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JimDawson

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#1

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.
newshop.jpg
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.
yaleforklift.jpg
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.
lullforklift.jpg

Tucker, the shop guard dog hard at work
shopdog.jpg



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.
door.jpg

Vice Stand, the vise is from HF, I finally broke it.
vicestand.jpg

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.
milllathe.jpg
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.
mill1.jpg - - mill2.jpg
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.
wells.jpg
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.
grinder.jpg
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.


Welding Equipment
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.
welder.jpg

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.
bandsaw.jpg


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.
sander.jpg
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.
aircomp.jpg
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.
shopwideview.jpg


mill1.jpg mill2.jpg
 
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#2
Chrysler slant six engine in the forklift, right?? (I used to work for a Yale dealer).
 

JimDawson

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#3
Chrysler slant six engine in the forklift, right?? (I used to work for a Yale dealer).
Yes it is, a 170 cu in I think. I had one of those in my 1960 Valiant, nice engine.

Since you are the Yale expert, I have a question. It has developed a new trick, sometimes it just drops about 6 inches under load, not often, but usually happens when we have about 400 lbs on it, and after lowering. This occurs after you have stopped moving down, and are holding. Like installing an engine in a car. Any ideas?
 

Ian Bee

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#4
There IS a Heaven!

I sooooo need to live here when I die dude!

Ian
 

chuckorlando

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#5
Heck of a nice shop man. That mill table looks huge. Nice set up man
 

RandyM

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#6
Paradise it is. You are correct, the industrial pellet racking is great for heavy storage. I really like what you have done with the place, I'd call it HOME.
 

xalky

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#7
What an awesome shop! Jim, Thanks so much for showing it to us. That size building and setup is exactly what I'm looking for. Nice scores on the fork lift and the Lull. Right now I'm stuffed into a 20x22 garage with 8'6" ceilings...it works, but I can't really bring in any large stuff to work on. I had to actually dismantle my cnc plasma table and moth ball it into my basement to be able to walk around in there. I'm looking forward to the day when I have enough room to actually work on a car in my shop and be able to weld up large frames inside.

I'm 49 now, and I, like you , have been accumulating tools since I was 15 years old. It takes a long time to get where your at, and a passion for tools and equipment.

Marcel
 
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#8
Yes it is, a 170 cu in I think. I had one of those in my 1960 Valiant, nice engine.

Since you are the Yale expert, I have a question. It has developed a new trick, sometimes it just drops about 6 inches under load, not often, but usually happens when we have about 400 lbs on it, and after lowering. This occurs after you have stopped moving down, and are holding. Like installing an engine in a car. Any ideas?

Is the hoist cylinder a little leaky?? Some of them had a vent hose that came off near the top of the cylinder and ran back to the hydraulic reservoir. If you have one, make sure that it is not plugged and also make sure that the reservoir is not over full. That line is designed to drain away oil that has leaked past the seals on the piston. They can do some goofy things if that line is blocked or if the tank level is too high, allowing the upper part of the cylinder to suck oil out of the tank.

A word of caution: The hose that provides oil for lifting is usually attached near the bottom of the cylinder, BUT NOT ALWAYS. So, before you take any lines loose from the cylinder, make absolutely certain that the carriage and the inner section(s) of the mast are all blocked and cannot fall. Disconnecting the lift hose while the cylinder is supporting any part of the mast or carriage is extremely dangerous and due caution must be taken. Also be aware that lift trucks had a number of different masts available. On some the hoist hose attached at the bottom of the cylinder, on some it attached near the top. Some had vent hoses, some did not. On some the inner section of the mast started to move right away as the carriage went up, and on some it did not. In short (and I cannot stress this enough) always block all sections of the mast as well as the carriage before removing any hydraulic hoses. Test to make sure that nothing can drop by attempting to lower the carriage after you have placed your blocking. Some of the worst injuries we saw in that shop involved working with the mast, and they happen in the blink of an eye.

I don't mean to rant about it, but it is something that is easily overlooked, so I want to offer the proper precautionary information for your own benefit.
 

JimDawson

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#9
Is the hoist cylinder a little leaky?? Some of them had a vent hose that came off near the top of the cylinder and ran back to the hydraulic reservoir. If you have one, make sure that it is not plugged and also make sure that the reservoir is not over full. That line is designed to drain away oil that has leaked past the seals on the piston. They can do some goofy things if that line is blocked or if the tank level is too high, allowing the upper part of the cylinder to suck oil out of the tank.

A word of caution: The hose that provides oil for lifting is usually attached near the bottom of the cylinder, BUT NOT ALWAYS. So, before you take any lines loose from the cylinder, make absolutely certain that the carriage and the inner section(s) of the mast are all blocked and cannot fall. Disconnecting the lift hose while the cylinder is supporting any part of the mast or carriage is extremely dangerous and due caution must be taken. Also be aware that lift trucks had a number of different masts available. On some the hoist hose attached at the bottom of the cylinder, on some it attached near the top. Some had vent hoses, some did not. On some the inner section of the mast started to move right away as the carriage went up, and on some it did not. In short (and I cannot stress this enough) always block all sections of the mast as well as the carriage before removing any hydraulic hoses. Test to make sure that nothing can drop by attempting to lower the carriage after you have placed your blocking. Some of the worst injuries we saw in that shop involved working with the mast, and they happen in the blink of an eye.

I don't mean to rant about it, but it is something that is easily overlooked, so I want to offer the proper precautionary information for your own benefit.

Thanks for the guidance, and especially the safety info. I'm not sure if there is a drain hose at the top, but I'll check it out today. This gives me a place to start. I'll try to get a better description of the mast to help identify it. There is some weeping around the outer packing gland on the cylinder, not a lot but it's a little wet.
 

GK1918

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#10
very nicely done Jim, ah- oh I dont see a shaper? lol. But you did convence me, ' we need a fork lift' here.

you will do fine
sam
 

uncle harry

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#11
Glad to hear you testify about your GS2 Automation Direct VFD's. I have 1 on my Bridgeport KO mill & 2 more awaiting application. One will power my Harrison M300 long bed gear lathe & the other one is intended to power my SB 9A 16 speed lathe.
 
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valleyboy101

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#12
Beautiful shop. You have gotten some great buys over the years.
Thanks for showing us your shop.
Michael
 

Jbar

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#13
Jim there's a Harvel 815 surface grinder on the Manhattan, KS craigslist. I was wondering how you like yours? I'm looking for a Hobby Machine and this one's about a 3 - 1/2 hour drive for me from Nebr. by-the-way, I like your forklift, sounds like a heck of a deal.
John.
 
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Zengineer

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#14
Looks like an awesome working shop. Nice to see. And the forklift(s) are absolutely gold!
 

fixit

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#15
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.

View attachment 186891
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.

View attachment 186896
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.

View attachment 186903

Tucker, the shop guard dog hard at work

View attachment 186911



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.

View attachment 186915

Vice Stand, the vise is from HF, I finally broke it.

View attachment 186921

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.

View attachment 186925
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.

View attachment 186932 - - View attachment 186942
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.

View attachment 186946
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.

View attachment 186951
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.


Welding Equipment
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.

View attachment 186961

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.

View attachment 186964


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.

View attachment 186971
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.

View attachment 186979
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.

View attachment 186986


View attachment 69760 View attachment 69761

Nice shop looks well used

fixit
 
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