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A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Did a test with a bolt to see if the pin would lift ok as the bolt slid in the slots. Things seemed to work ok so I did a measurement to decide how long to make the shaft and settled on 3". Drilled two 1/8" holes in it so that a washer and cotter pin can be installed in the shaft on each side of the sleeve to limit side movement of the shaft. Clamped the two arms to the head so they would be aligned and then spotted the two arms to the shaft. Spread the bolt ends of the arm slightly apart so it was a loose fit onto the pin head and clamped a pair of vise grips onto the the outer end of the shaft and did a test to make sure the pin would lift as the shaft was rotated which it did so I welded the two arms to the shaft on the outside surface of the arms.

Still have to make the outer arm and a stop so that the pin will just lift high enough to clear the lower swivel plate but not out of the top plate. Then I can figure out a rod coming up from the outer arm and how I will support it but thinking this should work and gravity should keep the pin from lifting on its own.

1 Test Fit Of Arms With Pin Lifted.jpg 2 Figuring Out Length To Make Shaft.jpg 3 Shaft Cut And Drilled For Cotter Pins.jpg 4 Ready To Tack Shaft To Arms.jpg 5 Arms Tacked.jpg 6 Pin In Lowerd Position.jpg 7 Shaft Rotated With Vise Grips Lifts Pin Up.jpg 8 Pin Lowered.jpg 9 Pin Raised.jpg 10 Pin Raised.jpg
 

Tractorholic
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Very nice workmanship there 馃憤
 

New Member
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Now that's quite clever! Great job as usual! I hadn't thought of that. Just have to have something solid to get the end of the blade up against to make it pivot if you didn't want to climb off the tractor. How about getting really fancy and adding a power angle cylinder and a control valve to operate it? Probably would be a lot of $ spent for what use it would actually see. Kind of overkill right? Wouldn't work on a manual lift system either. It would be neat though. I do like your idea. A lot easier pulling a knob or lever with one hand and pivoting the blade with the other instead of having to reach underneath the tractor.
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Very nice workmanship there 馃憤
Thanks for the kind words - probably not as fancy as a factory made unit but may make someone scratch their head a bit after I am gone.

Now that's quite clever! Great job as usual! I hadn't thought of that. Just have to have something solid to get the end of the blade up against to make it pivot if you didn't want to climb off the tractor. How about getting really fancy and adding a power angle cylinder and a control valve to operate it? Probably would be a lot of $ spent for what use it would actually see. Kind of overkill right? Wouldn't work on a manual lift system either. It would be neat though. I do like your idea. A lot easier pulling a knob or lever with one hand and pivoting the blade with the other instead of having to reach underneath the tractor.
Thank you for the kind words. I am wondering (if my legs are long enough) if I can use my feet to swivel the blade in the up position - probably not. Easy enough to catch the end of the blade on something (small tree) and then slowly let the tractor turn it. I had thought of a hydraulic cylinder but a lot of extra expense for the amount of use it would get - thinking this will be much simpler if it works out. So far I calculate that I have about $180.00 Canadian in materials to make the blade (steel. mig wire, gas, sanding discs. cut off blades, bolts, nuts, washers, etc) which I figure isn't too bad for this project.
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
Welded the inner arms to the shaft and did a test to make sure the cotter pins would not bind up the shaft rotation with two 3/8" washers installed. The washers will limit sideways movement and hopefully limit grease in the shaft hole being contaminated with dust and dirt. Started working on making the outer arm - would have liked to use a piece of 1/4" x 3/4" flat steel but the narrowest I had was 1-1/4" wide so I started off with that and trimmed it to 3/4" wide where it runs from the pin forward. Created a slight step by using a short piece of steel welded to the arm so that the top of the outer lever can be even with the top of the plate when the arm is horizontal as this surface will serve to create a stop to limit the amount the pin can be lifted. Marked and drilled a 3/8" hole for the shaft and also a 1/4" hole for a rod to connect to that will extend vertically and then I rounded the corners.

1 Arms Welded To Shaft.jpg 2 Made Sure Washers And Cotter Pins Had Enough Space.jpg 3 Pieces To Make Outer Arm.jpg 4 Ready To Weld Pieces Together.jpg 6 Pieces Welded And Hole For Shaft Marked.jpg 7 Hole Drilled.jpg 8 Arm Marked Where It Will Be Cut At Bottom.jpg 9 Top Corners Rounded And Hole Marked For Rod.jpg 10 Rod Hole Drilled And Front Corners Rounded.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
Did a test fit of the outer arm on the shaft and cut a piece of 1/8" x 1/2" flat steel 1-1/8" long to form the lift stop and welded it to the upper edge of the plate. With the arm trimmed to 3/4" high and in the down position it allows the two bolt heads to be accessed with a socket so they can be tightened or loosened easily. Clamped the lever to the stop and also clamped the pin so it was still in the hole by 1/4" - there is a a bit of play in the slot area so when the arm rotates the shaft the pin won't lift quite as high but should still clear the lower hole in the blade portion so the blade can swivel. Tack welded the outer arm to the shaft and tried lifting the pin several times and it appeared to work fine.

1 Test Fit Of Arm On Shaft.jpg 2 Inch And One Eighth Piece Of Half Inch Flat Will Make Arm Stop.jpg 3 Arm Stop Welded To Top Of Plate.jpg 4 Top Of Outer Arm Same Level As Top Of Plate And Clears Front Bolt Head.jpg 5 In Lowered Position Arm Will Allow Access To Rear Bolt.jpg 6 Pin Clamped In Up Position So Outer Arm Can Be Tacked To Shaft.jpg 7 Pin Very Near Top Of Hole.jpg 8 Arm Tacked.jpg 9 Pin Lifted With Arm.jpg 10 Arm In Lowered Position.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Welded the outer arm to the shaft and also welded the nuts to the inside of the plate to make mounting and removal of the mechanism easier if it needs to be at some point in the future. After things cooled I mounted the mechanism again and tested it several times and it still worked ok - think it is ready for some paint. I also used the sander to radius the corners on the plate so they are not as sharp as I sometimes find square corners sharp and can rip skin if you are not careful.

1 Arm Welded To Shaft.jpg 2 Nuts Welded To Inside Of Plate.jpg 3 Test Fit After Welding cooled To Make Sure It Works OK.jpg 4 Ready For Removal And Paint.jpg 5 Corners Rounded With Sander And Ready For Paint.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
Painted the bracket and then thought about things overnight and decided the lift rod might be better if it was made from 3/8" round so I drilled the 1/4" hole out to 3/8" and then touched up the paint. While the paint dried I made a 1/2" O.D. pilot out of a short piece of 1/2" round with an inside hole of 1/8". If I want to be able to angle the blade both ways I needed to add two more 1/2" holes at the front area of the left side of the blade plate for the lock pin to drop into. Decided there was enough material so I dropped the bolt I had used as the lock pin in the other side with the blade angled the other way and placed the pilot in the upped plate hole on the left. Drilled a 1/8" pilot hole centered at that location and the other angle position to begin making the two necessary holes. Rotated the upper plate and then enlarged the two holes to first 1/4" and then 3/8" - unfortunately the 3/8" bit jammed and broke when it broke through the front hole. I believe if the blade was not as curved the bit would not have caught but I mention the fact to be careful if someone else does this modification. Been about a year since I broke a drill bit so I was about due and the bit broke with some of the twist still at the shank end so I can re-sharpen it and add it to the extras selection. Enlarged the holes to 1/2" being careful not to catch the 1/2" bit on the blade below.

1 Painted And Rod Hold Enlarged To Three Eights.jpg 2 Need To Drill Two More Holes In Lower Blade Plate.jpg 3 One Eight Drill Bit And Half Inch Pilot.jpg 4 Pilot Inserted In Upper Hole.jpg 5 Eight Hole In Lower Plate.jpg 6 New Holes To Be Enlarged.jpg 7 Holes Enlarged To Quarter.jpg 8 Holes Enlarged To Three Eighths And Broken Drill Bit.jpg 9 Holes Enlarged To Half Inch.jpg 10 Edge Of Balde Where Drill Bit Jammed.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Ran the 1/2" drill bit through each hole in the blade plate aligned with the left hole in the frame plate with the pivot bolt installed so that there should be no binding of the lock pin if the holes are lined up. Bolted the mechanism in place after I installed the two cotter pins in the cross shaft and added a grease fitting and a shot of grease. I used a 1/4" x 1" bolt and a lock nut to secure the inner arm to the lift pin with the nut on the inside and left the bolt loose enough that it could turn as it moved in the lever slots. Added two 3/8" lock washers under the two bolt heads that attach the mechanism and then made sure the pin would drop down at each location once the holes were aligned. Set the blade back under the tractor and installed it to the rear frame and the lift link and took a few pictures of how the mechanism looks and where the rod will connect to the hole in the outer lever. Will have to figure out how long to make the rod and how it will be supported so it can slide as the blade is raised and lowered as well as what to use for a knob but things are progressing slowly.

1 Mechanism Installed.jpg 2 Fitting Installed And Shaft Greased.jpg 3 Arm Position When Pin Is Lowered.jpg 4 Arm Position When Pin Is Raised.jpg 5 Cotter Pins Installed.jpg 6 Blade Back Underneath Tractor.jpg 7 Blade In lowered Position.jpg 8 Arm Lifted.jpg 9 Spot Where Rod Will Connect To Arm.jpg 10 Holes For Upper Rod Bracket Maybe.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Here is a link to a short video showing me testing the lifting action of the mechanism.

 

Deere Herder
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Thanks for the kind words - probably not as fancy as a factory made unit but may make someone scratch their head a bit after I am gone.


Thank you for the kind words. I am wondering (if my legs are long enough) if I can use my feet to swivel the blade in the up position - probably not. Easy enough to catch the end of the blade on something (small tree) and then slowly let the tractor turn it. I had thought of a hydraulic cylinder but a lot of extra expense for the amount of use it would get - thinking this will be much simpler if it works out. So far I calculate that I have about $180.00 Canadian in materials to make the blade (steel. mig wire, gas, sanding discs. cut off blades, bolts, nuts, washers, etc) which I figure isn't too bad for this project.
You could use a electric actuator to angle the blade.
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
You could use a electric actuator to angle the blade.
Thank you for the suggestion. An actuator would probably do the job but if the blade caught a rock in hard packed gravel at the outer edge it might be hard on the shaft threads (as it might give the threads and nut quite a sudden chuck) and since I don't have one it would be an additional expense plus that would require an extra switch and additional wiring. Thinking that using the manual pin lift mechanism and catching the blade on something solid to turn it is probably the most cost effective solution for now.
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Started making the rod that will extend from the outer arm up so that it can be pulled on from the seated position out of some 3/8" round stock. Drilled a 1/8" clip hole in the end and then decided I would use the press to bend a sharp right angle about 5/8" away from the clip hole. The press was up to the task but it take a lot of force to do a tight bend in 3/8" round steel - one of the reasons I did not try using my metal bender. As a result the 90掳 block and the bending blade I have made for doing lighter stuff now needs to be repaired as the 3/8" round stock put some nasty marks in them. The press got the bend very close to 90掳 but in the process cut into the rod a bit where the bending blade was pressing on it - I finished the bend by clamping the rod in the vise and giving it a couple of love taps on the end with the ball peen hammer to complete the 90掳. Did a test fit and found the rod end was sticking out a bit too far to let the rod slide straight down in the narrow spot between the foot rest and the frame tube to let it slide easily into the hole in the arm. Drilled a second 1/8" hole closer to the upright part of the rod so that I could sand off the end so it did not stick out as far. I am hoping that the rod can be slid down through an eye bracket and then slid into the outer arm of the lift mechanism and clipped in position - that way I can leave the eye bracket attached to the tractor as it should not bother me during the winter when I am using the tractor to blow snow.

1 One Eight Hole Drilled In Thrre Eights Rod.jpg 2 Clip Inserted And Marked Where I Would Like 90掳 Bend.jpg 3 Starting To Make Bend Using Press.jpg 4 Got It Bent Close To 90掳.jpg 5 Need To Repair V Block.jpg 6 Need To Repair Bending V.jpg 7 Bending V Cut Into Rod.jpg 8 Drilled Second Clip Hole In Rod And Doing Test Fit Beside Foot Support.jpg 9 Second Hole Will Allow Me To Shorten End Of Shaft So Rod Clears Foot Rest Better.jpg 10 Rod Bent 90掳 And Second Hole In Closer.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Sanded the end of the rod away until the outer hole was no more and then slid the rod straight down and clipped it in position in the outer arm. Felt it was still sticking out plenty so I cut it around 19" long on the upright and then formed two bends near the bottom so the upper part of the rod was in closer to the tractor body. This gave the rod a bit more clearance between the foot rest and the frame tube and allowed the end of the rod to sit up above the PTO lever which made me happy. Cut the upper end of the rod half way through with the hack saw and formed a sharp 90掳 bend the way I have used in the past by clamping the rod in the vise and then bumping the end around with a hammer. Once that was done I welded the cut area back up and I also filled in the cut at the bottom end with a bit of weld.

1 Rod End Shortened And Clipped To Outer Arm.jpg 2 Rod Clipped To Arm.jpg 3 Thinking  Rod Will Come Up Just Ahead Of PTO Lever.jpg 4 Rod Cut Off And Added Bends To Move Rod In CLoser To Tractor.jpg 6 Upper End Of Rod Cut With Hack Saw And Bent.jpg 6 Upper End Of Rod Cut With Hack Saw And Bent.jpg 7 Ready To Weld At 90掳 Bend.jpg 8 Upper Bend Welded.jpg 9 Also Welded Cut Area At Bottom Bend.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #96 ·
Sanded and filed the welds and did a test fit of the rod and decided it should work and clear when the blade is also in the raised position so I figured out how I would support it at the top to keep it upright but allow a bit of movement so it would not bind when the blade was being raised or lowered. Had a practice eye I had formed out of 1/4" round stock when I was experimenting with my metal bender and clamped it to a piece of 1/8" x 1" flat steel that I had drilled two 3/8" holes at one end so I could attach it to the rear holes in the main support. I used a piece of cardboard held up against the main support holes to draw the hole outlines on with a pen so that i could get the correct bolt spacing. Tacked the eye to the top of the the flat steel after I cut a little notch in the front corner so the eye could sit a little bit back further. Bolted the rod bracket in position and things looked good so I started the tractor and raised the blade up and watched the rod to make sure it cleared everything ok. Did a few up and down lifts and lowers of the blade and things looked good - took some pictures of the bracket and rod with the blade in the raised position. There is still room for the blade to go down another 3" or so and the top of the rod where it is bent should still clear the PTO lever - doubt if the blade will ever get that low but it is planned for if the occasion arises.


1 Test Fit Of Rod After Sanding Welds.jpg 2 Test Fit Of Rod After Sanding Welds.jpg 3 Will Make Bracket Support Rod So It Comes Straight Up (I Hope).jpg 4 Practise Eye Tacked To Flat Steel With Two Bolt Holes To Match Holes In Main Support.jpg 5 Test Fit Of Rod Support Bracket.jpg 6 Test Fit Of Rod Support Bracket.jpg

7 Rod Slides As Blade Is Lifted Fully Up.jpg 8 Rod Clears Foot Rest With Balde In Raised Position.jpg 9 View Underneath Foot Rest With Balde In Raised Position.jpg 10 View Underneath From Right Side.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
This is the length of the bracket
1 Rod Bracket Length.jpg

Bracket Width
2 Bracket One Inch Wide X One Eight Flat Steel.jpg

Cardboard Pattern I Drew To Get Bolt Hole Spacing
3 Cardboard Pattern I Drew To Get Bolt Hole Spacing.jpg

Overall length of rod
4 Lift Rod Is Approximately 19 Inches Long.jpg

Where bends are formed
5 Where Bends Are Formed.jpg

Amount of offset that bends create in rod
6 Amount Of Offset That Bends Give Rod At Bottom.jpg 7 Tri Sqaure Beside Rod.jpg

Amount of material that forms handle to pull on at top
8 Amount Of Rod At Top Right Angle Bend.jpg

Gave the rod and bracket a splash of paint
9 Rod Painted.jpg 10 Rod Support Bracket Painted.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
This morning I installed the rod support bracket and then the rod and tried to pivot the blade so the right side was angled ahead with the blade in the fully raised position. Found a slight flaw in my design as the top edge of the blade hit on the lift arm of the tractor. This may be caused because my two pin holes at the rear of the frame are about 1/8" higher than what the original design was or it could be I just made my lift link too short. Could have just left it and tried to remember that if I angled the blade forward on the right to not raise it fully but my memory might forget sometime in the future and the blade might jam breaking something so decided to fix the problem properly by creating a slightly longer lift link with a total length of 12". I lowered the blade so it would clear the lift arm when the blade was angled forward on the right and then supported the blade frame at that height with the floor jack. Removed the upper bolt in the lift link and then started the tractor and moved the cylinder so that the lift arm was in the fully forward position at the top. Scribed a new location on the lift link of where the top hole would need to be so that the blade would now be at its upper limit of travel. Found out that in this new position the 1-1/2" wide link would now hit the foot rest spacer if I left the holes in the center so I decided to make the new lift link out of 1-1/4" wide 1/4" flat bar and also offset the bolt holes towards the front edge of the link to provide more clearance around the foot rest spacer.

1 Rod Support Bracket Installed.jpg 2 Rod Support Bracket Installed.jpg 3 Rod Support Bracket Installed.jpg 4 Rod Installed.jpg 5 Rod Installed.jpg 6 Distance Holes Need To Be On New Lift Link.jpg 7 Total Length Of New Lift Link Will Be 12 Inches.jpg

8 Top Of Blade Hits Lift Arm When Trying To Angle Right Side Forward.jpg
 

A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Created the new lift link and took a picture of it beside the old lift link as well as pictures that show the hole locations. Once I had the new link constructed I tried it out and it looked ok so I gave it a splash of paint.

I was having problems with the Honda GX390 engine wanting to flood itself while starting unless the throttle was opened up half way or more so I took some time and investigated. It would actually spray liquid fuel out of the muffler sometimes and would act like the choke was on when it did it. Removed the plastic pilot jet that is under the idle speed adjustment stop screw and found a tiny piece of what appeared to be black rubber on the outside of the pilot jet - at first I thought it was part of the o-ring that is on the bottom of the pilot but the o-ring looked intact. Not sure where the substance came from but I checked out the tiny air hole that is in the bottom of the pilot and could not see light through it. Tapped the pilot jet on a rag laid on a flat surface and a miniscule piece of the rubber deposited on the rag. Checked the pilot again and this time I could see light through the hole - blew it out with compressed air just to be on the safe side. Tried my smallest tip cleaner in the hole but it was too big so left well enough alone and lubricated the bottom o-ring and reinstalled the pilot jet back in the carb - the hole in the carb looked clean. Not sure where the piece of rubber came from but I think it was blocking the air supply for the idle mixture creating a very rich condition when the engine was being cranked. Tried starting and stopping the engine several times with the throttle at idle and it started much better and no raw fuel came out the muffler so hopefully that problem is fixed for now - ordered a new carb kit to have on hand just in case. Noticed the snow shields that I made and reworked a few years ago were getting rusty in spots and the paint was missing in a few areas - didn't surprise me as when they were painted the temperature was just above freezing. Had a bit of red paint left over so gave them a splash as well.
 

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