When You Can’t Buy It, Just Build It.

For many years we would be working on projects and an idea would pop in our head of a better way to do something and with a good team of fabricators on board with us we’d just build it.

Not everything we built worked as well as we hoped, but when we got a winner, it was the real deal.

Below was something we built that allowed us to set a large diameter pipe one it, the larger rollers were hydraulically powered and would slowly turn the pipe while the hydraulic pipe saw would move down to the correct mark and cut away. Once everything was put on and set in motion, no one really had to attend it.

While it was built with the best of intentions, the guys seldom used it, preferring to mark it let an man saw it with a gas powered Quicky Saw.

It has pockets welded into the frame so it could be moved from place to place. That has really come in handy for moving it from one place in the yard to another.

This next monstrously was built to compact bedding around large diameter pipes. We took a large vibraplate and attached it to a frame that straddled the pipe. At the end of each leg was a ski that would rest on the bedding. The vibration traveled wonderfully down the legs.

It was built where it was fairly easy to change from one pipe size to another.

This was mounted in a 300 class excavator with a pin grabber. It was a real hit with the crew and the inspectors.

Probably of anything we ever built, these bedding hoppers were what I’m the proudest of. They were fairly simple, yet performed great. The door on the bottom was operated by a fairly small 12 volt electric hydraulic pump and cylinder. A large battery was mounted in a box and had a solar panel to keep it charged. It only ran while when activated, so the battery life was good.

We had others that we put a small gasoline powered hydraulic power pack. When the laborer that assisted in hooking up the cables would start the engine then turn it off as the empty bucket was returned.

The power pack versus the solar unit each had their advantages. But like anything else they both needed a certain amount of care.

The hoe operator had a wireless remote control that they used to open and close the gate to get the correct amount of gravel in the ditch. He was always at a good vantage point to see the pipe and ditch.

3 thoughts on “When You Can’t Buy It, Just Build It.

    1. I think about life like this: Don’t ever be afraid of failure. Go in with your best thought out plan. If it doesn’t work, make adjustments and move on with it. If at some point you see that it’s never going to work, put it on the shelf or in the back of the yard. Immediately start looking for your next best idea ever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like that approach. It could account for several things begun by me that are on the shelf, or in the back of the yard. Thanks for the metaphor.

        Liked by 1 person

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