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  1. #1
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
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    Lancaster County, PA
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    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    Much of the time I enjoy the open air and nothing around me. Then there are those times when my feet and fingers are freezing and it isn't that much fun anymore. After reading about numerous homebrew cabs I decided it was probably something I could handle. What I need is some guidance / tutoring in the finer points of welding. I successfully "glued" lots of stuff together but there is a lack of consistency. I'll never be a "real weldor" but there's a value in improving hobbyist skills. Here's some of the process:

    A. Google and read everything I could concerning DIY cabs. Many helpful people posted and blogged about their experiences. There are lots of great ideas out there. No point in re-inventing anything.

    B. Get a decent place to work on it. At home the driveway would be the workshop (never convinced Wifey of the need for a pole barn). Just so happens there is some space in the fab shop at work. More on that later.

    C. Get pointers from guys who know their way around steel fab and with my welder, rather than have them make it for me. We have lots of machines at work, but I wanted to be tutored and use my Millermatic 175. Remember the old "give a man a fish / teach a man to fish" thing?

    D. Have a plan. The amount of detail may be a lot different for different people. For some things I do it works best to make CAD drawings and have everything planned to the last nut and bolt. For others I go with solid concept, some desired details and a fluid plan. Flew with the latter this time.

    So, the plan involved a rudimentary sketch or two and a list of several items. Deemed necessary were glass (any plastic will eventually be scratched), wiper, heater and an interestng shape. One cab builder posted that the neighbors named his plexiglass cube first build "the Popemobile". Another noted his first build was, in his words "a cab which not only was an embarrassment to myself but my entire family both living and dead". Mine also needs to be sectional and removeable by 1 or 2 guys. Needs to mount to the tractor without scratching it all up.

    I gathered the steel, door handles, wiper and heater over the past month. This week I moved my stuff into the unoccupied work station in the shop at work. I had the welding super get me going and immerse me in things like what order to tack things to avoid the taco looking piece that should be flat. He worked on the back/top assembly with me and although I have a LOT to learn I'm off to a good start. Today I was able to get the front welded up and the right side all tacked.

    Here are the master plan, a couple shots of the work area and a saw that would scare the daylights out of my Harbor Freight 6x4. It cuts 6" schedule 40 pipe like nothing. One lever works the hydraulic ram that holds the material to be cut. Another lever controls up and down of the saw. Awesome piece of machinery.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-1.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-4.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-2.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-3.jpg  
    Last edited by chim; 11-17-2012 at 11:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    The modular design is roof and rear as a piece, front as a piece and each side as a piece. To start the build it seemed like a good idea to do the back and top. These had readily available anchor points. The ROPS will not fit (and neither will most factory-cabbed tractors) where this needs to go. The welded-on nuts were drilled out to 3/8" and nylock nuts were used.

    Since the back of the cab wanted to be in front of the ROPS, it eliminated the flashers in their factory position. The existing light holes worked for anchoring the bottom of the back wall. This rubber washers keep the frame clear of the fenders. I plan to weld a couple of blocks onto the back that will help bear the weight.

    Here's where the project stood yesterday when I left. The rear /top framing was welded.

    For anchoring the front wall, the heavy steel for the FEL stick looked like a winner. So I added a mirror-image bracket on the left side for support.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-11.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-6.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-7.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-8.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-10.jpg  


  3. #3
    Gold Member ncnurseryman's Avatar
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    Default

    Looking really good. It's great when people set out to learn new skills and take on a useful project. I bet that cab will be nice in bad weather. My tractor is open and bush hogging today got me covered in dust and debris.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    After a full day today, here's what it looks like. Whatever is clamped represents the different sections. The spaces where there are double bars will be filled with sheet metal. This includes the little box over the "HST" on the fender, the odd-shaped spot in front of the rear tire and the long narrow space at the top. Another tube will be added at the top (front and rear) to carry the metal all around the top at the same width. There will also be another at the base of the windshield.

    It may be several days till there's any meaningful progress. Still thinking some of the door details through. Oh, but there is one last observation to share - you CAN'T have too many clamps!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-14.jpg   DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time-13.jpg  

  5. #5
    Silver Member SHORT KID's Avatar
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    Poconos, PA
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    Mahindra 2615 hst fel, bh

    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    Looks like you have a real plan here . Very nice so far, and to have an area to work like you have is definitely a morale booster. Then to mention your supervisor, who is willing to help with this project. WOW I have been looking at my rig and measuring and mentaly drawing pictures, just need a kick in the butt to get going. Keep up the good work and keep us posted.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member kf4uda's Avatar
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    Middle TN
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    NH TD5030, 861 Ford Powermaster, 555A Ford Backhoe, S150x SnapperPro ZTR, Polaris Ranger XP800

    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    Your frame work looks great!
    Chris

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Lee, IL
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    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    Looks good so far! Some day maybe I will get ambitious. I am not sure if I am looking at this right, but you will not be able to have the cab on without the FEL? Probably not a huge deal, but I always like to leave options open. Like maybe someday a front mount snow-blower or plow.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    Quote Originally Posted by mikehaugen View Post
    ................I am not sure if I am looking at this right, but you will not be able to have the cab on without the FEL?..............................
    Good question. I have the loader attached during fab so there isn't any chance of building anything that will interfere with the loader. The loader can come and go independently of the cab. The front support for the cab is on the bracket that holds the joystick. That stays with the tractor when the loader is removed.

  9. #9
    Gold Member 600rider's Avatar
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    union city pa
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    2004 kubota b7510

    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    looking good so far! I like the looks with the angles!

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: DIY Cab - Finally decided it was time

    Hyd - mec is serious saw material..... I would say one of the best. I have a new 1600 Ellis which for a private shop is a very quality piece. A 252 Miller MIG is also a good choice. With little practice will make you look like a pro.
    Your doing a great job with layout. Love the wheel arc openings... fancy ! If the cab extends past the fenders how are you going to fill the space between the fender and the steel structure ? Your post proves one does not have to be a professional metals person to construct a cab.

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