Aluminum Tubing For Home Bar Shelf Rail? via /r/DIY

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Aluminum Tubing For Home Bar Shelf Rail?

I call them "shelf rails" but over the course of this project I've learned that sometimes they're called "gallery rails", "galley rails", "shoe fences", "fiddle rails", "bar rails", etc… Tiny metal pieces installed at the edges of a shelf to keep items from falling off. In my case, they'll be keeping lots of whisky from an untimely, earthquake-induced demise in our home bar.

This is the shelving: https://imgur.com/dFK8d2J

And this is an inexpensive design which I aim to replicate. It uses concealed command hooks and 1/4" metal rods: https://imgur.com/nOsiJ8P https://imgur.com/WHAyAcw https://imgur.com/aGOMdH1

The shelf pictured here is more narrow, so it can get away with using solid metal without much sagging. However, that sag becomes a problem at larger widths. This leads me to think that a lighter metal would be better, and that a hollow piece would be an easy way to shed some of that weight. So I’ve got my eye on some 1/4” aluminum tubing.

But I have never worked with aluminum tubing, so before I blindly buy from a metal supply shop, my question is this: Am I making bad assumptions about the properties of this material? Would y'all expect 1/4" aluminum tubing to be able to span that width (56.5") without a dramatic decrease in tensile strength?

I’m open to other ideas, but removable rails are a must. Some of the shelves are quite tightly stacked, so a removable rail would ease the passage of scotch into my glass. Thanks in advance, aluminum enthusiasts!

Submitted May 28, 2021 at 12:49PM by fb0mb3r
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