View Full Version : Poor man's T-track

16-12-2012, 11:05 AM
I was intending to fit some t-tracks/t-slots whatever you call them to my machine but they all seem horribly expensive.

The cheapest I've found is alu ones from axminster here:

Buy Axminster Universal T- Track from Axminster, fast delivery for the UK (http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-axminster-universal-t-track-prod840636/)

But that costs about 8 a metre.

Is there any reason why two pieces of steel angle welded to the frame like this spanning the width of the frame wouldn't do just as good a job for 1/3 price?

Surely this would also give the added benefit of a bit of extra bracing to the frame aswell. Is there a 'standard width' for t-slot tracks so that any fancy attachments I might buy in the future will fit?


16-12-2012, 12:19 PM
Yep will work dandy if supported in middle but the cutters won't to impressed when you cut thru the bed. . Lol

My slots are 45mm centres.

16-12-2012, 12:45 PM
It would be convenient to design it so you can use a set of milling clamps:

RDG Tools - Online Engineering Tools Metric Clamping Kits (http://www.rdgtools.co.uk/acatalog/Metric_Clamping_Kits.html)

They're exceptionally useful.

16-12-2012, 09:49 PM
On my router I got hold of some aluminium box section 3/4 inch square and cut a slot 1/4 wide in one side on the bench saw. Works real well

Lee Roberts
17-12-2012, 01:12 PM
This was posted not so long ago:

Rutlands are doing 4 x 48" track and fittings for 50. Worth a look



17-12-2012, 07:38 PM
This was posted not so long ago:

Thanks Lee that seems quite good but I would still be clamping against 2mm alu instead of 4mmor 5mm steel and the base of the table would still need extra steel to support it.

Threaded rod is dirt cheap, less than 1 a metre from screwfix (as are a few wingnuts) to make holddown tools from so I'm really struggling to see the advantage of using very expensive t-slot. The only possible advantage I can think is the fact that t-track prevents the hold down thread from droping out the bottom whereas the steel angle allows clamps to fall down through them and need retriving underneath. This can be designed out by making a decent clamping system however so it's not really a big problem.

I think the big problem is the one that Jazz raised of of knackering bits by driving it in to the steel due to acts of sheer stupidity. I suppose I could rectify this by making sure this amount Z travel is impossible for spindle to accomplish, I'm intending to put 1 1/2 inches of MDF on top for a base so no cutter has any legitimate business traveling down that far, if I make it physically impossibe for the machine to that the problem disappears.

18-12-2012, 08:52 PM
T slots are meant to speed up the positioning of work.
Another way to do it would be to make a plate with threaded holes on a grid pattern, you could get your machine to do the drilling and possible the tapping aswell!
It all depends on what your eventual use will be, as long as a piece of string - as they say!