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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    790
    Location
    Maine

    Default Anyone ever consider building a piece of equipment - to build pieces of equipment?

    Specifically I'm talking about an ironworker. I've seen & used them years back when working at a large fabricator, but until recently I never realized they made them in a moderately affordable home shop package. I always assumed they were all in the 5-figure price range.

    I've been around steel fabrication to know that this isn't necessarily an easy or cheaper alternative, but it allows for the one thing that you can't always get in an off-the-shelf package - being able to get it exactly the way you want it. Maybe the off-the-shelf ones don't have a big enough work table, or maybe the one you like best doesn't have one of the features that another one has.

    My initial thoughts would be to build it in a modular style, with one or two workstations that can have various off-the-shelf components installed. That way you could have the best of all worlds. if one company has a brake you like, but another has a better shear, or a better punch selection, you could custom build it to use different manufacturer's components. As you can probably guess, my initial plan would be to buy the modular stations, as they would probably not be cost effective to try to make, due to tighter tolerances, hardened pieces, specialty components, etc.

    What this leaves is the frame, hydraulics, and electrics. i can't imagine there's anything in that part that is too difficult to fabricate. Since pretty much any unit you buy has a $500+ shipping charge, there's a little wiggle room in the budget to work with.

    If any of you have ever toyed with this idea, or made some sketches or notes, I'd like to hear about it. Maybe we could toss some ideas around and figure out any of the stumbling blocks. Also, if any of you are in the Central / Mid-coast Maine area, maybe we could collaborate on making a couple of these for our personal use, providing we can work past any design and fabrication issues.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    2,829
    Location
    Iuka Mississippi USA
    Tractor
    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: Anyone ever consider building a piece of equipment - to build pieces of equipment

    United Implements got their start this way. I work with and old man that worked there when it was started. Their first homebuilt iron worker had a pump that was off a Farmall Cub, and a large ram and would drive a 3/4 punch through half inch steel. I have an old pattern burner for tracing out parts. The other day I had a customer had me cut out a pattern he made me. I cut out a section of some 1 inch plate to make the top arm of an iron worker. he bought a large tree shear cylinder I took off an old Cat cutter and a pump setup off a lift dock. Just look at it this way every thing at one time was homemade or someone made the first one. Tiffin Motor homes has an angle shear off an iron worker they put a cylinder on and made a throat to hold it. It cuts off angles for them wit ha toach of a button.

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