In a previous blog on T-slot fasteners—which generally are used to attach accessory items to framed T-slot fabrications—we compared those accessories to the kind of “extras” you might find on an automobile, such as rear-view mirrors or hubcaps. The car will still run fine without them; yet lacking them would diminish not just the aesthetics of the vehicle but also its overall functionality and even safety. By the same token, when it comes to adding T-slot accessories to any of Framing Tech’s standard or custom constructions, it’s important to choose the ones that fit properly and that will serve you best.

T-slot Accessories: A Definition

The term accessory in this context derives from a medieval Latin word meaning “subsidiary,” “supplementary,” or “contributing to or aiding an activity or process in a minor way.” In other words, an accessory is anything that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive. And that definition fits T-slot accessories, well, to a T. But this is not a case of “one size fits all.”

T-slot Accessories in Action

Consider roller wheels, which mount to the frame and are designed to guide moving parts along the T-slot. There are six different roller wheels to choose from, depending on the desired diameter and the size of the slot in which it is intended to roll. Additionally, there are three different types of roller guides, each for a specific profile size and T-slot width. Mismatched roller wheels and profiles will result in moving parts that jam or are too loose.

Cable blocks are another informative example. They are designed to help organize and manage stray wires and cables, and you have three types to choose from. If they are to be used on an extruded aluminum aquarium stand, workbench, or office desk, where wires and cables tend to proliferate, you want to make sure you pick the cable blocks that suit your setup. Again, there is no “one size fits all” scenario; depending on the type, size, and quantity of wires and cables involved, you may need just one type of cable block, or several of that type—or several of all three types!

It really just comes down to personal convenience and work habits. Take, for example, the type of cup holder you can opt for. One has a closed bottom, and one has an open bottom. Your choice of beverage will determine what kind of cup holder works best for you. Or, if you decide to use the cup holder as a tool holster, you have two options, one of which will work best for the type of tool you wish to holster.

Help Us Help You Choose the Right T-slot Accessories

Our human-machine interface (HMI) mounts are built to order, and can be sized to suit your mounting needs. Our machining jigs are a great way to create repeatable precision hole placements—but we need to know the dimensions of and separation between each hole. And don’t even get us started on end caps, of which there are over 30 types, each one suited to a particular size and shape of extruded aluminum profile.

So the long and short of it is: when it comes to picking the right T-slot accessories for your particular project, you don’t have to go it alone. Please feel free to ask Framing Tech for assistance in choosing the ones that will work for YOU!

Just a few of Framing Tech’s T-slot accessories