DGHPTS, I don't want to hijack your thread, but I do want to encourage you to look at the Turtlelady Bamboo stand thread. Bamboo is a misleading element in that thread name. Your third paragraph made me turn as green as the aluminum you envision. Your vision is different than those of us building low tech TL portable tripod stands but I will follow your thread with great interest. Boldly, and humbly, I write to invite you to ponder what your talents and production resources might bring to our discussion thread when you have some spare time. Oh, I think there is a loads chart in that thread that might help you. I am a struggling non-techy posting from a phone so I apologize for not providing hot links. Please post detailed photos of your production process! I love field trips!