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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am awaiting the delivery of a 4 foot 3-point hitch landscape rake. I was thinking about buying a gauge wheel kit, but the prices are crazy for those things.

So, I looked around the shop and I believe I have enough materials on hand to fabricate the set-up.. minus the wheels. So, Ive been searching a bit for some wheels that may work and wanted you to look at a particular wheel and give your thoughts on it.

Im looking at this > 8" Pneumatic Swivel Caster

Do you think a pair of those would be up to the task??

I was thinking about attaching that to something like this (very amateur drawing using MS paint, but gets the point across I think) .



So.. thoughts?

Wasper
 

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These shouldn't see much load, so your basic design should work. Personally, I'd avoid using pneumatic tires as I don't see that they would have any advantages over solids in this application. The potential for leaks (100% in my experience) is just going to add another maintenance headache. You might be able to find some used Kubota mower deck gauge wheels, which already have the built in large diameter shaft, pin for height adjustment, and swivel joint.
 

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I would replace the "solid round stock" with steel tubing of some kind. The solid piece of steel will be waaaay over kill and probably expensive.

Your design looks better than the ones I do with a pencil on a piece of cardboard that I bring into the steel shop.
 

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I'd ditto the going to tubing rather than solid bar stock. I'd also go with square tube rather than round stock. In this area it's easier to find the square tube than round stock. I also find it easier to work with and generally less expensive.

The solid wheels rather than pneumatic sounds like a good idea for the reasons stated IMO.

Your design looks good to me but then I've managed to build some pretty cobbled up junk on occasion.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi guys,

I went to Harbor Freight on the way home from work today. This was my first time I have been to a Harbor Freight store. All I have to say is... I'm glad I left the credit card home, lol. There are so many tools and things, all pretty much at great prices...I had to get in and out fast before I dilly-dallied to long and bought a bunch of things!

Anyway... I kept your recommendation about a solid rubber tire for the casters in mind while browsing. I looked at everything they had to offer and didn't like what they offered in casters. I did see one solid rubber wheel that looked like it would have been a good fit.. but it was only the rim/tire and no caster hardware. Also, it was more expensive then the caster I linked above... for the price of one of the solid tires, I could pretty much buy two of the other casters.

So, I figured for $25 for both casters.. Ill take the risk and see how they work out. So, I bought two of those 8" casters and see what I see.

I'll have to look at the stock rack to see what I have. I don't think we have enough of the tubing (sq) for the extension arms. I pretty much have the whole steel rack in work at my disposal. But, we don't do much metal working in the shop anymore (hence why I could use it)... we mostly do machinable ceramics and polymers now. So, I'll have to see what I can slap together.

I may have already changed the way I'm going to do the build... I do that a lot, lol... If it starts out simple, then I tend to over engineer it.. if it starts out complicated.. then I tend to make it not so complicated... it all depends on the day I guess, lol.
 

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Look forward to seeing the Pictures! If you have trouble with Flats, Slime them! :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hi Guys,

I did a bit of work today. My work is quite busy at the moment (good thing for a machine shop these days!), so I didn't get much done. I found some good hot rolled plate on the rack and a nice 1" diameter bar stock.

The best part... for me, at least.. is I got to work on some manual machines today. The last 12 years I have been doing CNC machinng a Programming with CAD... so, it was real nice to get some time on the machines That I learned on (rvts) and worked on prior to this job.

Anyway.. any proper update report needs pictures !

Found some material ans was doing some drawing and math. The casters were actually nice for $12. They have bearings with a grease fitting and a nice sheald for the bearings. Not to shabby really.



Then it was on to the manual machines (fun!)

Some time in the cutoff saw. Of course midway through the first piece the blade snapped (like I said, we don't do much metal working any more.. so the blade was old). A quick weld on the blade welder and I was off and running again (been so long since I used it.. I had to ask one of the guys to refresh my memory on how to use it, lol).



Over to the vertical to square it up.



The onto the drill press to drill and c-sink the mounting holes.



Then onto the lathe to bring the bar stock to proper length.



Then back at the bench formulating my next step. I think I will most likely put a 1" c-bore about 3/4 into the center of the plate, in order to fit the upright for welding. Hopefully I could get it welded tomorrow.. but it depends if the guy who does our welding is there or not.



That's it for now.... I really have to wait for the rake to get here to lay out the rest of the build.
 

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Dykem - Ah, the memories! Exceptionally nice job on those plates with radius corners and everything.
 

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Looks like a good project progressing nicely. Looking forward to more updates.

Those casters look like the same thing I bought from HF but I used to fixed version to build a little trailer for SWMBO to tow behind her little quad.

Only problem I've had with them is the bolts that hold the two wheel halves together were just finger tight. One fell apart while being used, the other was about too.

I'd suggest checking those bolts before you put that system to work.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Only problem I've had with them is the bolts that hold the two wheel halves together were just finger tight. One fell apart while being used, the other was about too.

I'd suggest checking those bolts before you put that system to work.

Mike
Mike,

Thanks for the tip. I got to work today and checked the bolts on the rims. Sure enough a couple of them were finger tight. So, I socked them up nice and tight. Thank again for the heads up!

John
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Quick Update.

Got the caster parts ready for welding. Put a slip-fit c-bore in the middle of the plates to hold the uprights square to the plates. Put a c-sink in the c-bores for the weld bead. I also faced the plates to get the hot-rolled skin of of them.



Unfortunately, the guy who does our welding was out today.. so it will have to wait till Monday. My co-worker and I are thinking about going in on a welder so we don't have to wait around on someone else. I have some questions about a welder in the welding section on this site.. so, if you want to add your thoughts/opinions, then please head on over to that section and add to the conversation.

Also.. to my surprise, the rake showed up today (I thought it wouldn't be in till next week). This is a Kodiak heavy duty four foot rake. Not many companies make heavy duty rakes in the four foot size any more (they all start in five foot versions now), so this was a special order.







The rake is built fairly well.. but the paint job is horrible. I just may paint it JD green.. I haven't decided on that just yet. but, I'm not complaining... I got it for much cheaper then its worth due to a mix up on Agri-Supply's website. They accidentally advertised a heavy duty rake when all they carried was standard duty rakes. So, when the rake came in (the first time).. I was not happy. In order to keep me happy, they special ordered this heavy duty rake for me (after quickly correcting their website, lol). Kodiak doesn't even make four foot heavy duty rakes anymore, like the rest of the industry.. so they made this special. So, I got a heavy duty rake at a standard duty price... so I won't complain to loudly about the paint job. :D


Now that I have the rake, I can start drawing up the rest of the parts.. I may run some designs by you!

Wasper
 

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That's a beautiful old Monarch lathe. Is it the type that used an AC motor to spin a DC generator that powered a DC motor for the spindle? Early form of variable speed drive - we had one of those where I used to work.

I spy an AC Tech drive on the drill press - my prior employer uses those almost exclusively on the equipment they produce. They have some quirks but seem to work fairly well and they are inexpensive. Made locally in Massachusetts, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's a beautiful old Monarch lathe. Is it the type that used an AC motor to spin a DC generator that powered a DC motor for the spindle? Early form of variable speed drive - we had one of those where I used to work.

I spy an AC Tech drive on the drill press - my prior employer uses those almost exclusively on the equipment they produce. They have some quirks but seem to work fairly well and they are inexpensive. Made locally in Massachusetts, too.
Hi,

Thats an old Monarch 10EE tool room lathe. It was a refurbished unit when we bought it a few years back. That digital readout you see is an aftermarket modification.. normally there would be a "speedometer" type gauge there to show the RPMs. Since parts are hard to find or very expensive.. they opted for the digital RPM readout instead. It is a very nice lathe.. my employer snatched it up when he seen it was for sale.

The old Johanson drill press is a beast. That AC Tech drive unit was put on it after one of the workers was hanging an air filtration unit from the ceiling. The guy (no longer works here.. thank god), tried to use some very light duty chain to hang it with. I seen children swing sets with thicker chain.. I don't know what he was thinking as the filtration unit weighs in at about 400 lbs. As soon as he lowered the fork lift forks.. the thing crashed down right onto the control unit. He destroyed it. The Ac Tech drive, like you said, is a good,cheap replacement.. But I find it lacking compared to the original control unit.
 

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Nice work Wasper!

Ahh the smell of Dykem in the morning :)
 

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That is a sweet rake, I could really use one of those at my place, I have a lot of rocks and junk in my top soil.
 

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I pretty much made the exact same setup for my woods 7' 3pth. blade to push snow with on stone drives. WORKED AWSOME!!! I found swivel casters and tires at the Fastenal store near my work. cost me $88 for 2. But worth every penny. Dirlled hloes for 3/8" and 1" ground clearence. Set them on the 3/8" settiing and by adjusting the lenght of my top link i could set the pitch on the blade form scraping to almost 1" clearence. did not need to go with the 1" hole setting. My set works great. Yours should work too. As for the question on the caster wheels i think they would work. I attcahed mine to the back of the blade with 4" c-channel and the setup you desigined is exactly as i build mine. I did not have any trouble with mine freezing with the snow. Just keep them greased.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update time...

Been real busy in work.. working seven days a week this whole month. So, progress is much slower then I would like on this personal project of mine.

Anyway, I made some progress. I fabricated the brackets that will attach the arm assembly to the rake and made the arms that will hold the wheel assemblies. Now, I changed the design somewhat from my original plan. instead of making the arms and welding them to a bracket.. I wanted something that would be easier to take off without having to unbolt the brackets.

So, I decided to make two mini sleeve hitches as the brackets. Then I took one inch square bar stock and milled down the end to fit into the sleeve hitches. I will eventually , after everything gets welded, add pin holes in the arms/hitches so I can have the gauge wheels easily removed and put on.

Now... Pictures (of course!).

Starting to lay it out and getting materials ready and I drilled in the two bolt holes on each plate.



Then I added a one inch slot in the plates to accept the square tube stock. I figure this will keep it nice and straight for the welder and give it a nice seat for added strength.



This is what they will look like after welding (minus pin holes). In the picture is also one of the bar ends milled down to fit inside the hitch.



The is what it will look like when you slide the arm into the receiver hitch.



I also got the round stock cut to size today for the other end of the arms that will receive the upright wheel shafts (no picture for that, was running late). Tomorrow I will mill in the radius then get that welded as well. The welder told me he can do it all in the morning, So I hope to get all that done tomorrow.

Next up is I have to decide what type/size pins I want to use, so I can add all the pin holes (for hitches and wheel uprights). I have to think about that some. Once that is done, I will paint everything.

I'll report back when I make some more headway.

John
 

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Were looking forward to the update and the finished product. slkpk
 
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