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Although I have a thing for the small crawlers, I'm open to any type of machine really. My only limitation is the weight. I'm limited to anything around 2500 kgs (5500 lbs), so basically small stuff. A mini excavator is definitely a good candidate.

I've been seeing the same two crawlers for sale for months. So that must say something about how firm is the guy on the price.

People here won't flex much on their prices. Sometimes we get an exception but very rare. My best deals from stuff found online, have been on the ads that had been up for a couple hours or days.

I almost traded my '94 4x4 truck with 123.000 miles last month for the same brand and model but a wide body version. It was a '98 with only 74.000 miles in pristine condition, absolutely perfect, both inside and outside. The price was about right but I would need to sell mine first. In the meantime, it was sold in a couple of days.
 

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Nice Don! That's nice fit! You're getting the hang of the lathe already.





That gets my vote too!!

because, like Mark says . . . . . "and why shouldn't you have an excavator"!
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Don

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I'd love to drive an excavator and a skidsteer as well.

Once I drove a big backhoe, a Case 580K Super LE. I was 7 years old and the owner let me dig a hole with the backhoe and then fill it back up with the front loader. Let's just say he got very emotional about it. On of those unforgettable experiences for sure.
 

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Thanks Pedro.
I only have one cutting tool that is new and sharp. It's a HSS blade I bought that fit one of the tool holders. It seemed rather sketchy having to protrude about 1-3/4" . I finally started feeling more at ease using it once I was past the keyway.
I was impressed with the insert for not snapping in to pieces when it caught the edge a few times and made scary noises.
It is not a exact fit, there is a couple thou of tapper the first 1/2" or so but the sprocket end is real tight. I think it came out OK though. It's 100% usable.
I'm not going to bother with a keyway, it has two set screws so I will center punch the two and drill reliefs. I might just drill and tap one of them. That way the bucket can be removed from the quick attach rather than being welded on.

Ahhh, so that is where you got the bug!!!
I think mine is carry over from the Tonka Dump Truck & Steam Shovel I had when I was a kid. LOL!! They were yellow, they hadn't made green ones yet. Ha!!

Oh, yesterday I finally found a carbide bit and ordered one. It's 1/4"x1/4" x 4" I have some old pieces but just got a couple of diamond wheels to sharpen them with and haven't tried that yet. As inexpensive as the wheels were I'm not expecting much from them. I have a diamond stone but lacked motivation until now. We will see what works best.
Any tips for sharpening carbide??

Don

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Nice start to lathe work, Don; usable part first time.
I like to drill and tap along the shaft, you get a very large engagement area at no extra cost. As good as a keyway, maybe better since it also locks the hub to the shaft.

Everyone says you should learn HSS cutting first, but I disagree.
Ready made carbide inserts with holders are cheap and they work great. When the cut goes wrong with a factory insert, you know it's not the tool; that helps find your errors and improve your skills faster.
I just bought 4 small boring bars and 10 inserts from ebay for $18.
When I make my own cutters, I braze carbide chips to a chunk of mild steel and then grind. With carbide the edge angle and speed is much less critical, it doesn't get killed by rust, it doesn't need lubricant.


My experience is the same as Pedro's; second hand stuff in Portugal at realistic prices are rare, and there seems to be a culture block, so far unexplained to me, to people dropping an asking price at all.
It can be aggravating.
On the other hand, it saves time; no need to even travel to the place if the asking price is silly.
And they usually are.
My neighbor had his house for sale for 10 years; refused all offers. The market finally moved and it sold; the old man stood firm. Who can say who's right?

However, there are a lot of digging machines, down here at least. Too many were bought during the exuberant time before the crisis, happily financed by banks who didn't notice or didn't care that although there was more work, it wasn't infinite.
Our village might have work for 1 or 2 loader/backhoes, but there are 10 or 20 of them. Several are scrap, recoverable it looks to me, but why bother?
Rusting in the rain. Kills me.
But I know if I ask the price, it will be silly. Anyway, I don't have work or shelter for one. I just like them.

Ideas for Pedro:
1; practical solar home heating with wood furnace backup.
It sounds a bit boring but this is a challenging project. I did some research on it but my build has been blocked by higher powers.
You need a big stratified water tank, many m2 of solar collectors, and the wood burner works at 800c and 20kw so it will burn any wood cleanly. Eucalyptus, pine, whatever.
The big water tank holds enough heat for a day or two, it's easy to upgrade to any future heat source. Off peak electricity, or nuclear fusion when it gets here.

2; Electric tractor conversion.
This is really a great solution for a problem that doesn't exist, but it would be worthy of your skills.
Get a donor tractor, blown engine would be ideal, and a crashed Nissan Leaf.
The rest is all fun.
 

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I would suggest getting one of those multi pieces tool holders for the lathe. It's a good starting point to learn and it's cheap.

Something like this:



To grind carbide, you'll need a diamond wheel like this:



Although, grinding carbide inserts can be tricky due to the geometry of the insert. Can be hard to grind in a way that it will still cut nicely.

One thing to keep in mind when doing stuff on the lathe is that you will only want enough stick out to get the job done. This applies to everything, the part on the chuck, the tool holder on the toolpost, the quill on the tailstock. Having to much stick out, is just a way to get weird vibrations and chatter.

For Mark:

It's a bit tricky to apply any heating solution on this house. This a 70+ year old house, that my parents have been improving as they could. This means that there is no isolation at all nor an easy way to add. Half of the roof structure is still made out of wood, while the rest is all precast beams.

We do have solar for the hot water. 300L tank with two solar panels and 80L electric back up electric boiler. We are considering getting one Pellet stove for the living room as the fireplace is not cutting it since the kitchen is open to the living room, making an huge area to heat up.

As far as the electric tractor, I admit, I hate dealing with batteries. My forklift is electric and it needs batteries. I'm seriously considering swapping to a diesel engine and a couple hydraulic pumps and motors for the drive and mast.

My area in both High school and College was Renewable energies. So I studied all kinds of stuff. From solar powered systems to biomass systems, water heating, HVAC, and so on. Designing and sizing all the various systems. Even sizing a full wind powered electric grid for a village.

Anyways, what I also wouldn't mind get my hands on, is on either a old shaper or an old full size drill press. But I'm really looking for a project to sell after the restoration.
 

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I like to drill and tap along the shaft, you get a very large engagement area at no extra cost. As good as a keyway, maybe better since it also locks the hub to the shaft.
I remember seeing you do that, good idea. I will give that a try.

I would suggest getting one of those multi pieces tool holders for the lathe.
OK, here is what I have as far as tooling.
A four jaw and a three jaw chuck.

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A tail stock and a toolpost on a cross slide.
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A few tool holders, straight parting cutting holder, thread cutting bit holder, right, left & center bit holders, a flycutter bit holder, a boring bar with some really used carbide tips.

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A few Morris taper 2 drill bits and none of the tools that I don't have.

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Don

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A little bit of nice weather today, sooooo. . . . .
First I straightened out my 24" x 48" 3/8" plate.

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It didn't stand a chance of staying bowed with a little persuasion from the excavator. :) about three pushes with the boom.

Next on the list was the 5/32" piece for the bucket. I put a slight bend in it after clamping it between the 3/8" plate and the 5/8" x 5" x 50" cutting edge on top of the tablesaw. Then heated with the propane weed torch. With the wind blowing 16 - 18 MPH I didn't get as much heat on it as I had hoped but it was enough of a hint so that the new favorite metal bender had little trouble getting it real close.
I stood it on the concrete walk, leaning on the Weber while I set the bucket on top and pushed three or four times.
Then coached it a bit more.
Just as TUDOR said before, hydraulics and heavy metal takes the work out of bending steel.
It's the best bender I've ever used.

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I'll probably work my tail off trying to get it just right, or maybe I'll tuck an edge under the dozer blade and give that a try.
I drilled the shaft and hub then tapped it & inserted grub screws, I think it should work.

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Then rough cut the other quick attach side piece.

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More fun tomorrow, I hope.
Don
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Nice work Don. Looks like you got a lot accomplished in spite of the weather.
 

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Thanks, Larry.
It felt like I did some work for a change.
We are getting a break it looks like most of the storm is tracking to the north, we are only getting clouds an wind , naturally.

Off to work!

Don
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Thanks, Pedro.
Hopefully!

Well it was perfect weather to be outside with a grinder, cool, damp with no wind.
I took advantage of that and chopped the 3/8 inch plate into a couple of pieces.
I also started on the cutting edge, the 5/8 inch plow bar steel. That one will take several sessions to keep it from warping only a little at a time, then letting it cool.

I worked on the sheet metal. getting the profile I was looking for.

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I've got some grinding - rust removal to do and hopefully it will be ready for welding by Friday.
The quick connect / mount is on hold until my 40mm hole saw blade arrives.

Don
 

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A little bit done, the fun part to this was getting it up on the bench.

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but the really fun part was flipping it over.

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It was finally flipped over, it took some time and the use of a chain to hold it in place while the clamps and rope were moved to take advantage of good old gravity. Anti gravitational devices were not available for the maneuver, sure would have simplified things.

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Finally got it flipped, looking forward to getting it down.
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The quick attach half done, a quarter inch bevel on all corners, takes a lot of filling.

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I nailed the 40mm hole for the pin. :)


Three trips around the block on the inside, outside two passes.

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Don

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Wow! Lots of cool stuff here. Don, be careful with all of that heavy duty work! I look at all of this work and feel like a lazy bum! LOL! My weather looks good for today, so I may be able to get to the camper and pull a couple of wheels and measure brake pad thickness. My trip to get the axle alignment done was only 160 miles round trip, so I don't know what this will tell me. We'll see.
Speaking of weather, it was 79 degrees F. yesterday. It will be 69 degrees F. today and we are supposed to get snow on Wednesday! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Thanks, Joe.
Being safe for sure, I enjoy having all my digits attached, some heavy - (enough) metal. The side pieces are 3/8 inch and the bucket is almost 1/4 inch. The quick attach is 3/4" & 1/2" that will attach to 3/8" x 2" x 3" angle on the top of the bucket. It will be in the 450 - 475 pound range. Almost forgot, the edge is 5/8" x 4" weighed in at 35 pounds.

Sounds like two good days for you to get some things done. It will be interesting to see how the brake pads are holding up.
We had strong winds last night, I'm surprised they didn't turn the power off.
It left us with cloudless skies for the first time in weeks.
I was already out and about this morning and it didn't seem as cold as they said it was.

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The forecast is worse.

Don

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At last we see the bucket taking shape!
I thought that thing with the wheel and cable above your bench was the anti-gravity device...

Here in southern Portugal, we have the most amazing, beautiful weather. Warm, sunny, and dry. Light breeze.
Everyone now knows that it's a catastrophe; the reservoirs are empty and there's no rain in the forecast.

Climatologists have said this is the new normal, policy makers are touting desalinization plants, farmers don't believe it and are still carrying on planting optimistically.

There's nothing to be done but enjoy the winter sunshine, trying not to think about the reality.
 

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Yeah, finally.
Weather has been fair, makes a big difference when the wind is not howling as it does around here.

Here in southern Portugal, we have the most amazing, beautiful weather. Warm, sunny, and dry. Light breeze.
That's good, you know, if you like that sort of thing. . . . .
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I thought that thing with the wheel and cable above your bench was the anti-gravity device...
True, it is but only an analog unit.
We need to talk to Joe about the good digital units. :)
Then it's just point and click.
Unless it's just thought activated, then you'd just have to think about it. . .
. . I think
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I finished welding the quick attach last night and was out in the dark checking the fit. That sucker's a beast, close to 80 pounds or 36.28 kg. and that's not including the hardware for the swivel. It will be a solid base to hang the bucket on.

More of adding to the bucket's weight, mounts etc.

Don

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Had a small Tornado about a mile south. Broke up a bunch trees abd broke off two power poles near I-85 and Lane Street exit 63. We were with out power from 12;00 untill 5:30 pm. I had just hauled off two loads of limbs that a storm got about 3 weeks ago. It was too wet to check if I had any more damage as we got around 4 or 5 inches of rain last
night and today.


 
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