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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
looking at 80/20 for galley build as a possibility , I know
I need to get chop saw for sure, don’t have drill press and
is this a really must for 80/20??
 

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looking at 80/20 for galley build as a possibility , I know
I need to get chop saw for sure, don’t have drill press and
is this a really must for 80/20??
A drill press was super useful for us for a couple things:

1. Drilling precise holes in the half 8020 that we mounted to the van walls using existing holes+plusnuts. This 8020 forms the foundation for mounting our structure's 8020 too (in addition to through bolting though the floor).
2. Mass producing brackets (using jigs) that we used to mount our panels, coutertops, etc to the 8020, and to through bolt 8020 through the floor.

Not 8020 related but we also used L-track in our build and the drill press was critical for that. Also, we predesigned our 8020, tested the design in the van with a 2x2 based mockup, and then ordered precut with couternbores for ancor fasteners. If you can get confident in your design, this is a huge effort/time savor.

For a drill press we just picked up a cheap-ish wen off amazon and it served us fine through two builds and was fairly easy to sell after.
 

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I built the interior of my van and the roof rack with 8020. I didn't use a drill press so it's not required but to the message above from Nate, it would likely have made many of the brackets quicker and more uniform.
I'd put it in the "nice to have if you have the room" category.
 

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I agree one is very helpful, but it's not a must if you're going with mostly 8020's brackets. Definitely if you're making all your own. For the 10 or so custom brackets I fashioned where needed, I could have done them with a hand drill (already owned a drill press). Depending on the list of tools someone might need, this could be lower in the priority.
 

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For the amount of time and money, for both material and tools, that you're going to invest in your van a drill press seems like a no brainer (assuming you have space). I've got an $80 Wen that I use routinely. I'm sure its far from exact these days, but so much better than a hand drill.

Specific to 80/20 I used a pile of End Fastners to built various fixtures. Frequently connecting perpendicular pieces of extruded aluminum somewhere mid-length on one of the pieces. All it required was a 1/4" hole to access the bolt. I would tap threads into the end of the other piece (if I hadn't ordered them pretapped) with inexpensive 1/4-20 taps and holder.

End Fasteners

Also used it to drill 3/8" holes cleanly through extruded aluminum for mounting to floor/walls.
 

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I made most of my connectors from 3/16" flats and angles. Chop saw, drill press and deburr belt sander were required.

Three reasons to make your own. Less cost, almost instant delivery and different hole locations. When making 1 1/2" angle connectors and using carriage bolts the holes must be 1" from the apex and not 3/4" so nuts do not interfere with each other.

Some hints and PDF drawings of the connectors I made:

Using 80/20 | Orton Travel Transit (ortontransit.info)
 

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22 148 Cargo M Roof AWD Oxford white .
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes i am planing simple structure , just galley framing for 75 dometic , Bluetti 2000
and stove stop surface, simple milk crate drawers this will be on driver side.
passenger side your typical sink station Framing.
 

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This could be your chance to rationalize another tool purchase! I never pass that up.

Truthfully though, a lot depends on your design, material choices, existing tools and your level of skill. While I would have liked to have a drill press for a few things, I got by with a 1/2" battery powered hand held drill.
 

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If you are only planning on one simple structure it probably makes sense to have 8020 do all your machining. The cost of the tools is probably more than the machining fees for one build. I have two components planned for my van and I calculated it to be close to break-even on the tools I would need to buy (and I already have a very capable drill press and chop saw). At first I was intimidated by dialing the design completely before placing an order. But once I dug in it wasn't nearly as complicated as I thought.

Of course, if you already have a bunch of metal working tools on hand that changes the calculus. But if you have those tools I would think you'd also have the skills to go all out and weld up 1" aluminum tube structures instead of punting around with 8020.

BTW - Humble Road on youtube has a few very good episodes about building with 8020. Just looking at the way he frames made the whole process so much easier to conceptualize.
 

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We did quite a bit of extruded aluminum / "8020" work on this van and didn't use the drill press for any of it that I recall. But we purchased the various connectors rather than make them. The few that we made were just as easy with a basic drill setup. At a cost of around $1 per connector, it would have been a lot less expensive to make our own; but it would have taken some time, for sure.

One of the connecting methods for 8020 is their anchor or butt fasteners... those would not go so well without a press, I'd think. So it really depends how you want to do your connectors, mostly. The strongest connectors require the drilling; but the non-drill ones work pretty well, so... your call!
 

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We used a drill press in our 8020 build, but only for holes to fasten the 8020 to the van walls and some "Orton-inspired" brackets. Would have been hard to build the brackets without it. If you think you will use a drill press for other projects, then go for it.
 
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One of the connecting methods for 8020 is their anchor or butt fasteners... those would not go so well without a press, I'd think
Anchors require an counterbore with a mill. I bounced around how one might accomplish this with a drill press, but some of the members on here with good knowledge of machining process convinced me that it was not a worthwhile path to try. As @natecostllo pointed out best to buy the service from the extruded aluminum supplier (or a local machine shop willing to take on a small job.

Butt fasteners, AKA end fasteners require an access hole. 8020 makes a drilling fixture for that. I to do this with a portable drill, but is easier with a drill press. A tap for threading the end hole is also needed.

As you point out, these fasteners are the strongest. Another advantage is that they are not proud of the extrusion, which can be a benefit depending on the location in a structure.
 

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I built mine out and didn't use my drill press once. It never occurred to me to go to the press, since I drilled so few holes. I can see how it would help with the end fastener holes, but the 8020 drilling fixture and a hand drill worked well. Where I mounted to the wall I used rivnuts in the van and brackets on the 8020. I did it that way so I could adjust and fine tune the placement of my build elements, for example, my bunks can slide about 10" fore and aft to accommodate varying cargo configurations.

I chose not to fabricate my own brackets, but if I did, I would recommend the drill press, and I would not have a half dozen brackets in my leftover parts bin. So consider that may be balanced against the cost of the press.

The only machining I had 8020 do was cutting pieces to rough length in order to minimize shipping cost. Oversize packages have a premium cost.
 

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Drill press required if you make your own connectors. Since I had a drill press, I used it for other parts of the build as well. Do not understand the discussion when you can go to HF and buy one for $85.

8 in. 5 Speed Bench Drill Press (harborfreight.com)
 

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Keep in mind that by doing this all yourself, you are saving some money sp it is easy to justify buying a drill press. Check out this video. Guy doesn't want to spend $1000 on a roof rack so he makes his own for $300. and justifies buying $4,000 worth of tools..
GapRunr, you are spot on.
I always ask "what's my time worth?" This guy does a good job satirizing DIY. By the time he got through the hundreds of holes in the bar stock it was perfectly clear that the $1,000 retail price on the rack is a great value. I haven't seen his other videos so I'm not sure if it's all satirical or if his 271,000 subscribers are in on the joke. What I do know is that with that many subscribers he is fully monitized by youtube and made enough money on that post to pay for the hack DIY roof rack, all the tools needed to build it AND the production roof rack that he put on the car as soon as the video went live.
 

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GapRunr, you are spot on.
I always ask "what's my time worth?" This guy does a good job satirizing DIY. By the time he got through the hundreds of holes in the bar stock it was perfectly clear that the $1,000 retail price on the rack is a great value. I haven't seen his other videos so I'm not sure if it's all satirical or if his 271,000 subscribers are in on the joke. What I do know is that with that many subscribers he is fully monitized by youtube and made enough money on that post to pay for the hack DIY roof rack, all the tools needed to build it AND the production roof rack that he put on the car as soon as the video went live.
No need for a roof rack for solar. Will admit that I did have to use the drill press for the four 6" long aluminum angles I bolted to the existing solar panel mounting holes. Then went to a local steel fabrication shop with a pattern and had them make four SS slightly more than 90 degree angles to bolt to side of the almuminum angles and one hole for the roof bolt. SS angles cost $80 for the four fabricated angles.

Solar System | Orton Travel Transit (ortontransit.info)
 
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