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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
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    Default A couple of farm related projects

    Hi all,

    I'm not sure if anyone will be too interested in my projects, but I am always looking through the Metalwork Forums for ideas and inspiration. I never cease to be impressed by the quality of work the members post here as well as the great imagination involved in coming up with some of the projects. I love to recycle stuff, especially scrounging materials from the tip to turn into something I need. A lot of my projects take a while to complete, because I get distracted by something else or I haven't managed to find the parts I need at the right price.

    A while ago I bought a three point linkage grader blade to be able to grade the driveway and level a few bumps in the paddock. Here it is with some fresh paint.
    Grader1.jpg

    Of course, to get a really good job, it needs a guide wheel. I have come up with the following arrangement that I think will work okay. I searched around the net a bit and the design I ended up with is based on a mixture of several I found. The idea of the guide wheel is to hold the bottom of the blade level with the surface height you want as much as possible so that the blade cuts the high spots and drops material into the low spots. Sometimes you might just set the wheel so that there is pretty much no weight on the blade (just touching the surface) so that your final surface finish will be fairly smooth with minimal undulations. The longer the distance is between the tractor and the blade as well as between the blade and the guide wheel, the better.

    Grader2.jpgGrader3.jpg

    Gee my welds look bad in photographs More practice required. The wheel is a "flat free" beastie. That and the axle shaft are the only new parts, the rest is scrounged and re-purposed - hence the rust etc. I still have to rig up a way the retain the castering part. Most seem to have a compression spring, a big washer and a pin mounted on the end of the vertical shaft to keep the wheel attached firmly and still allow it to caster. I am still looking around for a suitable spring or a way to make one.

    Grader4.jpg
    This old Massey Ferguson linkage stabiliser is what I intend to use for the wheel height adjustment. That is, if I can get it freed up as it is stuck solid at the moment even after soaking in penetrating oil for a month. Otherwise back to the drawing board or the rubbish tip for that one. The intended mounting point for the adjustment is between the vertical fork on the guide wheel assembly and the diagonal brace on the grader blade. I will need to make a bolt on bracket or drill a couple of holes in the brace to mount the blade end of the adjustable link.

    As for fencing, tensioning ring-lock type wire can be a pain, especially if you are doing it wire-by-wire. My father has a wooden arrangement of 2 4X2s bolted together to sandwich the wire so that you can strain the whole lot at once using a chain attached to the top and bottom along with a set of wire strainers. Since I have a few hundred metres of fencing to do, I needed my own system. So, back to the internet and then to the scrap heap. This is what I came up with. The same idea of sandwiching the wire mesh between the pipes and then using wire strainers to tighten the wire.

    Strainer1.jpgStrainer2.jpg

    The middle pipe unbolts for the wire to be placed between the two parts. I haven't tested it out, but hopefully it will work okay.

    I hope someone finds this stuff interesting.

    Simon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    30
    Posts
    701

    Default

    Hi Simon, great work and welcome to the forum, i have always wondered how they straightened bails of fencing wire commercially and that looks a really decent way to do it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Healesville
    Posts
    1,102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by XJ9OX View Post
    This old Massey Ferguson linkage stabiliser is what I intend to use for the wheel height adjustment. That is, if I can get it freed up as it is stuck solid at the moment even after soaking in penetrating oil for a month. Otherwise back to the drawing board or the rubbish tip for that one.
    G'day simon, if you can get that linkage well and truly red hot then dunk it in a drum of water and stir it at the same time to get good water contact (not a layer of steam around it) the sudden cooling will kill the rust and it will undo.

    cheers, shed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,849

    Default

    Nice work. BTW, your welds are not that bad. If you look around at some welds, welds that people were paid to do, they are terrible. So, the welds that you and I do are pretty OK in my books.

    Simon

    PS there's only room for 1 simon on this forum...... but for you I will make an exception.
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi from sunny Tasmania again!

    I finally got around to building a mini crane / jib /boom pole for our little Kubota B7000. I have been thinking about it for probably two years. I was going to make up some fittings for my engine crane so that it would mount to the tractor's three point linkage, but I thought that it would end up on the tractor when I wanted it on its own wheels or that it would be too heavy or hard to deal with to attach to the tractor. Also, I will soon need some help lifting some blocks of firewood into the wood splitter.

    Anyway, I went through my tip salvage pile and found a 1.8m length of 40mm SHS about 2mm wall thickness, a slightly longer length of around 12mm re-bar, some 50mm X 5mm flat bar and a small piece of 10mm flat bar. I had some 10mm eye bolts that were previously used as part of the linkage stabiliser chains on the tractor until I broke the thread off them while using the baby tractor like a big one. They are rated at 230kg WLL, when retained by the now missing threaded section. That was obviously the weakest part of the fitting, having broke or bent without any damage to the ring section, so I will trust them for lifting points on the mini jib crane. In reality, 250kg is probably the limit of what you would want to lift with a Kubota B7000 anyway as the front end is pretty light and will lift off the ground long before the capacity of the hydraulics is exceeded. It's a good thing that I found a use for the shortened eye bolts as I have been running around with those two solutions, looking for a problem to solve with them for a while now.

    Here is my interpretation of a jib crane for a baby tractor. Hopefully someone can get some inspiration or ideas from the pictures.

    Crane1.jpgCrane2.jpgCrane3.jpgCrane4.jpg

    Because I just love stuff that can do double duty, I used my trailer hitch as the lower part of the assembly. When the jib part is not required, it can be taken off and replaced with a normal adjustable top link for unobstructed trailer moving duties. I made the trailer mover a while ago and I have found it to be way more useful than I first thought it would be. It makes single handed trailer moving pretty easy. I made a couple of other different attachments for it such as a drawbar for pulling lawn rollers etc that just have a hole for a pin instead of a ball coupling. To change the attachment, just pull the pin at the back and swap the tow ball for a drawbar or vice versa etc as you would on a tow bar fitted to a car. As you can see, I have already bent the tow ball coupling I made as apparently I didn't scrounge a heavy enough piece of angle iron for the mounting point ...yet.

    I haven't tested the jib crane out yet, but when the weather dries out a bit, I'll try and get a photo of it suspending some suitably heavy object - hopefully without bending and breaking.

    Simon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi from Sunny Tasmania

    I spent a bit of time yesterday typing up an update to my projects, but it all disappeared and I could not recover anything from the auto-save. This has happened once before and who knows what I did wrong, but if the original post suddenly shows up for some reason, I apologise in advance.

    Over the long weekend, I finally got around to making up a jib crane for my little Kubota B7000 tractor. I originally planned (a couple of years ago) to add some fittings to my engine crane to be able to mount it to the tractor's three point linkage. I never got around to it and I thought that it would end up on the tractor when I wanted it on it's own wheels or just too heavy and awkward to mount on the tractor and never get used. So, I went through my tip salvage piles and found a piece of 40mm SHS about 2mm wall thickness and about 1.8m long, a slightly longer piece of 12mm rebar, some 50mm X 5mm flat bar and some 10mm flat bar. I also found a couple of 10mm eye bolts with the threaded section broken off. They were originally used as part of the linkage stabiliser chains on the tractor until I broke them off while using the baby tractor like a big one. The ring parts were undamaged and show a WLL of 230kg each. Obviously, the threaded part was the major limiting factor, so I will trust them to use as the lifting points on my new jib crane. In any event, you wouldn't want to lift much more with a B7000 as they are pretty light at the front and the front wheels will come off the ground before the limit of the hydraulics is exceeded.

    Here is my interpretation of a light-duty mini jib crane for a baby tractor:

    Crane1.jpgCrane2.jpgCrane3.jpgCrane4.jpg

    As I love stuff that can do double duty, I used the trailer mover I made a while ago as the part to attach to the lower links. The trailer mover makes single handed trailer moving really easy and if the ball coupling lock is already "up", you don't even have to get off the tractor to attach the trailer. I have found it way more useful than I expected and much easier to deal with than a tow ball mounted to a standard tractor draw bar. I have made a couple of quick change tow bars for it including one to tow stuff like lawn rollers that attach with a pin instead of a ball coupling. They are easy to change over as I made it to work just like a tow bar on a car - pull the pin at the back and swap the tow ball for the draw bar etc, no spanners are required. However, it looks like I need to scrounge a heavier piece of angle iron for the tow ball attachment as I have already bent this one. When the crane is not being used, it can be removed and replaced with a normal adjustable top link allowing unobstructed trailer moving.

    The vertical pieces of the ladder brace on the back of the jib are welded to 40mm x 50mm pieces of flat bar which are in turn welded to the SHS boom down the sides only to try and keep the SHS as strong as possible. I have done the same thing with the other parts fitted underneath - lifting rings etc. The 10mm flat bar at the lower end is welded into a slot in the SHS and the rebar welded to it and the SHS. I bought two cat2 to cat1 bushes to use as strengthening for the holes where the pins go through - top of the trailer mover and top link attachment to the tractor.

    I haven't tested it out yet, but when the weather dries up a bit I will post a picture of it lifting some suitably heavy object. Hopefully someone will find this stuff interesting and maybe get some ideas for their projects as I have from lots of posts on this forum.

    Simon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi all
    The other day I managed to get hold of a spring for my grader blade guide wheel project. I found it in a bin of clearance items at the local farm supply place. They just couldn't wait to get rid of it. It came with two giant R clips that I will save for a future project.

    Here's what I did with it to retain the castering part of the assembly to the rest:
    Grader5.jpgGrader5.jpg

    I spaced the washer at the top and the pin so that the spring is under 10mm of compression. That's enough pressure to retain the wheel firmly while still allowing it to swivel freely and not so much that you have to be The Incredible Hulk to get the pin in or out. Hopefully that remains the case after I clean some of the rust off and grease the moving parts.

    I typed up a post (twice) about a jib crane that I just built for our little baby tractor, but both times it seems to have been "lost". I have to start getting smart and editing posts in a local file so that I can save them in case the same thing happens again. I couldn't even recover anything from auto-save! If this one posts okay, I'll get back to re-posting some pictures of the jib crane and some other lawn tools.

    Simon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi All,

    I have tested my ringlock wire strainer a couple of times and it works really well. It's easy to clamp the wires nice and tight and the only improvement that it could do with is some handles welded to the three clamping nuts so that the crescent wrench can stay in the tool box. I did notice that it has developed a slight bend sideways (perpendicular to the direction of pull), but that's probably due to the light pipe I used. In any event, it doesn't effect it's operation.

    Simon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hi all
    The other day I managed to get hold of a spring for my grader blade guide wheel project. I found it in a bin of clearance items at the local farm supply place. They just couldn't wait to get rid of it. It came with two giant R clips that I will save for a future project.

    Here's what I did with it to retain the castering part of the assembly to the rest:

    Grader5.jpgGrader6.jpg


    I spaced the washer at the top and the pin so that the spring is under 10mm of compression. That's enough pressure to retain the wheel firmly while still allowing it to swivel freely and not so much that you have to be The Incredible Hulk to get the pin in or out. Hopefully that remains the case after I clean some of the rust off and grease the moving parts.

    I typed up a post (twice) about a jib crane that I just built for our little baby tractor, but both times it seems to have been "lost". I have to start getting smart and editing posts in a local file so that I can save them in case the same thing happens again. I couldn't even recover anything from auto-save! If this one posts okay, I'll get back to re-posting some pictures of the jib crane and some other lawn tools.

    Simon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Here's my third attempt at posting this after the last two attempts went AWOL.

    I recently made a mini jib crane for our little Kubota baby tractor as I need an easy way to lift blocks of firewood into the wood splitter. I had a look through my junk pile and found a 1.8m piece of 40mm SHS about 2mm wall thickness, a slightly longer piece of 12mm rebar, some 50mm x 5mm flat bar and a short piece of 10mm flat bar. I also had a couple of broken 10mm eye bolts in the shed. They were previously used as part of the stabiliser chains on the little tractor until I used like a big one and bent/broke the thread off them. They are rated at 230kg, so I will trust them for the lifting points on my jib crane. Obviously the threaded section is the weakest link and that part has been removed, so the rest will most likely hold more. Anyway 200 - 300kg is about all you would want to lift with a B7000 anyway since the front of the tractor is very light. Although, in all honesty, the capacity of the hydraulics will probably be exceeded long before the front wheels lift off the ground.

    Here's what I came up with:
    Crane1.jpgCrane2.jpgCrane3.jpgCrane4.jpg

    I have only welded along the sides of the flat steel where the ladder brace attaches to the SHS (not across) to try an maintain as much strength in the boom as I can since it is so light (similarly with the lifting points etc). I did have to buy a couple of cat2 to cat1 bushes to reinforce the holes where the attachment pins go (at $1 something each), but the rest of the materials are scrounged stuff, mostly from the local tip.

    Since I love stuff that can do double duty, I used my trailer hitch setup as the lower part of the linkage. When the crane is not in use, it can be taken off and replace with a normal adjustable top link for dedicated trailer moving duties. I have found that the trailer hitch gets way more use than I expected when I first made it. It makes single handed trailer moving really easy and if the hitch is open on the trailer, you don't even have to get off the tractor to attach the trailer - just back up and raise the linkage to lift the ball coupling into place and the jockey wheel off the ground. I made a couple of other quick change hitches including a draw bar for pulling stuff like lawn rollers that attach with a pin rather than a ball coupling. It does look like I need to scrounge another piece of heavier angle iron for the ball hitch as I have already bent this one - when the eyebolts broke and the lower link bars caught on the rice paddy tires lifting the hitch towards the sky.

    I am pleased with how the crane turned out. It didn't bend or break before the hydraulics could lift no more and it is very light - probably only 5kg or so. It may even be able to be used as a fly jib on my "big" crane. It might even look nice with a few coats of paint when I decide what colour it should be.

    Hopefully someone can get a few ideas from my experiments.

    Simon

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,562

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    Saw a youtube video clip where someone used a swivel mounted electric winch to lift logs onto their splitter. Crane.jpg

    Also used a lifter similar to a cant.Cant lifter.jpg
    Looked a very easy simple way of loading the splitter.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Hey Kryn!

    How about something like this:
    Crane5.jpg

    Crane6.jpg

    The little tractor's hydraulics are at their limit with the block in the second picture, although it will lift it on the shorter lifting point. We usually use the log tongs on a crane mounted to the front of a much bigger tractor, but visibility and manoeuvrability becomes a problem with the bigger tractor. Since the little tractor has no problem with the four foot rotary hoe that it was designed for, a bit of a service on the hydraulics might allow it to lift larger pieces of wood, but really they only have to be dragged to the splitter as it can load its self.

    Simon

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    23

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    I made a land plane/lawn leveller a while ago to pull behind a ride-on lawnmower because a large section of our lawn needed a bit of levelling and some holes filled to the tune or about 30m of dirt. I did a lot of research and idea borrowing to come up with something that could be effective and small enough to fit between all the trees dotted around the lawn. The materials required were some angle iron from the in-laws car port, a some pieces of steel dropper, some lighter angle from the local metal recyclers and a piece of RHS from the tip.

    Land plane1.jpgLand plane2.jpg


    Yes, it resembles a commercially available tool, including it's ability to carry Besser Blocks for ballast, but was much cheaper, didn't need to be bolted together and was fun to make. A big plus is the fact that it works well and the only thing I am planning to change is the piece of steel dropper at the back that I welded there to strap concrete blocks down to. It tends to catch lumps of debris - grass, sticks, stones etc - which tend to lift the back section leaving a groove in your nice flat earthworks rather than letting all the rubbish climb over the top to be collected later.


    Having a nice big lawn covered in nearly flat, sticky, red dirt is great except that now you need a lawn roller to get a really good job. I'm sure you can tell where this is going. It seems that every time I do something, I need a new tool or piece of equipment, so back to the tip for an old single bed frame and a hot water cylinder. I already had an old trailer axle with the stubs nearly rusted off where they were welded to the steel tube, a steel dropper with a piece cut off it, some short pieces of car port angle iron and I'm sure the kids next door wont miss a couple of springs off their trampoline. I chose to use concrete to fill the section of hot water cylinder, but I could have made the weight adjustable by closing the ends of the cylinder, adding a plug and using water instead.

    Roller1.jpgRoller3.jpgRoller4.jpgRoller5.jpgRoller6.jpg

    I cut off the stub axles and welded them back on to the steel pipe after shortening it to about 1.1m. A couple of bits of pipe serve as the bearings at each end of the axle and I added some grease nipples in case the squeaking drives me too silly. I looked at a lot of rollers without any scrapers to clean sticky dirt off the rolling surface, and some with fixed scrapers that seemed to get stuff wedged in between itself and the roller becoming mostly useless. I decided to use the steel dropper as my scraping device and mount it with some spring pressure so that it would always be in contact with the roller surface. This will also make allowance for any out-of-centre axle situations allowing the size of the gap to vary (e.g. if I stuffed up concreting the axle into the centre by too much). The shape of the steel dropper means that the scraper is effective going forward or in reverse. My guess is that the whole thing weighs about 300kg and it is pretty good for rolling lawns, the kids' cricket pitch as well as the gravel driveway. However, judging by the small dents in the rolling surface, I may not have mixed the concrete quite strong enough to cope with rolling course gravel. It doesn't affect the operation of the roller, but if I ever need to replace the hot water cylinder, I'll make sure that the concrete is 5:1 or better rather than 6:1.

    Maybe there are some useful ideas here for a few people with undulating lawns or pot-holed driveways.

    Simon

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