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Make your shop a Power Shop

  • Power shop wish list

    Check out 18 farmer ideas for getting the most out of your farm shop.

  • Bump out for storage

    The option of adding more space to an existing shop is not as restricted as you may think -- provided you have extra space surrounding the structure.

  • Expand outdoors

    Burrer Farms of Elyria, Ohio, found pouring outdoor staging areas created much-needed space for large implements that otherwise couldn't unfold inside the 50×65-foot shop "let alone get through the main door," says Tom Burrer.

  • Put your work on wheels

    Little is bolted down to the floor inside Dwayne and Paul Hargus's shop. "We put it on wheels or make it so it can be moved with a forklift. Workbenches, cabinets, major tools -- everything," Paul says.

  • Upgrade the doors

    The easiest retrofit upgrade is an overhead door. But the popularity of bifold and one-piece, hydraulically opening doors has expanded the size selection in this door category, making them a viable retrofit option.

  • Erect a swinging crane

    You can erect an overhead hoist in an existing shop with a little ingenuity like Duane Boehm of Dakota, Iowa, did. He added two self-supporting swinging cranes.

  • Create a welding center

    Create a welding center like on the Gerstacker Farm of Midland, Michigan. "We went from welding equipment along a wall to a 30x36-foot fabrication center positioned to the side of our shop's main work bay and serviced by a jib crane," says Clark Gerstacker

  • Improve ventilation

    Beyond preventing shop walls from getting dingy, exhausting welding and engine fumes reduces your chance of developing lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. To exhaust welding fumes, you need a fan that moves 1,000 to 2,000 cfm.

  • Bump out an office

    Dave Pepper of Boone, Iowa, constructed a 16×42-foot addition that "was a third of the cost of a new pickup but had a far better return on investment."

  • Add an ironworker

    The down economy presents an opportunity to buy industrial equipment like ironworkers and metal lathes for pennies on the dollar of a new unit.

  • Turn up the heat

    An infrared tube heater provides the advantages of in-floor heat, as it warms up objects such as floors, tools, and machinery rather than the air.

  • Blow up air capacity

    Your existing compressor may be tapped out by the expansion of air-hungry tools. The solution is a new compressor like the 10-hp., two-stage unit Todd Dybdahl bought.

  • Fabricate a work deck

    Storage lofts are a common feature. But Joe Vinton went one step further and created a second-story work platform that houses metalworking tools.

  • Upgrade the lights

    Brighter lights can make a world of difference in your work space. And the light of choice is a high-intensity, high-pressure sodium bulb.

  • Find a fork lift

    "Every shop should have a forklift," says Tim Crossley, Green Fork, Indiana. He is on his fourth forklift after selling the first three to neighbors who came to realize how invaluable they are.

  • Add a high-capacity lube center

    The 65- and 110-gallon poly cubes are a lightweight, easy-to-stack alternative to barrels that can be plumbed to create a closed environment that keeps dirt and condensation at bay.

  • Fill in a missing pit with an auto lift

    If you've always wanted a pit to service your vehicles, a viable alternative is the new generation of two-post lifts.

  • Draw the curtain on a work bay

    Randy Miiller wanted a wash bay but he didn't want to spray adjourning work areas. So he fashioned a 50-foot-long curtain that folds against his Mount Vernon, South Dakota, shop wall when not in use.

  • Build a better workbench

    Replace narrow-top and oil-soaked wooden workbenches with deep, all-steel units like those fabricated by Smith Farms of Rochester, Indiana.

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