Here's one that I'm sure I'll catch alot of flack about but what the hell. I learned this one from an old guy who used to build dirt track midget racers. All his cars had shortened I beam axles. He would just cut out the amount he needed and welded them back together. He said he'd been doing it for 20 yrs and never even had an axle crack nevermind break. And to qoute him "those cars to hellish abuse on the dirt tracks"! I started thinking about it and did some checking around. Most people came back with "you should'nt weld a cast iron axle". I agree but Ford axles are not cast they're forged. Alignment shops regularly used to heat these axles up enough to bend them if they needed to with no ill effects. Also the coveted original dropped axles were heated to bright red to be able to stretch them. So after looking around for a good candidate I came across a 64 ford van. Solid I beam and it even had finned drums and about a 3" drop! $50. drum to drum! My old friend said he cut out what he needed to, ground a bevel and just butt welded them. I thought I'd try it but take it one step farther. 1st picture is the axle before as is. I first cut off the ears that the leaf springs bolted to. Then cleaned up the whole thing. Second and third pictures show how I cut the axle so as to get the strongest joint possible. Instead of doing it like my friend did I was able to spread the joint (and the stress) over 9" instead f 2". The edges were beveled so as to provide good penetration. This by the way is NOT a project for a 110volt mig welder or anyone who is not VERY sure of their welds. If you're not sure bring it to a welding shop and have them weld it for you! Last picture. The axle was then put in a jig to keep everything straight and Tig welded. Holes were then laid out and drilled to accept the spring perches. I also welded 1" dom on both sides of the axle web where the holes were drilled for strength and looks. Clean up the welds and paint. The axle doesn't have the bow on the bottom of it like the early '30s Ford axles but looks more original than a tube axle to me. Plus drums, bearings and other parts are all available at any parts store around the country!