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Thread: End of the Season

  1. #76
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    For about 25yrs this has been a rake free zone. Never needed one.

    Attachment 1741371 Hesston 1014 HydroSwing 14' width

    Attachment 1741373 1014 is strictly a grass machine. Does about 5mph on Bluestem

    Attachment 1741374 Hesston 1010 HydroSwing for cropland. A more aggressive machine with a full width conditioner. It'll do about 4ish acres/hr due to the 10' width.

    Hesston made good stuff in the 70's. They were the only machines that didn't have wobble boxes. The sickle drives are reciprocal action running from flywheels. Virtually no maintenance. You can't say that for the other machines of that era. Change out sickle sections every year, and sickle guards every 2 years, and they run fine.

    Both machines will run at between 4-5.5mph, depending on what's being cut. Younger people tend to forget that this type of machine will literally run circles around the modern disc mower/hay rake combination............or at least keep pace. They're one pass machines. Cut, and windrow at the same time. Just gotta bale what you cut.

    I never felt the need to combine windrows. Besides......the old 846 wouldn't handle large windrows at speed without putting out a loose bale. It's the reason we're putting the bucks into the belt baler........it's a 5-6mph machine that will handle a lot of hay in a windrow at speed, all the while putting out a rock hard bale that weighs more, hence less haulage because of fewer bales. Get it squared away, and it will be a good machine..........although I'll still have a soft spot for the 846(which will get new floor chains to keep it available in situations like we're experiencing right now)

    This is the reason I didn't ever want a disc mower. It's too damn slow. I can maybe run faster with a disc mower...........but with a 9' cut, I have to spend almost twice as much time cutting the same acreage that a 14' machine will cut. Then I have to rake it all up. Baling will be faster, but it's still more time in the field than the old system. More time, more fuel, more wear and tear on old equipment.

    Other than the need to renovate the hay meadow, I will absolutely guarantee you that I will not be happy running the Krone. I figure we'll probably realistically need to use it for 2 seasons.........that and some Chaparral. Then it's back to the old sickle machine.

    Most of the custom cutters around here use two disc mowers running on 2 separate tractors in order to get a decent amount of grass cut in a reasonable amount of time. A tandem set of mowers will eat the old 1014's lunch...........but I'm not having to lay out the bucks for the extra equipment. I have less money in the Oliver, 1014, and 1010, than I have in the Krone by itself. The Krone won't stay here more than it's needed.

    The hay rake is a holdover from when I used to flip equipment. Luckily I never got rid of it. It'll earn its keep. Depending on how wide it will actually efficiently work, I may use it to combine windrows on the second Johnson Grass cutting this Fall. The NH650 ought to eat a double windrow just fine I'd wager. Least it'll be interesting to find out.

    That must be some light hay, to dry in the windrow without raking.

  2. #77
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxford1 View Post
    That must be some light hay, to dry in the windrow without raking.
    Native Bluestem is a very low moisture grass. Takes 2 days to cut the acres, and it's ready to bale by the second day on the ground. No need to rake it.

    Haygrazer is ready to bale in 8 days. The windrow is inverted with a 2 wheel(I don't consider this raking) rake on the 3rd, or 4th, day. I'd like to find a NH windrow inverter, but they're rare around here, and fairly costly when you can find one.

    Johnson Grass is ready to bale in about 2-3 days, depending on rainfall prior to cutting. No need to rake it.

    Hay is ready to bale when you pick up a handful, like spaghetti, and bend it. If the grass stems/blades snap, it's ready to bale. If they just bend, it's still too wet. If there's a wee bit of moisture on the bottom of the windrow, it's no big deal if the bulk of it is dry. The dry hay will absorb the moisture, and still be within specs.

    Haygrazer is an art. It will always have some moisture in the stem. The stem is pithy, and contains tons of sugar, which attracts moisture. It's always a judgement call........but generally, you're safe on the 8th day. I'd have to show a guy..........it can't be readily explained........it's a feel thing. Strip the outer stem, and massage the pith to determine if it's good to bale.

    I generally let Haygrazer grow out to between 9-10 feet tall before cutting. Lot of folks say it's too stemmy...........but the cows love that stem......it's almost pure sugar. You feed it for energy, not so much for protein. Cows will get fat on it.

  3. #78
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Native Bluestem is a very low moisture grass. Takes 2 days to cut the acres, and it's ready to bale by the second day on the ground. No need to rake it.

    Haygrazer is ready to bale in 8 days. The windrow is inverted with a 2 wheel(I don't consider this raking) rake on the 3rd, or 4th, day. I'd like to find a NH windrow inverter, but they're rare around here, and fairly costly when you can find one.

    Johnson Grass is ready to bale in about 2-3 days, depending on rainfall prior to cutting. No need to rake it.

    Hay is ready to bale when you pick up a handful, like spaghetti, and bend it. If the grass stems/blades snap, it's ready to bale. If they just bend, it's still too wet. If there's a wee bit of moisture on the bottom of the windrow, it's no big deal if the bulk of it is dry. The dry hay will absorb the moisture, and still be within specs.

    Haygrazer is an art. It will always have some moisture in the stem. The stem is pithy, and contains tons of sugar, which attracts moisture. It's always a judgement call........but generally, you're safe on the 8th day. I'd have to show a guy..........it can't be readily explained........it's a feel thing. Strip the outer stem, and massage the pith to determine if it's good to bale.

    I generally let Haygrazer grow out to between 9-10 feet tall before cutting. Lot of folks say it's too stemmy...........but the cows love that stem......it's almost pure sugar. You feed it for energy, not so much for protein. Cows will get fat on it.
    If you use a rake on it, itís raked, in my opinion. Wouldnít be very many eight day dry patches here, at least not predictably. Lots of guys here use tedders, takes a day off drying time with little leaf loss.here, raking is the last step- if you donít flip it, the bottom wonít dry enough to bale in these dedicated , fertilized hay fields. Itís too heavy.

  4. #79
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxford1 View Post
    If you use a rake on it, itís raked, in my opinion. Wouldnít be very many eight day dry patches here, at least not predictably. Lots of guys here use tedders, takes a day off drying time with little leaf loss.here, raking is the last step- if you donít flip it, the bottom wonít dry enough to bale in these dedicated , fertilized hay fields. Itís too heavy.
    Bow to your expertise I guess. Haygrazer ain't a dedicated fertilized crop. We Okies just scatter it on the ground, and hope it pops.

    Unless we do a preplant, and a top dress after the first cutting........... but that's for the elite I guess

    We don't get 8 dry days in a row either. Who gives a F if it gets wet..............bleaches a little, and feeds just fine. At least, with about 22" per year in precipitation, on average, it's very growable. Besides..........it's an African hybrid........made for hot climates, and dry climates, if push comes to shove. Makes a huge taproot. Johnson Grass is a close cousin.

    I guess I wouldn't favor a tedder. No need to throw the crop all over the field. Just need to invert the windrows. The sun, and wind, do the rest.

    The key to a successful crop is using a hoe drill. Probably akin to the no till drills used nowadays.

    Hoe drill will put your seed right down in the mud about 2" below the surface. Crop pops in about 48-maybe 60hrs. Use a disc drill, and you're waiting on the next rain............which might not come. Hoe drills were the answer to dryland farming years ago, and they still work. I love my old IH 150. Doesn't like a trashy field, but will still put down good rows if you watch the shanks, and keep them clear.

  5. #80
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    Re: End of the Season

    In all fairness, I'm using equipment, and techniques, that are decades old. I wouldn't expect someone to understand what actually happens. It's cool.

  6. #81
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    In all fairness, I'm using equipment, and techniques, that are decades old. I wouldn't expect someone to understand what actually happens. It's cool.
    As the ages move forward, so does forward thinking and technology.

    There is a reason why old antiquated farm equipment is sitting in the back 40 rotting away.

    But then again there will always be stubborn folks who think their way is the best way.

    If you saw the way we cut/wrap round bales up north ... it would make your head spin.

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  7. #82
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    Re: End of the Season

    Name:  roller21.jpg
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Size:  207.0 KB About all that was accomplished in the morning, was installing the second arm. The heat of the day built so fast, it was quittin' time before any serious progress got made. At my age, I don't mess with hot weather. Do my thing, and scurry for the AC when it starts to gettin' toasty.

    Still sittin' there this evening like it sat there this morning.................

    Name:  roller22.jpg
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Size:  224.1 KB Killed a good part of the morning looking for a pretty serious part of the machine. Found it, half buried, just South of the welding table. I had a suspicion it was there, and it paid off.

    Next hurdle..............it's actually ready to just bolt together. All the stuff's there, and it's ready to go.

    I needed some additional bolts. Some of the bolts in the bucket had rusted pretty badly.

    Head off to town........................

    Name:  roller17.jpg
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Size:  237.8 KB Made a pretty loud Kaboom. "Kelly.......kin ya come and get me????" God love her, and Bless Her Heart(gotta be from the South to understand that)

    We get it up in the air after 2 tries. When she took me back to the house to pick up the tire, and tools..........I brought the wrong jack..........too short.

    Name:  roller18.jpg
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Size:  237.2 KB The tire that got put on. Been sitting in the dirt for God Knows How Long. THE ORIGINAL SPARE TIRE THAT CAME WITH THE TRUCK WHEN I BOUGHT IT IN 1994.

    If you know how to read DOT codes, I guess you can verify the age of the tire. I really can't. It's an old code.

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  8. #83
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    Re: End of the Season

    American Made Tires

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  9. #84
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    Re: End of the Season

    If that was a front tire Samm I'd say an alignment might be in order.

    That's a lot of wheel weights I see there too.
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  10. #85
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    Re: End of the Season

    Took this one off the sprayer before it let go.... good thing it had a tube in it. Somebody made them for Versatile back in the 70's... it's done well.Name:  IMG_9700.jpg
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    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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  11. #86
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    If that was a front tire Samm I'd say an alignment might be in order.

    That's a lot of wheel weights I see there too.
    It was a front tire at one time. I rotated it to the rear the last time I bought some fronts. The twin I beam axles on the Fords do that to tires(the F350 isn't as bad, but still wears them funny). Always wear out one side of the tread. Actually.............this is my fault for not keeping track of the wear once it was put on the back. I literally ran it into the ground

    Yeah.......a bit of wheel weights Eventually destined for the casting pot.

  12. #87
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    Took this one off the sprayer before it let go.... good thing it had a tube in it. Somebody made them for Versatile back in the 70's... it's done well.Name:  IMG_9700.jpg
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    I still have some of the old nylon belted tires like that on a sprayer, and they're still holding air after decades. Can't get that kind of longevity from a steel belted tire.

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  14. #88
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    Re: End of the Season

    Name:  roller23.jpg
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Size:  202.8 KB We got some bolts this morning using her car. Naturally, I didn't get all of the right ones I figured it might take a couple of trips for this. You're not exactly sure what bolts you need until it's all fitted up. I had enough to do a preliminary setup to see just what this thing might be capable of.

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Size:  212.8 KB From the center of the tongue, it measures between 18-20' wide at various positions on the rake wheel. I figure, conservatively, that it ought to be somewhere around an 18 foot operating width. This seems to be in line with the specs I've seen on different rakes from Deere, Vermeer..........etc.

    Name:  roller26.jpg
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Size:  216.2 KB The left side can't be installed until I straighten the pivot point, and the arm itself. Oh boy!!!!!!! Another round of using a torch!!!!!! We'll see if I can keep the flame pointed in the right direction this time aroundName:  mutley.gif
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    There's been a lot of little things needing done. Removing burrs, minor tweaking, and cleanup. I figured it might be this way. But it's going along fairly smoothly.

    You can see where K'kins electric fence ends. One more pass, and they'll completely eat the grass in the foreground down to the dirt. I might move the wire further towards the steel rack so they'll clean up the entire "shop". She had a great idea with this. Her side of the yard, in front of the house, is immaculate. She's been able to keep up with it on the rider. There's no way she can be expected to do my portion of the yard. I'll let the gurls keep my side clean until I can actually get to it.

    The pup went nuts over the cow pies the first day we did this. He apparently got his fill, and doesn't go near them now. Probably gave him an upset stomach We've been pretty successful timing the whole thing. Leave them in the yard for 30-45 minutes, and they generally don't start to really crap too much. It's once they start to get their fill that the goodies start comin'.

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  16. #89
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    Re: End of the Season

    Looks like progress is being made. Glad to see this project isn't giving you much hassle.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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    Re: End of the Season

    Those old "acrobat" rakes are making a comeback of sorts over here and Europe. Everyone is cottoning on to the fact that they move grass with very very little damage. Then again, european grasses aren't as delicate in most cases. You'd use one of those rakes for alfalfa - nowadays they are touting those belt mergers as being just as kind as those passive "acrobats".

    UK farming forum members are of the opinion that "there is nothing new under the sun". A lot of older farming ideas come into fashion, fall out again, and then make a comeback.

    Disc mowers make sense for our grass, our roads and infrastructure, and our way of doing things, but to be fair, that big ol' hesston windrower looks like the ideal thing for your job, now I see how you do things I'm surprised that you even considered one. Why not a New Holland Discbine or similar? Width of a windrower, cutting performance of a disc mower.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

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  20. #91
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    Those old "acrobat" rakes are making a comeback of sorts over here and Europe. Everyone is cottoning on to the fact that they move grass with very very little damage. Then again, european grasses aren't as delicate in most cases. You'd use one of those rakes for alfalfa - nowadays they are touting those belt mergers as being just as kind as those passive "acrobats".

    UK farming forum members are of the opinion that "there is nothing new under the sun". A lot of older farming ideas come into fashion, fall out again, and then make a comeback.

    Disc mowers make sense for our grass, our roads and infrastructure, and our way of doing things, but to be fair, that big ol' hesston windrower looks like the ideal thing for your job, now I see how you do things I'm surprised that you even considered one. Why not a New Holland Discbine or similar? Width of a windrower, cutting performance of a disc mower.
    Re the disc mower..................

    Absolutely.....it's like I tried to explain earlier on. It's actually a real drawback.

    But, I feel it's the only way to recondition the hay meadow. The one with the Native Bluestem.

    The real damage occurred back around 2012. This was the beginning of a comedy of errors, and problems.

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    Normally, this wouldn't have been such a bad thing. IF RAINS HAD FOLLOWED THE WILDFIRE..........WHICH THEY DIDN'T FOR OVER A YEAR.

    This was the beginning of the onslaught of the invasive plants. Blackberries, Sumac, and a smattering of Jack Oak saplings that started to grow from the burned tree roots.

    I let it sit for a full year, then started back cutting it. It went well until the equipment failures hit. First the PTO, then various problems with related hay stuff. The "new" belt baler was an emergency response to the 846 going down at a crucial time.

    I had some people want to cut it on shares. Like an idiot, I declined. First off........I didn't want the grass cut too low. It's one of my pet peeves with custom cutters that use disc mowers. They cut it down to the dirt. Second........I didn't like losing 2/3 to the custom cutter for his share.

    I figured I'd be back running in time for the next season. Because it all piled up at once, the equipment problems stretched into about 2yrs. MEANWHILE THE DAMN BLACKBERRIES WENT WILD.

    I did hire one guy, about 2yrs ago, to bale it. Name:  hay meadow8.jpg
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    They scalped it. Name:  hay meadow9.jpg
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Size:  132.4 KB This was when all Hell broke loose. Look carefully at the ground surrounding the clump I measured.........it's about 1.5" tall. The entire place was overrun with weeds the following Spring.

    I have always left 6" of grass.........ALWAYS. It outgrows the weeds, and shades any that might come in. I've not sprayed that meadow in 25yrs. Never needed to. I've been laughed at for leaving a ton of hay on the field by doing this.......but it's usually the very same folks that have to spray their fields every Spring. There's more damn 2-4-D going on these fields than you can imagine..............all because they cut too damn close to the ground. It literally stinks around here from all the chemical people are putting on.

    So now.........I have to use a disc mower to cut the damn thing. A sickle machine couldn't run more than a few hundred feet without having to replace either sections, or guards. There's that many saplings, large Blackberry stems, and other semi woody plants that have taken hold.

    I should have let someone cut the damn thing these past 2 years. I made a real doozy of a mistake on that one. Idiots aren't born.......they're very carefully crafted over time.

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    Re: End of the Season

    SIX INCHES OF STUBBLE?

    That's just nuts.

    Weeds only out compete the grass if the sward isn't decent to start with.

    We scalp ours to 2" 2 or 3 times a year, but young fresh swards of grass quickly outcompete everything else.
    Murphy's Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.

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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by Munkul View Post
    SIX INCHES OF STUBBLE?

    That's just nuts.

    Weeds only out compete the grass if the sward isn't decent to start with.

    We scalp ours to 2" 2 or 3 times a year, but young fresh swards of grass quickly outcompete everything else.
    You have to realize that this isn't the same climate as yours, nor the same grasses. We generally cut around the 4th of July when it's at least 100*, or very close to it. It will stay dry until almost September.

    Name:  hay meadow3.jpg
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Size:  136.0 KB IIRC, this pic was taken about maybe 2ish to 3 weeks after baling. Not sure if there was any rain,, although there might have been, considering the discoloration of the bales. Anyway............this gives an idea of what the yield is, regardless of leaving what many consider too much stubble. It also shows very robust recovery of the grass during a hot Summer season. You simply can't get that when you cut to the dirt.

    This field is cut once a year. I let it run to seed in the Fall. Most guys will try to squeeze out a second cutting in September if they can...........I don't. This is why the place used to be so beautiful. And, it's why it yields decently on that one cutting. No weeds, just good clean hay. Back when I used to sell hay, it all went to horsey folks.

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    Re: End of the Season

    Name:  hay meadow1.jpg
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Size:  128.1 KB This gives a better approximation of the way I cut, and the amount of grass I leave on the field. Can judge stubble height by looking at the sidewalls of the tires. This was in the years after the fire, but before the equipment problems. You might leave some hay in the field, but you more than make up for it in reduced maintenance costs to combat weeds. And.....you maintain a thick,, healthy, stand.

    This isn't the best on the place either. It's a sort of isolated cove populated with gophers. Like riding over boulders, what with all the gopher mounds.

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    Re: End of the Season

    Around here, you'll see ads in Craigslist for "organic" hay What it really means, is that it's full of weeds, and other trash

    What yer lookin' at is TRUE organic hay. No chemicals, no fertilizer. Real, honest to God, sustainable farming with minimal inputs.

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    Re: End of the Season

    BTW....................??????????? How do you guys deal with all the flat tires

    what with all them swards layin' around out there in the field???? Name:  sward.jpg
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    Re: End of the Season

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    You have to realize that this isn't the same climate as yours, nor the same grasses.
    Yeah you're absolutely right, I didn't see the full picture, sorry.

    We live in a VERY rainy spot for England, and England in general is pretty wet all year round. We couldn't even think about harvesting corn for grain, for example - we can't plant early enough to harvest in September, and October/November are much to wet to take combines into fields.
    The upside is, loads of lush grass all summer, generally. Our climate and grass types are fast growing... especially in a warm, wet year like this one. I think the last field I re-seeded had permenant pasture seed mix with some ryegrasses and timothy and clover.
    Sometimes we'll do a 2 year ley mix - super fast growing ryegrasses generally.

    We have so much grass right now that we can't get hold of animals to eat it - especially with milk prices being so high. Every dairy farmer is wanting more bodies to produce more milk. Dad paid £2500 a head for a few shorthorns a few weeks back... A year or so back, would have only been £1200ish. A top notch milk cow would be upwards of £3000.
    Last edited by Munkul; 07-11-2022 at 10:52 AM.
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    Re: End of the Season

    "Nutz!" Said the Queen
    "If I Had But Two"
    "I'd Be King!"

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    60 nutz 'n boltz for the rake wheels + assorted others. Luckily Atwoods sells Gr5, in bulk, for $2.89/lb. And progress marches on...............

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    Re: End of the Season

    It's time to smoogie the rake arm before it's installed on the caddy.

    It finally cooled off around 7:30, but I wasted a huge amount of time trying to find something to apply restraint to the area that had to be shrunk.

    Name:  roller33.jpg
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Size:  210.0 KB Chains, binders, and come-along's, were too long to fit the limited gap. So.......had to settle on a ratchet strap, which is not really ideal because it can't apply enough tension. But, it was the only thing that fit(shrug)

    By now, it's dusk........................

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Size:  193.5 KB Thought I might feel a little uneasy going back to the thing that just about burned off the back of my hand, but actually really never gave it much thought.

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Size:  178.9 KB The strategy was to do half pipe heats. When they cool, they pull the metal in the direction that's on the side heated. These worked to some degree, but weren't really accomplishing what I needed. So..........I shifted to band heating. Heating a narrow strip of the metal along the axis of the pipe. This did the trick. I feel the half pipe method would have been fine if I had been able to use a chain, and binder......but the weaker strap required a different approach.

    The pipe is heated to a dull red, allowed to cool down a bit, then sprayed with water to give fast results.

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  33. #100
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    Re: End of the Season

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    Name:  roller32.jpg
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Size:  193.1 KB I think I'm real close, but it's hard to tell in the dark. I won't know, for sure, until tomorrow morning.

    When this area is straightened, it's on to the long portion of the arm that extends forward from the pivot. This one is gonna a real PITA. Hard to fixture easily, so that proper restraint can be applied.

    Probably be easier to just cut out the bent portion, and weld in a new section of pipe. I didn't measure the diameter of this stuff, but it might be a good bet that it's metric. The rake portion is made in Italy, while the caddy is US built. All the bolts on the rake wheels are 11mm as it comes from the factory. Since I apparently lost all of the bolts, I'm replacing them with 7/16 bolts. A little smoogie with the die grinder, and it's all good.

    Anyways..........I sort of like straightening stuff.

    (I might note that the welding blanket is on the tire, wetted down, in order to keep the heat from the torch from either cooking the tire, or causing it to blow out...........this torch is evil.......the heat goes a long way)

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