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Rotating Storage Rack Holds 25 Tons Of Steel
“One of my customers and I were looking for a piece of steel in my storage racks a few years ago and couldn’t find what we needed,” says Carl Dressman, who owns a welding shop in Frankfort, Kan. “The fellow kind of jokingly mentioned ‘you ought to build a rack that brings the steel to you,’ so that’s what I did and it’s the best thing I’ve ever made,” Carl says.
  Dressman’s massive rotating rack is 24 ft. wide, 15 ft. tall and about 20 in. deep. It has 43 individual boxes that are welded about 8 in. apart on four lengths of 100 gauge chain. Each of the boxes, which are made from 2 in. pieces of 5 by 7-in. steel tubing, hold four different types of rod, bars, tubing or angle iron. It’s built on the same principle as a continuous loop jewelry display case so it maximizes storage space along one wall of Dressman’s 75-ft. shop and minimizes the time he needs to find any piece of steel.
  Dressman numbered all the boxes and keeps four products in each box.
  “When someone comes in the shop and wants a specific size or piece of metal I look in my book to see where it’s located. Then I rotate the rack to find exactly what they need. The rack probably saves me 30 min. or more every day because I’m not sorting through piles looking for something,” Dressman says. “Keeping track of what’s in the boxes also simplifies inventory control and lets me know when to order more products.”
  Dressman built the rack with heavy-duty components because he knew it would hold 25 tons when full. The vertical supports on each side and the cross member on top are 10-in. H beams. Two 1 5/8-in. dia. steel shafts have 16-in. diameter sprockets to guide the 100-gauge chain.
  “I have a 3 hp electric 3-phase motor that rotates the storage rack,” says Dressman. “It can rotate a full circle in less than 5 min., which is plenty fast.” The motor drives the rack through a worm gearbox that turns slowly and acts as a brake when it stops. “I can raise or lower the box I need to the table with the cutoff saw, pull out and cut the piece I need, and that’s all there is to it,” Dressman says.
  The rack is easy to load, too. There’s another table on the opposite end from the cutoff saw to hold material before it slides into its designated box. “I built this in my spare time and it sure beats digging through stationary racks to store materials.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carl Dressman, Dressman Welding, 217 West 2nd St., Frankfort, Kan. 66427 (ph 785 292-4215; ldressman@yahoo.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #3