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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Default Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    Well I have the custom implement bug again.

    Last year I designed a tree scoop for my QA kubota L3830 loader. I then had a machinist make it for me. Turned out great... and was around $500.00 when all said and done. The one I modeled it after cost around $1300!

    This year I want to make a 3 point skidder plate and modify a John Deere iMatch hitch I just bought. Sooo time to start designing.

    With that being said... should I buy a welder, etc to start making the implements myself or should I continue to pay someone to do it?

    And before you ask me if I know how to fabricate stuff... yes I do. However I do not have the right equipment at home to do metal work like building attachments.

    I've worked in multiple well equipped shops both at university and work. So I've been spoiled by having nice large equipment to make whatever I want. Of course at home I have major price constraints, etc. The most important thing is when the project is done... that it's done right. And I'm not sure how well I can do the work without investing mucho dinero in equipment.

    So if I do the work myself.... what is a basic list of equipment you think I need for a home shop? My biggest concern is cutting steel accurately and having a quality welder. At work we have $30,000 Marvel bandsaws that cut any thickness steel like butter... at my house not so much. LOL!

    Thanks for the help guys!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    I guess that depends upon your time, money, and desire. If you enjoy the fabricating process and you have the time and money go for it! Life is short and time is what you make of it. I discovered that I don't really enjoy the build process, it is tedium for me. I only do what I have to do when I cannot find an alternative. Plasma cutters are coming down in price!

  3. #3
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    Default

    My post should have been in the build it yourself forum! Sorry!

  4. #4
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    Well Papa, if you enjoy fabricating...go for it.

    I don't have a lot of fancy equipment, yet I can still build stuff in my Picasa galleries.

    I have a Wilton 14" vertical metal/wood bandsaw, a 5"x6" Grizzly swivel head horizontal bandsaw, a Millermatic 210 MIG welder, a Jet 17" drill press, a Sears 10" contractor's style table saw, a Bosch 10" wood chop saw, a cordless Milwaukee drill and Sawzall, a 22-gallon Sears air compressor, and various hand tools.

    Would I like more tools? You bet; but I don't have a proper shop for them.
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Iuka Mississippi USA
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    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    Im all for buying my own tools. Ive been buying metal working tools since I was 14. GOt a good collection of nice tools. My first welder cost 450 dollars. I cant tell you haow many times it and the torch saved the day or payed for themselves. THe other day dad needed a set of forks for the LS. He looked at the dealer and the cheapest set was 700 dollars. I made a set from lift truck forks and metal to make the qc it came to about 150 dollars.

  6. #6
    Silver Member evo803's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    I would sub out the fabrication and see how your sales do first . Then you could take the profits , if there are any , and re-invest in tools for the business. There is nothing worse than buying all of the equipment to find out your sales go bust after a couple of months then all you can get is pennies on the dollar for used shop equipment.

    Good luck and remember 90% +/- of startups go bust in the first five years.

    Also once you take your hobby and make a business out of it, it is no longer going to be an enjoyable hobby for you. Just some food for thought.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    evo, I don't think he's talking about starting a business, just personal use, that was my take. Anyway, totally agree that it's about whether you enjoy it and have time to do it.

    Also, there have been times my wife has reminded me that there is a point where you can go to far with DIY. Get in too deep and you run out of time, without saving the money to justify, i.e. build the garage, but don't build the steel scaffolding you need to build the garage. The DIY of the garage pays for some of the necessary tools, you don't have to build the tools too just because you could.

    DIY can definitely save money in the long run. You may need to hire out some specialty stuff, but a welder, metal cutting bandsaw, drill press, and a coule 4-1/2" grinders will save you a lot of time at high fab shop rates.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    I would say the main tools to do fab work are a good stick welder (tombstone, or idealarc), O/A torch with good sized tanks so you can use a rose bud, 4.5 inch angle grinder, good drills (milwaukee 1/2 inch magnum or equivalnt, or a 1/2 inch t handle drill, and a good 3/8 drill), and things like drill bits, grinding wheels, clamps, and saftey gear. Those are the basic tools that you can do almost anything with, if you want to make it easier, add some things like a porta-band, a few more 4.5 inch angle grinders, a 7 inch angle grinder, a drill press, a bench grinder, a chop saw,and an air compressor and air tools (if you do get an air compressor get a good 220v air compressor, with a min of 10 cfm output). You could probably get the basics for around $2000, all top of the line, a mix of new used (around half of that would be the torch). If you get a lot of extras, (there are a lot more then I listed) it could cost thousands more.
    Never carry gasoline in your car trunk. If you do, atleast use some sort of container.
    -red green

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    Thanks for all the info guys.

    I think for my to be satisfied with quality I need a band saw (Kalamazoo type) and a good welder. I have a drill press, etc. So that's gonna set me back around $1500.00.

    Probably the bigger issue is time to actually make the stuff! After reading some of your posts I maybe better off just having the stuff built... so I can spend my time using it.. and not making it. I enjoy designing but not the fabrication so much.

    So I think for now I'll be having the next two items built. And start researching welders, etc for future projects!

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom Stuff... Gear up or Continue Farming Out?

    Papa:

    What do you use to do your designs with? Seat of the pants, CAD, HandCAD (pencil & paper)?
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

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