Gallery: Random Heavy Crap in My Shop

Moving reveals some of the stranger things I've acquired over the years

I needed a forklift when I moved my shop last month.(Of course, everyone just needs a forklift, period.) Besides the stock of steel, the heavy machines and tables, and all of the normal stuff, there’s just a lot of, well, Other Stuff, and a lot of it is really heavy. Much of it I keep because I’m planning to use it in some future project. Some of it is here because I just haven’t gotten around to getting rid of it yet. And some of it is even photogenic. Here’s a collection of my once and future useful stuff.

Automatic Numbering Machine

This is the head of a mechanical numbering machine. The ratchet pawl pictured advances the numbers with each stomp on the foot pedal. The machinery also re-inks the stamps, rotates the ink pad to fresh ink, and performs the actual stamping with each cycle. The whole thing is really, really neat. I’m saving it – one day I want to number a limited edition series of something with it.

Removable Carrier

This is the removable carrier from a Ford nine-inch rear axle. (Remember rear-wheel-drive cars?) Many axles come apart differently, where the back of the axle housing comes off and the gears you see here are drawn out through the back. On a Ford nine-inch, the back is solid and the whole carrier comes out through the front. The result of this is that the gear ratios can be quickly and easily changed, which is one of the reasons they are so popular in race cars.

Big Bearing

A friend of a friend was selling his giant, collapsing warehouse complex and heading for the hills. Cleanout became a free for all. Somehow I came away with about four five-gallon buckets of bearings. Ten percent were actually potentially useful; 89.5 percent were ruined; and 0.5 percent became awesome paperweights. Like this one, which sits on my henchman’s desk.

Shredder Wheels

This is what is inside your paper shredder. Word got out that I wanted to make a terrifyingly large paper shredder and a friend gave me the guts of a broken office model as a reference. These are they.

Hand Wheels

These are expensive to buy when you need one in a hurry. Whenever I see an old piece of machinery going to its doom, I harvest the usable parts. Hand wheels like these are high on my list of usable parts.