Using 80/20

ForestGrump

Grand FVanale
Hi,
Based on the dimensions on 8020's web site, the channels on 10 series are 0.256", seems enough?
That’s good news, yes, 1/4” paneling will be much more solid. Out of curiosity, how are panels fitted in - as each segment of the cabinet is put together? Am trying to visualize the process... full panels are stained or painted then cut to size as the cabinets are put together? Sorry for such a basic question.... this 8020 stuff is all foreign to me...
 

Airtime

Active member
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 the electrical and plumbing.
Dave has built two and I'm still designing my first, and of course we all have our biases ;). But that said, after looking at the 80/20 deflection calculator and the connector strengths, I am very comfortable with the strength of series 10. Especially when the structure will be bolted to both walls and floors, with modules bolted to each other. Where I want more strength, like under my battery, I can use 1020 (1"x2") which is stronger than 1515, both in deflection and in fasteners since it uses 2 fasteners per joint.

Series 10 eats up less space in your cabinet drawers and doors, and cabinet space is a precious commodity in a van. Also it is close to half the weight and half the cost of series 15. So there are pros and cons.
That’s good news, yes, 1/4” paneling will be much more solid. Out of curiosity, how are panels fitted in - as each segment of the cabinet is put together? Am trying to visualize the process... full panels are stained or painted then cut to size as the cabinets are put together? Sorry for such a basic question.... this 8020 stuff is all foreign to me...
The default 80./20 assumption is that panels are inserted in the slots. Yes would have to be cut and finished ahead and then inserted during assembly, but edge finishing is not needed since edges are hidden in the slots. Panels installed this way are not removable without some disassembly. But you don't even have that option with most wood cabinetry.

You can buy cut to order panels from 80/20, including the notching needed for connector clearance. It costs more than cutting your own of course.

Yes it is not as easy to mount removable panels flush with the frame surface. There are no standard panel mount parts that allow this. There are for series 15, but Dave fabricates panel mount hardware of his own design. I did design a modified panel mount part that would allow flush mounting of panels in series 10 and got some CNC quotes, but not yet sure if I will order them.

Sliders as George pointed out can a good solution in some cases where removable panels are needed, and 80/20 has the slider tracks. The sliding panels are also easily removable without screws.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
The default 80./20 assumption is that panels are inserted in the slots. Yes would have to be cut and finished ahead and then inserted during assembly, but edge finishing is not needed since edges are hidden in the slots. Panels installed this way are not removable without some disassembly. But you don't even have that option with most wood cabinetry.

You can buy cut to order panels from 80/20, including the notching needed for connector clearance. It costs more than cutting your own of course.

Yes it is not as easy to mount removable panels flush with the frame surface.
My panels with the 15 series do not require edge finishing. The panels are inset 1/8" from being flush with the face of the extrusion. Do not think you want the panels flush with the face of the extrusion. The 15 series extrusion has a 1/8" radius. Flush mounting would show a portion of the the panel edge. Flush mounting would also show any imperfections where panel was not exactly flush. Insetting the panels hides the edges and is not critical if panel is not inset exactly correct.

No need to notch the panels to miss the connectors. With 15 series you can make connectors that are 3/8" short so the connector is behind the panel. Showing the connectors would be ugly IMO.

Even if the 1" series 10 is strong enough there are more issues that need to be resolved when using the 10 series. Joint strength and panel mounting are two that come to mind.
 

ForestGrump

Grand FVanale
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.
Thank you, I’d be happy to make the trip up north to see your rig. I have family in Vacaville so is easy access & love that part of the country.
I would much rather have the 1”, the 1 1/2”, from photos, is just not the look I want. But will consider your advice. I do not see I’d have the need to remove any panels once installed to access plumbing or electrical, and I imagine it is possible to sand the inside of panel edges if needed to fit in slots. How does the T-Slots black anodized hold up? I’ve heard with some of the manufacturers of this material the black rubs off. Of course I cannot see anything a can-‘o spray paint can’t fix :)
 

RVBarry

Active member
Hi, with anodized aluminum, the color forms a permanent chemical bond with the aluminum. The only way to remove it is to remove metal (scratch, sanding, acids, ...).

FWIW, I am considering putting my freshwater tank inside a seat made with 8020.
Let's say the seat base is 22x22x22" externally...
If I use 1010, that leaves a 20x20x20" cube inside, 8000ci or ~35gal.
If I use 1515, I lose another inch each way, so the now 19" cube inside is 6859ci or 29.7gal.
This is all ignoring the thickness of the tank; regardless it's a large loss of capacity for what seems like a small change.
 

Airtime

Active member
No need to notch the panels to miss the connectors. With 15 series you can make connectors that are 3/8" short so the connector is behind the panel. Showing the connectors would be ugly IMO.

Even if the 1" series 10 is strong enough there are more issues that need to be resolved when using the 10 series. Joint strength and panel mounting are two that come to mind.
Agreed notches would be ugly if they showed. But end connectors are internal connectors and the notch is in the corner within the slot so you don't see it. Joint strength (and beam deflection strength) including fasteners for 1515 is stronger than 1010, but weaker than 1020. I use 1020 where I need it, 1010 everywhere else.

I respect your choice to optimize for removable panels, standardizing on series 15 throughout, and fabricating your own connectors. I'm optimizing for more drawer space, lower cost and weight, and buying connectors and precut machined parts.

Both are valid choices, I just want to point out series 10 does have some advantages as well.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Hi, with anodized aluminum, the color forms a permanent chemical bond with the aluminum. The only way to remove it is to remove metal (scratch, sanding, acids, ...).

.............................
In addition, an anodized layer is aluminum oxide with hardness about 9 in Mohs’ scale, diamond is 10, aluminum about 3. Rubies are also aluminum oxide with red color coming from chromium contamination. If you anodize your 8020 in red you can say your van is based on rubies.
 

Jonnyfive

Member
I'm building out my water tank holding fixture with 80/20, and will also build out space for my water heater, pump, accumulator, and storage above the tank. Warmup phase before tackling overhead cabinets, seating, and galley, also from 80/20. I don't want any of the 80/20 extrusions to be visible at all from the exterior, so I won't be inserting any paneling into the slots in the extrusions. Any advice on fastening panels onto the outside faces of the extrusions? I was planning to use nutplates that slide into the slots, and screw straight through my panels into them. Edges/corners could be finished with aluminum trim molding I assume.

Figured I'd ask in this thread first before I reinvent the wheel, as I'm sure you've all already been down this road!
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
At some point I was contemplating outer bamboo covers, clean edge cut, attached to aluminum frame permanently with polyurethane adhesive and edges finished with glued in quarter 1/4" trim piece. But I made my life easier by not making this project too complex, so HDPE in slots won, it is a camper van.

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Jonnyfive

Member
It is a camper van indeed, but man for the amount of time and money I've already sunk into this thing, I don't think I can start compromising now... If we don't build structure to be visible with any other material, I don't know why I'd accept that now. Understand, to each their own. That being said...any examples? Seems every 80/20 build I see has the extrusions exposed.
 

asimba2

2016 4cyl High Roof 144
That being said...any examples? Seems every 80/20 build I see has the extrusions exposed.
Here's mine where I have most of the extrusion covered with wood.




Lots of details linked in my website below.
-Ken
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
When you want a 1/4-20NC tapped hole using the 10 series a single "economy nut" works very well.


Discovered you can lock the nut in place if the nut is installed the wrong way. The raised portion of the nut is supposed to be toward the center of the extrusion and not toward the slot. If the raised portion is installed toward the slot and tightened the nut digs into the aluminum and then stays in place after bolt is removed. Nut will no longer slide in the slot. To release the nut install a bolt in the nut and tap bolt head with a hammer.
 
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RVBarry

Active member
When you want a 1/4-20NC tapped hole using the 10 series a single "economy nut" works very well.

Hi, that link appears to be for a 40-series part.
I believe 3393 is for 10-series.


Thanks
 

Roamers

2020 4X4 170 Crew
For those cutting 8020 and aluminum stock for connectors: my understanding is most use a miter saw with a special blade with good results. Two questions:

1) What blade do you use
2) I have a pricey Dewalt compound sliding miter saw that is part of my woodworking arsenal. Should I use it or buy a cheaper Harbor Freight (or some other brand) saw and dedicate to cutting AL? Basically, is cutting AL abusive to a woodworking tool?
 

sebcbien

Member
AL is harder than hard wood.
It will then just wear your blade faster than when cutting wood but not in excess...
Maybe use an old blade ?
 

asimba2

2016 4cyl High Roof 144
I wouldn't worry about the saw...just make slow cuts through the aluminum. You may want to remove the fabric dust collection bag as the hot aluminum material may melt it. I use this non-ferrous blade, which has worked well.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
For those cutting 8020 and aluminum stock for connectors: my understanding is most use a miter saw with a special blade with good results. Two questions:

1) What blade do you use
2) I have a pricey Dewalt compound sliding miter saw that is part of my woodworking arsenal. Should I use it or buy a cheaper Harbor Freight (or some other brand) saw and dedicate to cutting AL? Basically, is cutting AL abusive to a woodworking tool?
Buy a proper blade for cutting aluminum. Will not hurt your saw. Be sure to clamp the extrusions.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Post # 672 said you can insert a 1/4-20NC economy nut the wrong way (with thread protrusion toward the slot) to lock the nut in place in series 10. Tightening the connection digs the protrusion into the aluminum slot which locks insert in place.

Just tested the 5/16-18NC insert # 3278 inserted the wrong way in series 15 and that also locks in place. Also works for two and three hole economy nuts. On two and three hole be sure to insert a bolt in a second hole to be sure insert hole is lined up with the slot. If you want to move insert later insert a bolt and tap the bolt with a hammer to free the insert.
 

waverider

VS30 4x4 (Santa Cruz)
Has anyone been successful with using these nuts from McMaster? The measurements look identical?


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