I have a bunch of industrial storage totes that I’m building an organizer for. I have the dimensions down, I have the framing set, I have everything level on a very uneven floor.
But what do I make the side rails out of?
Although my rack will be made to support ~16″ x 10″ tote boxes with a raised lid, the question could apply to a rack made for portable organizers, small tool boxes, or other fixture where things will slide in and out of.
I’m using 80/20 aluminum side rails so that I can change things around if needed, and because the basement is a little too fickle for engineered wood products such as plywood.
This is kind of what I’m after:
Shown here is a Stanley organizer rack that Ken made and shared with us a while back.
I’ll need up to 48 pairs of side rails, at ~16″ long, so around 128 linear feet of material.
Some of the rails will for the industrial totes, others will be for shelves, and some will be extra reinforcement for individual cubbies.
1/2″ thick material rests confortably.
I ordered samples of 1/2″ x 1/2″ aluminum angles, and HDPE and ABS in 2 thicknesses. The HDPE and ABS will require flattening to smooth the saw-cut surfaces, and I might use a router table for that.
Stiffening HDPE with aluminum strips would bring the cost close to that of ABS while requiring more than double the work.
I might go with plywood short-term, unless or until I find something better. Maybe plywood with some HDPE or aluminum screwed or glued on, for wear surfaces?
I couldn’t find 1/2″ x 3/4″ or 1″ aluminum, but a third look shows that McMaster carries 1″ x 1/2″, which is apparently different. They don’t have 1/2″ x 1″, but they have 1″ x 1/2″. *Shrug* It has double the wall thickness, too.
If I go with 1″ x 1/2″ x 1/8″ aluminum angle, the cost would be $1.384/foot if I buy it in 8-foot lengths. 1/2″ x 3/4″ HDPE is $1.66/foot. ABS in the same size is $2.95/foot.
The aluminum angle might just do the trick. I could reinforce some of them with HDPE, for the boxes I know will be really heavy, or support those from the bottom so as to avoid potential rim failure.
With aluminum angle, I need to cut the rails to size, and drill 2 holes in each. No countersinking or counterboring would be necessary. I might have to clean them up a bit, or apply a thin low-friction liner, but that would be easy.
What do you think? What should I build the side rails out of? (Thanks!)
I hate getting stuck like this.