- Feb 8, 2014
I needed a bit more room than I had on my houseboat for my shop equipment. I only had a 12x14 room to work in, it was a bit crowded and I wanted more toys, and I couldn't work on anything that I couldn't carry in.
Once I decided to move off of the water, it took about 1 ½ years to find a place at my price. I purchased this place in 2007.
30 x 40 feet
I have noted the prices that I paid for my equipment in here to illustrate that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to equip your shop. Just be patient, look for deals, and be prepared to put in some sweat. This setup has been about 40 years in the making, it didn't happen over night.
Of course, you can never have too many tools. Every new project requires a new tool, even if that tool has nothing to do with the project.
The Yale forklift was my first new equipment purchase for the new shop. 5000 lb capacity, 14ft lift, side shift
I bought it for $500, and put another $500 into it in repairs. One of the best tool investments I have ever made. Thank you Craigslist.
It is a great adjustable height workbench. This is a 1972, the last year they still made them in the USA.
The control panel on the forks is part of a CNC router upgrade I did for a friend
My Lull Highlander, free was a very good price. I put about $1000 and a month of work into it to get it operational.
It was pretty much a basket case. 8500 lb capacity, 40ft lift, 4-wheel drive, and 4-wheel steering. It will lift about 2500 lbs at full reach, but it gets pretty light in the back end at that weight.
Tucker, the shop guard dog hard at work
A couple of my first projects in the new shop
Security Door, this slows ‘em down long enough that I can get a shot off.
Vice Stand, the vise is from HF, I finally broke it.
OK, now for the good stuff. A lot of the equipment below was on my houseboat.
All of the equipment that doesn't need to be anchored is on wheels, that adds a lot of virtual floor space.
Jet 13x40 lathe, Exacto Mill, w/Accurite DRO, I sold this mill about 2 years ago when I bought my Eagle CNC mill
This picture was taken right after I moved in, when I still had room to move around in the shop. Nature abhors a vacuum; any empty space will fill up with something.
I bought these about 20 years ago, and yes these were on my houseboat. My neighbor had a 12,000 lb hydro-crane on a self-propelled barge, so moving heavy stuff in and out was not too hard.
Tooling storage in the cabinet. A re-purposed VHS tape cabinet on top, and a old kitchen cabinet on the bottom.
The rubber mats on the floor are horse stall mats from the local feed store, $35 each. A lot cheaper and heavier duty than industrial mats.
The ‘new’ Eagle 2-axis CNC mill, pre controls upgrade. I had always intended to add the z-axis and upgrade the controls and the poor old Anilam controller finally died a couple of months ago, right in the middle of a job. I had to bite the bullet and do the controls upgrade right then. Still working on the Z-axis.
Click Here to see the controls upgrade progress.
I bought this for $1000, it was surplus equipment from a large local manufacturer and knowing the right guy helped in this case.
It is in pretty good shape, was only used in the prototype shop, the Anilam Crusader M controller needed some love to get it going, but I’m a controls engineer so no problem.
The spindle is going out for rebuild this week, and getting the 5 bearing upgrade. I am going to tighten the ball screw nuts while the spindle is being worked on. Has a couple of thou backlash in the Y-axis.
Those are a matched pair of Kurt vices that I picked up for $125 for the pair. Both had frozen screws, but a couple of hours, a lot of PB Blaster and an impact wrench fixed them right up. Tore them completely down, sand blasted and painted them. They work just like a Kurt should now. Another Craigslist find.
Keying a long shaft.
The HF carbide tool grinder (hiding behind the mill) is made difficult to get to on purpose; I don’t want it used for general grinding and if it was setting out on the main floor somebody would screw it up. Pretty much a POS, I had to build new arbor mounts for the stones because the originals were so far out I couldn't fix them. I should have bought a Baldor, on the other hand, my time is pretty cheap when I’m working for myself.
We built the mezzanine to store the motorcycles above the machine shop, pallet racking is wonderful stuff. I built a motorcycle lift that goes on the forks to get them up there, and it also works great for working on the bikes.
Wells Band Saw, not sure when this was made, in the 50’s I think. It will cut about 9.5 x17. Really good condition and all complete, even came with the original wenches. This replaced my little Jet 4x6 that I bought about 20 years ago.
I picked this up in a 3-way trade, I think my final cost was about $25
I added castors, and a hydraulic cylinder for cut control. Have been looking for about 20 feet of 12 inch wide roll case for the infeed and outfeed, haven’t found it at my price yet.
The original legs sit about ½ inch off the floor
My latest toy, a Harvel 6x18 surface grinder, with mag chuck. $1200 delivered, not a super deal, but a good value. In remarkably good shape for it’s age and has been well maintained. I am going to convert this to 3-axis CNC
It was under power when I looked at it so I was able to check it out a bit. The ways are in good shape and all of the axis are very smooth and the spindle bearings are very quiet. I just got this a few days ago and I haven’t had a chance to check the accuracy yet. It is still on the pallet, I haven’t figured out exactly where to put it yet, I need to rearrange again. My son also does auto repairs out of the shop, so space is at a premium.
I just got the VFD to run it a couple of days ago. I only have single phase available, so I use Automation Direct GS-2 VFDs to run all of my 3-phase equipment.
HF 20-Ton Press, the orange thing in the background, far right. Added the HF air powered jack to it. A bit light for a 20-ton press, but I haven’t broken it yet. We needed a press in a hurry one day, or I would have built something better. Harbor Freight is about 10 miles from my shop.
Miller Syncrowave 250
Lincoln 135 MIG
Chinese Plasma Cutter It was given to me, I would not have bought it. Cuts ¼ inch OK. It’s a little better than the Harbor Freight junk.
A portable 4’x8’, 3-axis, Chinese CNC plasma cutter thing (not shown), also given to me. I tossed out the original computer and converted this to be able to run on Mach3 software. You could hang a router on the arm and maybe do some light routing with it. I may build a permanent table for it and get it set up properly to see if it’s worth keeping. If not somebody will buy it, and I’ll build a real one.
Other support equipment
Chinese 14” wood bandsaw, converted for metal cutting. I picked it up for $25 at an auction.
I had a ¾ hp, 2 speed motor and a 30:1 gearbox kicking around so I stuffed all that in and now have a speed range of about 50 to 400 FPM
I built new roller guides and did some other repairs, works good now.
HF 12 inch disk sander. Works good, I had to replace the power switch but other than that it seems to be ok.
I replaced the aluminum table with a cast iron table I made out of an old drill press table. Aluminum tables are sticky, your work glides nicely on cast iron.
That is a demagnetizer behind the sander and bandsaw. (connected to the yellow cord). I hate having magnetized tools
5 hp air compressor, bought this about 25 years ago, still going strong. It did burn up the pressure switch contacts (after about 20 years) so I replaced that with an Allen Bradly pressure switch and 20 hp motor starter I had on the shelf. I also added a 12-hour time switch, that way it completely shuts down when nobody is around.
Small metal piece storage under the air compressor
An overview, pardon the mess. The pallet racking saves a lot of floor space and is heavy enough we can store engines and other heavy stuff up there.