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Old 12-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #16
redprimo
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You might be surprised what you can find on ebay if you are patient. My father lives 3 hours away from me in the LA area so that opens up a lot of possibilities for me. A few years ago I paid $200 for my drill press on ebay, it is an early 1960's delta unidril which is a little known model of radial drill press. The table is 24" square and weighs 150lbs before adding the 90lb legs. all told it is just north of 400bs and with the drill head able to swing compleatly out of the way it makes for a great small heavy duty worktable.

I had been on the look out for a wood planer to replace my aging 12" lunch box paner and after about 5 or 6 years I found a compleatly restored early 1940's parks 12" planer 5 miles from my house on the local craigs list for $225. This is a 350lb heavy duty precision piece of equipmment and was exactly what I was looking for with the exceptuon that it had already been restored by a retired machinest. To top it off I was able to sell my tired old planer for $50.

I'm definatly not a fan of casters for any tool that is powered and has a sharp blade that you will be near. for things like welders or torches casters are great. And this is from someone with a very small shop. carefull planing and using overlaping infeed/outfeed areas and having as many fixed table heights at the same level makes things work smoother in a small shop.

For a work table 2x4 and 2x6 works fine. Glue and screw the frame but atach the top only with screws so you can replace it when it gets tashed. I prefer MDF or even particle board over plywood Ply wood splinters and with 2x4 suports every 24" mdf is plenty strong. a common mistake is to make a work table too tall. You should be able to stand comfortably at the bench and place you palms flat on the table with your arms straignt at your side. Add or subtract an inch depending on the work you intend to do at the bench ie. rebuilding carbs for a living you might want a taller bench but for splitting engine cases you might want a lower bench. The nice thing about working on an engine on a wood bench is that you will not scrratch or mar any soft aluminium parts.

For welding you might also consider an old tig. The Airco/Miller and Hobart units are just about bomb proof with contact points that are so robust that they should last a life time of filling and re setting. These units are huge compared to a modern tig and they lack square wave technology but they have a very robust diuty cycle and are supper reliable. they are also pretty decent stick welders. If you are truely interested in a stick welder don't hesitate to snag an ancient Lincoln 'torpedo' if you find one. they are usually worth more than the asking price just for their scrap copper value and they are one of the smothest stick welders you will ever find bar non.

Don't be rushed, tell anyone you know what you are looking for and have fun. oh yeah dont forget tons of light and good tunes.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:03 AM   #17
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New vs. Used, Welders, Why?, etc....

New vs. used? Again, out here in the country we've got hordes of farmers and DIYers that'll bid up beat up old tools and such to ridiculous prices. Example: I paid $1300 for a new 3000 pound rated 6 by 12 flatbed trailer two years ago, just saw a couple 20+ year old ones sell for $1100 and $1200 at auction. By the time they get done replacing what looks to be the original tires they'll have spent the price of a new trailer for a rusty old one. My rule is even if you've seen it work and all documentation is included, don't pay over 50% of new price for it. Otherwise, better to wait for a sale and buy a new one with a warranty.

As for welders, I've got 220 @50 amps already wired in the garage for an electric dryer, just unplug that and plug the welder in. But I'm leaning to MIG and a lot of them don't need 220 anyhow.

As for why make my own stuff like sidecar mounts, my Guzzi Quota that I've owned for six months and still don't have hacked is exhibit one. The manufacturer of my sidecar is only 70 miles away, but they don't want to make rectangular shaped clamps to match the rectangular frame and their fitter suggested welding mounting tabs onto the frame. No way, we know nothing of the metallurgy of that frame and how to properly weld it! Another sidecar maker 1500 miles to the west lists a mount kit on his website, but admits he has none in stock and he's backed up for weeks. I have a feeling that'd turn into "bring the bike out here and leave it for several months 'til I get to it". I'm sure CSM sidecars in Pennsylvania could do a great job of the mounting, but same deal- transport the bike 1500 miles, drive 1500 miles home, drive 1500 miles back to CSM, drive 1500 miles home- 6000 miles driving with a trailer just to get a sidecar mounted! Fortunately there's a very skilled sidecar mounter within a hundred miles of here, but he's got a day job and a family and a garage full of projects already. But he was nice enough to take an hour of his time to sketch out for me a plan for a subframe that's way overbuilt for the job. So even though I could probably get by with modifying Motorvation's clamps to fit the square frame and drill a hole in the frame for an upper rear mount like the outfit to the west does, I'm going to try to do it the best way with a subframe. That means at least cutting the subframe materials and tacking them together with screws in hopes my sidecar fitter has time to weld them. If not, I'll have to weld them myself. And even if I wimp out and just modify Motorvation's mounts, I'm going to need a workbench and vise to hold parts down while I manipulate them and a grinder and probably a saw too.

So that's the sorry reality- we're not training enough welders, machinists, etc. so if you want something fabbed in the future you'll need to do it yourself. And given that full frame motorcycles are going extinct, if you want a sidecar you'll have to make a subframe or ship it across the country to one of the few remaining sidecar fitters. For less than the cost of that option I can set up my own shop and do it myself.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:35 AM   #18
bomber60015
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check out

thegaragejournal.com

for more ideas (and attendant dick waving) than you can shake a stick at . . .

whene pruchasing tools, simpler is better -- Swiss Army Knives are cute and all, but the scissors aren't very useful, the tweezers don't and the blade isn't the right shape to QUITE to anything really well . . . . .

for fabrication, if you can specialize in working with Aluminum, decent quality woodworking tools will do a great job on alloy, too . . . . . big fun . . . . .
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:23 AM   #19
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That's a spam filled...

Collection of ads for garage chic masquerading as a blog. I've already found mucho better!
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:44 AM   #20
bomber60015
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Collection of ads for garage chic masquerading as a blog. I've already found mucho better!
Agreed -- there's a great deal of chaff, but there are some grains of wheat there . . . . .glad you've found what you need.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:06 AM   #21
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Regrading used tools vs new, it's not fair to compare import-quality tools with ones made here 40+ years ago. Take Delta Rockwell. A new import from Taiwan is a mere toy compared to the machines made in Pittsburgh back in the day. I know, I have used, bought and rebuilt many. I have built up probably 5 Delta Rockwell 17" drill presses that are an actual quality tool I would pay more for used than a new import tool.

My current shop drill press is a Powermatic 1200 machine, probably 60's vintage. I paid $250 at a school auction and put maybe $50 in bearings, paint general clean up. It has variable speed and will plow a hole in almost anything you can clamp to it's 24" table. Probably weighs in excess of 600lbs of real American iron. These were many thousands new.



I bought many of these Rockwells for $150 and would clean them up and paint them new belts, bearings etc. and sell them as a hobby. These are industrial quality tools not some Home Depot Rigid cheapo unit.



People bid them to the same dollars as they think the Home Depot units are, but they aren't even close to the same level of quality. The castings are far superior, the steel used to make the gears, shafts, chucks is superior. The motors are much more ruggedly built.

This one I even hot rodded to 3HP



Just look at the quality of the castings



here's my big woodworking jointer I rebuilt, just an absolute pleasure to use and it's from 1906, nothing modern could ever compete, the quality is superlative



start going to school and industrial auctions and you will find the kind of deals I'm talking about, this was the one I bought the majority of my drill presses



All I'm saying is that you can't simply look at an old tool and say "Well, I can go get one at Lowes for the same money these old timers are crazy" it's apples and oranges. There are tools that by being modern are superior. I have multiple impact drivers from Dewalt and Makita and they are vastly superior to some old drill no question.

However the foundations of a working shop should be based on quality tools. Nothing is more frustrating (or dangerous) than working with a tool that is simply not up to the task. The tools I showed and have restored were meant to be in a production environment and made to last by working hard hours. You won't find cheapo Home Depot drill presses in a machine shop, to the owner time is money and they can't afford tools that don't perform or take too long.

But that's just my opinion
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:27 AM   #22
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Agreed, but...

If you're comparing quality U.S. or German made tools to Chinese junk, as long as the quality tool is rebuildable it wins every time. But it's not always that simple- for example Lincoln is still building some of their welders here, and yet I see the same welder that looks like it's been through a war with the back cover missing and no manuals getting bid up to almost new price. I've also been to auctions and seen junk Chinese cordless drills bid up to the price of new junk chinese ones. I could provide countless more examples, but suffice to say, used is not always cheaper than new.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:35 PM   #23
sailah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl View Post
If you're comparing quality U.S. or German made tools to Chinese junk, as long as the quality tool is rebuildable it wins every time. But it's not always that simple- for example Lincoln is still building some of their welders here, and yet I see the same welder that looks like it's been through a war with the back cover missing and no manuals getting bid up to almost new price. I've also been to auctions and seen junk Chinese cordless drills bid up to the price of new junk chinese ones. I could provide countless more examples, but suffice to say, used is not always cheaper than new.
I won't argue on any of those points. I have a fairly modern Lincoln TIG welder and it's great, love it. I would not go backwards in time for something like a welder as I think the technology has developed and produced a superior product.

For something like a vise, band saw, drill press, C clamps the product development peaked decades ago and the only thing they added were laser pointers (useless) and shipped the machine making overseas. Everything got worse in terms of quality from the steel to the fit, everything. You'd be way better off buying an older machine like that and fixing anything that is wrong vs what you can buy today. Plus if you bought well, you'll never lose money. I can't think of one time I sold an older large tool that I lost money. Usually I'd double or triple my investment. But that's not always feasible to go spending your shop time working on tools when you want to work on your bike.

I would not spend my money on a stick welder either. I bought a 220v MIG and went to TIG almost immediately for the kind of work I do. I would also only look at 220v welders. 110v machines are usually very light duty cycle (and maybe that's okay?). plus they are almost all flux core and you really want to look hard at using shielding gas. 220v machines are all shielding gas.

I've done very well going to estate sales, industrial auctions, school auctions etc and buying there. There are lots of way to score deals, but you need to be patient and not overspend. Auctionzip.com and irsauctions.com are both sites I have used and had very good luck/deals on. You will need to wait and find auctions close to you. IRS is nice because it's like ebay. You bid you win and you go pick up. Auctionzip are typically, live auctions for a shop closing down and you might stand around for hours and watch the price go past what you want and now you wasted an entire saturday. I kinda like it though looking and touching all those old tools that have made thousands of products over the years, they tell a story and I like to be part of it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:15 AM   #24
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So that's the sorry reality- we're not training enough welders, machinists, etc. so if you want something fabbed in the future you'll need to do it yourself.
Yep. First world countries are that way, every one wants that phd/management job with the money to match. Few people realize the simple joy of some jobs that adds much to the money paid. Some of these kind of jobs are now paying very well due to the lack of supply e.g. plumbers.

You'd be better off in a third world country for getting jobs done.

=============

If you want a movable bench - make it the same height as your main work bench, that way you can slide things from one to the other rather than lift. Best if everything is about the same height for that reason.

============

New stuff vs Old... I think you need a good deal of knowledge about the old stuff (costs of servicing it to get it working well, where to get parts and the amount of time). If you don't have that then new is probably better - even if it is now 'throw away' manufacture.

Good luck with making the parts;
take your time, particularly in the planning stage. Think it through, saves a lot of time. Oh making cardboard model and fit that first before going to metal... Sounds like you have most of that covered with other peoples input.
consider the first one a prototype - use it to improve the second one.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:33 AM   #25
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Mount as solid as possible, not on casters.
I have one workbench on casters for woodworking,etc. It has a 2" thick maple top(homemade) and a steel industrial bench system underneath. The casters are swivels on one end & all 4 lockable. My other bench is all steel with vise on one end & saw chain sharpener on the other corner.no casters. You can extend the use of a steel bench to say woodworking by laying a "fastenable" plywood top on steel or use a woodworking bench for bikes , etc., by covering the "nice top" with masonite or plywood. I know that wasn't totally the OP question but my 2 cents.
My table saw,sander,20" planer & bandsaw are all on wheels via casters or the "frame with wheels thing".

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:52 AM   #26
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Regarding welders, I agree to skip a stick welder and if you have 220v available, it's hard to beat a 220v mig. I have a hobart handler 187, which I have been very happy with. If you can't find one used, it's been replaced with the handler 190 which I believe is spool gun ready for aluminum mig welding, and can be bought at tractor supply with a 10% off coupon. The 210s and up are more capable of thick stuff but if you're not going to do that much, you can get away with multiple passes and preheating with the 180-190A and have several hundred dollars left in your pocket. I also own a handler 140 for occasions when 110v is all I've got, it has been an excellent unit as well, and is more affordable. Either of them can convert between flux core and gas shield mig depending on location and situation in about 5 minutes, for the extra few bucks, skip the flux core only models. A nice site for more opinions and solutions on welding if you so desire is hobartwelders.com/weldtalk . Good luck with your shop! I recently moved and lost an awesome shop setup, trying to make use of much less space available to me now and this thread has had some nice ideas.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:54 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by GearHeadGrrrl View Post
But I see this carried to a fault out here in the country- for example my neighbor has a road grader, D4, dead IH track loader, two old pickups, and probably every big tool I'd ever need. But most of it was worn out when he bought it, and I wouldn't trust any of his power tools and welding equipment. Sorry, but when I can buy a new Lincoln "tombstone" welder for $300-400, why pay darn near that much for a beat up one with the back cover missing so you know somebody's been in their messin' around.
used tools that were used continuously in a commercial shop might well be worn out, but 40 YO tools bought by a hobbyist probably are not and as was said are often high quality. Parts are still available for old Craftsman power tools and are a bargain....I bent the spindle on a Craftsman drill press from the '60's (my fault) and a new one complete with bearings was $40 for example.

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Old 12-13-2012, 06:44 PM   #28
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More electrical outlets than you think you need.
this, and lots of lights with light colored walls. a lot easier to work when you can see. don't waste bench top space with a bandsaw. I have a large Ellis and a Milwaukee portoband, and I rarely use either of them. if you want to cut thin metal used a .045'' cut off wheel on a 4.5'' grinder much faster and your not dictated by throat size. if you need to make lots of cuts you could get a portoband with a base, I don't know if dewalt makes a base for theirs but I like using that one better than my milwaukee.

If you're going buy a vise get a good one the cheep ones break easily. you can not weld them back together. (actully you can but it is a total pain in the ass)

make the bench as heavy as you need it to support a LOT of weight. use 2 or 3 layers of 3/4 plywood with braces on 16'' centers with a 1/4'' steel plate on top. this will be nearly indestructable.

remember to put a shield behind your grinder to stop the wall from catching fire.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:35 AM   #29
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Plan for a mill...

Even though I've got a decent 20" drill press I find myself using my small bench top vertical mill more often when hole size and placement needs to be accurate in metal. If I had it to do over again I'd have spent less on the drill press and spent the money on a bench top mill like a Rong Fu RF-45 knock-off or an older Bridgeport.

If you're going to do projects like sidecar mounts that actually fit snugly without deforming frame tubes you'll quickly come to the conclusion that a mill (and a lathe) are indispensable. It all depends on how much of a shop geek you want to be.

Right now I'm helping a friend get some bicycle tooling orders out the door and I'm using his Bridgeport, and all I can think about is how I can get one into my 1 stall garage and still have room for the wife's Miata.

And the welder? I need to do thin stuff as well as 1/4" mild steel, plus aluminum and stainless, so I settled on a ThermalArc 185 TIG. Possibly overkill but this tool buying and using stuff can get to be a disease.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:07 AM   #30
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Points Well Taken...

Currently putting more lights in the shop, the house's PO left a bunch of 48 inch florescents that I need to check out. Shop needs paint, so that'll be white. For a welder, I looked at the Hobart 220V MIGs the other day and they look like a good deal. Not much progress on the bench though, looked around the big boxes and Farm stores for the metal corner kits for a workbench but they don't seem to carry them anymore. No biggie, got a couple sheets of 3/4 inch plywood and 2 by 6s and screws from previous projects. Probably won't make much progress for a while, currently shopping for xmas presents for a couple aspiring gearheads (comments welcome on that thread) and will be heading to my tin shack with wheels by the Everglades after xmas. Thanks for all the great advice, and keep it comin'!
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