Fabtrays Self Supporting Side Tray

Tue 21 November 17


Part One – First Look

In the world of custom built sidetrays and accessories, there is one company that have an amazing reputation for build quality and reliable service and the name of the company is Fabtrays, This small, family run business, have risen above the rest and continue to offer excellent products, made specifically to your requirements.

The midlands based company have recently released their latest addition to their very impressive range of products, in the shape of the Self Supporting Sidetray, read on as the UKMA team talk you through what this latest sidetray has to offer you the angler.

Fabtrays Self Supporting Sidetrays

Vital Statistics

Unlike the existing sidetrays in the Fabtrays range, the self supporting sidetray has been designed for anglers who require plenty of storage space, without the need for an additional supporting leg. This has been made possible by welding the box connection blocks to 25mm square aluminium box section. The top tray is them tack welded in place, creating a rock solid sidetray, which can comfortably support over 15kg with total confidence (PLEASE don’t try this unless you are sitting on your box as it WILL topple over).

Fabtrays Self Supporting Sidetrays

This sidetray has evolved over the past year, based on the request from anglers for a rock solid sidetray that doesn’t require a support leg. This comes in really handy when fishing from a platform in open water or when fishing from a small platform where there is simply not enough space for a supporting leg to be utilised.

Manufacturing process

For all of you new to Fabtrays, here is an in depth look at what goes into the making of a Fabtrays Sidetray;

1, 3000mm x 1250mm sheets of the raw material are loaded onto a large machine called a turret punch, this is controlled by cnc and a program is written that contains all the co ordinates of the shape of the flat tray. The machine grips the sheet and it moves it to the correct co ordinate and punches a slot/square, process repeated until the full sheet is finished.

2, Next we fold the trays using a cnc controlled brake press, this consists of a punch and die setup that folds the trays to the correct dimensions to very close tolerances (This is critical to the welding process).

3, Time to weld the corners, TIG or tungsten inert gas welding is a dark art in itself, the 2 processes above are both critical in allowing a correct fit up and weld to the corners without messing the inside face of the tray up. This is done using a miller aerowave TIG welding machine ( they don’t get much better than these)

4, Once the corners are welded its time to decide what box its going to fit and which jig to use. For ease of production I make stock of the leg clamp housings this alone requires another 4 processes including cutting on a specialised upstroking aluminium saw, Boring the holes to take the legs(Has to be done to tolerance again to allow everything to work),Punching a whole in an aluminium end plate and pulse TIG welding it to the leg clamp housing, this is repeated 3 times on a large tray. Next we place the clamp housing onto correct jig and weld together, The heat makes the tray soft but after 30 mins cooling it is back to normal properties.

5, Off to the painters, All metals require some sort of pre treatment prior to painting aluminium unfortunately requires a bit more than most due to a chemical etch process carried out with chemicals before being fully polyester powder coated in chosen colour, This involves spraying a coloured powder paint through an electrically charged spray gun that charges the paint particles and makes them cling to the trays, into a big oven to be baked for around 20 mins at 200 degrees.

6, Trays done and painted time to make the handwheels Material aluminium alloy 6082 T6 chosen for its corrosive resistance normally found in big heavy structures as its super strong. CNC lathe for this job again a program is written and sent to machine, machine cuts part with its m6 thread in the centre.

7, Leg clamps are a pull type system similar to rive without the plastic parts and work by pulling the leg and trapping it within the clamp housing rather than a screw type thread(We did try with threaded clamps early on but proved to risky with the odd failing thread)

8, Assembly and packing, We have a shiny tray new handwheels and all the clamps ready to assemble the tray, An m6 thread is stud locked into the leg clamp and a nylon washer placed over it, this is inserted into clamp housing another washer added then the handwheels can be attached, Plastic endcaps are fitted to close the clamp housings.

9, Fabtrays sticker added job done!

As you can clearly see from the above, there is a lot more to fabricating a sidetray than you’d imagine. All fabrication apart from the powder coating and the production of the hand wheels is done in house to insure perfect quality every time.

Self Supporting Sidetrays options

There are four size options to choose from in this range, these are;

STANDARD MEDIUM – 500mm x 400mm – £90.00
MEDIUM NARROW – 650mm X 350MM – £90.00
STANDARD LARGE – 600mm X 500mm – £115.00
LARGE NARROW – 800MM X 400MM – £130.00

Based on first impressions, the UKMA team simply can’t fault the build quality and finish of the Self Supporting Sidetrays. The option we’ve received for review was the Standard Large and this easy to carry around sidetray is exceptionally strong. Offering more than enough storage space, enabling you to fish comfortably, without the need to moving bait boxes and accessories out of the way, making your time spent fishing hassle free.

Foot Note – You can choose your favourite colour from red, white, royal blue, sky blue, mango orange or black for your sidetray, with hand wheels to match, plain aluminium or a different colour, the choice is totally down to you.

All the above mentioned Self Supporting Sidetrays are available in a range of diameters to fit your seatbox, these are 25mm, 30mm, 32mm and 36mm. We also offer a bespoke service for anglers with square legs, please contact Fabtrays for more information.


Visit the Website: http://www.fabtrays.com/index.html