Fasteners vs. Connectors
Before getting too far into our brief survey of T-nuts, it’s important to make a distinction between fasteners and connectors. The English majors amongst us might consider those two words to be nearly synonymous. In the realm of T-slot aluminum, however, each denotes a very specific set of accessories with well-defined applications.
T-slot aluminum profiles come in a variety shapes, lengths, and measurement systems (either metric or inch). Because of the modular nature of extruded T-slot aluminum, there’s no need to clamp, weld, or glue the various pieces when assembling. Instead, you use connectors of various types to put your profiles together at just the right angle and ensure the final fabrication is strong and stable. These connectors run the gamut, from quick connectors and tilt connectors to gussets, corner brackets, connection plates, and more.
Fasteners, on the other hand, are chiefly used to fasten, or attach, specialty accessories to the finished T-slot fabrication. The accessories may include cable blocks, conveyor rollers, locking handles, doors, side panels, machining jigs, and much more. Among these fasteners are various types of nuts, including the following.
The preferred fastener for Framing Tech aluminum profiles, T-nuts come in various thread sizes and T-slot sizes to accommodate your particular fabrication. Simply drop them into the T-slot of the selected profile and twist it into a locked position. The hammer-style head features serrated teeth that provide a strong, electrically conductive connection.
Most commonly used for light-duty holding and mounting applications, our economy nuts are slide-in style T-nuts. They come with holes that accept Imperial and Metric standard screw-thread sizes. These are a cost-effective fastener for use with inch-series profiles.
Ideal for heavy-duty holding or machine mounting applications, our T-slot nuts have the largest surface area as well as the most thread engagement of all our T-nuts. The body is “stepped,” which allows the central section to sit higher than most other T-nuts. These require pre-installation or can be slid into an open-ended T-slot.
Our standard T-nuts are excellent for heavy-duty holding or mounting applications. They must be inserted from the end of the extrusion. These are typically used with our inch-based profiles.
One of our more rugged T-nuts, the square nut will typically have the largest surface area of engagement. This creates a strong and simple connection that is perfect for locking down medium-duty machinery. Square nuts must be inserted into the T-slot from the end.
These T-nuts “drop” into the T-slot and do not need to be loaded in from the end. Drop-in T-nuts come in several options for positioning, such as with a set screw, a leaf spring, or a ball spring. Drop-in T-nuts are the ideal solution for mounting accessories to vertical T-slots where other T-nuts would fall due to gravity.
Roll-in nuts are similar to the drop-in T-nuts due to their ability to be loaded in from the top. The rounded shape of these T-nuts lets you “roll” them into the T-slot without the need of loading them in from the side. The leaf-spring and ball-spring versions are often used in vertical T-slots to prevent slipping due to gravity.
Last but not least, where would nuts be without bolts? Our T-bolts are a fast and simple way to connect your accessories to your framework. The hammer-shaped head has serrated teeth that provide a strong, electrically conductive connection. These fasteners are great for attaching accessories to your framework. They come in a limited number of thread options and in a variety of lengths.
To learn more about Framing Tech T-nuts and related fasteners, start here.