Synthesis DIY Plans Sold At Mechanical Elements
The DIY Plans section on Synthesis that was called “By The Way” has now found its new home at MechanicalElements.com.
Over the years Synthesis has created several plan sets for trailers, shop tools and other cool products, then published the plans online as do-it-yourself projects. For many years they were in a section of this website called “Buy The Way”. Hundreds of things from these plans are now in use around the world.
Most of the plans come from our projects with roots in things we want or need for ourselves. Now they are in use all over.
Example: Mobile Gantry Crane
A few years ago, we needed a small, movable gantry crane — something that was high enough to work under, yet something that could easily be taken down, put in the truck, transported, and reassembled quickly on site. It needed to be compact when disassembled, yet strong enough to lift a vehicle. The disassembled pieces needed to be appropriate for one person to lift and move around. The crane had to be mobile (on wheels), but for safety, it had to sit down tight when a load was applied. (You don’t want a big load rolling away on its own!)
We’ve traveled with this crane and used it to lift equipment, race cars & motorcycles, and help other folks with their projects. The sweet and simple design has caught the attention of many people who asked “Where did you get that crane?” Then, the immediate follow-on statement “I want one.” So, we put the plans online.
The same scenario played out with the first couple trailers we designed and built. People see and sense the difference in design, and they like it.
After many requests for blueprints, we sat down and put it all on paper (well, electrons in CAD first), of course. Then, we made the plans available online, and now everyone has access. All of the blueprints along with complete instructions are ready for download at Mechanical Elements .com
Engineering In Action
Then there is the “Winching Pole” (as we like to call it). It’s the perfect solution for lifting a load without the hassle of a chain fall, or a come-along, or overhead winch. To manage heights, we needed something that did not require the headspace of most other lifting options. We also want something super easy to operate from not right under the crane, so we got creative.
The “Winching Pole” is a perfect example of on-the-spot brainstorming and engineering. Innovation in action as we like to call it. We had the need, thought about it, brainstormed a bit, then built the first prototype on the spot. It evolved, of course, but the fundamentals are still awesome.
Plans At Mechanical Elements
The products to build from the plans available on Mechanical Elements are not the norm. Each design has unique characteristics that make it perfect for the jobs intended.
In many cases, purchasing an off-the-shelf product is sufficient, but when it’s not, consider making your own. Check out the shop tools for another example. Shop presses are widely available in stores and in catalogs, so why make one? If you need the span and capacity these offer, or if you need the stiffness and adjustability these have, or if you need parallelism… Well, there’s not much out there, unless you have cubic dollars to spend. Just build one.
The plans serve as a great base for all sorts of customizations — and we encourage it. Build it the way you want it, and it will serve you well for years.
If making things yourself has any interest to you, check it out. You may find just what you’re looking for.