Attachment for my tractor
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12

    Attachment for my tractor

    When I got my tractor one of the things that I wanted to get/make was a grapple.
    I have been taking evening classes learning how to weld. The instructors are great and the facilities are fantastic.
    The grapple is made from 5/16's T-1. I designed all the pieces and had a local company plasma cut them from .dxf files I e-mail them.
    Anyway, got it all plumbed and got to try it out on the property today. It works well.
    I need to paint it next.

    Skeptic
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    springfield illinois
    Posts
    100
    how much did all that cutting cost you

  3. #3
    Scott S Guest
    Nice job! Now you are ready for some serious work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    northwest Indiana
    Posts
    142
    Nice job,

    Can you show us a picture of it in action? Can we see how you connected the loader to the attachment and the hydraulic connection. I have the 4300 with the 430 loader and it's my favorite tool to use everyday. I have been working on a frame for a set of forks. I'll send pictures soon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12

    Here is a picture of it working

    The cutting was about 12-15˘ per inch (I had two jobs that I needed cut, hinges were cut later). I winced at that at the beginning, but when I saw how well they cleaned it up and stuff, I was fine with it. The material was all weldable from them, they had done all the grinding for me.
    So cutting all of that was about $200.
    Works pretty well, now I can pick up all the branches that came down in the storms! We have stacks of them all over.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    ct
    Posts
    543
    damm that thing is SICK, well worth the 200 bucks to have it all cut out and grinded, how much can you lift with that?

    good luck, and nice job

    brian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    131
    nice. next project is the counterweight for the back end and replaceable teeth.
    :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    northwest Indiana
    Posts
    142
    This is the frame for my forks. everything is 3.5 inch X 3/8 angleon top, 1/4 inch toob and I beam. I still have to make the forks out of channel iron.

    Sorry about the dust an the flash.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    northwest Indiana
    Posts
    142
    Here is another picture from the front
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    western ny state
    Posts
    23
    Nice job Skeptic. That is one mean looking attachment What is the width of the grapple. I hope you park that thing against a wall. Would hate to walk into that in the dark.

    Sticky, your project is nice too. I bolted channel forks onto the bottom of the bucket on my 541 loader. Watch out for that dogs tail.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Monroe, Va
    Posts
    38
    Geez, that thing looks like something from Monster Garage! If it was on the front of a Honda Civic I'd be sure of it!

    Seriously though, super nice job. I've built some tractor implements but nothing that elaborate. Did you do the hydraulics yourself?

    Nice pair of Labs you got there!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12

    Picture working

    Here is a picture of the grapple picking up a rusted out 55 gallon drum.
    It works pretty well. I should be able to lift to the capacity of the tractor, I calculate about 700lbs will be around the limit.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12

    Hydraulics

    Here is a picture of the back of the grapple. We made the hooks for the quick attach part by heating and bending the 1/4" plate.
    I didn't know how to do the hydraulics myself, so I had them do that for me at the dealer. I was mostly concerned of how I was supposed to take the one connection into the two cyliners.
    The width of the grapple is 52" (that matches up with the front end loader on the John Deere), the top is narrower so that it fits between the loader arms when fully open.

    Shari
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Brethren, Mi
    Posts
    513
    For 50$ certainly would have been glad to mention you would have to T the cyls. Ha Are you running the grappel from the remote hyd or did you add another valve?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12

    Your fee :)

    Well, I will know better in the future. on putting hydraulics together.
    I had another valve installed earlier in the year. The control is located on the right side of the seat. Of course, now that I have it working I am thinking of ways to be able to control the grapple closing (or opening) while I am lifting and tilting the FEL controls.... not very easy if I want to keep my hand on the steering wheel.
    I am running out of branch piles to pick up

    My next project is a fork lift attachment for the FEL. I have some ideas on how to make it customized. I have been keeping an eye out for auctions to find some used forks.

    Shari

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    northwest Indiana
    Posts
    142
    Skeptid,

    Most of the time used forks are bent. The 430 loader can only pick up 1300 lbs. so the more weight you put on the noise of the lift, the less you can lift, like heavy forks rated to lift 5000 lbs.

    I am going to use 5 inch channel iron and box in the back. I don,t think it will cost more than $50 and everything will be the lenth I want.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12
    Sticky,
    You are correct on the weight. I need to be a bit more realistic about the weight I want to put on the front end and still be able to lift things.
    Are you going to make your forks adjustable?

    Skeptic

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Hilton, NY
    Posts
    1,985
    Don't worry one bit about running out of brush to pick up, just head East on I 90, I'll be more than happy to provide brush piles.

    Is that tractor set up with open or closed center hydraulics? Does the loader have a joystick or 2 spool valves?
    Appreciation Gains You Recognition-

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    northwest Indiana
    Posts
    142
    Skeptic,

    I f you look at the picture of the frame I made for forks and bail spear, you will see 3/8 angle on top for the forks to slide on. I think most pallets are 42 inches long so I will probably make them out of 49 inch long channel on the bottom so it under laps the tube on the bottom of my frame (that bottom fork 90 will be a T) . I'm not an engineer, but I think the bottom fork extended a couple of inches will take some load of of my 90 angle. They will slide on and off on the ends and be a little more stable



    Instead of making a round handle for the loader to connect to the attachment, I used my extra 3/8 inch angle iron. I took two 90 degree triangles and welded them on top for overkill support. It is a square U instead of a rounded U but it is 3/8 and very easy to measure and make.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12
    Franz,

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I have been running a retriever field trial this weekend. At least we had good weather for February. Shirtsleeve weather and calm winds.
    The tractor has open center hydraulics. And the FEL is controlled with a joystick. Of course, it would now be nice to have a button to open and close the grapple actually on the joystick.
    However, I believe that is a BIT pricey.
    I have neighbors that are interested in some of their branch piles being moved too

    Shari

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Hilton, NY
    Posts
    1,985
    You really don't want a solonoid valve operating the grapple, unless you like the sound of clanging metal and smashing things.
    Locate the line running from the valve body back to the reservoir, and insert a single spool open center valve there for the grapple.
    The clown engineer who invented joysticks should have been whipped.
    Appreciation Gains You Recognition-

  22. #22
    Franz-
    I love joystick on loaders and trackhoes, especially on the latter.
    I guess skeptic has his grapple plumbed in inplace of the bucket roll. Another way is to add a solinioid valve past the joystick, with the switch on the joystick, that switches flow from the bucket roll to the grapple close. This is commonly done with 4 in 1 buckets. You still get a proportional control from the joystick.


    Skeptic- Any chances you could post the or email the .dfx files?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    12
    I have pdf files mostly finished and I have many of the dxf files ready.
    I have just been doing a bunch of fixing computer networks in some old buildings, kind of keeping me from fun stuff.
    I had a new valve added. So I still have the up/down, and roll of the FEL, I have a second control that closes the grapple teeth.
    So, I only have to connect one set of fittings, because the FEL movements are still there.
    Oh, and Skeptic has her work cut out trying to finish the silly painting (the welding was the fun part).
    Has anyone used POR 15 paint? I am getting ready to try it out here tomorrow.

    Skeptic

  24. #24
    I agree about the painting- It't a bummer but necessary. I've been using spray can primer and paint but it is so soft. Haven't used POR, but I've heard good things about it. I plan to start using it when I get a HVLP gravity gun, which will hopefully make cleaning easier.

    Please post the files when you get a chance. Sorry about the gender screwup.

    Pat

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Hilton, NY
    Posts
    1,985
    POR 15 is vastly overpriced, and performence rarely meets expectations.
    Appreciation Gains You Recognition-

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