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Greg Stirling
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Platinum
Re: Aluminum vs Wood, Steel and Composites
Greg Stirling   7/9/2011 3:49:09 PM
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I have an aluminum and acrylic platform in the pool for my photography business.  So the client can look like they are standing on water.  The rails get Photoshopped out...

I am trying to upload a photo - only accepts html, can anyone help?

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Aluminum vs Wood, Steel and Composites
TJ McDermott   7/9/2011 4:19:33 AM
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My engineering diploma is framed in structural aluminum profiles, sandwiched between two sheets of polycarbonate:



 

I love the idea of an aluminum deck.  I am rebuilding one this month; I wish it were more widely available.

Greg Stirling
User Rank
Platinum
Aluminum vs Wood, Steel and Composites
Greg Stirling   7/9/2011 12:46:03 AM
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I can easily see how aluminum could be the material of choice in deck structures.

I have been using aluminum structural profiles in machine building since 1990.

They are generally light, corrosion resisitant, (if anodized properly) structurally efficient, cost effective, and they have a predictable yield strength and consistiency. They come in numerous shapes and sizes.  I have a cold saw with a 20 foot long table and stock the popular sizes of structural aluminum for machine building.

You wont find any wooden, decks, flowerboxes or other structures in my back yard.

Even the patio furniture is cast aluminum

The deck boards they are making out of recycled wood and plastic look good.

I'm waiting for non wood cost effective fencing..

This may be bad news for Thompsons Water Seal...

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Aluminum Vs. Wood & Composites
Rob Spiegel   7/8/2011 6:04:40 PM
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Good point, Doug. Those were good wood-based projects even if they did entail splinters and blood blisters.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New Decking Components
Rob Spiegel   7/8/2011 6:01:23 PM
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This whole Erector Set discussion got me looking online. It seems that Erector Sets have gone the way of Lego, with sets that are designed to build specific toys. When I was a kid, Erector Sets, like Lego, were raw materials. The design was entirely up to the kid. I never knew quite what I was building until I ran out of parts. By the way, some of the sets cost $80 now.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
A Very Big, Big Erector Set
Rob Spiegel   7/8/2011 5:52:00 PM
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Over the last few months, I've watched a metal structure -- a large multi-unit, six-story retirement home -- constructed in my neighborhood. All metal, from the girders to the shiny walls and pre-form metal stairways. I've been amazed at how much it's like an Erector Set. Huge portions come on large trucks, and 10-story cranes lift them into place. Snap, snap, and the pieces go together. Way more fun to watch than the usual frame stucco here in Albuquerque.

SoCalPE
User Rank
Gold
New Decking Components
SoCalPE   7/8/2011 2:40:36 PM
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Reading the comments about erector sets brings to mind very happy memories of the myriad of erector set components that I had strewn around the house and the many crazy mechanical contraptions I'd develop.  That was my indoctrination to Mechanical Engineering.  Now, as a homeowner that has finished a modest size deck/pergola project in my yard last summer, I wish I had known about this system.  I'm a big proponent of low-maintenance systems around the house.  The aluminum components would have been a blessing especially at the house connection and ground level locations!

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Aluminum Vs. Wood & Composites
Douglas Smock   7/8/2011 12:36:49 PM
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Actually Rob, I think the benefits of a father-son project outweigh the fun of making a large Erector Set-type of project on your own.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Aluminum Vs. Wood & Composites
Rob Spiegel   7/8/2011 12:09:53 PM
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I'm with you, Doug. I never cared much for hammer-and-bruised-thumb projects much as my dad tried to drag me in. I remember pounding wooden shingles on the house all summer long when I was a teenager. I loved my Erector Set.

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Aluminum Vs. Wood & Composites
Douglas Smock   7/8/2011 12:05:31 PM
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How about the thrill of building a deck with aluminum? No more smashed thumbs! It would be a like a full-scale Erector set. Very fun.

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