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AATF Idea of the Month: Tool center rotates on casters

Agriculture.com Staff 02/17/2009 @ 1:40pm

There is a post in John Russell's shop that carries a lot of weight. It not only supports an overhead crane and a loft, but also it makes the ideal spot for mounting a rotating tool center.

That's because the center stands near a work bay, another workbench, and right next to his welding table.

"I wanted the tools to be accessible from all four sides," says Russell, "and I didn't want the tool center to take up much space."

They are, and it doesn't. His rotating tool center turns 360° and has detents that catch in one of two positions, so the 3x3x3-foot storage rack sits square with the shop.

"One side is organized with tools for welding, cutting, and fabricating; one side has wrenches, hammers, and so on. Each side is organized with tools common to a specific task," he says.

A 1-inch pipe slides out for hanging things on temporarily. Also, a variety of tire spoons and pry bars slide out and slide back in. There are 110- and 220-volt electrical and 1/2- and 3/8-inch air outlets underneath the tool center on the support post. The 8-inch-diameter post has a 12-inch pipe around it to accommodate the wiring.

  • Farm operation: 2,000 acres wheat straw (80,000 bales) and 400 acres hay (40,000 bales) near Pemberville, Ohio.
  • Family: Russell and wife Denise have seven children (four boys and three girls, ages 3 to 24). The youngest (a boy) was adopted at age 8 months from Guatemala.
  • Favorite tool: An overhead crane for the shop that he designed and fabricated himself.
  • Next project: Planning and installing a better exhaust system to more effectively exhaust fumes from his welders and plasma cutter.
  • Major pastime: "I spend a lot of time reengineering factory-type hay equipment so it better suits our needs," says Russell.Member: National Hay Association.
  • Big fan: "I have saved six years worth of Top Shops stories from Successful Farming magazine for the ideas. In fact, I even visited one farmer who was featured to see for myself the ideas he'd implemented," says Russell.

There is a post in John Russell's shop that carries a lot of weight. It not only supports an overhead crane and a loft, but also it makes the ideal spot for mounting a rotating tool center.

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