All Hail the Versatile T-bolt

T-bolt with nut

If you are as fastidious about your workstation as Martha Stewart is about her table setting, you always ensure that there is never a screw out of place or a wobbly chair at your desk. Framing fasteners are the vital connectors that keep materials and machinery secure. For example, when we commit to piecing together DYI Ikea furniture, we are scrupulous in employing the myriad bits and pieces as directed. While we may fret and fume during the assembly process, nuts and bolts ensure the end product looks and functions as advertised.

Bolt vs. Screw

T-bolt example

Bolts are externally threaded fasteners installed with the use of proper nuts that are fitted using torque. Bolts are typically used to couple unthreaded objects. The threads spiraling on the circular surface of the bolts provide exceptionally sturdy bonds in conjunction with a nut.

Screw example

Screws are also externally threaded fasteners. They can be inserted into premade holes or perforated surfaces and sometimes create threads during installation.

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Framing Tech Machine Enclosures: Ensuring Safety First in the Workplace

Machine Guard

You are driving by the well-manicured lawns in your rural neighborhood, admiring the lush hydrangeas and abundant azaleas. Suddenly, out of nowhere, something small hits your windshield. Instantaneously, a crack appears. The culprit? A pebble launched by a landscaper’s string trimmer. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to have it repaired. Yet, while windshields can be easily repaired, the human body cannot be restored quite so easily.

One might think of damage or injuries in the workplace as out-of-the-ordinary as projectile rocks on a sunny morning in the country. However, statistics prove otherwise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury in 2019. The number of casualties would be significantly higher without adequate safeguards in the workplace. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, worker deaths in America are down, on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 15 a day in 2019.

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T-slot Aluminum Inspiration: Summer Solutions

T-slot profiles at Framing Tech Factory Floor

Considering that aluminum is the most abundant metal in Earth’s crust, it should come as little surprise that its use in the industrial world is equally abundant. From transportation and packaging to computer casings and household goods, you will find aluminum everywhere, and often in plain sight.

In recent years, manufacturers have even made it possible for the average person to take aluminum into their own hands and configure it to individual needs, thanks to T-slot aluminum extrusions and related accessories.

T-slot aluminum aquarium stand
Aquarium stand

Sturdy, custom-designed aquarium stands are lately among the most popular fabrications, but those just scratch the surface of what is possible. Meet a few of the projects that caught our eye, and the people from across the country who have used extruded T-slot aluminum profiles to make their living space creatively conducive to their needs.

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Framing Tech in Motion: Introducing Our New Line of Modular Belt Conveyors

Factory Roller-and-Belt Conveyor System

What do a watering can, a pack of mothballs, a gallon of milk, and a sun hat have in common? Nothing! Except that they may be travel companions on a conveyor belt at a Target or Walmart.

Automated conveyor systems have long been a familiar part of our commercial and industrialized landscape, transporting materials large and small, heavy and light—from coal and cars to diamonds and cigars. Some conveyor belts follow a circuitous path in assembly line operations, while others traverse an open expanse across many miles. And many simply move objects a distance of a few feet in a straight line.

We are proud to announce the introduction of a Framing Tech modular conveyor system for use in the U.S. market. Currently, we are offering flatbed belt conveyors, but plan to expand that offering soon as more interest develops.

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Carbon Fiber Tube: All the Advantages of Aluminum and Carbon

Carbon fiber tube blueprint

Over the last few decades, carbon fiber has gone from being an exotic, space-age material, infrequently used, to becoming increasingly prevalent in all aspects of our rapidly advancing, technology-driven world. Carbon fiber tubes, extruded profiles, and fabricated sheets are now utilized extensively in aviation, automation, construction, manufacturing, medical equipment, military and sporting gear, and much more. Faster, more fuel-efficient planes, boats, and cars achieve these properties precisely because their frames and other components are fabricated with carbon fiber. The material’s durability, strength, longevity, low-maintenance costs, and low weight have also propelled the wind power industry by allowing for longer and more rigid turbine blades.

This superhero of materials, carbon fiber, is more resilient, lightweight, heat- and corrosion-resistant, and reliable than aluminum or steel. Who doesn’t want to drive a carbon fiber Batmobile? Carbon fiber is even being showcased in clothing. The spiffy carbon fiber fedora crafted by Biltmore is not just wearable but looks modishly futuristic.

But our main focus in this article is carbon fiber tubing: what it is, how it’s made, and what you can do with it.

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Aluminum: The Shape of Things to Come

Aluminum cladding on Titanic Museum
Aluminum pyramid at apex of Washington Monument
Aluminum apex of Washington Monument showing inscriptions on its east and north faces (source)

From planes and trains to the cellphone in your hand and the versatile roll of foil in your pantry, aluminum is omnipresent in today’s fabricated world. Which should come as no surprise, considering it is the most abundant metal in Earth’s crust. Yet, it is hard to imagine that aluminum was once prized more than gold! In fact, despite its abundance, aluminum was valued so highly in the 19th century because it was so difficult to obtain. It was so special, indeed, that in 1884 this rare “metal of kings” earned a prestigious perch atop the Washington monument in the shape of a cast pyramid.

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Why T-slot Aluminum Is a Great Choice for Custom Aquarium Stands

Goldfish in fish tank

Hats off to Framing Tech for taking the extra step in reassuring my peace of mind. I would definitely go out on a limb and say that any reefer that wants to stay in the hobby for a long time should consider building your stand with Framing Tech.

— J’s Reefs


Unless you intend to install in your home a gigantic floor-to-ceiling fish tank, such as you would find at a commercial aquarium, you’ll need some kind of platform to hold your fish tank. Novice hobbyists might initially overlook this little detail, until they take the tank home and realize they have no place to put it, except on the floor. That is why, no matter the size of your tank, you need an aquarium stand.

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Framing Tech Custom 80/20 Aluminum Solutions [Infographic]

Framing Technology custom solutions

When it comes to the kinds of things you can build with extruded 80/20 aluminum profiles, sometimes basic is better. Many of our fabrications are available in standard “kit” form, with set parts, and are delivered to home or office with detailed instructions for assembly. This includes many of our most popular products, e.g.:

But sometimes you need something special and out of the ordinary for your specific needs. It could be just a matter of size, or unique functionality, or particular design features—or even something never before conceived!

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80/20 Aluminum: What’s In a Name?

Extruded aluminum inch profiles

It goes by several different terms: T-slot structural framing, T-slotted aluminum extrusions, 80/20 T-slot aluminum building system, and 80/20 framing, among others. The various descriptors used in these terms are fairly straightforward and self-explanatory. Individually we know what aluminum is, not to mention extrusions, systems, T-slot, and framing. But what does 80/20 have to do with any of these?

Believe it or not, there is an answer to that question. And thereby hangs a tale. Continue reading “80/20 Aluminum: What’s In a Name?”

Advances in Robotics with Carbon Fiber

Sun, robot, and man

In a blog article on this site from May 2018 we talked about aluminum as the metal of choice in robotics. Two years later we discussed the “Top Three Benefits of Using Carbon Fiber To Build Robots.” Those two years are sufficient evidence of the astonishing rate of speed in the evolution of the technologies underlying both robotics and carbon fiber fabrications. Continue reading “Advances in Robotics with Carbon Fiber”