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Bert

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Reply with quote  #21 
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This gets even more so as we get older, it seems ;-)  When I started my Project in July, I thought I would easily have it done by October.   I am retired but seem to have so much more to do these days.


Bruce, So true.  

Greg,  Could you just us L brackets  on the inside corners to connect the aluminum.



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Bert K.
Michigan

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KevinH

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Reply with quote  #22 
Alumaloy is what I had mentioned before.  No experience with it so I don't know if it is strong enough.  Harbor Freight has something that looks similar.
https://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-low-temperature-aluminum-welding-rods-44810.html

Kevin H
MN

Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #23 
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Originally Posted by Bruce
I am retired but seem to have so much more to do these days.


Nobody ever explained it to you ... your suppose to get dumber as you get older. That way when your retire and somebody come to you asking for free labor, you can say I don't know anything about that. [wink]

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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
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Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #24 
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Originally Posted by gbwillson
Rick- I had previously thought about trying to braze my aluminum tubes but decided they are not strong enough.


Only you can decide what will work for you.

I wonder if chemical welding (JB Weld .. ect)  might work better then brazing. With chemical welding, one can get the weld on both sides of the material. Also the joint can be reinforced by chemical welding sheet aluminum over the joint.



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Rick H Parker
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #25 
Or you can tell the truth and say " I don't remember..." Works for me [wink]

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Willie, Tampa Bay
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #26 
The plastic connector pieces will be glued into the tubes during final assembly. But there will also be screws through the aluminum tubes into the plastic connectors, along with L-brackets, gussets, and perhaps even some sort of braces similar to a hurricane tie that partially wraps around the connections. The outside surface of any connections needs to stay flat as the skeleton frame will be covered with an aluminum skin that will be attached with both adhesives and rivets. I'm pretty sure I can make the frame joints stiff enough, but how long will they stay that way? So there might be a bit of overkill during the assembly. 

Greg in MN
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Reply with quote  #27 
Greg,  I'm happy to see you're getting started on your tube-frame ZP.  Especially looking forward to seeing how you join the 2 sections together (I assume there will be no slots this time).  You always come up with innovative solutions.  Welding would be great, but the plastic connector method is probably more accessible to some of us hammer and screwdriver types.

You might be able to brace the frame corners with Simpson RTA1 Rigid Tie Connectors.  They have an inside corner and a flange which goes over the front face, which might make them stiffer than simple angle brackets.  The flanges would probably have to go on the inside to not interfere with the outer skin.  Don't know if that would fit your design.  $1.62 each at Home Depot.
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #28 
Don-

I've looked at a lot of the braces available, but most of them are sized for dimensional lumber. Another issue is that any brace has to screw into the connector, not just an empty section of the aluminum tube. The 1/16" tubes are simply too thin for even fine threads to get a strong bite. And where there is a need to attach to only the aluminum tubing, rivets will be used.

As far as connecting the two halves, I plan to bolt the two 4x8 cages together with bolts. Reinforcing plates will be needed to prevent the thin aluminum tubes from getting crushed. After two halves are bolted together, I would expect the unit to act as a single large unit as I never plan to separate the two halves.

The collector will be 6" deep which should be plenty deep enough to prevent any bottlenecking between the two halves. 

Greg in MN
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #29 
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Originally Posted by gbwillson
The 1/16" tubes are simply too thin for even fine threads to get a strong bite. And where there is a need to attach to only the aluminum tubing, rivets will be used.


Compared to screws or rivets, JB Weld would spread the force over a larger surface area. I'm thinking that would produce a bond less likely to fail or distort.

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Rick H Parker
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gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #30 
There will be a combination of methods used to secure any connections, including adhesives. I'll use whatever it takes to make this unit solid for a lifetime.

Greg in MN
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