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(04-16-2020, 09:44 PM)TomG Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-16-2020, 08:24 PM)f350ca Wrote: [ -> ]I tried using the wood splitter as a press ONCE. Lets just say it wasn't pretty.

No way you are going to leave us hanging on that one, Greg. Come on, cough up the details.  Thumbsup


Yep we want details. Don't let me be the only one around here with a red face.
We've all pulled various stunts. Some successful and others not so much.
Don't remember what I was trying to press, was quite some time ago. Thought it would stay flat against the pusher but balancing against a knife edge is less than perfect. Remember it coming out of there like a rocket, the knife edge still has the bend to remind me though.
It must be some kind of cultural thing but every wood splitter I have seen in Oz has the wedge attached to the ram, whereas the wedge seems to be at the non-moving end on all the ones I've seen in videos or pics from North America, possibly from Europe too. Perhaps because we use hardwood, and the timbers here would take massive power to split more than one way per stroke. Anyway it enables me to set a job up against the flat 'foot' end of the splitter the few times I have used it as a press. Or maybe it makes no difference. Dunno. Worst thing used to be the vibration from the chonda motor, but it died after about 3 seasons and got replaced with a genuine Honda motor that hasn't got a fraction of the vibration, makes it easier to keep things in place. It's great for breaking up aluminium wheels for the furnace too.
I've noticed that as well. Not sure it maked much difference other than maybe the split wood pile ending up a bit farther from the splitter with a fixed wedge.

Been a while since I updated this project, I've been doing bits and pieces on it as other things permit. I got the fixed end of the curl rams done a few weeks ago, the rams I bought have a clevis arrangement at both ends so I'm working around that. Made some bushes from 4140 and sandwiched them between plates of 10mm mild steel, then cooked and quenched to case harden the bushes before mounting them to the arms.
Having the curl rams in place allowed me to start figuring out the parallel linkage arrangement, lots of plywood mockups and eventually I decided I need to be able to lift the loader to full height to ensure the angles allow it to empty a bucket at full height. The idea of the parallel linkage is to increase the total rotation, the old single linkage only rotated the bucket through about 160 degrees or so, which meant it was not curled back enough to keep stuff in when down low, and would not empty dirt without a vigorous shake when up high. It will now rotate through about 210 degrees, so curls fully back at ground level and tips almost upside down at full height. Anyway I needed to get the new 3-spool valve mounted and get the hydraulic hoses fitted up so I can lift and curl to confirm everything before I start cutting steel for the linkages.
I temporarily mounted the loader back onto the tractor to ensure I got the new control valve mounted in a nice ergonomic position- will get a photo of that- then I got a mobile hydraulic hose guy out to make up all the hoses. His portable crimping machine was a nice bit of kit. His invoice was just over double what I expected  Jawdrop  17431

I got prices for all the hose brackets that I need to keep everything tidy, was planning to use the usual poly block type gizmos but after spending up on the hoses I thought I'd save some cash and make my own brackets in aluminium.

I sacrificed another old mag wheel and cast some bar stock
put one nice flat edge on each bar then flipped them over and milled the opposite side so I had consistent thickness
then cut it all up into little pieces, mounted in the mill vice in pairs so I could pilot-drill and bore on the join line
ended up with five 1/2" and eighteen 3/8 double hose brackets.
the photos remind me I still have to chamfer the back end of the bores. Don't want them to cut into the hoses.
Probably about time I updated this thread. I've been doing a lot of work on this machine since the last post here. The hose brackets were completed and worked out well, I was able to route all the hydraulic hoses clear of moving parts and hold them neatly.

I've been putting a lot of time into the linkages and pins for the curl mechanism. I turned bushes from 4140 for all the pivot points and case hardened them using my foundry furnace. I had made everything in imperial sizes, 1 1/4" pins for the main pivots and 1" for the other linkages as that was the size of the clevis on the rams I bought. I didn't consider the difficulty of obtaining material in those sizes, had to order some imperial shaft from an eBay seller and trust that it is what he says. I read that bareco use 4140 s/h for their pins so that is what I went with. the intent is that the pins are the wear item, as they are the easiest component to replace. I bored and cross-drilled the pins for grease passageways.

I've been having second thoughts about the style of quick-hitch bucket attachment, I don't like the fact that the JD attachment puts load through a pair of lynch pins, it's probably fine on a sub-compact tractor (or not, they did not keep this arrangement in production for more than a couple of years), the arms of my loader are also spaced just a tad too wide for it. I have plans to install a 'Euro Hitch' which is much heavier duty. But, I have a biggish drainage project that has to be completed over summer so I decided to set things up with the JD hitch as it is very simple to build and my bucket already has the system in place.
I put together a fairly crude version of the JD hitch and welded it to the front of the new linkages. Finally got the thing completed this afternoon after a marathon effort over the last week or so.
I'll use it for a while before stripping it down and taking it to the sandblaster and then painting it to match the rest of the tractor. Be a shame to ruin a new paint job if anything requires changing.
I'm super happy with the result so far. The double linkage provides a massive amount of extra rotation to the bucket, I haven't measured yet but I think it has about 220 degrees of rotation where it previously had about 160. In it's old guise, it would not curl back enough with the bucket down low, which meant I was travelling with the arms raised in order to keep stuff in the bucket; then it would not curl forward enough to empty the bucket cleanly at full lift. Better now:

I can potter away at building the Euro Hitch once the current dirt projects are under control. Been looking at 'grapple' attachments too, I have a lot of tree work that a grapple would be just the ticket for. The prices here are astronomical though so I'll probably have to build that too.
Update on the loader. Got it sandblasted and put a coat of paint on it. Be a shame to get it dirty now.
Wow. Looking GOOD Pete! Thumbsup
That turned out great! Now how about some details on that grapple? Popcorn
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