Cubes and Brackets for 25 mm Rails


  • Build Right-Angled Structures and Enclosures
  • Construction Cubes Create Rigid Corners and Joints
  • Brackets Provide Reinforcement and Breadboard Compatibility
  • Gusset Plates for Elbows and T-Junctions

XE25GP2

Gusset Plate

XE25A90

Right-Angle Bracket

RM1G

Counterbored on
Three Sides

Application Idea

Three Rails at 90° Locked Using
XE25W3 Cube

RM1S

Slotted to Accept Hardboard

Related Items


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Features

  • High-Strength Plastic or Aluminum Cubes Form Rigid Connections Between 25 mm Rails
  • Right-Angle Brackets Reinforce Corners and Fasten Rails to Breadboards and Optical Tables
  • Gusset Plates Reinforce Elbows and Three-Way Junctions

Thorlabs' XE25 series cubes, brackets, and gusset plates are designed to allow our 25 mm rails to be used in two or three dimensional right-angle constructions.

Construction Cubes
Our construction cubes create rigid corners in 25 mm rail assemblies, holding up to three XE25 rails at right angles. The RM1G and RM1S Counterbored Construction Cubes are manufactured from anodized aluminum, while the XE25W3 Quick Corner Cube is fabricated from high-strength plastic. The aluminum RM1S cube is slotted to accept posterboard and hardboard walls for the construction of light-tight optical enclosures.

Right-Angle Brackets
The AB90H and XE25A90 Right-Angle Brackets can be used to fasten 25 mm rails at 90° or a single 25 mm rail at 90° to a breadboard.

Gusset Plates
Our gusset plates mount 25 mm rails at 90° with other 25 mm, 50 mm, or 75 mm rails in elbow or tee configurations without blocking the rail channels along the inner surfaces of the junction.

Thorlabs' accessories for assemblies made of 25 mm rails include corner cubes and brackets, T-Nuts, low-profile channel screws, breadboard mounting accessories, rail joiners, and a channel insert. In addition, we offer optical enclosures, enclosure accessories, laser safety fabric panels, and do-it-yourself tools like taps, tap guides, and drill guides for home-built XE25-based constructions.

Finished Three-Way Corner
Click to Enlarge
Home-Built 90° Corner

XE25 Construction Techniques

Thorlabs' XE25 rails and components are the building blocks for many types of modular systems, including custom enclosures. For the most demanding applications, Thorlabs recommends the "direct connection" technique for forming right angles with rails, detailed here. All the construction parts shown in this tutorial are available on our XE25 Construction Tools page.


Step 1: Drill Side Holes

A Ø4.6 mm hole in the end of one rail, as shown in the picture to the right, is needed to provide access for a 1/8" (4 mm) balldriver.

For this step, you will need the T119873 Ø4.6 mm Drill Bit, the XE25DG Drill Guide, a hand drill or drill press, and a vise such as the TMV2.

The XE25DG drill guide is secured to the rail using the locking screw on top. A guide hole for the drill bit will be located 12.5 mm from the end of the rail. Now a hole can be drilled into the rail as shown in the figure to the left.

If your application requires a "three-way corner," such as that shown at the top of the page, you will have to drill a second hole in the rail at a 90° angle relative to the first hole.


Step 2: Tap the Center Hole, If Necessary

All stock and custom-length anodized XE25 rails have a 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped hole in the end of the rail. If you have cut a standard XE25 rail, or are using the XE25RL2 Raw Extrusion, you will need to tap a hole into the end of the rail.

For this step, you will need the 71598 1/4"-20 Tap (or the 71498 M6 Tap), the XE25TG Tap Guide, and the TW25 Hand Tap Wrench.

Fix the tap inside the tap wrench. Place the tap guide block over the end of the rail. The hole in the top of the guide will keep the tap square with the hole and minimize the chance of misthreading. Turn the tap to thread the hole.


Step 3: Attach Low-Profile Channel Screw

For this step, you will need a SH25LP38 1/4"-20-threaded (SH6M10LP M6-threaded) Low-Profile Channel Screw and a 1/8" (4 mm) balldriver.

Insert the screw into the threaded hole in the end of the rail, and tighten down partway with the balldriver. If you are making a three-way connection, you will need to thread another channel screw into the end of a second rail.


Step 4: Join the Rails

Slide the head of the channel screw into the channel of the rail with the drilled holes, so that the hex head lines up with the hole. Insert the balldriver into the hole, and tighten the channel screw. If making a three-way connection, repeat this process with the third rail, as shown in the figure to the right.

For increased stability, the corners may be reinforced with the XE25A90 Right-Angle Bracket.


Posted Comments:
Iain Robinson  (posted 2020-08-11 15:14:03.167)
Could you have a look at the drawing of RM1G? It shows that the cube is a 25 mm square. I believe this should be 25.4 mm.
nbayconich  (posted 2020-08-18 04:16:21.0)
Thank you for your feedback. We will update the drawings accordingly.
bdada  (posted 2012-02-24 09:48:00.0)
Response from Buki at Thorlabs: We would like to contact you to verify the components you have received and send you replacements if necessary. Please email us at techsupport@thorlabs.com so we can assist you further.
tcohen  (posted 2012-02-22 10:00:00.0)
Response from Tim at Thorlabs: Thank you for your feedback. The 1/4”-20 stainless steel socket head cap screw packaged with the XE25LS is 1.25”. We don’t have your email to contact you, but if you feel that the wrong SHCS was packaged with your XE25LS please contact us at techsupport@thorlabs.com and we would be more than happy to provide you with the correct screw.
user  (posted 2012-02-21 19:02:52.0)
The SHCS that comes with the XE25LS is 1", which is the same as the RM1G Corner Cube which is needs to span, hence the screw can't engage the threads.

Counterbored Construction Cubes for 25 mm Rails

Low-Profile Channel Screw
Click to Enlarge

Low-Profile Screw in RM1G Construction Cube
Standard Cap Screw
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Standard Cap Screw in RM1G Construction Cube
RM1G Corner
Click to Enlarge
Three-Way 25 mm Rail Junction Using an RM1G Construction Cube
RM1S Corner
Click to Enlarge
RM1S Slotted Cube Securing a Hardboard Enclosure Wall
  • RM1G: Counterbored on Three Sides
  • RM1S: Counterbored on Three Sides and Slotted to Accommodate Panels
  • One-Piece Aluminum Construction for Excellent Rigidity
  • Parallel and Perpendicular to Within 0.002" (0.05 mm)

These Construction Cubes contain three 1/4" (M6) counterbores on adjacent faces. They can be connected to up to three rails by tightening our low-profile channel screws (sold separately) through the counterbores, as shown in the first two images to the right. The third and fourth images illustrate how a low-profile screw's shortened cap height prevents neighboring screws from interfering with each other. In addition, the RM1S cube has slotted corners to accept posterboard and hardboard walls for the construction of light-tight optical enclosures. Since both these cubes are machined from a single block of aluminum, they are ideal for constructions that need to be as sturdy as possible.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
RM1G Support Documentation
RM1G1" Construction Cube, Three 1/4" (M6) Counterbored Holes
$18.61
Lead Time
RM1S Support Documentation
RM1S1" Construction Cube with Slotted Corners, Three 1/4" (M6) Counterbored Holes
$20.99
Today

Quick Corner Cube for 25 mm Rails

Attachment of an XE25W3 Quick Corner Cube to a 25 mm Rail
XE25W3 Corner
Click to Enlarge
Three-Way 25 mm Rail Junction Using an XE25W3 Quick Corner Cube
  • Holds up to Three Rails at Right Angles
  • Made from High-Strength Reinforced Plastic
  • For Use with Low-Profile Channel Screws

The prongs on the faces of an XE25W3 Quick Corner Cube are positioned to fit into the four alignment holes on the end of a 25 mm rail. Because the prongs and the alignment holes form a tight fit, it may be difficult to insert the corner cube by hand. We therefore recommend using our low-profile channel screws (sold separately) to fasten the corner cube to the rail, as shown in the image and the animation to the right.

Although these corner cubes provide excellent results when building enclosures, they are not recommended in cases where rails are being used to support optomechanics. In these situations, please use the RM1G Construction Cube shown above, or consider the techniques shown in the Construction Methods tab.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
XE25W3 Support Documentation
XE25W3Quick Corner Cube for 25 mm Rails
$5.34
Today

Right-Angle Brackets for 25 mm Rails

XE25A90 Reinforced Corner
Click to Enlarge

Reinforced Corner
XE25A90 as Breadboard Mount
Click to Enlarge

Enclosure Bolted to Optical Table
  • Brace 25 mm Rail Corners or Mount Rails Vertically
  • One-Piece Aluminum Construction for Excellent Rigidity
  • For Use with 1/4"-20 (M6) Cap Screws

The AB90H and XE25A90 Right-Angle Brackets can be used to fasten 25 mm rails to each other using a T-Nut (sold separately) or to an optical table. Both intended for use with 1/4"-20 (M6) cap screws and washers, the AB90H has a total of two 1/4" wide slots of lengths of 1" (25.4 mm) and 0.5" (12.7 mm), allowing for additional flexibility in positioning the rails on a breadboard, while the XE25A90 has two counterbored holes.

These brackets are ideal for fastening our optical enclosures to an optical table or breadboard.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
AB90H Support Documentation
AB90HCustomer Inspired! Slim Right-Angle Bracket with Counterbored Slots
$27.85
Today
XE25A90 Support Documentation
XE25A90Right-Angle Bracket for 25 mm Rails
$29.22
Today

Elbow Gusset Plates for 25 mm Rails

Gusset Plate for Construction Rails
Click to Enlarge

XE25GP Gusset Plate Connecting Two 25 mm Rails
Item # Rail 1 Rail 2 Recommended
# of Nut &
Screw Setsa
XE25GP 25 mm 25 mm 3
XE50GP2 50 mm 5
XE75GP2 75 mm 7
  • Connect Two Rails at a 90° Elbow
  • 1/8" (3.2 mm) Thick Anodized Aluminum
  • For Use with Low-Profile 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) Channel Screws and T-Nuts (Sold Separately; See Table to the Right for Details)

These gusset plates are used to create strong 90° elbows using our 25 mm, 50 mm, and 75 mm construction rails. They provide reinforcement similar to the right-angle brackets sold above but do not block the inner channels of the elbow joint, instead leaving them open for hardboard or plexiglass panels. Each gusset plate features mounting holes designed for use with low-profile 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) channel screws (10 mm max length) and matched T-nuts (both sold separately). When attaching rails of different sizes, we recommend mounting the smaller rail using multiple holes along the base of the gusset plate to provide additional rigidity, if possible.

To assemble, insert the screws into the gusset plate and loosely thread them into nuts on the back. Then slide the nuts into the rail channels and align the rail ends. With the rails aligned, tighten the channel screws.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
XE25GP Support Documentation
XE25GPElbow Gusset Plate for XE25 to XE25 Rail
$13.00
Today
XE50GP2 Support Documentation
XE50GP2Elbow Gusset Plate for XE25 to XE50 Rail
$17.00
Today
XE75GP2 Support Documentation
XE75GP2Elbow Gusset Plate for XE25 to XE75 Rail
$18.50
Today

Tee Gusset Plates for 25 mm Rails

Gusset Plate for Construction Rails
Click to Enlarge

XE50GP4 Gusset Plate Connecting a 25 mm Rail to a 50 mm Rail
Item # End
Rail(s)
Center
Rail
Recommended
# of Nut &
Screw Setsa
XE25GP2 25 mm 25 mm 4
XE50GP4 50 mm 6
XE75GP5 75 mm 8
  • Connect Two or Three Rails in a Three-Way Junction
  • 1/8" (3.2 mm) Thick Anodized Aluminum
  • For Use with Low-Profile 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) Channel Screws and T-Nuts (Sold Separately; See Table to the Right for Details)

These gusset plates are used to create strong three-way junctions using our 25 mm, 50 mm, or 75 mm construction rails. They provide reinforcement similar to the elbow gusset plates sold above but with additional mounting holes to form a tee. Each gusset plate features mounting holes designed for use with low-profile 1/4"-20 (M6 x 1.0) channel screws (10 mm max length) and matched T-nuts (both sold separately). When attaching rails of different sizes, we recommend mounting the smaller rail using multiple holes along the base of the gusset plate to provide additional rigidity, if possible.

To assemble, insert the screws into the gusset plate and loosely thread them into nuts on the back. Then slide the nuts into the rail channels and align the rail ends. With the rails aligned, tighten the channel screws.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
XE25GP2 Support Documentation
XE25GP2Tee Gusset Plate for XE25 to XE25 Rail
$16.50
Lead Time
XE50GP4 Support Documentation
XE50GP4Tee Gusset Plate for XE25 to XE50 Rail
$18.00
Today
XE75GP5 Support Documentation
XE75GP5Tee Gusset Plate for XE25 to XE75 Rail
$19.50
Today
Last Edited: Dec 16, 2013 Author: Dan Daranciang