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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Randy's point about building might not always be cheaper perked my interest in how you guys feel about the topic...

To me, I see it as WAYYYY Cheaper to build vs buy...Any design compromises made IMO are in my favor because maybe I didnt particularly like the design of a factory unit.

TRUE, I am not factoring in my labor, but then again, I dont get paid to sit on the couch, so IMO I might as well be productive.

Examples:
-FEL Blade, I have approx 450.00 in mine..no way I could run out and buy one for less. I bought ALL the steel I needed to do it..had nothing in stock at the time.
-Power Rake, Approx $1,500.00 in mine...again, bought all the steel brand new...actually I even bought most of the steel pre-cut because I couldnt see a need in the future for some of the odd sizes.
-Rear Blade...so far i've got 80ish bucks in mine...probably end up at $500 when its powdercoated and everything...Design trade off...absouletly...I'm making mine strong enough that even behind a 75hp tractor it would live...have you seen $500.00 RB's?

I must admit, I built my PR for 2 reasons....
A) People on another forum said it couldnt be done, and IF it could be done, would be more expensive then a factory one.. I love a challenge!
B) Seeing pics/vids of PR's and listening to people talk about them made me want one.
 

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I like how your rake turned out.

Regarding build versus buy; there are a lot of factors involved.

Will it distract me from completing other projects?

Do I have the skill, time, and tools to do the work?

Am I doing this for my satisfaction?

Am I willing to accept that "Failure is always an option" if I build something and it doesn't work.

Am I reinventing the wheel, or improving it?

The list could go on.

I have a Frontier rear blade; but I'd like to build my own to add features not available from the factory in a light duty 6' blade. But without a dedicated shop, it's nothing more than a pipe dream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
But without a dedicated shop, it's nothing more than a pipe dream.
Thanks! I'm happy with it too...I'll tell you what, its probably the single best attachment ever invented. Build one or buy one aside, its an awesome tool.

Dont let a shop stop you...I dont have one either....Components were fabbed up in my basement workshop, Welding was done in the garage (after pulling out SWMBO's Car).... But I will say its a major PITA to take tools out, put tools away, every time I worked on it outside.
 

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There's a HUGE thread on TBN about building vs. buying, and how to 'pay yourself', etc.

If you have fun, DO IT!! You obviously have a great skill set and do a very nice job. Kinda wish I lived across the street from you so I could tag along and learn some things!!

Your costs are obviously a lot cheaper than what you'd have to pay retail, but remember that your time is not free, and I'll bet a guy with you skill set would bill out at a least a couple hundy an hour if you were doing work for someone else. Again, if it's fun, DO IT!!

I'm going to have a go at my rear power-pak mounted on a rear blade this summer. Shouldn't be too hard, a good starter........I hope.

-Jer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you have fun, DO IT!! You obviously have a great skill set and do a very nice job. Kinda wish I lived across the street from you so I could tag along and learn some things!!
Thank You! It would be cool to have a fellow "tractor person" next door! Could tag along, help out and enjoy a few "Barley Pop's" :lol:

Your costs are obviously a lot cheaper than what you'd have to pay retail, but remember that your time is not free, and I'll bet a guy with you skill set would bill out at a least a couple hundy an hour if you were doing work for someone else. Again, if it's fun, DO IT!!
VERY True, but at the same time, I dont see how I can put a cost on my time....yeah if I had to take unpaid time off from my real job to do some of the work, fine, its easy to peg a number to that, but outside of my work day here, I dont get paid squat...anything I do at home is "Without Pay" be it watching TV, building a Blade or whatever...
 

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VERY True, but at the same time, I dont see how I can put a cost on my time....yeah if I had to take unpaid time off from my real job to do some of the work, fine, its easy to peg a number to that, but outside of my work day here, I dont get paid squat...anything I do at home is "Without Pay" be it watching TV, building a Blade or whatever...
Dave,
In the end this is exactly what this all boils down to. MJNCad makes very good points that MUST be considered in addition. This is where it all gets sticky, the value each one of us that puts on our own time as well as the priorities we want to accomplish or get out of life. The argument can be made that your time is worthless or priceless is what you have to decide. Trust me the older you get the more you will value your time. Time you would rather be using the tool than making it. Everyone will have a different perspective on all this. It doesn't make it right or wrong, just different.

I myself pick and choose on all of the above issues all the time. If I retired from job now at 52 I have enough projects to keep me busy the rest of my life. Unfortunately that is not going to happen. I need to feed my personal time financially. There can't be enough said about shear satisfaction on completing a build. And you are a master craftsman as proven by the quality of your work. Yes, I will build things I don't have to and I will buy things I don't have to. Life is full of decisions. Oh and I will take one of your power rakes for $1500.:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh and I will take one of your power rakes for $1500.:lol:
ROFL...I know its a joke, but seriously that statement brings up the value of labor point! Obviously I dont build to sell, so that changes things.

I know what you mean Randy...We do have to pick & choose priorities...I guess its never bothered me because I do it "at my leisure" for example the first pics I took are dated March 27th 2009.... the pics I posted above of the finished rake are dated May 6th 2010!
Again, I dont do this for profit and I guess to answer your question...I have just as much, if not more fun making the tool then using it!
 

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ROFL...I know its a joke, but seriously that statement brings up the value of labor point!
And it's not just manufacturing labor, don't forget about design time. This is all time that you way against time with the family, doing household chores, and leisure. Priorities.:yahoo:
 

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And it's not just manufacturing labor, don't forget about design time. This is all time that you way against time with the family, doing household chores, and leisure. Priorities.:yahoo:
But what if it is leisure??? :unknown: :think:

I love my tractor time, running it, maintaining it, building stuff for it. I want to start my flying lessons soon. I want to go skiing more with my brother. I want to ride my horse more. But all of those come at a cost of time away from the loved ones in my life - two of whom are little and won't ever be little again - so I weigh it against that.

Certainly no one's right or wrong, that's just how I think about it.

-J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
But all of those come at a cost of time away from the loved ones in my life - two of whom are little and won't ever be little again - so I weigh it against that.
I know what you mean...I guess I see it a little different...I know I had my first welding helment before I can remember! Was my dad's shadow since I could walk...Got pics of me riding tractor at 1 year old...So in my sense...I Plan on having a little right hand man...
Heres me at 5 years old:


Mebbe thats why I'm an equipment junkie?
 

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I have a pic like that of me on a IH 986 from 1979 with my Grandpa. I'll try and scan it sometime.....

I too hope to have a right hand man (or woman), but we'll have to see where their interests lay. But really, who can resist the sparks from a welder or plasma cutter??!!

-Jer.
 

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This is a tough call for, me-I try to look at each thing seperatly and wiegh the pro's and con's, but I would say 75% of the time I build myself, whether it be a metal or wood project. Fact is I am rarley happy with anything I buy anymore-just to picky I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fact is I am rarley happy with anything I buy anymore-just to picky I guess.
Amen to that Ken...Same here I guess....workin on the wee one's Toybox slowly, as I mentioned in an another post I was lookin at that Deere one...90 BUCKS for cheap 9/16" cardboard construction? I wasnt thinkin along those lines so much for the attachment side of things...but your correct, most of the stuff commercialy available these days is cheap disposable junk.
Bought an entire sheet of 3/4" MDF for 28 bucks, had them cut most of it on their panel saw and now I'm in process of assembling (Reminds me...I gotta take pix!)....Little bit of Titebond II and a bunch of 1.5" Finish nails for my Bostitch and voila! High quality for 1/2 the price.

Really...because I'm so picky, I like to do EVERYTHING myself....plumbing, Electrical, carpentry, metal fab, etc.... everything here has been done by me....I sleep better that way!
 

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So few resources, so many projects.

Work or play, the build/buy decision is always one of the toughest.

I build when:
I can't buy it.
What's available to buy is garbage.
It would be installed by clowns.
Building it is a recreational activity and I have the right tools.

I buy when:
I can't build it.
There is something else that would be way more fun to build.
Building it would require a welder.
It's a reasonably priced quality product that is installed by professional, competent, caring, cool steely eyed casual heroes.

Ok, well, I've actually never bought because of that last reason :laugh:.

Pete
 

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Dont let a shop stop you...I dont have one either....Components were fabbed up in my basement workshop, Welding was done in the garage (after pulling out SWMBO's Car).... But I will say its a major PITA to take tools out, put tools away, every time I worked on it outside.
That's exactly how I have to work and it gets old real quick playing musical cars just to do a wee bit of welding, etc. Plus I'm sick of being limited by stairs to the basement shop.
 

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But what if it is leisure??? :unknown: :think:

I love my tractor time, running it, maintaining it, building stuff for it. I want to start my flying lessons soon. I want to go skiing more with my brother. I want to ride my horse more. But all of those come at a cost of time away from the loved ones in my life - two of whom are little and won't ever be little again - so I weigh it against that.

Certainly no one's right or wrong, that's just how I think about it.

-J.
You got it Jer. We are saying the same thing. Once you use that moment in time you can't go back and undo it. And you can only do one thing at a time. At that moment in time you have decided that is the most important thing to be doing, wether we want to admit it or not. And as others have already said, when considering buying or building, we all weigh in these factors. Sounds like Pete and KenneyD are on the same page as well. You can not be honest with your self you do not put some value to your time, even if it is for a build. Putting value to your time will probably very and is not easy to do. Sometimes its value is an activity swap, sometimes it is a moral obligation, sometimes it is a feel good value, sometimes it is a commitment obligation. And as you said Jer, no right or wrong.:good2:
 

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I agree with you guys. We have to put a price to our time.

Once I leave work, I have very little time to complete projects. With two little kids, my time is limited to their nap time or time that they don't mind doing what I want to. In the winter, that leaves me very little time since they want to play in the snow or sled when they are outside with me:dance:.

My mother passed away young from cancer and that has been the single most monumental wake up call in my life proving to me that time, especially that time when you are connecting with and having fun with your family, is priceless.

I worked my butt off as a kid with my father, but those are not the times I remember most. My best memories are fishing, skiing, riding atv's and having fun. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of the work we did, but connecting with my parents, laughing and enjoying some recreational time was the best and most memorable.

With that said, these days I end up buying a lot of what I need rather than building. I have the tools to enhance and repair what I buy. I also to to buy more quality than what I need.

When the kids leave for college, it might change, but until then......:kidw_truck_smiley:
 

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I think in most cases I build if I wan't to, sometimes it is smart other times not. Most implement builds are a good value for time and effort spent and I agree with Dave it sure beat the couch as an alternative. As I get older I try to keep myself physically engaged as I see way too many people slow down and seem to be unhappy. So to a degree building something can be theraputic and it is hard to put a value on that.

I do think that some of the simple implements are easy to build if you have the tools and abilities needed. The only way I know to get these tools and abilities is to dig in. I started building up tools many years ago and have much more than most people but not all that I wan't. Same is true with ability and expertise in my areas of interest. Obviously the more you build the more you learn and the more proficient you get with the various mediums. Mix in a little education and research to the above and let it come to a boil.

One of the things I have taken notice of on this forum is that most of the people here are "self starters" with varied interests for sure but atleast are actively engaged. I think you could stop by for an evening at just about any members house on the forum and learn something new. Sure would beat cocktail hour in my view where the same people report on a daily routine talking about everything but accomplishing nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow...never thought a build/buy topic would turn into a commentary on life & parenting...:lol:
Should I lock the thread now before we start using swear words and "My way is better" :think::hide::laugh:

But honestly I can see all your points, we will never all agree on this topic, we're all different...I guess I (and my wife) are way we are because both of us were raised with mentality of if you dont accomplish anything, it probably isnt worth doing....Only recreation I do is ski...reason being..Ground is frozen, 3' of snow on the ground...not much else we can do!
Reminds me....In laws were over for new years, and even when they were down on "vacation", MIL is driving the vaccum all over the house. FIL says, give her the option of going to get an ice cream with her Miata or ride the vaccum around the house, Vaccum will win every time. :lol: Very true... And the Miata is now for sale...
 
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