion the most common non-metric 80/20 profiles are the 1” bars (called “10-series”) and the 1-1/2” bars (called “15-series”). Conveniently, a 5/16″-18 carriage bolt fits nicely in the 15-series profile. 1/4″-20 bolts are “supposed” to fit in the 10-series profile. However some have reported that not all 1/4-20 bolts fit. We have used both the 10 and 15 series and prefer working with the 1-1/2” 15-series. The primary reason is not due to the strength of the extrusion, rather the hardware that bolts them together. We broke two 1/4-20 carriage bolts in the process of building our battery box with 10-series. We very well may have overtightened them, but each time we were shocked how easily the bolts broke. In working with the 15-series extrusions and 5/16” bolts, we have not had that problem. A 5/16” bolt has a 61% higher proof load and tensile strength than a 1/4-20.
I have the 1" from 80/20. The 1/4" carriage bolts slide into the extrusion fine. The square shank of the hardware store carriage bolts protrudes out past the extrusion. Can not tighten the connection because the connector hole hits the square shank before it hits the extrusion. Solved it by drilling larger holes in the connector which then fit over the square shank.

98% of my conversion is the 15 series usually with 5/16" carriage bolts. No issue with the 15 series and hardware carriage bolts.

Interesting to see the strength comparison between standard carriage bolts and 80/20 bolts. Series 15 flatbar and angle connections are robust with standard hardware store carriage bolts. I used stainless bolts with elastic stop nuts. The additional 1/2" width and 5/16" bolts makes a substantial difference in the strength of the joint. No need for anything other than flatbar or angles. In fact when I made my connectors I used 3/16" thickness connectors instead of the 80/20 connectors that are 1/4" thick.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
thanks for reply. The cad program gave me the option to calculate in metric on ‘imperial’, and is showing me measurements in inches. It also gives a running total of price, and yes, seemed expensive.

I had communicated with an 8020 vendor (Numatic Engineering?) told me 1/4” paneling would not work in 1” series 10. Is this not true? This week I will be contacting Nor-Cal Systems in Milpitas - would be worth a trip there to get my material.
If you wait until Tuesday when I am back in Occidental I can check the 1/4" plywood in the slot. Should work because a 1/4" bolt fits in the slot and the "1/4" plywood is actually 7/32" thick. May rattle? Easier to add panels after the structure is assembled.

I am biased but 1" 80/20 joints are not strong enough in my opinion and paneling is more difficult to install. More than half my panels needed to be removable for future access to the electrical and plumbing.

I bought the majority of my extrusions from Nor-Cal to avoid the truck shipping costs for the long extrusions. He cut the 20' lengths in to 8' and 12' lengths so they would fit in my van. No issues using T-Slots instead of 80/20.

You are welcome to look at my 80/20 conversion if interested. Might save you some mistakes. We are about 1 1/4 hours North of GG bridge. I would do that before you buy 1" series 10. I am planning on attending Sprinter Snail's van meet at Taylorsville in a couple of weeks. I know looking at other conversions was extremely helpful to me before I started mine.
 
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