From Dinner Table to Shop Floor
I made finding screws and nails a breeze with my "Lazy Dave." Taking a hint from the kitchen table's Lazy Susan,
I made a three-tiered organizer that can spin. I started by halving two empty plastic electrical spools that were 2' in diameter. Then, I connected three of the halves together using lengths of 1¼" PVC pipe. The pivot action was created with six old planter plates 6" in diameter that were placed with a pipe spacer at each half-spool. To make the organizers, I took 4¼" sections of 6" PVC pipe, connected them to the face of the spools and labeled each one. I placed 48-oz. butter tubs inside the pipe sections to hold nails and screws so they could be removed and carried to the work site. The project was mounted on an old iron table stand for sturdiness.
Sioux Center, Iowa
Loading and unloading trucks in our mill was always a hassle because we had to frequently climb up and down to see if the trucks were full or almost empty. To alleviate this problem, I mounted a large mirror on the ceiling that is directly above the truck. By simply looking up at the mirror, I can now see what is going on in the truck box from the comfort of the ground. And despite all the dust that accumulates in the mill, the mirror never has to be cleaned!
Levi Waldner Jr.
To keep engine repairs on-site, I built a crane to muscle the job. The idea came to life when my combine's engine needed to be taken out. The crane stands more than 16' tall and is supported by two pieces of 6" pipe with a ½" wall. An 8"
I-beam is clamped in place atop the pipes. An 8,000-lb. chain hoist connects to the I-beam by a homemade trolley crafted out of angle iron and eight ball bearings so it can easily roll along the beam. The bottom of the crane has flip-down casters that allow for effortless movement around my shop.
When Robert McCormack needed to pull the engine out of his combine, he couldn't afford to have the dealer do it. Using mostly scrap materials, he crafted a large crane in a week's time. The only material McCormack had to purchase were the flip-down casters, which make the crane portable. McCormack grows corn, soybeans and wheat with his brother in north-central Ohio.
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- December 2008