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Discussion Starter #1
Building a motorhome and a small trailer (10ft) that will be used to haul all my tools and toys around. Want to outfit it with a whole range of tools to do everything from metal fabrication to woodwork to composite stuff. Have been collecting tools for years, but space was never as much of a consideration as it is now. Know there are a lot of people working in small spaces, garages, etc., and figured it might be helpful to share some info, tips, tricks, etc. This thread is all about making most efficient use of space and tools. Versatility with being gimmicky.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Best example of what I'm talking about might be my welder. Planning on picking up a Miller suitcase welder to replace my trusty MM251.

Not sure what I'm going to do for a tubing bender. Have a JD2 Model 4 bender with a full assortment of dies, so will probably just adapt that to be a little bit more portable.

Have gotten into the habit of mounting most of my tools to 2" receiver stock, and think that will work really well in this new environment. Planning on building storage racks along the walls where I can mount the tools when they're not being used, and then I can pull them out and plug them into a receiver hitch wherever I want to use them.








Just picked up one of these 10" Dayton bench grinders Was looking for something smaller, but found a good deal on craigslist. Probably bigger than I want/need, and might end up getting something else. Really like the idea of setting a grinder up with a multitool belt & disc grinder.

Have also been looking for a small drill press. Something that I can use with a milling vise and compound vice. Would really like to have a small mill/drill unit, but a quality unit is not in the budget right now, and I have some reservations about putting a piece of equipment like that in an especially rough mobile environment.

Definitely going to pick up one of the portaband-to-vertical bandsaw kits from Swag Offroad. This product epitomizes what I'm trying to achieve here, and I've already got a Milwaukee V28 cordless portaband.




Need a chop saw of some sort too. Not sure whether I'm going to get an abrasive-type or a dry-cut saw. Working in such a small space, where I'll also be storing my bikes, motorcycles, and other toys, am leaning towards a dry-cut saw.

Planning on installing some type of curtains to help keep things clean, and don't expect to be doing to much actual fab-work inside the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're absolutely right. Edited my post to link to the right welder.
 

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Great idea with the tools mounted on receiver stock. I am a farrier and have a vice and barstock sheer mounted to go into the receiver. I drilled and tapped a hole into the receiver and thread in a 5/16'' bolt welded to a 6'' piece of stock to take out all the play.
 

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You will love the multi-tool belt/disc sander attachment if you get one. I can't imagine life without mine now.

BTW how do you like that JMR notcher? I really want one, but it's hard to justify more than double the cost of a JD2 notchmaster.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great idea with the tools mounted on receiver stock. I am a farrier and have a vice and barstock sheer mounted to go into the receiver. I drilled and tapped a hole into the receiver and thread in a 5/16'' bolt welded to a 6'' piece of stock to take out all the play.
Thanks, but not exactly an original idea. Had obviously seen it down before, just decided that it would be a good idea to adapt to all my tools. Or at least most of them. Was working in a one-car garage at the time, and things were tight. Made this welding / fab cart a few years ago, and then just kept adding receivers to things.












You will love the multi-tool belt/disc sander attachment if you get one. I can't imagine life without mine now.
Yeah, had been looking for something like a grinder/sander combo-tool and that is the best multi-tool setup I've seen. Great to hear from someone that has some personal experience with it, and am really glad to hear that it's not junk. The fact that Van Sant sells it lends some credibility too.

...how do you like that JMR notcher? I really want one, but it's hard to justify more than double the cost of a JD2 notchmaster.
It's wonderful. Wrote a review for off-road.com years ago. It's a tool is made better than it needs to be, and agree that it's hard to justify the expense. Especially when, like you point out, a tool like the JD2 NotchMaster is so much less expensive. I actually have one of those too (along with a Beast), and my only complaint about the Notchmaster is that you really have to crank down on the dovetail offset adjustment nut, or it will slip. But then you have to shim the JMR notcher to do offset notches, so that's an even bigger pain in the ass. But with all those notchers at my disposal, the JMR is the one I use the most. Especially like it for this kind of stuff:



 

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"On-car" notching is exactly why I want the JMR.

I am currently working in a 20'x21' garage and it already feels super cramped, I can't imagine downsizing from here.
 

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Not to hijack but Arya, if you get a JMR, immediately check the main shaft run out within the pillow block. I've had two pillow blocks that both allowed to the shaft to deflect about 0.040." On the other hand, I've spoken with many people who said there's is rock solid..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just got one of Swag's new V3.0 portaband tables. Pretty slick. Really like the new integrated miter-gauge slots and the removable legs are going to work out great for me, because I think I'm going to try to make them fold-up or something (to be more compact for storage). Never used the old portaband table with an aluminum center-section, but Troy told me the new steel ones will wear a lot better.







 

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V3.0 is :smokin: I haven't seen that one yet. I was thinking about making my own, but it might be time to finally pull the trigger on one.

Not exactly mobile like some of your ideas, but I moved my compressor into the attic above my garage to make room in my already small work space. My compressor is a horizontal unit, so it free'd up quite a bit of floor space as well as reducing the noise volume. See link below for more details.

Remote Compressor Switch Panel
 

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Yeah, it's a pretty slick deal. That's a cool compressor control setup too.
 

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yeah that is a pretty good idea with the compressor setup you have there.
 

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i fabbed up this receiver accessory mount to hold my cheesy HF bender, vice, notcher, etc. at one point it had a 5/16 plate about 18"x18" as a weld station, but i robbed it to make other parts :p

here i'm drilling holes for shift linkage
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Think I might have finally scored a sewing machine. It's an old Pfaff walking-foot industrial machine, which is not exactly a portable setup, but I'm going to see what I can do about re-packaging it. Really just want to be able to put it away, stored so that it won't take up any more space than it needs to.

Have also been thinking a lot about how I'm going to keep different areas within such a small space divided. In a 10ft trailer I'm going to be storing all of my tools and bikes and other toys, which I don't want to get filthy-dirty when I'm working on stuff. Will obviously do as much work as possible outside, but anticipate that I'll need to work inside sometimes too. What kind of curtains and things should I be looking at? Have seen a lot of different setups in shops over the years, but am kinda leaning towards something like those long hanging strips that you sometimes see in walk-in freezers. Maybe adding magnets? Made out of something that will hold-up to sparks?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Built this receiver hitch mount for my Wilton vice a while ago (pics posted above) using a plate that I designed (CAD file can be downloaded here) and had PacFab cut for me on their CNC plasma table. Worked great but was really unstable when I set it down on the ground and it was also kinda awkward to carry around. So I added this stabilizer / handle. Much better now.





 
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