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Curved T-track

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 05-31-2011 10:39 PM 2712 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4525 posts in 1819 days


05-31-2011 10:39 PM

I don’t even know if curved t-track exists.

Does anyone know of a source for buying a curved t-track and/or does anyone have experience trying to curve a straight piece of t-track?

In theory, I might be able to make a functional curved t-track if I cut into the aluminum from one side about 3/4 of the way across the track and make a cut every half inch or so.

Ideally, I would like a half circle of t-track with a 3 – 4” radius.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


15 replies so far

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1755 days


#1 posted 05-31-2011 10:52 PM

I don’t have any helpful info, but which way are you wanting to curve it?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Kris Koenig's profile

Kris Koenig

11 posts in 1602 days


#2 posted 05-31-2011 11:02 PM

Does it have to be aluminum? Or could you use a t-slot router bit and a circle jig to cut one in wood?

View mnguy's profile

mnguy

162 posts in 2143 days


#3 posted 05-31-2011 11:04 PM

Rich:

Why not use a T-track router bit (Lee Valley carries one http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=51233&cat=1,46168,46176&ap=1) and make the track out of either hard maple or plastic? Even if you can kerf bend some aluminum t-track, I suspect you’ll wreck enough to more than pay for this bit.

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1383 days


#4 posted 05-31-2011 11:43 PM

Okay, I just got to ask, Why do you want to curve it?

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4525 posts in 1819 days


#5 posted 06-01-2011 12:15 AM

My desire for a curved t-track is due to my desire for an tilt adjusting mechanism for a music stand that really works well.

However, the idea of using a router bit to make a t-track in wood is something I had not thought of. I’ve thought of a dozen or more different ways to make the tilt adjustment and all of them seemed iffy.

FYI – I planned to use a t-track in the column for height adjustment. In theory, that could be done with a router also.

Thanks for the feedback.

I’ve got to give Deke credit for one of the more creative ideas I have heard.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2412 days


#6 posted 06-01-2011 12:25 AM

I think you could bend it yourself. Like bending any metal with a preformed shape, the trick would be to put material in the negative space to keep it from deforming. Maybe some strips of mdf?

The router bit sounds promissing but only if its cut into some sort of engineered substrate. I could see solid wood giving you some issues down the road.

Good Luck

-- It's only wood.

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

448 posts in 2163 days


#7 posted 06-01-2011 02:00 AM

There is a Scketchup plugin called shapebender.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/24206

You can draw a t-track and bend it. This works great if you live in the Matrix. Not sure it will work in the physical world.

View woodman71's profile

woodman71

162 posts in 2069 days


#8 posted 06-01-2011 02:27 AM

Well Rich you could bend it if you have a preformed shape . The trick to do this is with heat like propane torch be careful not to get metal to hot but hot enough to bend it also if your radius is to tight it might not work

View Loren's profile

Loren

7822 posts in 2393 days


#9 posted 06-01-2011 02:56 AM

You can get curved 80-20 extrusion I think. It’s used for corners on
conveyer assemblies and stuff like that.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

414 posts in 1582 days


#10 posted 06-01-2011 04:36 AM

Yes Rich… I was going to suggest a wood track. Don’t think they sell them on the market because there are too many radius possibilities.

Pipe fitters have bending tools for pipes.

You could also by a cabinet lid stay with a curved guide. Use the stainless steel slotted guide.

Last option… go with Deke’s idea. I like it!

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

1818 posts in 1854 days


#11 posted 06-01-2011 04:56 AM

You could also contact a local machinist and have him make you one on his milling machine in trade.

View CADguy's profile

CADguy

5 posts in 1345 days


#12 posted 06-01-2011 05:06 AM

I suggest using something like a 1/2” or 3/4” straight bit in a piece of stock then glue on a 1/8” thick piece of oak plywood and then(after the glue has dried) use an 1/8” straight bit following the same pattern to make a slot. All my sleds are set up this way for stops, etc. It works great and the plumbers bolt fits in the slot perfect and slides well too. I’ve never done a curved one but as long as you set it up good and pay attention to what you’re doing it should work.

-- "Country Roads, take me home to the place I belong...West Virginia..."

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3203 posts in 1420 days


#13 posted 06-01-2011 05:41 AM

Make it from wood and laminate it. Start with a base and curve it then add parts and glue them in place and add pieces daily until it has the shape you need. It should stay curved just like you built it.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112818 posts in 2322 days


#14 posted 06-01-2011 06:35 AM

Here’s some

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View timster's profile

timster

2 posts in 775 days


#15 posted 11-04-2012 06:49 AM

http://www.medicalproductsdirect.com/hanprivscree2.html
hospital curtains use a curved T-track made of aluminum.

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