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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2005
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    102
    Location
    Hays County, TX
    Tractor
    Case IH JX95 4x4

    Default DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    I want to use this thread to get a consensus on what materials to use to build a tractor cab. I can start by saying that according to this thread:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/b...x-tractor.html

    a good framing material is 1" square tubing, 14ga?

    They also used floor underlayment for the skin and lexan for the glass. What are the pros and cons o f these? We need to get together a parts list here. We need links to a heater and an air conditioner that can be fitted in the cab. I think we have the knowledge here, I want one thread to all the links to the right parts and why they should be used.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2007
    Posts
    3,304

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    If you could afford it, you could build the whole cab out of polycarbonate instead of just the windows. But it would get scratched up after a while, and you can't touch it up with paint to make it look good again. Now if you were handy with fiberglas, you could make the cab out of it. But it's messy to work with. Then there's metal, but you need a sheet metal brake. Then there's the vinyl type fabric they use on popup campers that would make a good windbreak if you wanted to take the cover off during the sumner.

    I think each of us builds with what is familar to us and we feel like we can work with given our experience, tools, time and money.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2005
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    102
    Location
    Hays County, TX
    Tractor
    Case IH JX95 4x4

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    you'd want as much transparent material as possible for your cab. Visibility and environmental awareness is essential on a tractor.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    250
    Location
    Western Ontario http://www.tagzania.com/item/21497
    Tractor
    Bobcat 553, 773, S185, Nh LS 160

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    DTAC - Heavy Equipment Heat/Cool Systems for heater ac units for all types of heavy equipment.
    TheWarBirds had good prices on 12 and 18k btu heater units 12v and 24v.

    Lexan or "margard" is good if you want plastic windows, glassis hard to beat if you want scratch resistant
    Ken
    Dealer for Erskine ATI Wallenstein Baumalight Tracks Plus Dexter Axels & Wix.

    NH LS 160, Tn75da, Bobcat 773 S185 Longlist of Attachments
    www.skidsteerforum.com
    Location http://www.tagzania.com/item/21497
    NW Ontario

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    Most rigid clear plastics get pretty brittle in cold weather. When I enclosed the cab of my ASV, I made a steel door with 2 old windows, made of tempered glass windows, out of the back of an old utility body truck. The walls I made out of the plastic material that they make rear convertible windows out of. I used snap fittings to hold the soft plastic to the sides of the cab. Good luck on your project!

  6. #6
    Bronze Member skippy957's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    98
    Location
    St Jude Quebec Canada
    Tractor
    BX 2350

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    You can also use a old soft cab and modify it like I have done with a Curtis.
    Good luck with your project and have fun .
    Attached Images Attached Images
    2007 Kubota BX2350
    Quebec, Canada

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    3,474
    Location
    North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
    Tractor
    MT180D

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    I made a cab for my Mitsubishi MT180D using 2 x 2 sq tubing.
    I then attached galvanized sheet (as I did not want 'rustable' finish) with metal screws.
    For windows I got school bus windows from doors as they came with the rubber seals (real cheep as scrappers want metal and not glass) and the safety glass does not scratch.
    For heater (again school bus) the small heaters that are under the rear seats (about 6" X 6" x 3") to which I attached a 4" x4" 12 volt computer fan as that is super compact and draws less than 1 amp. (the old bus motor draws so much that you'd run the battery flat in no time at all!)

    I mounted the heater top right in my cab so as to send hot air downwards (I like warm feet) and it is easy to deflect with a small baffle towards the windshield.

    One advantage of schoolbus glass is that you can now install wipers

    Sure my cab is 'boxy', but it is also 'toasty comfy'.

    Was blowing today in -20deg Celsius and was real cozy!

    This setup was made about 5 years ago and performed flawlessly ever since.

    Pics are posted in Mitsubishi forum.

    NB: before metal screwing the roof on, I 'sanwitched' an insulation 'blanket' to A deaden sound (drumming, essentially) and B to prevent condensation drippings.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member MJPetersen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,255
    Location
    Warsaw, Poland
    Tractor
    YM 1510-D

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    Piloon,

    You ought to put a link to your pics in the Mitubishi forum. I will do it for you and the others who want to see what you did.

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/b...ml#post1036405

    Looks well used and if it keeps your feet warm it is a double plus--functional does not have to be beautiful.

    Mike
    "In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Solomon
    YM1510D, YM 1202 tiller, The following home made tools: Quick Hitch, KK copy dirt scoop, imitation Gannon rollover box blade, Forks on 3pt, a Rear Blade with gauge wheels and a 1.5 yd dump trailer.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2007
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    628
    Location
    WI
    Tractor
    BX 2350

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    Quote Originally Posted by skippy957
    You can also use a old soft cab and modify it like I have done with a Curtis.
    Good luck with your project and have fun .
    Dam Skippy that looks nice!
    BX2350 w/ 60" mmm, FEL, Hyd frt blade, 50" Farm King Snowblower, Custom F&R Forks

  10. #10
    Platinum Member SkunkWerX's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    770
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Tractor
    BX2350

    Default Re: DIY Tractor Cab - Best materials and practices

    Here are some of the pros and cons I have considered regarding materials.

    The square tube is probably the best way to go about the framing.

    Lexan vs. glass: Lexan is pretty durable and doesn't scratch as badly as plain old "plexi" glass. over a long time it will cloud up some, more if you keep it out in the sun. The big plus is it's weight. Compared to glass it's going to be much lighter.
    if you plan on ever using a windshield wiper, then the front needs to be tmepered glass. A wiper will scuff and scratch lexan, So that pretty much dictates a glass front windshield.

    I read about the underlayment used along with lexan, and that Cab came out beautifully. My experience with underlayment (tempered hardboard) is if you leave it in the elements, or it gets wet, it will bubble, blister, and eventually start deteriorating. A light gauge sheet metal would the choice for the longest lasting material , but, as mentioned above, you might have condensation issues to deal with. The PVC lumber is getting plentiful, and I am wondering if there isn't some kind of lightweight synthetic sheet material that might work well?
    I would consider making as much of it as possible out of the lexan, for maximum visibility.
    Kubota BX2350, 60" MMM, FEL w/Grapple, bucket forks, 4' KK Tiller, 5' RGB, 5' Rake, Gauge wheels, 4' Cutter, Quick Hitch, 3Pt. TowBar, 3Pt. 35 Gal. Sprayer.

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