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New Shop Tool

Horseplay

I Don't Care. Do you?
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So I've spent the last couple months fighting RSV and then Covid shortly thereafter so wasn't really feeling like doing much in the garage. Still, to not do anything isn't going to help either so I focused on cleaning things up and trying to clear out and make room where I could. I've had the Model A offsite in a storage facility which doesn't sit well as I can't do any work on it and the rent is driving up the cost of the project. To correct that I decided I needed to bring it home to the garage. Problem being I have my mustang and the truck project in there already along with a new frame for the coupe. Plus a plethora of tool chests, benches, wheels and tires, engines and all kinds of metal working equipment. The place is PACKED. My solution aside from selling off some stuff and Tetris style organization of parts, etc. was to build a mobile body cart onto which I could place the frame and coupe body. This would allow me to move it around and against a wall or such when possible. Most importantly, it would get the coupe home and up at a height I could comfortably work on the lower sheet metal doing rust repair.

I had looked online and tried to source something existing to meet my needs or at least close that I could modify but everything I found was not up to par and pricey at that. So my own design it would be. So I ordered up a ton of steel tubing and went to work. The main cart is made of 2" x .125" wall square tubing. The telescoping legs are 1.75" x .125" wall tubing. I used 1/4" thick plate to make the caster decks.

For now it will serve as a cart for the coupe as it gets built but later I plan to convert it to be an engine run stand. The design and dimensions keep all this in mind. Also, I wanted to incorporate some specific capabilities for the coupe build. Things like extensions off the back of the cart to support a rear end independently to allow fabrication of a custom link style suspension. More on this kind of stuff as it happens. For now just pics and details on the main cart build.

Since I do not yet have a large welding fixture table I had to find a way to build the frame square and true. Using the three point support method I knew I could do it on the garage floor provided I had the correct clamping fixtures. I bought some squares from a company called Fireball Tools. These made it possible to line things up and hold them perfectly for welding. Additionally, by using long lengths of the tubing as supports/guides, I was able to build the cart sides perfectly square. The Fireball Squares were again used to align things when time came to join the two sides and make the rectangular cart as a whole.

For the telescoping legs I wanted to maximize the height it could reach while still collapsing low enough that the coupe body would sit at the height I wanted while doing that work. So what that meant is when complete, the top surface would be at about 22". The legs can drop down at 2" increments to gain an additional 12" in height. Lastly, the threaded leg bolt can get you up to another couple inches if you need it. I guess longer bolts could yield even more. I used 1" diameter bolts so they are plenty stout.

last important point has to do with the adjustable leg pins. I didn't just want a pin that would slip through some holes and have the weight sitting on the pin body. That allows for failure due to sheer but also because of the necessary loose tolerance that lets the inner leg slide in and out a bit of "wobbliness" is kind of inherent in that design. To better that I used 5/8" diameter hardened shaft stock and turned one end down to 1/2" and bore into that end and added 5/16" x 18 threads. I also milled flats on the other end of the pin. These pins slide through the outer and inner legs via a 5/8" diameter hole on one side and out a 1/2" diameter hole on the other. I then can use a bolt and washer to tighten up and clamp the two legs together holding them fixed with the weigh on the pin but the force of the clamping relieving concern about any sheering occurring. Added a whole lot of work to the project but that's why I bought the table top lather and mill so I could pull this kind of thing off in the garage. Plus, its fun!

Anyway way too much typing and not enough pics. So...pics!!
bodycart1.jpgbodycart2.jpgbodycartcaster.jpgbodycartcaster2.jpg
 
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To create the thread for the leg bolt/leveler I used a store bought square nut. I drilled holes in the inner leg on all four sides and then aligned the nut at the correct height and drilled a bit of a hole into each side of the net. Next, I plugged welded on all those holes and ground the surface smooth. Lastly. I fully welded around the inside edge.

You can see in the pic below how the pin fits in the inner leg. The protrusions on either side fit snuggly into the bores on opposite sides of the outer frame leg. bodycartadj.jpgbodycartadjthread.jpgbodycartpin.jpgbodycartpin2.jpg
 
Very nice work Terry !
3 in 1 solution !
Heavy things are moveble and /or making things easier to work on , and puting heavy things away to make some space ...you won't regret making this .
Lack of space ! Tell me about ! Remember , I made a rack for my rearends . Made a motor teststand , to run an engine on......and to move it aside easy.
Made a moveble table ( 1m by 1.8m ) for all the bigger projects ( lately that 48v batterypack ).
A welding table , dreamed for years but my space is running out !!
Keep up the good work ! Thumbs up !!
 
When you get it done, write up a set of plans for it. A buddy of mine built an engine run stand, he's a CAD designer by trade so he made up a set of plans, listing materials needed, etc. Started selling the plans online for 7 or 8 bucks. He completely funded the purchase and restoration (all done by himself) of 3 early '70's Chevelles. To date he has sold over 11k of them!
 
When you get it done, write up a set of plans for it. A buddy of mine built an engine run stand, he's a CAD designer by trade so he made up a set of plans, listing materials needed, etc. Started selling the plans online for 7 or 8 bucks. He completely funded the purchase and restoration (all done by himself) of 3 early '70's Chevelles. To date he has sold over 11k of them!
and where is the link to said friend's plans? If we waited for Terry to do it we will all be retired!
 
When you get it done, write up a set of plans for it. A buddy of mine built an engine run stand, he's a CAD designer by trade so he made up a set of plans, listing materials needed, etc. Started selling the plans online for 7 or 8 bucks. He completely funded the purchase and restoration (all done by himself) of 3 early '70's Chevelles. To date he has sold over 11k of them!
That's a solid idea. Wouldn't take much time/effort and every little bit sure would help! Time to brush up on my CAD skills.

When building this I was mostly concerned with getting my monies worth out of how I would use it. If anyone is wondering, it hasn't been cheap. I found a guy close to me that had the steel so I got it for quite a bit less than I was paying at the local Metals Supermarket near me. Which itself was cheaper than any other source I could find. Still, I dropped over $400 on the tubing alone. I picked up the casters for about $16 a piece. All the hardware (grade 8) which includes those massive 1" leg bolts and square nuts set me back another $60 or so. Where it sits now I'd say I got over $500 invested in it. That doesn't include the Fire Ball Tool squares which were a must but they are just about $100 a piece delivered. Then there's the welding wire and gas. Figure an easy $25 bucks there. I've still got about 10' of 2" tubing left from which to build the remaining stuff which would be for the engine stand conversion and hangers for the rear end as used as a body cart. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with all. If you look online at what a Jegs or somebody sells as a body cart in comparison for just about the same money I think I am way ahead of the game with what I built.
 
and where is the link to said friend's plans? If we waited for Terry to do it we will all be retired!

Looks like he is getting other sites to showcase his stand, the pics/videos are all from his house. $8.50 for the plans, he will send you a PDF. He also has a '69 Mach 1 he restored along with the Chevelles.
 
Build mine from scratch . Just need some paint.

 

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I like how you made it adjustable for different engines. I see too many where they make specific mounts for an engine.
 
Finally got around to kind of wrapping this one up and painting it. I still need to make actual brackets to mount the frame securely to the cart. Maybe get that done this weekend. Sprayed it all with Eastwood rattle can 2K chassis black paint. Likely not as durable had I used normal two part epoxy paint but at least the metal is protected. Hopefully, it won't scratch off too easily.
I just remembered I never talked about something new I tried with this project. I used vinegar to remove the mill scale off the inner leg pieces. Tolerances were super tight so needed as much room as I could get. Soaked them in the vinegar for a couple days and the mill scale simply wiped off with a rag. Crazy how well it worked and how easy it was to do. I have all kinds of metal parts soaking in the same vinegar bucket now. Simple and clean. No dirty sanding/grinding dust all over the place. Only catch is you have to have a suitable container to fit the pieces in so they are submerged in the vinegar but the results are terrific.
bodycartpaint1.jpgbodycartpaint2.jpg
 
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