One thing that’s been on my mind for awhile is the Qubelok tubing which is only 1.2mm thick. We’re going to have some pretty decent stress loads on this frame with the drop down tailgate & the fold-over bed hinges, etc, which was always a bit of a concern for me.
On a visit to my local Aluminium supplier Aluminium Express, I noticed they also sold Qubelok connectors and something else there that caught my attention. They looked like extra long tube connectors and were more like nylon than plastic. I enquired about them and found that they are actually a different type of tube connector altogether and made by Flexliner!Flexliner’s tube connectors are longer and made for 25 x 25 x 1.6mm tubing which is a standard size, more readily available and cheaper than most Qubelok suppliers! They are made from a stiff (but flexible) nylon and are much more vibration & stress proof than Qubelok which can snap on corrugations, etc. They even have welded steel-core versions available for applications requiring a bit more compressive strength (click the photo to expand).
For me, this was an amazing & timely find that’ll provide that extra bit of security knowing the frame will be that little bit stronger being 1.6mm instead of 1.2mm.
As you would guess the connectors are a little bit more expensive. Qubelok connectors are around $2.50 each whereas these Flexliner ones are around $4~ each but I think it’s every bit worth it. Another big advantage is designing the frame in 25mm tube sections instead of 25.4mm!
Stay tuned for my tube frame designs coming soon…