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Odd sized t-track metric / imperial question

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Forum topic by hackery posted 08-04-2016 08:43 PM 402 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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hackery

49 posts in 178 days


08-04-2016 08:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: uk t-track t-slot 136mm 12 inch odd off strange size

Hi

This question is open to anyone but probably the domain of UK people given metric is involved.

I just bought quite a lot of t-track from Axminister link for jig making wrongly assuming that the actual track would be either 1/4 or 1/2 inch I wasn’t too concerned as I was planning on buying the tee bolts afterwards thinking it would be a straight forward process… so unless I am being incredibly stupid which may well still be the case I cannot find tee bolts for this for love nor money and have spent over a hour looking. The site states that the width of the t-track is 13.6mm which in imperial is just slightly over half an inch at 0.53543312” (sorry I don’t understand all that “thou” talk when referring to under inch measurements).

Seems strange that given Axminister is a incrediably popular site with woodworkers in the UK that they sell this oddly sized track and of course they don’t sell small packs or single bolts to fit the only ones they sell to fit are in a £40 $70 US own brand set which I will probably only use a handful of pieces and refuse to pay that sort of money for a few bolts!

So either I have bought something that is essentially useless unless I modify bolts to fit on a grinder or half inch bolts aren’t truly half inch but are really 0.5354331 and in which case they will fit fine. Not having the actual t-track yet and not actually having half inch bolts or being able to buy any that I know of locally in the UK to check the actual head diameter I am really fumbling in the dark here.

Can anyone please help me I am still fairly brand new to woodworking or working with my hands at all and this stuff is literally giving me a headache.

If I do have to modify bolts to suit any advice on that would be great too please.

Thanks

Hackery

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK


8 replies so far

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

121 posts in 940 days


#1 posted 08-07-2016 12:13 PM

I’m assuming that you are using bolts like these to ride in your tracks

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=65638&cat=1,43455,61994&ap=2

If you are, you should have no problem getting them to slide in the tracks you have ordered. If you are using some other bolt, post more info, and I’m sure that I, or someone else will be able to help you out.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 908 days


#2 posted 08-07-2016 05:55 PM

The info on the site you linked to indicates an overall size of 19mm x 9.5mm. This appears to match the “standard” T-track size of 3/4” x 3/8”

I think “standard” T-bolts—like those in the link that gwilki offers above—will work fine. Here in the U.S. a “toilet bolt” works well.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1818 days


#3 posted 08-07-2016 06:32 PM

When your T Track shows up bring it to the hardware store a look for bolts that fit, I’ve used standard hex head bolts on t track many times. Also toilet bolts work as well, you don’t necessarily need dedicated tee bolts.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#4 posted 08-07-2016 08:24 PM

I took this from the Axminister web site.

This is a very useful item that you can use to make your own jigs.
For those of you needing T-bolts to fit this T-Track; do as follows:
take some bolts (I used 8mm – and select suitable length for your project) and grind down the heads so they are thinner;
then grind two shoulders on the inside edge of the bolt heads;
you now have your own T-bolts that only cost a few pence (you need to use a bench grinding wheel).

View hackery's profile

hackery

49 posts in 178 days


#5 posted 08-10-2016 04:01 PM

Thanks gentlemen for the replies much appreciated.

Problem still boils down to the bolts suggested are not available in the UK given they are imperial sized over metric.

Also in the UK we pretty much have one nationwide local chain hardware store called B & Q it’s pretty much a crappier copy of Home Depot complete with the orange colour scheme but has much less in terms of anything we would be interested in. They sell bolts sure but first of all their mark up is daylight robbery with say a 5 pack of bolts solid for x10 times what a 25 pack can be bought for online… I know online is cheaper but this is just ridiculous!

Anyways… they have pretty much forced all small independent local hardware shops to close down so good suggestion but can’t just dander in with a bit of t-track and try t-bolts until I get one that will do as all their bolts are bagged in packs rather than sold loose in singles and I know for a fact to them a t-bolt would be a specialty item which they wouldn’t sell.

Hell there is pretty much only two places online that sell t-track itself in the whole of the UK and then because I am in Northern Ireland rather than the mainland UK I am charged 4 times the price of the t-track in courier charges as our standard postage service that charges a flat UK wide rate only handle parcels up to a certain size. It’s a real pain in the ass trying to buy anything weirder than a drill in the UK let alone Northern Ireland.

Anyways enough of my tail of woe. Mr Ron yes I had seen that post on the Axminister website about grinding down a 8mm bolt which is my last resort.

The company that I bought the t-track from send me a email this morning to say they have only just realized they are out of stock given that it was meant to be with me on Monday and will be a month before it’s in again. What I will do when I finally receive it is buy a small selection of t-bolts online that are close to the size as possible and see which one is a winner or easiest to modify. In the meantime I ordered a t-track cutting router bit that cuts an actual t-track in wood which of course isn’t going to have the same longevity of metal but it’s massively cheaper and instant if you have no metal track left…. so will see what works out for the best.

Be thankful you live in America / Canada (for those of you that do) that makes life a lot easier for the woodworker. It’s even a nightmare trying to buy a sheet of decent plywood here!

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

121 posts in 940 days


#6 posted 08-11-2016 12:39 AM

Shipping costs may kill this idea, but I can buy whatever you need at Lee Valley and ship them to you. Just for giggles, if you like, send me an email to grant4 at wilki dot ca with your wish list from LV and your coordinates, and I’ll price it out.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View hackery's profile

hackery

49 posts in 178 days


#7 posted 08-11-2016 08:11 PM

Hi Grant

That’s a very kind offer thank you. I will keep that in mind if I can’t mind any metric solutions online. I imagine it would probably be cheaper for you to buy t-track in Canada, post it to me, for me to pay customs charges than it would be to buy and ship the stuff to Northern Ireland from the mainland UK (a 20 mile strip of sea separates us). Drives me a little psychotic!

I actually have “family” in Canada but would sooner ask a kind stranger met online… you can tell we are a close family!!

Thanks again

Hackery

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

View oldstarter's profile

oldstarter

118 posts in 957 days


#8 posted 09-22-2016 10:38 PM

Hi Hackery, I’m from England as well and totally agree with your comments about B&Q. Have you tried Toolstation they have several outlets in England and also do an online service with a next day delivery, their bolts, last time I looked where way cheaper than B&Q, usually sold in 25s at a lesser price than B&Qs 4 packs, so well worth a look. If you phone or email them they’ll send you a catalog.
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj3i824hKTPAhUIDcAKHbbcDYQQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.toolstation.com%2F&usg=AFQjCNH9Rk8LUjMszc7dzO3XINMmBL72dQ&sig2=NuchjSlmdXkfzxss_CpYig

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

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