From factory floors to backyards, t-slot can be used in a variety of settings. Aluminum’s characteristics and capabilities make it the ideal material for outdoor applications. Aluminum t-slot is:
- Requires no special tools for assembly
- It does not need to be welded
- Wide range of accessories
With more accessibility to a material that was once only found in industrial settings, t-slot has come a long way, and now it is used in garages, workshops, businesses, living rooms, art galleries, and vehicles.
T-slot can be used for organization racks and storage, furniture, stands, and even gardening. Below we have provided various outdoor projects that can be easily built with t-slotted aluminum extrusion and accessories.
Grill Stand or Station
Grills never seem to come with enough shelving to set grilling utensils and food on. Grill stands and stations made with t-slot aluminum are lightweight and capable of withstanding heat. T-slot aluminum profiles can also handle the weather and won’t degrade and become an eyesore like other materials if you can’t cover it.
For stands and stations, radius and closed-faced profiles are an optimal choice for aesthetics and easy cleaning. Extras like shelving, hooks, casters, or leveling feet can be added to suit your grilling needs.
To build on to the idea above, a patio bar is an excellent complement to a grill stand or station. Patio bars made with t-slot can be easily attached or freestanding and made to include a small refrigerator.
Profiles can come in black anodized or traditional aluminum with panels and counters made from weather-resistant materials such as acrylic, expanded PVC, aluminum composite, and twin wall polycarbonate. Storage and shelving are easily created to give you plenty of room to entertain outdoors.
Racks of all kinds can be made from t-slotted aluminum. For outdoor equipment such as canoes and kayaks, t-slot can be made to mount to docks, inside garages, or to the side of a cabin. Racks can also be made to stand freely, either stationary or mobile. Easily store paddles, life jackets, and helmets all within reach.
Another storage rack solution is for firewood outside. Because t-slot aluminum is durable and strong, it can take the wear and tear of having heavy loads of wood stacked on it. It can be made with an open bottom for ease of clean and circulating air while green wood dries for outdoor use. For indoors or on patios, add casters or a base to contain bark and dirt, especially if you need to roll it inside.
Gardening Carts, Planters, and Boxes
Gardening can be quite a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. With t-slot aluminum, garden carts, planters, and boxes are easy DIY projects to complete.
Garden carts can be designed to fit your tools and needs. It can be flat without sides if you carry bags of dirt or flats of plants, or it can have sides to contain supplies. Heavy-duty casters and expanded mesh can be used to make the cart rugged and capable of getting through dirt or grass.
For a modern, clean look, t-slot profiles can be used to create garden planter boxes. The main advantage of using t-slot for planters is that they can be made any size. Planters off the shelf will only come in so many sizes, with large planters costing a hundred dollars or more. With t-slot, radius and closed profiles will give your planter boxes a sleek finish that is easy to clean and capable of holding up to the elements.
Garden boxes are a convenient way to store plants safely outside while they are starting out. This small greenhouse can be made from twin wall polycarbonate panels to filter light in and help the plants grow while hardening off. A support bar can be added to help hold the lid while accessing and watering plants. Because aluminum is lightweight, the box is easy to move from season to season if needed.
Picnic Table and Benches
Most will agree that patio furniture almost always looks good, but it generally can’t stand up to the elements. Wood, wicker, metal, and plastic can be found in outdoor tables and chairs that, over time, and usually short one at that, will degrade, warp, or rust. Aluminum t-slot can be used to make outdoor furniture and tables that will stand up to the weather, come rain or shine.
No matter the project you choose, you will find that using t-slot aluminum is superior to other outdoor materials. As for cost, depending on the project, you may come out under budget. As for other projects, t-slot will be more expensive up front, but in the long term, it will be cheaper because you won’t have to worry about replacement.
For more outdoor project ideas and information on t-slot aluminum extrusions in general, check out our forum.