Is Abstracta tubing available in Aluminum

Yes, but we only stock aluminum in one size and finish. The length is the same as our standard #395 steel tube, which is 15.08” / 383mm. the finish is anodized satin black. They can be easily cut down, for legs for example, with an inexpensive tube cutter. The aluminum tubes work best with our Cubitz® polymer connectors but will work with the metal connectors. Other lengths of aluminum tubes can be custom ordered, with a three week lead time.

What are the differences between the Original Metal Connectors and the new Cubitz® Polymer Connectors?

Abstracta’s original connectors are best used in semi-permanent to permanent displays, and furniture. The metal connectors will hold tubes rigidly in place, whether horizontally, vertically, or at the corners. They can be disassembled and reassembled using the Abstracta Tools, but not as easily as the Cubitz Connectors. They are inventoried in the four stock Abstracta finishes. Cubtiz is only available in Matte Black.

Cubitz Connectors are designed especially for use where the displays/shelving may be put together and taken down often, such as trade shows and arts and crafts fairs. The difference is that the connectors are a new polymer composite versus the all-metal, zinc connectors of the original system They are only available in Matte Black color, although they look good with the other Abstracta tube colors. They are not available in the following connector types: 2F, 3P & 4P. If you require any of those styles with your Cubitz unit, you would need to order those particular pieces in the Original Metal Connectors.

How much weight can each Abstracta shelf hold?

A tempered glass shelf will hold 35 – 40 pounds. Weight will also vary based on alternative shelf materials and the thickness of the material. Our recommendation is no more than 35 pounds per shelf.

What is the lead time on Abstracta parts and units?

All parts and units have a 5-7 business day lead time once your order is placed.

How much weight can adjustable shelves hold?

Each adjustable shelf can hold up to 20 pounds including the shelf itself.

Are the shelf sizes the same as the tube sizes?

No, the shelves set on shelf clips are recessed within the tubes; therefore they have to be .15’ smaller than the tube. (Shelf / panel dimensions are listed on both the price list and in the catalog for convenience).

What other shelves can be used?

Glass is the most common shelf material that we offer and all stock shelving units are available with tempered glass shelves. However, all units are available without the shelves if customers would like to provide their own or purchase other options through Consort. Other recommended options are acrylic, polycarbonate, wood, PVC foam core (Sintra/ Komatex) and mirrored glass.

What is the difference between polycarbonate and acrylic for shelving?

Polycarbonate and acrylic are excellent options, and both are about half the weight of glass, but polycarbonate is much more scratch and impact resistant. Polycarbonate also costs about 35 -50% more than acrylic. Acrylic edges can be flamed and smoothed unlike polycarbonate. Both should be cleaned with microfiber cloths or 100% cotton cloths and either a mild soap and water or plastic cleaner. DO NOT USE AMMONIA or GLASS CLEANERS.

Why are the lengths not whole numbers (AKA what’s up with the weird decimals and fractions?)

Abstracta is originally a Danish creation, using the metric system. Although we have converted the dimensions from millimeters to inches, the lengths are still the same. One great advantage to this is you can purchase a tube or connector today and it will work with an Abstracta part purchased 30 years ago.

What is the difference between Bright Chrome and Gloss Silver?

The Bright Chrome is a plated surface with a mirror finish and is shiny and reflective. The Gloss Silver is a semi-metallic, gloss finish powder coat but is not as shiny or reflective as chrome plate.

What is the benefit of having “legs” on a unit versus having the horizontal tubes set on the floor or ground?

• Allows for a bottom shelf
• Keep the horizontal tubes and any vertical panels from touching the ground / floor
• Add additional overall height without increasing length to an individual tube
• Often provides a more “finished” look.
• Easier to clean/ vacuum underneath

What is the advantage of NOT having legs?

• A flat base may be better on soft ground as legs can sink into the ground.
• Also in outdoor applications, a flat bottom allows the unit to be ‘weighted’ in higher wind locations
• Tubes less than 10” are not recommended to be removed, legs are typically 4.69” tubes and very difficult to take apart.

Do I really need the tools?

Yes. Tools make it possible to put units together and take them apart in the easiest way possible. Not using the appropriate tools also voids all warranties.
• The Nylon Mallet is a hard plastic hammer. Rawhide mallets will also work as well as non-Danair mallets. Rubber mallets can be too soft and metal hammers will break the connectors.
• The Disconnect Tool is similar to a slide hammer and exclusive to Abstracta. It creates an even distribution of pressure on connection when removing it from a tube. Using the mallet to disassemble increases the risk of breaking connectors and voids warranty.
• The Extractor Rod is a 36” steel rod that slides into an open ended tube to help push out a connector.

Can Abstracta cube-type units have lockable panels?

Abstracta is designed to be a modular system and to be taken apart. Although it is possible to “hinder” someone from getting into your display, it is not considered lockable by insurance standards. Vertical panels can be attached with panel clips (728A, 728B and 726) with vertically placed 625 clips or with 738 hang clips.

How do I clean the Abstracta frame?

We recommend wiping Abstracta down with a soft cloth and mild soap and water. Do not use products containing vinegar or bleach. A basic glass cleaner works well on the Bright Chrome. Do not submerge Abstracta in water however. The tubes and accessories are steel and can rust if moisture builds up within the tubing or on the accessories.

Because of its versatility and portability, Abstracta is often used for jewelry and other displays at outside art shows. Make sure to clean the bottom and wipe down excess moisture before storing. For shows near the coast, make sure to clean off any residue spray from the ocean as the salt water can accelerate oxidation.

Modifying Abstracta?

How can I change my design and do I need additional parts?

The Abstracta system is made so it can be modified. However, the type of modifications depends on the parts available, particularly connectors. Units can be down-sized by removing sections or rearranging existing parts. But, in order to expand your Abstracta display, additional parts would be needed and can be purchased through our online store. For units for which frequent change is desired or required, we recommend that you look at our new Cubitz® polymer connectors which are especially made for frequent disassembly. Note; Cubitz Connectors are only available in Matte Black, but they go well with all stock tube colors (in our opinion).

What about Abstracta accessories?

What accessories come with stock units?

All designs that include shelf configurations have the 620 shelf clips included in the pricing whether you purchase the unit with or without glass or any other shelving material.

What is the difference between the shelf clips?

The 620 and the 625 are both asymmetrical brackets which allow you to place shelves continuously (side by side or front to back). Both can also be used for vertical panels as well. The difference between the two is the area on which the shelf sets. The 620 clip is smaller and sleeker and is included with all stock units and is curved while the 625 is a straight edge. The 625 accommodates higher amounts of weight and recommended for wall mount applications.

The 626 is a symmetrical bracket perfect for pedestals and towers but cannot be used for continuous shelving.

Are vinyl bumpers needed?

Bumpers are strongly recommended when using glass shelves as they allow for a secure and protective fit for shelving. Bumpers are included with all stock designs.

Can cubes be stacked on top of each other with the 730 S-Clips?

Yes, but this is not recommended as, depending on cube size, they may not be secure enough and could possibly be “pushed” apart. Use these at your own discretion. Towers with shared tubes and appropriate connectors are suggested for building vertically. However, S-clips are the perfect solution for attaching two units horizontally.

How do panel clips work?

The panel clips are available in two sizes 728A (which accommodates up to ¼”) and the 728B (which accommodates up to an 1/8”). They do look different as the 728B has a crimp or bump in the lower two prongs. Panels (such as glass, acrylic and wood) can be slid within the prongs and then attached to the display. When using materials such as foam core, you can opt to put the single front prong into the foam edge so that the prongs do not show.

Is there a panel clip to use as a middle support on long pieces of horizontal shelving?

The 613 clip is a multi use support clip that often is used for additional support. It is most recommended being attached from the bottom of a tube with a screw (not included) going into a shelf. It can be attached from the top of a tube for a shelf to rest upon however the flat portion extends only ½” under the substrate which does not offer much assistance if there is more substantial weight.

Can I enclose all six (6) sides of a display?

Yes. Traditionally the horizontal shelves are placed on shelf clips (620, 625 or 626). The vertical panels can be attached with panel clips (728A/728B/726) or with hang clips (738) and screws, Velcro adhesive tabs or epoxy (not included). Another option is to use the asymmetrical brackets for all sides and shelves. When doing this you cannot use the 626 clip. You must use a combination of 620 and 625 clips on the lower half of the cube as using only one style will be forced to want to overlap, which will not work.

Do I need locking springs and how do they work?

Locking springs are not included with units and are not required for assembly. They are for permanent displays or very loose connections and may be purchased separately. Locking springs look similar to staples. To use the locking spring, place it into the grooves on the end of the connector. Align tube over the head and hold tube firmly against spring. Hammer tube onto the connector using the nylon mallet. See “Abstracta Table Assemble” in “LEARN” for a demonstration.
Locking springs are not applicable for the new Cubitz® polymer connectors.

Do you sell lighting?

We do not sell lighting for Abstracta. However, we have several accessories on this site under “PRODUCTS/Accessories” that you can epoxy or bolt to a small fixture. The 730 S-Clip, the 738 Hang Clip and the 613 Clip are the most popular for this application. Also, visit www.brightmandesign.com for lighting ideas. Also, there are many new LED-type lighting options available on various websites.

What about warranty?

What is Abstracta’s warranty?

Abstracta products are warranted against failure due to defects in materials or workmanship effective from the date of invoice for the durations specified below. Connectors, tubes and accessories are warranted for one (1) year. Not using our recommended tools voids all warranties. Shelving is not warranted against scratches or breakage after the product has been received.

Delivered product must be inspected IMMEDIATELY upon receipt. Failure to notify Consort of ANY quality or quantity within three (3) business days of receipt of constitutes a waiver of any dispute.

Warranty protection is voided when product is used, installed or disassembled in any manner contrary to Abstracta specifications and/or instructions or when product is altered or modified in any way. Defective product covered by warranty may need to be returned to Abstracta, at owner’s expense, for inspection and warranty certification.

A Return Merchandise Authorization number must be obtained from Customer Service prior to returning any product or warranty will be voided. All returned merchandise is subject to a restock fee. Defective product will be repaired or replaced, at Abstracta’s discretion, and returned to the customer via standard ground transportation, at Abstracta’s expense.

If you are unable to find an answer to your frequently asked questions in the list below, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly  through our chat available on this website.

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