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Pole Barn Machine Shop


New member
I was going to wait till I'd finished the RPC and had machine tools running, but I lost some pictures when the laptop crapped out, and figured I better post these before I lose them.

So here goes; my shop thread. Some of ya'll have seen these pictures, but going to try and explain them a bit better this time around.

I started land clearing for a building back in October or November of last year. Hired a guy with a 250G, he'd tear the brush up then load my 1969 F600 grain truck up, and I'd haul the brush out to the field.

Doing this during school, and dealing with initial stuff for Dad's estate meant this was slow going.

Progress was also slowed because the guy I wanted the guy that did the land clearing to also do the dirt work. About the time I wanted to start moving dirt, he won the contract to do dirt work for a CVS.

So instead of finding someone else to do dirt work for me, like I probably should have, I ended up working for that Dirt guy on that CVS job.


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New member
CVS dirt work

About 700 loads of haul off I think. 500 loads of fill dirt went back under the building pad then lime stabilization for the parking lot area.

Learned a lot about dirt work and that side of construction, fun stuff.


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New member
Didn't do my dirt work until the last week in December IIRC, got it all done in two days. Hauled the guys 250G in at about 3pm, straight from finishing up the CVS job, then worked till dark getting the hole ready for back filling.

The next day was hauling in fill dirt. Used a company that was expensive, but they had a lot of truck. We had over 30 end dump semis and dump trucks bringing in dirt.

It was pretty cool, at the start of the day had trucks backed up about 1/2 mile down the road waiting to dump.

I was also a slightly wet soggy day, each end dump would drive in, get stuck up the axle, have to be drug the rest of the way in with the dozer, then I'd pull them out empty with the 930.

It was a BUSY day. Right at 150 loads I think. Dirt guy was running the dozer, I was shooting grade, running the roller, directing trucks and pulling trucks out with the tractor.

Got the whole pad put down in 7 hours though.

The picture upload thing on PM is being really stupid for some reason. Having to write the post here, then attach the picture with my phone....:angry:


New member
I rented a Home Depot trencher for the under ground electrical hook up. Well that sorry piece of junk was totally useless.

So ended up using the 250G to make the trench. So yeah, 48" wide "trench" for a 2" conduit....

It was very nice to use that excavator with a thumb to set the telephone pole.


New member
After the under ground electrical was laid, the next step was crushed conrete for the driveway/yard.

Laid down geo fabric to start, then started with a layer of bull rucks (4"-6"), then a layer of fines (1" and below). Total of 30 loads so far, and it's still not done a year later because this stuff is EXPENSIVE, and don't have the cash for the other 20 loads I still need.

But enough has been laid down that it's functional, but not ideal.


New member
While I was laying down rock, the building guys were laying out for the building. These guys did a decent job, and the price was reasonable, but they were SLOW...

Once I finished the driveway to an acceptable level, we called the concrete trucks. Went pretty smooth, couple got stuck, but no big deal.

I normally think writing in wet concrete is pretty annoying, but considering I was paying for the shop with Dad's life insurance. I put his initials in the slab.


New member
Once again I apologize for all the pictures, seems kinda excessive in retrospect. But without Photobucket, and with the regular picture upload function acting up, this is the only way I can think to upload them.

I've started working in a machine shop recently, and have to work tomorrow. So I suppose this is a reasonable stopping point for now.

Got lots more to post.....

Great pics.


Big B

Active member
Building porn. I'm sort of an addict that way. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.


New member
Thanks guys yeah, last year's been rough, but I try to stay positive. I've been very lucky.

So I left off at about March; at this point I've got a brand new building shell, no power, no doors, and one machine moved in.

I did as much of this as I could by myself, because the the building came in way over budget (surprise surprise) and pretty much everything was done by the seat of my pants.

Between the permit process taking for ever and me realizing I hate working with 2/0 cable in a 2" coundit, it took me all of spring brake to finish the electrical hook up.

Also I'm not dealing with just machine tools, Dad also had collected a considerable pile of old farm machinery. So a lot of time was spent in this early phase just getting used to working under a roof, and getting some of these dead farm machines closer to the shop.

First order of business was to get the planer moved out of the way. Truck unloaded it literally right in the middle of the shop, highly inconvenient.


New member
Dad bought this combine from an 85 year old lady in Flatonia TX. The family bought it new in the late 60's, then farmed with it for like the next 20 years.

They took care of this thing like their first born, the lady was moving into the nursing home so they family was selling off the farm house and cleaning up the property. This combine had been sitting for who knows how long, Dad always loved to tell that all this thing needed was clean gas and a hot battery.

When they drove it out, it looked like it was brand new. Which is very rare considering how these rice combines were treated.

As we were getting ready to leave, the old lady came out and asked if we wanted the manuals for it. Of-course we did, when she came back she was crying, to buy this machine took everything the family had at the time.

Dad had sold the first farm when he bought this combine, so he drove it from Flatonia to our house in Houston and parked it in the back yard.....

Well it had been setting for about 5 years under that hastily built cover, and I decided to move it to the better lean too of the new building.

Had to disassemble the starter, new coil, new spark plug cables, new points and clean gas it fired right up. I remember the day Dad drove it into that little cover, felt good (but also kinda sad), to be driving it out.

Also did a full cylinder repack to the W-11, all 5 cylinders. I actually had Mark Vonleyser (a PM member) do it for me, I was busy with school.

Being able to park equipment under at least a roof, is SO nice.


New member
You should do a shop tour video with a description of each machine. You have a story to tell there.


New member
You should do a shop tour video with a description of each machine. You a story to tell there.

Ha, that's for sure. Each one of these boat anchors represents at least one trip, getting stuck, breaking down, meeting strange people, etc....

I've spent way too much time in the cab of an old truck with out A/C, out moving junk, cherished memories for sure. Those truck cab conversations were always the best.

A video probably wouldn't be much good, I'm not much of a story teller unfortunately.


New member
Once some of the farm equipment was out of the way, what you've seen so far is only a small percentage unfortunately....

I started to move machine tools into the shop.

The first one to come in was the 1904 30x168 L&S. Got the forklift stuck up the front axle trying to move it by myself. Called Mark and between me on the 930 and him on the Hyster we were able to get out.

Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting a 25' door (wish I'd gone with 30' now), but it sure was nice to drive a forklift with a 20' long lathe right thought the door.

Granted I couldn't find anyone that wanted to build door like this, so I had to live with no doors until I could do them myself. Of course it took WAY to long to build the doors, but even a roof with open end walls and a concrete floor was nicer than dirt and tarps.


New member
Looks like your power comes in next to the local phone exchange network node. That could be handy.

Seems like the plan is to lay high speed internet out here, I think that's what that knock out is (if were looking at the same thing). That's at-least what the guys running those lines said they were laying.


New member
Next to come in was the 1920 40x294 Hendey.

Also moved the 1954 K&T 5CK in, but didn't grab any pictures of that.

The old L&S, the K&T and Hendey were all moved in on one day, 45,180 lbs just in those 3 machines, it was a BUSY day.