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Easy to build toe jack

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  • Easy to build toe jack

    Here is my home brew version of a really handy tool.

    I have recently been using a port-a-power clone with the threaded hook as a toe jack. It only kind of works because it needs well over an inch of clear space and the side loading on the ram does it no good at all. I finally came up with a simple way to use the port-a-power ram as the prime mover in a home brewed toe jack that even I could fabricate in a couple of hours.

    I had on hand some 2" outside and some 2" inside square tubing. The bigger one had the seam broached so they telescoped together and the port-a-power 4T ram fit inside the smaller tubing. I cut a 3/4" slot in the tops of both for clearance for the hydraulic connector. The toe part is a slice of 5/16" angle. Hopefully everything is well oversize, since my engineering on the shade tree side. The ram is more or less permanently in the jack because that connector doesn't want to come out.

    Parts prior to welding. Top, bottom, outer tube, inner tube and hook

    Front view

    Back view

    First test lift on the beasty that inspired this project - a 5,500 lb 24" shaper.

  • #2
    Great idea,I too have used the factory toe adapters,I like yours a lot better.
    I just need one more tool,just one!


    • #3
      I like it - though I would use a much larger foot.


      • #4
        After some use

        After using it quite a bit this past Saturday I still like this design but there are a couple of points.

        First thing is there is no support directly beneath the load. This offset causes the jack to try to rotate its top toward the load if not prevented. In use this means that if there wasn't a solid vertical surface above the lift area I had to pad it out with blocks and hold it all in place while I pumped it up. That could be awkward at times. The big advantage is that it only needs a 5/16" opening to be able to lift - that feature can save the day when you really need it.

        I agree with Bruce - it could use a larger foot. When I lifted a really heavy load it needed something to spread the load or it would crush the wood of the trailer deck. OTOH I always put something under it to spread the load because I didn't want to have all the weight on one plank anyway.

        Last thing - it's heavy. All that steel makes for a nice secure lift, but it really seemed to grow over the course of the day.

        Project was to get my trailer out from under this little fella

        First thing I needed to do was to get that sheet of plywood out of the way and then lag those two 4X6 skids under the feet. Lots of jacking and blocking required to get this done.

        Here I've got one 4X6 skid under the lathe and am about ready to add the second one. If you look closely at the top of the jack, just under the chip pan you can see the blocking used to keep the jack straight.

        I wouldn't say that doing all this was impossible without the toe jack, but it sure was easier. Probably much safer too. I'm still thinking about making one with the more standard design - that is with solid support directly under the load. Hopefully I'll come up with something that doesn't feel like picking up a sumo wrestler by the end of the day.


        • #5
          Thanks for the ideas and pics. I have the hand pump and associated jacks also. Have used the "spreader" jack to lift but was never comfortable with it. This setup would be much better. JR
          My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group


          • #6
            It you used just a little bigger base then you could have swing-able legs on each side that could be rotated under the load once you jack it high enough for them to clear.
            How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Forest View Post
              It you used just a little bigger base then you could have swing-able legs on each side that could be rotated under the load once you jack it high enough for them to clear.
              Thanks - that is a good idea!!