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post #16 of 21 Old 10-11-2018, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rebuilding a couple sickles and some questions

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Originally Posted by Greg in WV View Post
I wish I would have written this earlier....since you were making your own bar, I was going to suggest that you check your actuator arm to determine the need to shift your holes. I have had three sickle drives and two of them were out of alignment such that they moved the bar further in one direction than the other. One was so bad that the end knife didn't pass completely through the guard, and grass hung up there almost continually (until I got the double knife!). Since you were making your own then you could customize it to alleviate the problem.
Interesting, since the only thing impacting sickle timing is the relationship of the actuating lever and its shaft. Since those are a splined, there is obviously no adjustment.
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Originally Posted by Greg in WV View Post
Nice work, by the way! Oh, and I bet Webb's does have the left sickle knife, and I think you could buy a package that had both. I was looking to save money on shipping. I ended up spending about $10 for that one knife, but it was worth it.
Yep Webb's has right and left double end sections, some swathers and combines require them on both ends. There are also right and left 1/2 sections, which are literally a section cut in 1/2 with a new rivet hole drilled.
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post #17 of 21 Old 10-11-2018, 11:52 AM
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Re: Rebuilding a couple sickles and some questions

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Originally Posted by Mister ED View Post
Interesting, since the only thing impacting sickle timing is the relationship of the actuating lever and its shaft. Since those are a splined, there is obviously no adjustment.

Yep Webb's has right and left double end sections, some swathers and combines require them on both ends. There are also right and left 1/2 sections, which are literally a section cut in 1/2 with a new rivet hole drilled.
Yep, the splines on the shaft or on the actuator were off somehow. I checked the actuator arm and it was straight...

I don't think those 1/2 sections are the way to go. The only thing bad about the double knives is that some of them have oval holes to fit either 2" or 2 1/16" hole spacing. The oval makes it nearly impossible to rivet securely.

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post #18 of 21 Old 10-14-2018, 11:54 AM
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Re: Rebuilding a couple sickles and some questions

If this helps anyone, my machinist used this brand of ag rivet when fabbing my new cutting bar. He got them from a local farm equipment place:
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-14-2018, 09:42 PM
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Re: Rebuilding a couple sickles and some questions

All of the Gravely sickle mowers I've owned had 3" sections with a 2" rivet spacing. They used the same basic parts as a John Deere with a 7/16" cutter bar.The original rock guards had a # like MD989. The modern replacement is # 700. Ford used a 1/2" cutter bar. Gravely also made a 2" sickle mower, and a model that looks like it had two knife bars, but no rock guards. But never saw those versions
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-14-2018, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rebuilding a couple sickles and some questions

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Originally Posted by Toddnails View Post
All of the Gravely sickle mowers I've owned had 3" sections with a 2" rivet spacing.
Yep, the only reason I used sections with 2 1/16" rivet spacing, is because I have a bunch of them. They were mainly used on Minneapolis Moline and Oliver.
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Originally Posted by Toddnails View Post
Gravely also made a 2" sickle mower, and a model that looks like it had two knife bars, but no rock guards. But never saw those versions
Somebody on here had pics of the stubby rock guard version, earlier this spring.

Speaking of rock guards, I had promised some pics of replacing ledger plates on the original MD989 rock guards.

These are the tools needed. You can do this without the sickle anvil, I just happen to have one. The NOS IH ledgers were in the sealed can when I bought them. Also, IH ledgers use a special rivet with an odd angle on the countersink. Rivets and ledgers are still available from Case/IH.

Ledger tapped down and rivet going in.

Rock guard flipped and the rivet head being set on the post.

Rock guard on post and ready to be peened.

Completed rivet (these are countersunk, top and bottom).


I missed a pick of one right side up. I also did have to dress the top head of the rivet, just a little. Ready for a coat of paint.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:54 PM
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post #21 of 21 Old 10-15-2018, 03:41 PM
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Re: Rebuilding a couple sickles and some questions

I have all the original sickles that gravely offered. Except the two and one half inch which is apparently pretty rare. The two with finger guards is strictly a grass sickle not suitable for brush. The double knife is a haband bar or at least used some haband parts. It is pretty good for both grass and brush. I have broken mine a few times the lack of finger guards has a price if you get careless. It does great field mowing in clean areas. The three inch with finger guards in good condition is good for brush and may do well enough for you as a field grass mower. Somebody over at facebook I think it was said BCS sections will work on the gravely double knife. But since hole dimensions on the BCS sections are metric those will require drilling new holes. So it might make more sense to start over with a new piece of bar stock. Berlin Gravely at the mow in displayed a BCS sickle attachment mounted on their own version of a adapter drive I have no information on if they will sell it.
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