How to get the most out of your profile.

When you are spending your time and money on a project you need to be sure that you are getting the most out of your resources.

How to get the most out of your profile. - aluminium extrusion

Avoid wastage being a problem

Unintentional wastage can end up costing you a lot.  So, you need to plan carefully to avoid blowing your budget.  The last thing you want to see at the end of a job is a big pile of unused or incorrectly processed material.  spending some time planning your job and will vastly improve your chances of a great result.

T-Slot Extruded Aluminium Profile
Sample of extruded aluminium off-cuts

design your project thoroughly before you start cutting

If your project is relatively complex and you don’t have access to a CAD drawing system consider employing the services of a CAD designer. Planning your project properly will greatly increase the quality of your project and reduce the overall cost. Planning includes drawing up an optimised cutting list

Optimise your cutting list

Failure to do a thorough optimised cutting list is almost guaranteed to result in excessive wastage.

When you have a large number of pieces to cut, it can become very complicated calculating an optimised cutting list it.  Fortunately, there are a few free, and online resources available to help you out. 

For example, a quick web search found Cut list optimiser which is suitable for 1D bar optimisation.  The web site requires that you sign up to a free account so that you can save your projects for later review.  Before deciding to sign up, you can look at one of their demo’s or go straight to their offline project page.

Obligatory disclaimer:  Please note that we do not recommend any particular solution in preference to any other.  You are free to choose what suits you.  You can even create your own spreadsheet to assist you in your calculations.

Once you have your cutting list, you can send us a copy so that we can accurately cut it for you.  We can also arrange delivery if you need.  Please note that delivery costs vary considerably depending on size, weight, and delivery address.  The most expensive being full 6m lengths.

Cutting, drilling and tapping

Ensure that you use a very good quality saw that is specifically configured to cut aluminium to cut your profile.

Cut lengths that are inaccurate or not completely square will prevent you from achieving the best possible results.

Use an extrusion tap to create the threaded ends as well as a quality tapping gel that is formulated to cut aluminium. An extrusion tap differs from a regular tap in that it does not remove any material in the process and also hardens the surface of the thread. this results in a stronger thread and consequently a more reliable end product . Also, ensure that your taps are perfectly aligned to the core centre of the extrusion.

When drilling through the centre of the extrusion use a drill press or drilling guide to ensure that your holes are accurate and that your drill does not damage the edge of the slot.

T-Slot profile saw
T-Slot aluminium profile saw

Ask for advice

There are several options when in comes to connecting T slot profiles and the cost varies considerably . Ask us to show you how the various connection methods work and to explain the pros and cons of each option.

There are also several pitfalls to be aware of when assembling projects and we can help you save time (money) by sharing our experience with you

In addition to cutting, we can also drill and tap each piece of profile as needed if you require.

For more information on how to join our profiles please see these resources: Standard connection and Creating a strong join


We have produced this video tutorial to help explain the cutting drilling and taping process

GAP Engineering-Queensland’s supplier of T Slot Aluminium and accessories

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