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Thread: Non-paintball manufacturing help

  1. #1
    Insider PBSteve's Avatar
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    Non-paintball manufacturing help

    Hello,

    I have a project I'm working on (actually, the same one as I've mentioned before), and I need a bit of advice for determining the best way to manufacture something.

    I need to build rails that will hold a large (4'x8'x1/2") sheet of acrylic. I'd like to use rectangular steel tube (1"x2"x9', 0.120" wall) as a starting point, then either machine slots a touch over 8' long and ~5/8" wide or cut the top side off the steel tube. Regardless of the method chosen, I was going to use plastic or rubber extrusion to buffer the acrylic from the steel.

    So here's my question: What's the best way to put a long, 8' slot in 24, 9' long rectangular steel tubes? Just get someone with a torch to do it? Is there a machine that can cut slots like that easily? Get a router, build a jig and do it myself? Any estimates on cost?

    Alternatively, the slots could go the full length of the rails - although I'm having a bit of trouble finding "C" channel of appropriate dimensions in steel tube.

    Any suggestions to get me started somewhere would be immensely appreciated.

    Steve
    Last edited by PBSteve; 01-29-2016 at 11:37 PM.
    Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted
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  2. #2
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    Not sure if it needs to be steel because welding, onlinemetals has 304 stainless channel but it's god awful expensive.

    Aluminum might be reasonable.
    http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant...008&top_cat=60

    Didn't see any cheaper steel channel. Mcmaster also has the aluminum star extrusion that we use for building a ton of machines; its cheap and strong and can easily slide things on bolts down all 4 sides.
    "So you've done this before?"
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  3. #3
    Insider PBSteve's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I'm looking for the base to be the 1" dimension and the legs be 2", which I can't find in Al.

    Does anyone know anything about cnc plasma tube cutters?

  4. #4
    Insider ElPanda's Avatar
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    Lay it out with a chalk line and use a disk cutter to slot the center out, dont machine it unless it needs to be accurate. setting that up would be a hassle because of the length. We have used pieces of teflon or acetal as gliders for stuff that needs to slide across metal or concrete. Also if you fully slot the whole top of the channel it will likely spring, no garuntee on which direction or to what magnitude but it could complicate things depending on your design.

  5. #5
    Insider PBSteve's Avatar
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    Disk cutter as in a dremel with a cutting wheel? I don't have much experience with steel (A36, 0.120" thick), do you think something like this would be adequate: https://www.dremel.com/en-us/Tools/P...1#.Vqzuj_k4HIU... can't seem to find anything beefier.

    I need to cut 24 of these 8' slots/tubes, and I have a $1000 budgeted for machining so I don't mind spending if you know of anything better out there.
    Last edited by PBSteve; 01-30-2016 at 12:20 PM.
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    Insider ElPanda's Avatar
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    bigger

    air tool with a 3" or 4" disc

    dremel would be torture

  7. #7
    Insider PBSteve's Avatar
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    The one I linked there is the US40-01 Ultra-Saw, definitely bigger than a dremel - it's got a 4" disk, and doesn't require me to buy a compressor
    https://www.dremel.com/en-us/Tools/P...1#.Vqz1Cfk4HIV

    There's also this
    http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-D28754-.../dp/B0006FIOFC

    You're thinking something more like these?
    http://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Har...s/N-5yc1vZc9nd
    Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted
    I work for the company building the Paragon...once we figure out a name

  8. #8
    Insider ElPanda's Avatar
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    yes like that, way faster than a dremel

  9. #9
    Insider ElPanda's Avatar
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    could also use a sawzall with a metal cutting blade

  10. #10
    Insider PBSteve's Avatar
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    I think the air tool would be easier to keep aligned well, esp if I build a jig for it

    Thanks for the help
    Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted
    I work for the company building the Paragon...once we figure out a name

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