Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.
— Leonardo Da Vinci
Word to the Wise: Accessorize
Some things simply go together—they’re just right when paired. Think peanut butter and jelly. Bogey and Bacall. Bacon and eggs. Abbott and Costello. Fish and chips. Astaire and Rogers. Franks and beans.
The list goes on. Individually, each is wonderful in its own way. But when they pair up, the results are magical.
What is true of the kitchen and Hollywood is also true at FramingTech. By themselves, our Extruded Inch and Metric T-slot Aluminum Profiles provide the perfect, versatile aluminum fabrication solutions to a host of customer needs, from shelves and aquarium stands, to carts and enclosures, to tables and workbenches, and more. But when our superior fabrications are customized with the just the right accessories, they go from great to extraordinary.
It is the most abundant metallic element in the Earth’s crust—and, as it happens, one of the most useful to humans in our industrial age. I am referring, or course, to aluminum. Most people in the United States come in contact with aluminum every day, in one form or another, most typically in the kitchen. But beyond cooking utensils and aluminum foil, this metal has been put to use in myriad applications outside the home. Indeed, it is estimated that each year every single person in the U.S. uses more than 3,600 pounds of bauxite ore (from which aluminum is extracted) in their daily lives.
Aluminum is everywhere. Of course, we at FramingTech deal with it all the time, in the form of our T-slot aluminum extrusions and related structural framing products. And yet ironically, because it has become so commonplace, many of us tend to take it for granted. Nevertheless, the more you learn about this ubiquitous and versatile metal, the more you will notice and be fascinated by it.
“I will go back to the great sweet mother, Mother and lover of men, the sea.”
— Algernon Charles Swinburne (‘The Triumph of Time’)
All life on Earth ultimately rose from the sea. Is it any wonder, then, that people have always felt mysteriously drawn back to the ocean—or indeed to any fair to middling size body of water—as if a child back into the loving arms of its mother? Whether lounging beside a crystalline lake, on the banks of a flowing river, or at the wave-lapped ocean’s edge, humans always seem to feel most at peace. If we could, many of us would prefer not just to live near such soul-cleansing waters, but to live in them. As air-breathers, unfortunately, that is simply not possible. What is possible, however, is to invite a small part of that watery world into our homes—in the form of an aquarium. Continue reading “Aquarium Stands: What Size Should I Get?”
There’s a very good reason why FramingTech’s “go-to” material for its machine guard and workplace enclosures, aquarium stands, shelving, and other extruded T-slot solutions is aluminum. This abundant metal’s superior strength-to-weight ratio, workability, elasticity, corrosion-resistance, and low cost (relative to steel) makes it the ideal choice—structurally, aesthetically, and performance-wise—for a wide variety of demanding applications.
For that same reason it is safe to say that modern aviation—civilian and military—simply would not exist without aluminum. This fact cannot be more clearly illustrated than with the U.S. Air Force’s legendary Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber.
By the end of February, most of us in the northern climes of the United States are suffering from a terminal case of cabin fever. We become desperate to chase away the Winter doldrums and somehow fill in the dragging hours with something—anything!—to do until Spring finally rolls around.
But “all work and no play…,” as they say. Those same unique properties can be applied to at-home activities that are sure to keep you occupied for the remainder of the Winter. Best of all—it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. While aluminum may be the most abundant metal in Earth’s crust, once upon it time it was also one of the most valuable (hence the moniker, “Metal of Kings”). It wasn’t until the discovery of the Hall-Heroult smelting process in 1886 that this abundant metal could be inexpensively produced on a large-scale basis for the general consumer market.
Last month we gave you a video overview of our T-slot extruded aluminum manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York. This month, we present a photo gallery of still images featuring views of our products, product raw materials, and our outstanding, highly skilled work force in action, as well as a selection of our high-tech fabricating, cutting, and shaping equipment, including:
At FramingTech we are known for our durable, high-quality aluminum fabrications, from aquarium stands to work tables, and more. This metal is a fascinating and versatile element, and we thought you would enjoy our infographic spotlighting some of aluminum’s extraordinary properties. Continue reading “Aluminum Fast Facts [Infographic]”
In a previous blog article (“Everyday Aluminum: Construction”) we discussed how aluminum extrusions have lately become an important feature in the construction industry. Building contractors have long recognized the structural and aesthetic benefits of using aluminum components in their work. Nowadays you commonly see them in windows, doors, frames, stairways, and elsewhere.
In the realm of architecture too we find that this lightweight and versatile metal now plays an increasingly important role in more heavily weighted and complex fabrications within buildings, bridges, and other architectural structures: in railings, enclosures, curtain walls, façades, and pergolas, just to name a few. This article, then, will focus on specific examples of those kinds of whole structures in which aluminum stands out as a major component in their construction. Continue reading “Everyday Aluminum: Architecture”
Perhaps it is due to the fact that the adult human body is made up of some 60% water, or that our most ancient biological ancestors first emerged onto land from a primordial sea. Whatever the instinctive reason, unquestionably there is hardly a person alive who is not automatically drawn to—if not utterly transfixed by—the sight of an indoor fish tank, displayed on a beautiful aquarium stand and populated by thriving schools of exotic, colorful, water-dwelling creatures swimming to and fro. It is both aesthetically pleasing in its own right and deeply relaxing to watch. Continue reading “Guidelines for Choosing an Aquarium Stand”
Previously we have discussed some of the more practical (if not prosaic) uses of aluminum in our everyday lives, from car manufacturing to building construction to solar panels, and even in robotics. One delightful area we have not touched on yet is the use of aluminum for purely aesthetic purposes: in the making of art.
It’s hard to imagine an elemental metal more suited than aluminum for creating beautiful objects. For one thing, there’s plenty of it: aluminum is the third most abundant element on Earth and the most abundant metal, making up some 8% of the planet’s crust. This durable metal is strong yet light, has a pleasing silvery-white appearance, can be polished to a highly reflective sheen, and is resistant to oxidation and corrosion. Though sometimes a “finicky” metal to work with (due to its relatively low melting point and high heat-conductiveness), it is also a versatile one: it is both ductile and malleable and can easily be molded, extruded, bent, stamped, cut, riveted, and welded. It can even be successfully painted and glued, since finishes and adhesives retain 100% of their strength when bonded to aluminum, thanks to its unique chemical properties.
Given all this, the world should be fairly bursting with astonishing artworks made from aluminum. And yet such treasures are few and far between compared to artworks made with other materials. Continue reading “Everyday Aluminum: Art”