Indispensable, but ALWAYS IN THE WAY

No matter how large or small my shop space is always an issue. So what
big in the way things do you have that you only use occasionally, but
when you need them they are invaluable. For me there are a few. Cherry
picker, welding table, engine stand, pallet jack... almost every farm
implement in the yard. There are probably more, but these are always in
the way. I don't want to set stuff out by the canal, and some of it I
don't even want to leave outside. No point in having a hydraulic
anything if the ram is rusted and cuts your seals when you need it, but
its always in the way. I used both the pallet jack and the cherry picker
to set the new air compressor in place, but now they are in the way
again. FRACK!
Reply to
Bob La Londe
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Yup! Either have the stuff to do things but no room to do it... or have the room to do stuff but nothing to do it with... It is a conundrum and I have a severe problem with the prior ;-)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
No matter how large or small my shop space is always an issue. So what big in the way things do you have that you only use occasionally, but when you need them they are invaluable. For me there are a few. Cherry picker, welding table, engine stand, pallet jack... almost every farm implement in the yard. There are probably more, but these are always in the way. I don't want to set stuff out by the canal, and some of it I don't even want to leave outside. No point in having a hydraulic anything if the ram is rusted and cuts your seals when you need it, but its always in the way. I used both the pallet jack and the cherry picker to set the new air compressor in place, but now they are in the way again. FRACK!
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My semi-adequate answer was to create covered outdoor storage with tarp-covered sides, originally for firewood and now for equipment as I use up the wood. The cherry picker (shop crane, engine hoist) and log splitter live together in the same space under the rug+tarp covered deck behind the house, the cherry picker partly disassembled and splitter suspended above it. LPS-3 protects their hydraulic rams from rust and contains the rust already on other parts. I put larger wheels on the cherry picker so it can roll on dirt and serve as a trailer behind my tractor. It's a Hoosier industrial model that doesn't fold.
The Northern and HF camo wall tarps typically last at least 5 years if they rub on something and 10 if they don't. They are attached with screws and fender washers at the top and clipped together along the sides, so they raise out of the way for full access. They are shaded by trees from summer sun and this area normally isn't windy but we do have occasional strong squalls and wind storms which they survive well.
My welding table is ~4' square by 1/4" thick (?), a shop-made one I traded for. I cut the legs and made them bolt on to reduce its storage thickness and added wheels on one edge to roll it around. It stores under the tarp on a wood shed. It's also the stand for my arbor press and HF manual tire changers.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Yup! Either have the stuff to do things but no room to do it... or have the room to do stuff but nothing to do it with... It is a conundrum and I have a severe problem with the prior ;-)
When I needed an 18" retaining wall at the end of a new section of driveway I framed and decked two feet behind it as a work platform, covered with outdoor carpeting that keeps hardware from falling between the planks. Although it's too low to be a workbench it raises snowblowers etc high enough to work on comfortably and is a good safe and clean place to put down tools. It lifts low tables to standing height for temporary work benches for jobs that can't or shouldn't be done indoors.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
You need a shed - something like a "pole barn" like we call "drive-in sheds" or "driving sheds" -closed on 3 sides and roof and the "good ones" get sliding "barn doors" in the 4th side.
Reply to
Clare Snyder
You need a shed - something like a "pole barn" like we call "drive-in sheds" or "driving sheds" -closed on 3 sides and roof and the "good ones" get sliding "barn doors" in the 4th side.
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After a large fallen branch bashed in the roof and sliding doors of my metal shed I rebuilt it by framing and stiffening the bent steel doors with 1x3s and secured it by hinging the entrance ramp to fold up in front of them, locked with chains from beyond the doors to an eye centered under the ramp. A hinge end extension under the ramp supports it when lowered.
The doors rest on a lip of the floor platform and an added roof reinforcement outside retains them from falling forward. The unattached doors are actually easier to open and close than when they were on tracks. I keep some sort of raised flat surface near doors so I can open and close them with both hands free. For that door it's a stack of cribbing timbers. Folding plastic patio tables take up less space but hold less weight.
Some of my firewood sheds are literally pole barns, framed with tree-trunk poles fitted together by chainsaw. The tops of roof beams were free-hand planed adequately straight and flat by using the bar width and tilt angle to guide the saw. Corrugated steel twists freely enough to accommodate remaining waviness.
In spring I extend some of the roofs with corrugated steel on 2x4 rafters to provide rain-sheltered work space for the log splitter and sawmill, and temporary covered storage. Except for the overhead gantry hoist they have no outer end columns blocking travel, so the panels won't survive a winter snow load, though the PT frame does. The roof panels are tied down instead of drilled and screwed and can be installed anywhere.
Since firewood can spread rot until it dries the shed floors and end walls are 40" x 48" pallets, solid ones on PT scrap for the floor and lower quality for the walls. The pallets support and minimize wind damage to the cover tarps. These sheds have held up well to heavy snow and strong winds for 10~20 years.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Leon Fisk on Sun, 13 Mar 2022 16:30:45 -0400 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
B-) "downsize!" I no longer have the room or the stuff to do things with. Oh well, I always was a sort of "old school" kind of guy.
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
The fire-in-the-belly is gone... but I still find some comfort in knowing I have the "stuff" to make and fix things ;-)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Leon Fisk on Mon, 14 Mar 2022 13:51:01 -0400 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
Yeah. I have the one tool bag "just in case".
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
I just a few minutes ago finished machining some bushings for the truck carb . Quadrajet primary throttle shaft was a bit loose . I'm doing a total rebuild of the motor , and it's just one detail after another . Fortunately I still have all my "stuff" - and still collectin' .
Reply to
Snag
I just a few minutes ago finished machining some bushings for the truck carb . Quadrajet primary throttle shaft was a bit loose . I'm doing a total rebuild of the motor , and it's just one detail after another . Fortunately I still have all my "stuff" - and still collectin' . -----------------
How do you figure the press fit and the shaft clearance?
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
A thou over on both , they don't need to be all that tight . I'm going to put the bushings on a mandrel and do a light knurl on them . Put a little loctite on before I press them home .
Reply to
Snag
A thou over on both , they don't need to be all that tight . I'm going to put the bushings on a mandrel and do a light knurl on them . Put a little loctite on before I press them home .
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Do you do anything special to ensure that both bores are aligned?
I fortunately found cheap used 0.499" and 0.501" reamers that I extended to guide them between two separated bushing locations. Without them I don't know how I could have aligned both pairs of holes, which were the frame and bucket pivots on my DIY front end loader.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
The plan is to bolt the carb base to an L block or possibly use my big vise , then use a piece of 5/16" drill rod chucked in a collet to align things . A couple of clamp dogs and Bob's yer Uncle .
Reply to
Snag
R2 R2 R2 !
I have decided to make another set of bushings . The ones you buy are .344" OD , which is fine . The ones I made first are .348" because that matches a drill bit that I have . But I think I want to go to .375" and use an end mill to cut the pocket for the new bushing . Shorter , more rigid , and most importantly more accurate hole size . Or I could pop for the special reamer that costs 40 bucks and I'll probably only use once ... No , I got all these tools might as well use 'em .
Reply to
Snag
Tangent alert!!!!!
I picked up a D-bit grinder a while back. I throw away empty end mill tubes, because the end mills go in a tool holder where they live out their life. When they come out of a tool holder they go in a little kitchen pot I have in the shop.
The pot is full of just scrap carbide. I though I might sell it some day. Now I make things out of worn out and broken end mills.
I've used the D-bit grinder to make a fair number of things, but recently I started making real tools with the D-Bit (Tool & Cutter) grinder. 10 degree dovetail cutter for making an insert blade holder. 7 degree taper mill for making insert lathe tooling, etc, etc.
I'm starting to get a small collection of these shop made carbide cutters in the cart for my manual knee mill. So far I can still remember the specs on most of them, but I know it won't be all that long before I pick up one of those shop made tools and have no clue what the specs are much less what I made it for. Ever try to label carbide? LOL.
Now I'm really wishing I hadn't thrown all those end mill tubes away. They hold labels or even just marker ink pretty well.
How I got there from here. Carbide D-bits make fair reamers if you can get the cutting diameter right. Once you get that figured out you can make any size you want. Maybe someday I'll be that good.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Rabbit hole alert!!! :-)
I've never done this with tungsten carbide, but have you ever heard of labeling by electroetching? Basically you take something you want to label and attach the positive lead from a low voltage DC power supply. Stick on a stencil, then rub over the stencil with a negative electrode covered with a piece of cotton swab or felt and dripping with electrolyte solution. With the correct electrolyte chemistry and voltage you lightly etch the surface in seconds. Remove stencil and wash off the electrolyte. If the contrast is good enough, you are done. If not, the etched surface is rougher than the original surface and will hold ink from a Sharpie.
I did some Googling and found a couple of hits worth a quick look. First is a company that sells systems and electrolytes:
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They include an electrolyte for "carbides" but don't say which ones and of course give no ingredients for any of their stuff. They do have some good, brief how-to info and videos. Second is a how-to video using salt and vinegar as the electrolyte, a 12V car jump start battery, and q-tips to hold the electrolyte with stick-on stencils, marking sizes on chrome-plated steel sockets:
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Years ago I played with marking mild steel and stainless with basically this setup. It worked but I wanted some pretty small letters and I'm much better at "functional" than "pretty" so I gave up working with stencils pretty quickly :-).
I'd try following the setup in the second video on a piece of scrap carbide, not bothering with a stencil. Just wet the q-tip and hold it on the surface in one place and see if you get any reaction. If that doesn't work try a concentrated solution of baking soda and table salt, but I think that is less likely to work. Maybe try some Oxyclean and table salt dissolved in 3% hydrogen peroxide, with and without some baking soda. Not sure what else around the house might work as an electrolyte.
Of course, if you had one of those 50-ish watt CO2 laser cutters you should be able to laser mark it :-). Anyway, good luck.
Reply to
Carl
Tungsten carbide is some pretty hard stuff. I may try to some electrochemical etching just to see if it will work, but I think going forward I'm just going to start a "pot" for empty mill tubes.
Tangent to the rabbit hole in the tangent.
Mustard. I had a local knife maker tell me he hires out laser engraving for his products now, but in the past he would use stencils and mustard to mark high carbon steels. I never asked how it worked on the shinier alloys like 15N20 or 440C, but it sounded like an option for occasional marking.
Reply to
Bob La Londe

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