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80/20 build…is drill press a must??

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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??
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I priced 80/20 connectors and had a money fit!!! Then I saw Orton’s post and how he made most of his
own connectors. I ended up making ALL of my own connectors. Nothing to it.
I used a cheap harbor freight drill press I already owned.
While I wouldn't recommend sourcing 80/20 from tnutz.com, I would certainly recommend them for 80/20 hardware (tnuts, brackets, gussets, etc.). Way more reasonable pricing.
 

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While I wouldn't recommend sourcing 80/20 from tnutz.com, I would certainly recommend them for 80/20 hardware (tnuts, brackets, gussets, etc.). Way more reasonable pricing.
I, too, have gotten lots of connecting hardware from tnutz.com. Indistinguishable from the equivalents from 8020.net, as far as I can tell. At half the price, or less. But you say you wouldn't get profiles from them? Why not? What's wrong with them?
 

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Once you own a drill press there are a lot of situations where you will use it and get better results than if you don't have one. It's one of those tools that I use almost every day that I work on the van. At the same time you can make do without one for most situations. Your holes won't be as precise, and they may not be as round, but you can still get them "close enough" for most situations. A good cordless drill works pretty well.
 

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I, too, have gotten lots of connecting hardware from tnutz.com. Indistinguishable from the equivalents from 8020.net, as far as I can tell. At half the price, or less. But you say you wouldn't get profiles from them? Why not? What's wrong with them?
Take it as a single data point but: I’ve received extrusions from tnutz tgat were way off on ordered length. It was over sized, so I was able to correct and move on.

Had this occurred on our main structural order (we ordered via an 8020 dealer) it would have been a disaster.
 

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Agree that a drill press is not a must-have but definitely is nice-to-have and something I use every day. A lot depends upon your OCD tendencies and desired precision. I have a relatively inexpensive WEN benchtop drill press and have even toyed with the idea of getting small benchtop milling machine; wish I could find a used one. I'd say my build is more plywood-centric than 80/20, but I am using both. Even if not using 80/20, I find there are a lot of metal brackets and fittings that need to be fabricated, and for which a drill press is pretty essential. For others who are heavily using plywood, I find that this portable drill guide is incredibly useful. It allows you get a similar level of accuracy applied in situations where you either have a large piece of material that will not fit the throat depth or height of your press, or a pre-assembled piece that will not fit either. The linked unit is expensive, but at the time I purchased it, it seemed to be the only unit on the market that provided a decent level of quality and accuracy; maybe others available by now.
 

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Take it as a single data point but: I’ve received extrusions from tnutz tgat were way off on ordered length. It was over sized, so I was able to correct and move on.

Had this occurred on our main structural order (we ordered via an 8020 dealer) it would have been a disaster.
That is weird to hear. All of the extrusions I got from Tnutz were cut right on the money. Better than I could have done.
 

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Take it as a single data point but: I’ve received extrusions from tnutz tgat were way off on ordered length. It was over sized, so I was able to correct and move on.
Aha. All of my extrusion orders from TNutz have been for full-length pieces that I've cut to size myself. No wonder I've had no problem.

On the other hand, buying them from Grainger turned up some minimally-packaged struts that were scratched and dinged and scraped. Sent 'em back and won't order from them again.
 

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I priced 80/20 connectors and had a money fit!!! Then I saw Orton’s post and how he made most of his
own connectors. I ended up making ALL of my own connectors. Nothing to it.
I used a cheap harbor freight drill press I already owned.
Like you, I made my own connectors, because I liked the connection method of the carriage bolt more than the way 80/20 does it. I combined that with some of the edge fasteners for vertical "legs" where I wanted to ensure the best connection.

Another option that I'm going to explore for some other complex brackets I need is to look at sendcutsend. If they do angle aluminum they probably could kick out the brackets quickly and at a decent price, I haven't checked if they do angle yet. Or see if there is someone locally that can make them for you. It does take quite a bit of time to make a lot of brackets.

For drilling access holes through the 80/20, there is a jig that 80/20 sells that clamps in the channel and then you can drill with a hand drill without issue. This is a great tool, especially for when you already have something installed or built and realize you need another access hole.
 

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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??
First, if it can be avoided don't buy hardware from 80/20. Use T-Nutz https://www.tnutz.com/ Much better prices.

Second, for betterr prices than T-Nutz buy your bolts from McMaster-Car. I can't speak for the east coast, but on the west coast the shipping and handeling is 100X better than 80/20. T-nutz is out of Champlain NY, so also not good for this CA guy with poor planning skills.
McMaster-Carr
McMaster-Carr
McMaster-Carr

Third, A drill pless is a nice to have, but not required if you are using L-brackets to fasten together.

Using 80/20 definatly has the ability to be more secure and potentialy safer if well secured to the van. However, it is more complicated getting the rest of the building world to work with your 80/20 slots. Example: All the screw holes on my overhead cabinet hinges had to be expanded/drilled out to fit the 1/4" bolts needed for the 10 series t-nuts. This would have been more involved had I used the 15 series in this area.
 

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Second, for better prices than T-Nutz buy your bolts from McMaster-Car.

Third, A drill pless is a nice to have, but not required if you are using L-brackets to fasten together.

However, it is more complicated getting the rest of the building world to work with your 80/20 slots. Example: All the screw holes on my overhead cabinet hinges had to be expanded/drilled out to fit the 1/4" bolts needed for the 10 series t-nuts. This would have been more involved had I used the 15 series in this area.
Better to buy your fasteners from an industrial fastener supplier. McMaster-Carr prices are probably better than 89/20 as is delivery. As much as I like McMaster-Carr their fastener costs are high. I bought all my fasteners from Redding Fasteners in Ca. Most large cities have industrial fastener suppliers.

It was easier to have a drill press to drill the holes in my DIY L brackets.

Hinges are easy for series 15. Just buy continuous 3" aluminum hinges without holes from McMaster-Carr. Cut the hinge to length and drill the holes where you want them. On series 15 you do have to add a flat washer between the hinge and the 80/20 to compensate for the tapered "anti-vibration" extrusion legs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Rolf, use http://tnutz.com/ instead. They ship it quick to you. They will also cut to size and drill/tap the holes. They are the best. I’ve used them multiple times.
Yes much better prices, I like it…I am in process of cardboard mock-ups to get the
order total…are they spot on with the measurements? I don‘t mind to order bulk
length and cut to specs myself , I am a bit old school and not big on the Tech stuff
computer models layout … I guess I could try ? Any of those programs work on IPad ?
just ordered the 10th Gen. IPad to replace my 5th Gen. IPad
 

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Update! I am making some improvements and adjustments to some of the 8020 components, and so I made it a point to use the drill press when I could. Definitely made things easier. My advice has changed to: get a press, tabletop, used At a minimum. I used mine all the time on other projects.
 

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Hinges are easy for series 15. Just buy continuous 3" aluminum hinges without holes from McMaster-Carr. Cut the hinge to length and drill the holes where you want them. On series 15 you do have to add a flat washer between the hinge and the 80/20 to compensate for the tapered "anti-vibration" extrusion legs.

[/QUOTE]
That external hinge may be durable & strong, but it is hardly the standard for cabinetry these days. Also,
"easy" is relevant. Orton not everyone has the background you do, or all the tools you have accumulated over the years. Think about the person who asked the question. If they don't have a drill press how much experiance do youn think they have machining/ cutting & drilling piano hinges?
 

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Hinges are easy for series 15. Just buy continuous 3" aluminum hinges without holes from McMaster-Carr. Cut the hinge to length and drill the holes where you want them. On series 15 you do have to add a flat washer between the hinge and the 80/20 to compensate for the tapered "anti-vibration" extrusion legs.

That external hinge may be durable & strong, but it is hardly the standard for cabinetry these days. Also,
"easy" is relevant. Orton not everyone has the background you do, or all the tools you have accumulated over the years. Think about the person who asked the question. If they don't have a drill press how much experiance do youn think they have machining/ cutting & drilling piano hinges?
[/QUOTE]

True, I have a drill press for the hinge holes and can cut the hinge to length. I view a drill press as an essential tool for a person doing a DIY conversion. Building without a drill press would be very difficult for me.

Fortunately, I am not governed by the standards people use to make something. My conversion has many things that are not done like everyone else. It is an advantage not having experience in the RV world and how the things are supposed to be done. Using 80/20 for a build was not a standard method of building a conversion. I started the "Using 80/20" post on the Sprinter site around 2008.

I do not consider myself an accomplished craftsman. What I do have is many years of using a simple 2D CAD program. CAD drawings before starting to build something certainly helps. No changes required if drawing is correct.
 

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True, I have a drill press for the hinge holes and can cut the hinge to length. I view a drill press as an essential tool for a person doing a DIY conversion. Building without a drill press would be very difficult for me.

Fortunately, I am not governed by the standards people use to make something. My conversion has many things that are not done like everyone else. It is an advantage not having experience in the RV world and how the things are supposed to be done. Using 80/20 for a build was not a standard method of building a conversion. I started the "Using 80/20" post on the Sprinter site around 2008.

I do not consider myself an accomplished craftsman. What I do have is many years of using a simple 2D CAD program. CAD drawings before starting to build something certainly helps. No changes required if drawing is correct.
[/QUOTE]

My van build is an 80/20 combination of 15 series and 10 series. 15 series for the bed platform and refrigerator & microwave frame. 10 series for the overhead cabinets and sink/gally unit. I am in the process of building and fitting cabinetry and drawers. I am not saying don't use 80/20, but I am saying don't expect the cabinet & drawer suppliers to have solutions that work with your t-slots.

The cabinets are done, and hinges needed to be modified/drilled out to accommodate the 1/4 " bolts to screw into the t-nuts. Now for the drawer slides:
1) expand/drill out hole in inner workings of drawer slide to accommodate 1/4" screw that works with 10 series 8020.
2) Cut piece of plastic out of drawer slide so 1/4-inch button head screw will be flush enough to enable sliding function of drawer slide.
3) Grind outer perimiter head of button head screw, so you can tighten/turn screw in drawer slide slot without cutting more plastic out of drawer slide.
4) Don't forget the blue lock tight so those screws don't rattle loose.
5) Order shorter 1/4" screws because your standard series 10 (1/2" long) screws are too long for going through that thinner drawer slide metal. Yep, if not attaching stuff with a standard L-bracket you need to consider screw size and if that screw will hit the back of the t-slot before you are able to tighten the screw.

Multiply steps 1 through 4 by 10 for the two slides you have for each of my 5 drawers. As I previously stated the 8020 world is not all that accommodating/integrated with standard components like drawer slides and hinges. If wood was used you could skip all that and just struggle with getting the drawer slides to functioning properly (no walk in the park).
 
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