What Is An Aluminum Extrusion Anyway?

If you want to shop for aluminum extrusions online, click the red button below:

Aluminm Extrusion Resource Guide

If you want to know more about the history and manufacturing of extrusions, keep reading:

Allan Little holding a 40 series aluminum extrusion

AskWoodMan Gets Inspired By An Aluminum Extrusion: Creates The Ultimate Table Saw Fence

I was aware that aluminum extrusions existed and that they are used as guide rails on various tools such as the Festool plunge cut circular saw and multi routing template. But it wasn’t until I was given a piece of 40x80mm heavy walled aluminum extrusion (January 2012) that I was inspired to make a new style of table saw fence.

I didn’t realize that the extrusion manufacturing process created such a perfectly strong, straight, flat, square, rigid and lightweight product. While all those qualities are ideal to have in a table saw fence, the real power of the aluminum extrusion lies in the t-slotted channels that allow for infinite connection points using t-nuts and bolts.

I think aluminum extrusions really make the ultimate table saw fence. I can not see how it could be improved upon. ~ Allan Little

A Little History: Thank you Joseph Bramah, Thomas Burr and Alexander Dick

Looking back into history, we wanted to mention three of the inventors that have made it possible for us to have such an awesome table saw fence material, Joseph Bramah , Thomas Burr and Alexander Dick

Joseph Bramah

In 1797 the extrusion process was patented by the inventor Joseph Bramah. He used it to make lead pipes and also machinery for making gun stocks (Patent No. 2652). After pre-heating the metal he used a hand driven plunger to force it through a die.  It’s interesting to read all the other patents and inventions of Joseph Bramah on Wikipedia. He was a clever fellow.

In 1820, Thomas Burr constructed the first hydraulic powered press which played an important role in the fabrication process.

In 1894 the modern hot extrusion process was invented by Alexander Dick.  This process allowed non-ferrous alloys to be extruded. Materials that are commonly cold extruded include: lead, tin, aluminum, copper, zirconium, titanium, molybdenum, beryllium, vanadium, niobium, and steel. It’s not surprising that aluminum is the most commonly extruded metal, and it can be used with both hot and cold extrusion processes. Today extrusions are made out of many different materials, including plastic, metals, pasta and even fig newtons!

 Visit Our Aluminum Extrusion Resource Guide for more information on where and how to buy aluminum extrusions.

One of the great features of our Universal T-Square Table Saw Fence system is it works with several different sized aluminum extrusion. Various lengths, widths and thickness that all include the slotted channels that allow for infinite connection points.

Allan Little holding an 40x80mm aluminum extrusion.

Any individual can purchase various sizes of aluminum extrusion directly from 80/20 Inc. that will still work perfectly with our fence system. You may want a different length, width or height extrusion for your project. (NOTE: Allan has a various selection of various heights and lengths that he uses in his videos for different applications. ) Any aluminum extrusion will work flawless with our T-Square fence system as long as it is at least 1.5 inches wide. This width dimension is important because you do not want any interference between the plane of the table saw top and the fence.

How It’s Made: Learn More About The Process

There are many videos on YouTube that demonstrate the aluminum extrusion process. 80/20 Inc.’s YouTube channel has over a hundred industrial videos explaining all aspects of their product and their company. Below are some other random videos that explain extrusions and the general process.

Aluminum Extrusion Resource Guide