Machines4U was built from a desire to resurrect all the machines that waste away in factories and back paddocks; to give them a second chance at life when their first owner no longer needs them but could use the extra cash they could bring in.
While we’re always stoked to see interesting old machines on our site (and we’re seeing a lot more now that ad creation is free), there are plenty of other ways you can re-purpose your old rigs into some phenomenal new equipment.
#1: Backyard robot from… whatever you’ve got lying around
Whether you’re more inspired by the grand scale of MegaBots or the tiny intricacy of BattleBots, there is no denying the awesomeness of building a mechanical robot and then breaking things with it. And, if you’ve got a shed full of old tools and machines lying around, you’re only limited by your imagination… and your mechanical and technological know-how.
For those who aren’t sure about the remote control systems, wiring and other higher-tech aspects of junkyard robot construction, MegaBots is starting up a system whereby they share their schematics to allow you to get all the technical stuff right while customising the design to suit your creative urges.
#2: Not your typical farm machine restoration
While most people look at old tractors and see rusting machines well past their used by date, a special few see the potential for an equally rusty yet fully functional second life. Rather than restoring them to their former glory, these creative rev heads pull them apart, shuffle them up and turn them into one-of-a-kind rat bikes.
You wouldn’t win the Baja 1000 on one of these contraptions but you’d definitely get some attention. And projects like these are great for bending your mind a bit, expanding your skill set and having something to work on with friends or family.
#3: Trailers made from truck trays
You’ve probably seen one of these getting around:
Ask anyone who’s made a few and they’ll tell you:
“it’s a piece of piss mate.”
Ask someone who’s tried and failed and they’ll tell you:
“it’s not worth the bloody effort.”
Which of these statements is true depends entirely on you. If you go in prepared with plans, advice, the right set of skills, the right starting equipment, and a resilient attitude, you should be right. The owner of the trailer pictured above shared his build process to help out those interested in taking on a similar project.
If you’re keen on making use of the back end of an old vehicle, keep in mind Australia loves rules and regulations—or, to be more accurate, our government does—and the realm of trailers is no different. Click here for all the specs and standards your custom trailer will have to meet to be able to be registered.
While trucks are the most logical machine to hack apart and turn into a custom trailer, people have been doing it with the fronts and backs of all sorts of vehicles for years.
#4: Backup generator from old machine parts
There comes a point in many a machine’s life where its engine’s still going but not a lot else is up to spec. Whether it’s an old car, tractor or lawnmower, you don’t necessarily need to retire or sell it. You can recycle parts from different machines to create a backup ‘junkyard generator’ for your property.
#5: Tractors re-purposed as furniture
For those machines that just aren’t going to crank over ever again: all hope is not lost. There’s still a lot of worth in their frames and parts. Industrial furniture opens up endless possibilities for using even the most unlikely of machine parts. The style boasts consistent popularity online meaning, even if you don’t want a house full of machine-infused furniture, you’ve got the opportunity to make a bit of cash from getting creative with your old farm-ware.
#6: Homemade hovercrafts from lawnmowers
There’s no end to the possibilities an old lawnmower engine can be put to. One that carries as much potential for danger as fun is a lawnmower-powered hovercraft. You can find some examples of homemade hovercraft online; however, we’re not that keen on sharing them as the inventors didn’t put as much stock into the safety side of things as they reasonably should.
If you do try your hand at making a hover rig in your garage, make sure you’ve got adequate protection between the passenger and the engine. And, if the simplicity of a hovering platform is a bit underwhelming for your inventive mind, you could always have a crack at a backyard hoverbike.
For more inspiration on recycling old tools and machines, check out FarmHack where people from all over the world share their plans, designs and projects for new tools and machines made from recycled components. There’s a lot of inspiring stuff—including zero-turn lawnmower to tractor conversions and bicycle powered threshers—to get your mind cranking.