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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
Removed the bearing and sheet metal shim from the flange with the larger ID. Now that I look at it I am pretty sure someone bored it out to use a larger OD bearing - maybe trying to save a few dollars or had the bearing on hand when it needed one. See that there is no taper machined at the inner edge of the bore like the other flange had.
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The sheet metal shim worked ok but if I remember it was "interesting" to start the shim and the bearing inside the flange the last time so that everything pressed in squarely so am hoping to make a solid adaptor spacer that can be pressed inside the larger bore and then tacked in a few spots so it becomes part of the flange. Since I will have to mount the flange in the lathe at some point I cleaned up the rough edges of the casting so the lathe chuck jaws will clamp it reliably. Found an exhaust adaptor that I cut a piece off and slit that I was hoping would do the trick. Clamped it with the chain vise grips around a round form slightly smaller than the bearing OD and tacked the slit together at one side that was away from the form.
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Then I removed the form and welded the slit closed and then cleaned up the weld with the die grinder and the sander. Stuck the newly formed spacer in the lathe and started to turn it round on the outside so it could be a press fit. Once I got the weld area cleaned up I tired it inside the flange and found it was a loose fit so stopped. Think the idea should work but going to have to use some thicker metal - will ponder on the situation and see if I can form a spacer out of some 1/8" x 1" flat steel in a circle and weld it together that should give me a thciker spacer to work with..
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A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
Did a first attempt with a piece of 1/8" x 3/4" flat steel and sort of got it shaped in a circle but it was too short by about 3/4" - oops. So we got to cut another piece and this time made it lots long - the short piece will be set aside for future use on another project. This time I marked the piece at 1/2" intervals and cut it half way through to create segments that would be easier to shape into a circle. Then i used a hammer to bend each segment a bit as I had the next one clamped with vise grips so it bent at the proper spot.
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When I got them all bent I almost had a circle but still needed some tweaking so I clamped it with the chain vise grips against the form I had been using and marked it where it needed to be cut so that it would not overlap. The end segment got cut at the mark.
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I then took a short piece of heavy wall pipe that was slightly smaller that the form and clamped the segmented piece around it with the chain vise grips. Thought about using the piece of pipe but figured it would be a challenge to bend so it would expand large enough to fit the flange hole.
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A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
Welded the join and the segments at the upper edge and then after things cooled a bit I removed the chain vise grips and the pipe from inside. Then I welded the cuts and also added a bit of weld where the inside segment bends were so it would be a bit thicker there and clean up quicker on the inside. Accidently got the C Clamp vise grips tacked to the inside - oops.
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Once things cooled I twisted the vise grips to break the weld and then sanded the outer welds which left me with a reasonably round sleeve piece to work with. Did a test fit against the flange and bearing and it looked like things should clean up ok so I clamped the piece in the lathe using the 4 jaw chuck on the outside.
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Got one half of the outside cleaned up and faced - then switched to the 3 jaw chuck, flipped the piece around and cleaned up the other half and face the other edge. Checked and it was still larger on the OD than the flange hole so it was time to start cleaning up the inside area where it had been welded.

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
Got the inside cleaned up and it was still smaller than the OD of the bearing so I started working on the flange. Ground four notches on the inside and outside edge with the cut off blade and then mounted the flange in the four jaw chuck and centered the hole.
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I had taken a finish cut on the sleeve piece and it was now starting to get a bit springy so I took a couple of cuts from the flange hole and then tapped the sleeve into the bore of the flange. It was a snug but not really tight fit so I began to take light cuts off the inside of the sleeve to get it close to the bearing size needed. The first two cuts went ok but during the third cut the sleeve started turning in the flange as it got thinner and lost some of its strength.
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So I removed the flange carefully (had marked the jaw locations and only loosened two of the jaws slightly) and used the mig welder to fill in the four notches with weld to lock the sleeve in place. I initially had hoped I could turn the sleeve to size before welding it since cast and steel welding with a mig produces a very hard weld that is very difficult to machine. Once things cooled I used the sander to level the inside welds and sleeve edge so they would not hit on the lathe jaws.
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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Then the flange got mounted back in the lathe and checked for trueness - things looked pretty good so finished boring the sleeve inside to the same size as the other flange - came within .0005" so should work ok. I also took a measurement on the outer edge of the sleeve where it protruded out of the flange and it appears the sleeve is about .045" thick - which is a little thicker than the sheet metal shim I had used before. The flange will no longer work with the other bearing size that someone had machined it for but that is ok with me as now both flanges are now the same size inside the way they probably started out life.
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Used the sander and cleaned up the outer edge of the flange and sleeve and then gave things a go with the wire brush. Set the bearing against the hole opening and I am optimistic it should press in ok - will see. With the sleeve being solid and tacked in the four positions at the inner and outer edges it should not move when I try and install or remove a bearing so should make replacing the bearing much easier (I hope). Decided not to try and turn a taper on the inside as it would weaken the four welds and probably would not clean up nice due to the hardness of the welds.

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Tackled the last flange today - debated about whether to repair where the edge of the rotor had rubbed against it due to the missing spacer. Probably would have been ok the way it was but I dug out the oxy / acc welding cart and checked to see if I had any gas and brazing rod from years gone by. I don't think I have used the torches in about 10 years as I usually weld with the mig and use MAP gas for heating. Still had gas pressure on the gauges and found a stick of bronze so rolled them over to weld the cast iron flange. Hunted for a few minutes for my welding goggles and I must have put them in a very safe spot as I did not find them. Used the auto darkening welding helmet in the grinding mode and it worked nicely to see the weld. With my less than steady hands holding the bronze rod and the torch I built up the worn area with the brazing rod and allowed the flange to air cool - got a few globs of bronze a little further inside than I would have liked. Once cool I wire brushed the weld and then I used the die grinder to carefully remove the worst of the blobs which left me with the one side of the bearing bore to use the dial gauge on to center the flange in the lathe.
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The flange centered nicely in the lathe and I got the inside of the weld cleaned up to match the bore size and then I faced the edge of the weld. This flange also varies in thickness the same as the other one did but the bore was true with the faced flat side of the flange where it bolts against the housing which is all that matters. The brazed area will provide a new wear surface if something happens the bearing or spacer. I could have tried mig welding the flange where it was worn but experience has taught me this would produce a very hard and brittle weld which would not be any dun to try and clean up where the bearing presses into the bore.
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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
With the flanges finally repaired I pressed the bearings back into them - they both went in fine. Both bearing felt smooth but under the pressure of the flange the one I installed in the flange that I had brazed felt rough so it got replaced with a new one - turns out the bearings I used for the 42" mower deck are identical. Then the three flanges got set out in the sunshine and splashed with paint.
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Using an oxy / acct. torch is sort of like riding a bicycle. People can explain to you how to do it, but until you try it you don’t exactly know how to do it. It’s good that you still had some “juice” left in your tanks! I seem to be using my torch set quite often. Truthfully I’d be lost without it. I find it rather handy for heating rusty, stuck nuts and bolts or sticking together smaller metal pieces with a dab of brass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
Using an oxy / acct. torch is sort of like riding a bicycle. People can explain to you how to do it, but until you try it you don’t exactly know how to do it. It’s good that you still had some “juice” left in your tanks! I seem to be using my torch set quite often. Truthfully I’d be lost without it. I find it rather handy for heating rusty, stuck nuts and bolts or sticking together smaller metal pieces with a dab of brass.
I find the mig the go to welder for me usually as I am normally welding steel. For heating things like rusted nuts I switched over to the yellow MAP gas cylinder with the adjustable tip years ago as I found it was more economical than using the oxy acc and can get things nice and red in a matter of minutes as long as the wind is not getting at it. If it is something outside in the wind I just make up a shield out of some sheet metal to put around the area I am trying to heat up. The MAP gas burns a lot hotter than propane and being able to grab the torch and carry it around is handier than rolling the welding cart around I find but it is all about personal preferences. Brazing and the torches were what I grew up with when doing body work and other repairs and don't regret learning the skill or having the torches still - switched over to the smaller user owned tanks about 25 years ago as the demurage each year I was paying (about 150.00 / year) was starting to add up and for the amount I used the torches I figured buying the smaller tanks would save me money over the years which it has. For welding cast iron that needs to be machined the torches and brazing rod produces a nice strong weld that can be easily machined with the lathe - something that mig welding will not do. Just wish my hands were a little steadier now that I am getting older - I usually hold the mig handle with both hands to keep it steady while welding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
Had a look at the shoes for the snowcaster and noticed that they were starting to get worn again - not as bad as the last time I fixed them but figured it might be prudent to build them up while there was still some material left to work with. Here is a link to the way they looked back in 2019 when I repaired them last time - much thinner - Bolens 1715011 Snow Caster Shoe Repair

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Borrowed an idea the Dave in NY shared and cut a couple of pieces of 1/8" x 3/4" flat steel about 6-3/4" long and curved the one end to match the shape of the bottom of the shoe. These got clamped in place along the bottom of each shoe and tacked in place.
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Then I welded the pieces all the way along the edges to bond the new metal to the shoe - this way as the ,metal wears a chunk of the new steel should not break or drop off where it could do damage by going through the snowcaster.
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Once things cooled I used the sander to dress the edges of the welds so that nothing should catch on the front, back or sides and the welds should not interfere with anything.
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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
Then I gave then a coat of black paint to keep them from rusting - for now they will look pretty.
 

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Great repairs done to your parts! If my memory serves me, I believe I actually used material that was a bit wider for my repair than the original wear surface of my skid shoes. My theory ( for whatever that’s worth ) was that possibly the wider shoe surface possibly would not dig into the soft driveway surface as much when it wasn’t quite frozen yet. I’m not sure if it helped or not. I do think it might take a bit longer to wear thin a wider surface? Since I switched to a hydrostatic transmission tractor that utilizes a hydraulic lift system I now have greater range of depth control of the snowcaster and don’t seem to dig in to the dirt, gravel as much as when I was using the manual lift on my gear drive tractors. I always seemed to need what ever depth was just about between the notches of the quadrant. My experience any ways.
 
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