Thanks for the kind words Austen - when you have an 800 plus foot long laneway it is nice to be able to grade it without having to be turned around in the seat to check on where the edge of the blade is. With the blade directly underneath my feet my neck was very happy during the initial test.
The two extension arms that go out to support the blade have bugged me since I noticed that they did not closely match the original blade at the outer ends so I decided to cut them off and make up two new ones that are much closer looking. Used a cutoff blade in the sander to cut through the welds and once the two extensions were removed I sanded the remains of the welds flat with the sander. This time I used a ruler and a piece of cardboard clamped to the end to get the correct angle so the outer ends would flow into the blade body. Transferred the angle to a piece of cardboard and marked it for the inner angle where they would get attached to the plate and did a test fit of the pattern on both sides. Looked good so I cut out two new extensions and welded them in place - now they look much closer to the way the factory blade was built on the backside.
Now I was much happier with the look of the blade (even though it does have too much roll and looks home brew) so I moved forward. I have been looking online and have found pictures of grader blade cutting edges that look very similar to what the original blade does - 6" x 1/2" thick with a ground edge at the top and bottom. I am wondering if that was what the original blade was made out of - if my home made version gives problems I may investigate to see how much a cutting edge would cost.
Decided to add a piece of steel to strengthen the lift plate and also rounded the three corners so it looked closer to what the original lift plate does. Once I welded the piece of 1/4" flat steel I used a socket to mark radiuses at the corners and then notched the front upright in a bit so if I wanted to use it on the tractor with the manual lift it should clear. Took a picture of the way the rod in the manual lift fits in from the outside into the arm slot to show that the rod is not in flush with the lift arm on the tractor so the lift plate I have made should work ok.. Then I set the scarifier on the blade and decided to mark new holes for the bolts that will hold it on - spaced them down so they are 2" from the top of the blade.
In case someone else decides to make a scraper blade sometime in the future I did a tracing of the lift plate I made and then scanned it into the computer full size . Used a photo editor / drawing program to clean it up and modified the shape to closely resemble the original lift plate and printed it to a pdf. The pdf should print very close to the correct sizes on a PC with a paper printer - select print actual size and verify the sizes are the same as shown on the drawing and adjust accordingly. Do a test fit with a cardboard pattern on your lift arm to make sure it will fit before cutting and drilling any steel. The lift plate is one of the most "interesting" parts to fabricate so that it clears the lift linkage on both mechanical and hydraulic lift set ups and the pdf drawing may help someone in the future. I have attached the original tracing and the final lift plate drawing as jpegs as well as the pdf that can be printed to paper.
Note:: The pdf drawing may have to be tweaked and adjusted to suit other tubeframe lifts as required.
Drilled the pilot holes out to 1/2" after I found the half inch drill - took a little while to remember where it was as I haven't used it in about five years as I usually use the drill press to drill larger holes. Then I mounted the scarifier on to the blade - teeth may extend below the bottom of the blade a bit more than what the originals did and they are on a slight angle because my blade has more curve. Think it should still work ok and if I have to I can always shorten the ends of the teeth. Drilled a hole in the right side sleeve mount and tried a hair clip that I picked up at the hardware store to see if it would hold the teeth up which it did. Think I will just let the teeth float when they are down as they should dig in ok and just pull the pin and stash it in the tool tray under the seat when it isn't needed. I also picked up two 5/8 flat washers which I put on the pivot bolt after I applied a bit of grease and installed the front frame to the blade. Then I welded the teeth all the way around on one side to the shaft - figured that there should not be much side pressure on the teeth as I believe they were only designed to be used when the blade is straight and not angled.
Looks to me like it ought to work just fine. I doubt a bit of extra length on the teeth will hurt anything. Might even dig a bit better than an original one. One thing is for sure, the paint won’t stay on it long if you do much work with it.
Thanks for the vote of confidence Dave - I have a feeling that you are correct about the paint not staying on once the teeth and blade get used in gravel.
Looked at the hardware store for a 5/8" UNC lock nut for the pivot bolt but the largest they had was 1/2". Since the vibration of the blade scraping the gravel loosened the double nut set up I decided to drill a hole though the side of one of the nuts and tap it for 1/4" UNC threads. Then I threaded a 1/4" hex nut onto a 1/4" bolt and threaded the bolt into the 5/8" nut until the 1/4" nut was flush and tacked welded the nut in place. Removed the bolt and then finished welding the nut to the flat. let things cool and then ran a tap through the nut to clean up the threads. Installed and snugged up the 5/8" nut so the plate just swiveled and installed and tightened a 1/4" bolt to lock the 5/8" nut and keep it from turning on the bolt. Gave the scarifier a coat of paint and finally gave the 1050 a quick wash. After the water had dried somewhat I installed the now painted rear frame to the two tabs on the rear differential. used the two short pieces of 2x4's again to support the frame at the front and slide the blade in from the side so it was resting on the little plate welded to the rear frame.
Then I slid the blade the rest of the way over so the bolt holes lined up and installed the two bolts to connect the frames and tightened the nuts up. Installed the lift link using a shorter 3/8" x 1-1/2" bolt that I picked up at the hardware store using a nut on the inside and outside of the lower frame with the bolt head out. Installed the lift plate and connected the lift link to it to complete the blade installation. Then I took a few pictures of the blade in the raised non angled position. Will let the paint dry for a few days on the scarifier before I bolt it to the blade.
Member Austen was kind enough to upload the first short video I made of the scraper blade in action to his you tube channel - here is the link
I apologize in advance for the quality of my camera skills as they are not that great - it was hard to see the screen on the camera I was using in the bright sunlight. It should give you an idea of the view of the material rolling off the blade from the tractor seat. This was after a couple of passes on the laneway to cut into the hard packed gravel that hadn't been disturbed for a couple of years.
It was fun to see it in action, Stew! It moves a lot of earth. You should be proud of your achievements there, it looks like it is a lot of fun to use too. It is nice that you don't have to look over your shoulder all the time like you would with a rear mounted blade. Your Bolens looks nice!
Been trying to find out some information on the Hydro Speed Equipment Company but so far have only found a few things. The company was awarded a patent for a power operated scraper machine in 1948 as per the attached pdf. I located a brochure that shows the company also made sprayers suitable for mounting on farm tractors. I found a Bolens brochure that shows the early design of scraper for the tube frames used a different lift linkage set up which got me speculating on whether the lift link was slotted to allow some ability for the blade to float when mounted under the tractor. Found the best copy I could of a scanned image and tried to make it a little clearer which I have attached. While the image is blurry it does appear that there may have been a slot at the top of the lift link where it attaches to the pivot arm. All the threads and pictures I have found have not showed a true original lift link as this piece seems to be missing in all the thread posts I have found.
Used the scraper blade a couple of days ago to regrade part of the circle area and speculated on how allowing the blade to float a bit might affect the operation of it as there was still the odd time the tractor would stop moving until the blade was lifted slightly to remove the down pressure. Thinking back to when I would grade the lane using a rear mounted blade on a farm tractor I remembered that the blade was simply dropped and dragged behind the tractor and the rear lift arms were left in a position that gave the blade support so it would not dig in too far but no down pressure was applied. Granted the blade on the farm tractor was much heavier and the farm tractor had much better traction so I decided to create a second lift link with a slot at the top end so I could observe if the blade was raising the link as it was dragged forward on the gravel. Curt another piece of 1/4" x 1-1/2" flat steel and drilled it for the two holes the same as the first link. I also drilled a second hole at the top end 3/16" away from the edge of the first hole to begin forming a slot. Once the holes were enlarged to 3/8" I used a flat and triangular file to widen the sides of the slot in the center area. Made sure a 3/8" bolt would move freely in the slot and then gave the second link a coat of paint and let it dry overnight. As you can see in the last picture (and as Dave mentioned) the paint on the blade area that came in contact with the gravel did not last long. Not a big deal as the blade was made to be used - not look pretty.
This morning I installed the slotted lift link and gave the blade another work out - first to remove some green vegetation that was growing on the gravel area that is the extension to the shop and then on the laneway. It was a misty morning when I started on the vegetation as it rained early yesterday evening and the vegetation was wet and the tractor spun easily on it but the blade did dig in without down pressure. After several passes I uprooted the majority of the vegetation and then moved on to the laneway. After using the blade with both the non slotted and slotted version of the lift link I believe that the slotted version will be the one I will leave on for right now. While grading the lane I could see the top of the link moving up and down as the blade moved along and it seemed to still still do a good job of cutting into the gravel and as I did the last few passes it worked well to spread out the remaining ridges of gravel while floating just above the surface. With the slotted link there is still enough cylinder travel to apply down pressure to the blade with the tractor if required. There may be instances where the non slotted link may be useful if I am trying to remove a knoll or crown in an area and want the blade to cut into it so that link will be hung up in case it is desired in the future.
After using the blade a few times I have added to my "wish list" a way to lift the 1/2" diameter lock pin so that I can change the angle of the blade without having to get off of the tractor. Thinking that the end of the left end of the blade can be lowered to catch on the ground (or an object such as a cement block or an old stump) and then the tractor can be moved slowly forward or backwards to cause the blade to pivot once the pin is lifted and is free of the bottom plate hole. Cut a piece of 1/2" round 1-1/8" long and took a skim cut off it in the lathe so it was under 1/2" diameter by about .010". Cut a piece of 1/4" x 1-1/4" flat steel 1" long and drilled a 1/4" hole in it 3/8" from the top so that a bolt can be used to move the pin up and down with the help of a lever and shaft mechanism. Welded the pieces together and then cleaned up the weld with the sander and flat file and then did a test fit of the pin in the hole. Thinking I will make up a plate that can be bolted to the left side of the front frame using the two 3/8" holes that are already drilled in it. The plate will support a bushing that a 3/8" shaft can go through and extend out over top of the left side of the frame and then arm can go forward a couple of inches with a hole in the end. Then a rod can come straight up about a foot or so between the PTO lever and the footrest that can be reached from the seat to lift and lower the pin as required. With the plate being bolted on it can easily be removed if it does not work or if I wish to mount the blade on the front or rear of the tractor so that it is not in the road.
Since the video I had emailed Austen (which he graciously posted) was a reduced file size it appears a little grainy so I decided to try and master uploading a video to You Tube this afternoon. I used my limited video editing skills to combine the three videos that I had taken during the initial test run several days ago and added a few captions that may help the viewer understand the significance of each part of the video. Think I have mastered You Tube enough that this link should work for others.
The video should be less grainy and saves me bothering Austen as he probably has other things to do with his time ( like waxing and driving a HDT1000??) . I know he didn't mind helping me out and am thankful for his assistance.
Hope you enjoy the video and as always any comments (good or bad) are welcome.
I have been doing some research trying to determine whether the original blade was made specifically for the scraper blade or if it was an off the shelf unit adapted for the job. I am leaning towards the blade portion was actually made by welding a 1/2" X 6" cutting edge for a full size road grader to the lower swivel blade. Found a sheet from Valley Blades that indicates there is a 1/2" x 6" double edged curved cutting edge made from Hot Rolled Heat Treated Steel that is manufactured and attached a jpeg of it. Decided to check with a local heavy equipment supplier and see if a cutting edge could be purchased and what length they came in. I believe that at one time the cutting edge was offered in a 42" length but that it is no longer available as it is not a popular length anymore. Was able to get a price on a 60" long cutting edge which is the shortest one they could supply in a 1" x 6" curved configuration - it is just under $200.00 Canadian plus shipping and taxes (shipping weight of approximately 43 lbs. For now I am going to settle for the blade I made but if I was building another unit I might consider purchasing the cutting edge for a more authentic look as well as a harder wearing material. Thought I would share this information in case someone else contemplates building a replica of the blade in the future.
Removed the front frame from the blade and then cut a piece of 1/4" X 1-12" flat bar 4-1/4" long and drilled two 3/8" holes in it 3/8" up from the lower edge to match the two holes in the side of the frame. Set it in place on the inside of the frame and marked a notch in it 2-7/8" from the front edge of the plate for a piece of 3/4" x 1-1/4" round stock to sit into. Cut the notch with a hacksaw so the bottom was just above where the top edge of the frame sits and then rounded the notch out with the sander so that the piece of round would sit in the bottom ok. Drilled a 3/8" hole in the center of the 3/4" round to form a sleeve using the lathe and then drilled and tapped a 1/4-28 hole at a right angle in the middle that will accept a grease fitting - threaded a fine thread bolt in it for now to keep any welding spatter out of the threads. Clamped the round stock to the plate so that the grease fitting hole will be angled towards the rear when the plate is installed.
Tacked the sleeve to the plate and verified that it looked straight with the hole at a right angle to the plate and then welded the sleeve to the plate on the inside - left the outside not welded so that the plate would still fit flush against the frame. Inserted a piece of 3/8" round stock into the sleeve and then cut and drilled a piece of 1/8" x 3/4" flat steel to form an arm to slide over the 3/8" round. Set it beside the pin and scribed where a 1/4" hole should be drilled to line up with the hole in the pin head and then I drilled a 1/4" hole. Made another arm using the first one as a pattern and then marked a hole location 1/8" inwards away from the edge of the bolt hole to begin forming a slot in both arms. Drilled the second holes and then used a file to remove the material at the sides to produce a slot. The slot is actually a little off on an angle rather than being inline - think I got the first hole a little off center but still should work ok. The slot is necessary so that as the arms lift the pin the bolt does not bind up in the pin head.