Milk crate traction.

Amazingly, these things wee originally used as a milk bottle carrier… I doubt most people know that.  I didn’t for years…just figured it was an odd name, if I ever gave it any thought.   To most of us, they are simply The greatest portable step/stepstool in existence. 

Especially the older metal ones!  

If you can find them. We always had 3 of them, one that I adopted and carried in my truck for forever, one that’s had a broken top as long as I can remember, and one with a Christmas tree stand permanently wired to the top (raises the tree for clearance under lower branches for packages and watering the tree).

About 3 years ago, I lost mine.   Had to climb into a dumpster to dig for something of sentimental that was accidentally thrown away… when I found it and headed home, I forgot the crate by the dumpster. Oops. Couple hours later when realized, it was already gone.  Someone here picked up a great find, a metal crate at the dump that night. Lol. 

So, I’ve been carrying one of the modern plastic ones in the truck for a while. Nothing wrong with them really, they work fine. I just miss my old metal one.

So. I had this chunk of steel diamond plate I scrounged last summer. And some time to kill. And my welder already setup. 😆😇😆

The plate was too wide one way, too narrow the other. Cut it down to fit. Turned out to be tough tempered plate, should wear great for eons..  The 1/2″ or so on the other axis doesn’t bother me.. Still sturdy enough, and won’t hurt anything.

I really, Really,  REALLY need to practice my “out of position” welding (technical term for any welding not on a flat, level surface in front of you…)  Turns out it’s a bear to weld the inner lower corners/edges of a box! Whether laying down, or stood vertical.  

Inner welds look like crap, but will hold more than enough. 

Outer edge welds were a lot better, right up until I ran out of welder wire. Ha! Will have to finish it later (if it ever seems to need it) 

1/2 can of Rustoleum gloss black later, and I have a fancy, rugged, heavy, should last a lifetime step! 😎

With a younger sibling 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Modifications, old tools, Sentimental, truck, Welding

ATV 2″ front receiver, and plow mount.

Wanted to modify my snow plow from my ridding mower to fit the Prairie 360. The plow mount got partly crushed in storage in the yard a few winters ago, so it hadn’t been used, and couldn’t be used anyway… No loss to cut up what was left of the mounting. 

But I wanted an easy, fat quick disconnect from the ATV, that also didn’t reduce my ground clearance like most factory mounts do.

  Good time to build the front receiver hitch that I’d thought would be handy anyway!
5 evenings work, 4 or 5 hours each, and two designs later; 

Bought a couple more U bolts than what I had (and the 2 U bolts were all I had to buy, the rest was already on hand!) And mounted;

The plate is welded at an angle to the receiver  tube, and sits flat on the frame tubes, which the u bolts go around. The tube is also butted against a frame cross bar at its rear, with a tab at the top sitting on the frame cross bar.  The front also bolts through a cross bar of the bumper.

Thus inward push is directly on the frame in two areas, and it’s protected from twisting up and down, and side to side.  It’s terribly over built, 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick plates and tube… Heavier than most truck hitch mounts. 

And, recessed in the stock front skid plate;

The plow mount uses a inner receiver piece, welded to the mount plate for the plow, which then bolts as it did with the tractor, to the plow pivot plate, which the plow angle bracket, and plow itself pins to.   Before, the plate and pivot would stay on the tractor,  and you understand pin it at the vertical joint. 

I have it so that stays pinned, and the  rear half of the mount will just pull from the 2″ receiver.  

One bonus I gain on this setup, is the plow mount plate receiver piece, is bolted to the plow plate… I can make anything I want to mount to that plate, just match the bolt pattern. Gives a send level of interchangeable mounts if I need it. 

I still need to add a vertical “tower” just in front of the vertical pivot, run up higher than the winch, with a pulley for the cable, to be the angle of lift force correct, and minimize winch strain.  

But it works pretty good!  It’s a little light on the plow, I’ll be adding a heavier cutting edge for durability and added weight (4′ of 1/8″x4″ steel plate). 

The power angle system I’m building for it will also add some weight, should dig in nice with that on it. (More details on that later! ☺) 

As a side note, since it does look like a light setup, especially for our winters; I don’t figure to so all my plowing with it. 

I have a 3/4 ton truck and two heavy duty plows for my yard, driveway, and our road if needed.   But I also have areas around the yard, garage, etc that the truck doesn’t fit into, or where I can’t get it at an angle to push away from the buildings etc.   The ATV on the other hand will maneuver these areas.  

I plan to do those hard areas with the ATV, then in between big snowfalls where I’ll use the truck, I can maintain the walkways, and parking areas etc with the ATV. It’ll be easier for the light 3″ or 4″ max. snowfalls.  😎

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Improviser, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, tool mods, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Welding, Winter, Wrenching

New project…

Building a grinder. I have a set of these plans, that I bought Ages ago before I had a welder setup to use easily;


Basically this sucker right here;



Its designed to be able to be put together by the average hobbiest with easily scrounged steel and limited tools, so its a no-weld design; It all bolts together.  I’m gonna simplify the work(lots less hole drilling, and a few less bracket pieces), slightly re-design it, and weld it together. 😀

Now, maybe in the lower 48 square tube steel is put a side as scrap more often, and easier to scrounge, but a friend and I both tried to scrounge steel for this for a couple years, and came up dry!  And that stiff is spendy to buy here!

So, I’m doing the same basic design, but since I can weld it all together, I can use round tube, angle iron in places where they needed the 3rd  and 4th  walls of the tube just for bolts, and different sizes of square tube, etc…

Most grinders like this run a Big 8” or 10”contact drive wheel for the belt, and a variable speed motor… But as this one is shown, they did as I’m going to, and  run a set of stem pulleys for speeds, allowing a small contact wheel to have the same torque/rpm as the big wheel setup…  SO I don’t have to shell out $200 for a contact wheel, or have to figure a way to make a wheel that big.    IF I can scrounge some 3” or 4” amuminum stock, I can lathe turn all the small wheels I should need, still saving me the cost of Any wheels(those little suckers are still like $50 a pop!)   

I even have a Big 3/4 or 1 HP motor that came off my lathe(had an issue that the warrenty fixed by sending us a new motor, then we later fixed the first motor 😀 ) And I already have the bearing pillow blocks and shafts, and step pulley setup from a home built wood lathe that my Dad buit years ago.


All I need is the luminum stock, and a few more pieces of steel tube, and I’m set. 

Oh, and someone to carry my stick welder back into my basement for me… That thing is Heavy!!

Categories: tool mods, Welding

Remington 25 Misc. fitting Pt`2.

Small 25-20 rifle update… Front sight installed!




When I ordered this thing I had no idea what it came off of, and I also more importantly had no idea of the radius of the contour on the bottom… IE, what dia barrel it would fit, or if it fit a tapered barrel or a straight contour..  I figured it would probably be close enough to work. Later after ordering I hoped it would at least be close enough that I could shape a 1/16” steel space to fit it, and the bottom to fit the barrel..

I got lucky!



It fits it 99% perfectly!!


Also, the dovetail for the sight post was a little loose for the post I scavenged off the 218 Bee barrel… A little work with a ball pein hammer tightened it up nice.  The post is a touch too wide for the ramp, but it works! (better too wide than too narrow…) Once I get it sighted in and peened to hold it in place, I’ll grind the sides flush for a nice clean fit.    The sight hood off the other barrel even fits it! (needs a little tweeking, but it will deff work on there) 









SO… I started out to mount it with screws… But didn’t have any the right length. Shortening one woulda been easy… Lengthening the other… a little harder. It would have been OK, but that coupled with my problem of the HSS drill bits I have not being stiff enough to not flex when drilling a curved surface… I didn’t want to have to re-weld and re-drill these holes in the barrel…  So while I was tack welding the sight to the barrel to make it 100% solid as a drilling guide I decide to heck with it and just tacked it in several places.. 😉


That ramp is now permanently mounted. 😀

It ain’t super purty, but it works!






Categories: 25-20-rifle, Custom, Guns, Gunsmithing, Welding

Remington 25 Misc. fitting Pt1.


The main tools used in re-fitting the bolt;  Flex shaft variable speed Dremel( yes, actual Dremel brand tool, variable speed model circa 1990… Still going strong!) Flux core wire feed welder, and Lots of files!(some regular a nd a couple in diamond grit)




Current mess for fitting and assembly dutties;




Magazine tube band welded to the barrel;

It ain’t real pretty but it works!(other side is actually worse… I was selective for the pic 😉 )




The mag follower was binding in the tube, and against the new cartridge stop, so I made an end for it the right dia that couldn’t try to pass the cstop and wedge in place… right dia? The same as the cartridges of course… So… 😉 




Need to get a thinner screw for that, its a little hard to start the first shell against it as is.  I’m really enjoying one skill that I’ve learned with these recent gun projects; Tapping threads.  Something I always avoided before after some bad experiances… But with the proper drill size, and new sharp taps, its really rather easy, and a great way(duh!) of attaching two items together! 


Another one for drilling and tapping; I had to find a new way to mount the stock after I messed up the inletting and stock angle that allowed it to factory mount through the butt to the tang end….  Cross drilled the tang, tapped the hole, matched to the stock, and voila;




That pic also shows the new safety parts that I ordered, now installed.

Categories: Custom, Guns, Hunting, Welding

Remington 25 action fitting and tuning, Final Part 4.

The bolt face, before;







Checking overall length so I knew where to grind to if I needed to re-cut it to original, in case this hadn’t worked out…





Finished the first time;




And the piece that came off;




And, as it is now, the second fitting, with the piece that came off the first version;



Categories: Custom, Guns, Welding

Lovejoy Pickup Progress; Right Rear Bed Corner Patch. Part 2!

So, I went ahead and welded it all the way around, beating, hammering, twisting, pressing and torqueing that front area into place. 


Didn’t work. Ground back the welds and I had an 1/8” offset drop from the bed side to the corner panel at that front seam!  Meaning the sheer tonage of filler it would take to blend that seam, and feather back into the corner was epic… and too much. 







So, I trimmed all the weld on that front seam down to a tight step in the sheet metal(that was solid, ironically!) The trimmed off hald the flange on the back side, upper end of the seam.. and seperated the two pieces at the bottom of the seam… And re-trimmed the flange, on the back, etc…

I ended with it still welded at the rear corner, and top seam, but cut apart for the bottom 3/4 of the front seam, allowing me to pull the panel outward, till it was flush with the bed panel…

 A flush joint to weld, with a slight gap, I ran the welder hot, and “stitched” across the gap pushing a burn out/hole up the seam. Worked good, filled the gap great!




And tacked. And re-welded.




And ground, 90%. It was 11PM by this time, 2 hours it took me to weld, re-cut, and re-weld it… Too late to grind anymore without a neighbor bitching, so I’ll finish grinding it tomorrow.



Turned out good and flush though, both the high and low body lines on that area line up 99% too!  Will just need to fill/blend the welds flush, not fill/blend 3/4 of the panel like it was after the first welding…


Went ahead and painted the corner to see how the body lines and weld lines look in one smooth color… Pretty damned good, even if I do say so myself!  







Heck of a lot better than it was;









I Still need to grind that one section of weld down, and fill the holes that were for the spare tire carrier bracket on the corner from when it was on the bronco, and finish weld a couple pin holes in one seam, but that corner is about 99% done at this point.


Categories: truck, Vehicles, Welding

Lovejoy Pickup Progress; Right Rear Bed Corner Patch.



Cut out, trimmed, trimmed…. re-trimmed…. Trimmed again!  You get the idea…




The bulk of what came out;




Some more stuff that was trimmed out…





The piece trimmed(also a gaillion times) to fit, and flanged to fit behind on front and top, and flush fit around the rear corner.




Tack welded in place;




Hmm… It drifted and left a step and gap at the front;





No flash pic to show the offset more;



Categories: truck, Vehicles, Welding

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