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Material for new rails on 4511

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  • Material for new rails on 4511

    Thinking of ordering some 2" square tubing to make longer rails for my 4511 front rail. The question is on what material to use. Steel would seem the logical choice but then I'd have to sand and paint it, and who knows how long the paint would stay put. I'm thinking about aluminum. Anyone forsee any problems with using 2" square aluminum for the purpose? The only thing I can think of is if the fence locking down on it too much would wear it enough to cause a problem. Doubt it, but don't know for sure. Anyone ever use aluminum for a replacement rail? The price difference really isn't that great between the two metals. I thought about stainless but it's really too expensive.

  • #2
    Re: Material for new rails on 4511

    You shouldn't have problems with paint on steel if you do it right.

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    • #3
      Re: Material for new rails on 4511

      Steel is typically stronger, and it should hold paint just fine if you sand a little and prime it first.

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      • #4
        Re: Material for new rails on 4511

        Aluminum is easily deformed. An aspiration of mine is to extend my rails, but need to do some alterations to the shop first. I intend to use steel tube, but powder coat or chrome the steel, if I can find a plating shop that can chrome such long lengths economically.

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        • #5
          Re: Material for new rails on 4511

          Make sure the steel is clean first, then sand... if you have metal conditioner that would be great, prime, sand paint... shouldn't have any adhesion problems... I like using a hardner in the paint, adds to gloss and hardness of paint....

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          • #6
            Re: Material for new rails on 4511

            OK, it seems like steel is the way everybody is leaning. Does this mean AL is not going to work? I'd really prefer AL as it's about the same price and would be much lighter and not need finishing. Any thoughts as to why 2"X2"X1/8" wouldn't work? Would it realy deform under the fence locking mechanism? I studied this a bit with my fence off today and the locking mechanism applies pressure on a metal band about 9/16" wide. I wonder just how much pressure is applied over this area and if in fact it would deform the AL. Another thought is that I could go to 1/4" thick if this would aleviate the problem. Only this creates the problem of double the price. Hum, maybe steel is the way to go. Just random thoughts.

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            • #7
              Re: Material for new rails on 4511

              how about getting the steel powder coated instead of painting it?
              Local small shops often powder coat small runs at a reasonable cost.
              You may not be able to select a color..if they simply add you to an
              existing run.
              Or for a bit more you can select whatever color you desire.

              I did that with some steel feeding stations I made for our Neo-Mastiffs.

              Powder coating will last forever!


              Cactus Man

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              • #8
                Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                You can either use steel as suggested by 100% of responders, or just wait until a minority opinion weighs in with what you want to hear about aluminum, but the laws of physics aren't likely to change in the meantime.

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                • #9
                  Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                  I doubt that the fence and it plastic pads would crush or deform 6061 T6 aluminum

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                  • #10
                    Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                    Originally posted by Knot Me View Post
                    You can either use steel as suggested by 100% of responders, or just wait until a minority opinion weighs in with what you want to hear about aluminum, but the laws of physics aren't likely to change in the meantime.


                    OK, I got the response I wanted I'll go ahead and use AL now. LOL. Really, I know steel is doable as that's what stock is. My question had to do with anyone having experience with AL. As iamwelty2 said deformation wasn't really a concern, I was more worried about wear over a period of time. Having looked over the locking mechanism somemore, I don't think wear will be an issue either, as the ecentric doesn't roll directly on the rail, but rather presses on a metal flap. No direct rubbing on the rail at all. As Knot Me said earlier, I was looking for some mental reinforcement on my premade decision. Doesn't look like anyone has actually tried AL, so I might as well give it a whirl for $27. Thanks everyone for their input. I'll let everyone know how it turns out in a couple weeks. Thanks again.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                      Minor correction: iamwelty voted steel... I think aluminum will work however...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                        Originally posted by iamwelty2 View Post
                        Minor correction: iamwelty voted steel... I think aluminum will work however...
                        Aluminum will work....heck pine, maple, cherry will all work too, but steel is better suited for the task IMHO.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                          I am thinking of a retrofit for my r4511, I would go with AL mainly to due to weight difference not to mention unsightly corrosion issues.

                          I was inspired by this project

                          I still have my old ts3650 and I must say, I prefer that fence and rail system over the one included on my new r5411.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                            Originally posted by Ing View Post
                            OK, it seems like steel is the way everybody is leaning. Does this mean AL is not going to work? I'd really prefer AL as it's about the same price and would be much lighter and not need finishing. Any thoughts as to why 2"X2"X1/8" wouldn't work? Would it realy deform under the fence locking mechanism? I studied this a bit with my fence off today and the locking mechanism applies pressure on a metal band about 9/16" wide. I wonder just how much pressure is applied over this area and if in fact it would deform the AL. Another thought is that I could go to 1/4" thick if this would aleviate the problem. Only this creates the problem of double the price. Hum, maybe steel is the way to go. Just random thoughts.
                            Personally, I like aluminum. It is maintenance free and doesn't rust. I think if you try to find some with a heavier wall (3'16"), it would work well. You could also cut a piece of wood to fit inside the aluminum to prevent it from distorting.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Material for new rails on 4511

                              Originally posted by Hacksaw123 View Post
                              Personally, I like aluminum. It is maintenance free and doesn't rust. I think if you try to find some with a heavier wall (3'16"), it would work well. You could also cut a piece of wood to fit inside the aluminum to prevent it from distorting.





                              A piece of wood on the inside is a good idea. Thanks.

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