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Discussion Starter #1
As if the universe of options wasn't big enough, 80/20 comes in Regular, Light and Ultra Light weights. At least the 1.5 inch version does.

Oi!


(I'm just going to use the Regular version.)
 

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Yep, all that messing with the configurator and option after option after option and nickel and diming turned me off to the stuff. At least Erector sets were cheap and came in kits ;)

For now I'm just hacking stuff together with surplus aluminum screening extrusion hardware from taking down a screened lanai. Might not be pretty, but at least it's free.
 

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Two things are moving me toward metal framing vs structural plywood - crash survivalist and the ease of taking something apart and redoing it. I've decided to think of the first version of anything as a prototype. That way I don't feel the need to think through every possible ramification of every little decision.
 

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I'm certainly with you as far as prototyping goes. My wood shop days date back to Jr. High, so I'm prototyping cabinets and such with a bunch of free pine plywood and 2x4's to get some practice and try techniques out.

In addition to the aluminum extrusions that's subbing for profiles, I'm prototyping in some PVC I have lying around from other projects as a substitute for structural pipe/tubing.

Cheap and dirty at first-- refinement later. I'd rather get a feel for things, rather than continually going back to the 80/40 site for another bit that I forgot.
 

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I just looked at the 8020.net website. I'm guessing that is what you guys are talking about?. I can imagine the possibilities with using it, but wow it's a lot to jump into. I'll have to set aside some time to watch their instructional vids.

I still need to make upper cabinets over the cooktop area and for at the end of the bed. I'm not a woodworker so I've been looking at already built alternatives. I can screw stuff together though so metal frames are a little more familiar.

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, 8020.net can make your head spin. Their main catalog is like 900 pages long. Profiles come in sizes, weights, smooth vs grooved and how many sides have t slots.
 

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I still need to make upper cabinets over the cooktop area and for at the end of the bed. I'm not a woodworker so I've been looking at already built alternatives. I can screw stuff together though so metal frames are a little more familiar.
You do need to be fairly comfortable with tapping and precision drilling if you're going to cut and assemble your own designs though. Trying to build something out of 80/20 with a hand drill and skil saw is an exercise in frustration (ask me how I know :))

See http://www.ortontransit.info/testeighty4.php for ideas and an extensive list of tools used. Maybe not all of them strictly needed, but certainly many are helpful.

The other option is to use a design and or fabrication service. They can help you design something if you have good measurements, and can cut, drill and tap the extrusions to your requirements. GeorgeRa got much of his 80/20 pre-cut and tapped in his sprinter build, based on his own CAD drawings. Lots more ideas with 80/20 on the sprinter forum
 

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Yes, 8020.net can make your head spin. Their main catalog is like 900 pages long. Profiles come in sizes, weights, smooth vs grooved and how many sides have t slots.
No kidding! I don't even do well at restaurants with large menus.

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You do need to be fairly comfortable with tapping and precision drilling if you're going to cut and assemble your own designs though. Trying to build something out of 80/20 with a hand drill and skil saw is an exercise in frustration (ask me how I know :))

See http://www.ortontransit.info/testeighty4.php for ideas and an extensive list of tools used. Maybe not all of them strictly needed, but certainly many are helpful.

The other option is to use a design and or fabrication service. They can help you design something if you have good measurements, and can cut, drill and tap the extrusions to your requirements. GeorgeRa got much of his 80/20 pre-cut and tapped in his sprinter build, based on his own CAD drawings. Lots more ideas with 80/20 on the sprinter forum
Thanks for the links. I'll check them out. I can definitely see the advantages of using this in a build, but buying more tools is maybe not something I want to do.

I've taught myself a little bit of cad in the past. I didn't do much with 3d so I think that could be something fun to learn and a challenge. Ordering precut etc would be the way to go. Would be like being a kid again to just assemble it when it came in!

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The8020 is without wonderful stuff and you can build all sorts of things with it, including cabinets, but it’s much to industrial for my taste.
 

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It is a choice but glued and screwed frameless cabinets are much easier to fabricate, faster to build, cheaper, probably stronger, require less material, less waste, simpler tools and are more flexible fitting.
Other than that extrusions are better.

I built all my cabinets with 1/2” hardwood plywood but 3/4 works for most people. Oh and if you think I don’t like Aluminum I have fabricated and TIG welded, assembled extrusions, repaired and finished it.

For cabinets in your van-think wood, an inexpensive bench saw, Kreg kit, brad nailer, screwgun, Titebond, and a few sheets of hardwood or baltic birch plywood, oh, and an old porter cable 314 would be good to cut out the doors, no saw was ever better for that job!
Just say’n. Flame on!
 
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