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Woodworking Accessories Alternatives #1: Inexpensive Aluminum T-Tracks!

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Blog entry by steliart posted 01-28-2011 05:35 PM 9604 reads 20 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Woodworking Accessories Alternatives series Part 2: Kerf Setting Dado Jig from a T-track left over »

Woodworking Accessories Alternatives

Inexpensive Aluminum T-Tracks!

Getting woodworking accessories in a country that woodworking is not a common hobby – actually there are no woodworkers here just cabinet makers – even the simplest things have to be imported and off course you have to wait for them.
Importing things from US by the time they arrive here the price number is doubled and that number is in euro now.
Importing from UK is cheaper but not always they have what I need.
From both places very few companies are willing to ship internationally most of them deliver locally, so that’s another head ague.

T-tracks are one of those accessories we all use and need but when you can get any, that’s a problem. The cheapest one I can get is from UK and will cost me 10.5 euro for 3 feet, that’s about 14.5 US dollars.

Then I came up with this idea (product) that is widely available and costs 1/3 of that price.
Curtain rail tracks…
Yes they work perfect, they are made from aluminum, are not thick but it will hold firmly anything and without any deformation. They are smaller is size only for 6mm (1/4) bolts (that’s good enough) and anyway I can’t get any of those flanged bolts here so I just get normal bolts and grind away the sites, they fit perfect. They do have one advantage that the shape of the T-track is such that there is no need to countersink just screw them with flat head screws.
Here is an example where I used them, on my drill press table.
Try them out and I am sure you will be more than satisfied.

Note: These tracks have been around as far as I can remember in my country. Don’t know where and if you can find them in yours.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --



16 comments so far

View Bovine's profile

Bovine

114 posts in 2013 days


#1 posted 01-28-2011 05:49 PM

Steliart, that’s a great idea! I’ve used a special router bit and routed T-track directly into the wood, but this is not very strong. I’m going to try that this weekend.

Thanks for the suggestion.

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1373 days


#2 posted 01-28-2011 06:31 PM

Bovine
Let me know how it goes

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1800 days


#3 posted 01-28-2011 07:27 PM

Steliart :
I have thought about this idea for a longer time , but always thought the Curtain rail tracks
was too small , in the way I always have truoble with finding screww where the heads are small enoff
to pass thrugh the spur without damaging it and when I find them they can´t hold the Curtains tothe ceiling

so what size of track´s are you using ?

take care
Dennis

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1373 days


#4 posted 01-28-2011 07:41 PM

Dennisgrosen
Dennis maybe we are not talking about the same material here. The ones I use are 15mmx10mm and with an opening 6mm on the top and a 9mm on the bottom. Plenty of space as you can see in my pictures, and there’s a 3mm clerance for the screw head.
These rails are very common and used widely and hold alot of weight.
It’s so inexpensive that will cost you nothing to try it out at least as a test, I am sure you gonna change your mind about them.

Thanks
Stelios

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1373 days


#5 posted 01-28-2011 07:53 PM

Here is a sketch for them.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

615 posts in 1952 days


#6 posted 01-28-2011 08:26 PM

ive been looking for a t track alternative for awhile, never thought to look in the curtain section at the store, will have to take a look now! thanks for the tip

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1800 days


#7 posted 01-28-2011 08:58 PM

thank´s Steliart
it isn´t the same track´s I know of
but I will forsure look after those of yours now
becourse they have this exstra little step of deepness inside the track
sothere is room for the screwhead

thank you
Dennis

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1625 days


#8 posted 01-28-2011 09:00 PM

That is a neat idea! I am in the same boat as you, no fancy accessories availlable here and if you do find them they cost an arm and a leg! Our brothers in the US don’t know how easy they have it!

I will definitely check out what curtain tracks are available in my part of the world. Thanks for sharing!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1922 days


#9 posted 01-29-2011 11:41 AM

Hey, I’m right here in the US and I’m going to check them out too. I’ve got a couple of jigs to build and bringing the cost down is always better.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

615 posts in 1952 days


#10 posted 01-29-2011 11:07 PM

well no such thing at the local home depot, also a search online only shows non-us sites carrying these. are they a european thing only?

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1800 days


#11 posted 01-29-2011 11:21 PM

I can´t find them either on any Danish site´s
does the profile have a name or number

Dennis

View steliart's profile

steliart

1808 posts in 1373 days


#12 posted 01-30-2011 12:05 AM

Hmm that’s the first thing the I can find and others don’t, is always the other way arround.
Don’t know if it’s a European thing only, it has been in the market since I can remember.
I thought that was a standard curtain track!

Look it up as Aluminum curtain track/channel/rail/rod/extrusion normally they come together with there plastic hooks, but has to be that type of profile. Also we can find these in window blinds and curtain shops.

Put the blog in your watch and when I’m better and visit my depo I will try to get some info for you and I will post it here.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1800 days


#13 posted 01-30-2011 12:27 AM

thank´s Steliart ,its preciated :-)

take care
Dennis

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3631 posts in 2260 days


#14 posted 02-06-2011 05:49 AM

Brilliant.
Thank you for the tip.
As Mike above said; I never thought of looking in the curtain section.

-- All glory comes from daring to begin.

View HHH's profile

HHH

1 post in 1333 days


#15 posted 02-24-2011 08:16 PM

In the US, a great source for these type curtain tracks is Curtain-Tracks.com

You can’t usually find them in big box hardware stores, but they are available and those guys have a wider range of sizes.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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