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Rick Galati
07-20-2011, 06:16 AM
I built this inexpensive jack stand in about 4 hours using off-the-shelf parts available most anywhere. I am hardly the first person to ever build the basic design but did take the time to document its basic assembly for the benefit of others. Significantly, my custom one-off variation requires no welding skills.

The basis for the clever design is a 3 ton ram jack available at Harbor Freight. http://tinyurl.com/7eb5ed (http://tinyurl.com/7eb5ed)

The precut 2'X2'X3/4" piece of plywood, two 3-1/2" band clamps and one 10' stick of 1/2" electrical conduit were purchased at a local big box store.

To fabricate the "ball," I used a type of tie down ring typically included with RV kits. With the largest portion of the ring cut away and the threaded remainder chucked into a spinning cordless drill, I shaped the ball by grinding it to size on my 12" bench sander and then polished it smooth usng a scotch brite wheel. Next, I hollowed out the ball's mating concave "socket" on the top surface of the jack with a rotary ball file. To assure a proper seat, a significant amount of material was removed and normally that would not be a concern, but the stock ram jack includes a rather large hole on the side of the jack. When under load, a lot of pressure can be concentrated on the top of the jack so to guard against the (somewhat remote?) possibility of the surface ever failing under load, I plugged that existing hole with steel dowel stock and secured it with JB Weld. For handle stowage, I used a couple of 1/2" electrical conduit clamp brackets and even threaded a small block of wood to stow the ball when not in use. Not bad for a few hours work on a bitterly cold weekend.

http://i54.tinypic.com/212bqs0.jpg
As a point of reference, I possess three different types of aircraft jacks, all work well and all have their pluses and minuses. Using this jack design however, has proven by far to be the quickest and easiest way to get an RV wheel off the ground, typically less than 2 or 3 minutes after arriving at the hangar!

n3pup
07-22-2011, 08:21 PM
Thanks for posting this. Nice article.

BalsaKid
07-27-2011, 12:22 PM
Super Nice...