do you have a picture of the ****ed up one?
Looks like the old Dougster's plan to secure a suitable heavy-duty landscape rake with gauge wheels is going to be delayed for a while. That means I need to quickly refocus on what it might take to put my old light-duty rake back in service for early spring work. Recall that last year I must have backed up with the gauge wheels down and hit something with the right side wheel. It forced the right side C-channel frame (the long piece on top in the photo below) to bend up on the right side and, even worse, caused it to twist rather badly. I was eventually able to force the C-channel back straight enough to carefully finish the job, but not nearly enough to take on any new work with it. It also seems to have weakened the C-channel's strength rather badly... especially for continued use with the gauge wheels. The question therefore becomes: "How the heck do I bend it back into it's original shape and then reinforce it"?
Obtaining original (straight!) shape aside for the moment, my original idea on frame reinforcement was to weld on a 1/4" thick strip of metal (or preferably angle iron) on either side of the bolt holes... enabling me to still swing the frame 180+ degrees around when necessary (as is, the bolts barely clear). I quickly figured out that this would not be enough to offset the apparent weakening and flexing of the sprung C-channel. Completely replacing the C-channel would restore it to it's original strength but require grinding and alignment skills that are probably beyond my capability. The local welding guy is also more than willing to fix and reinforce it... but at a cost of 1.25 times what I paid for it brand new.
So time to ask the good folks of the MU: How would you fix it???
do you have a picture of the ****ed up one?
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Not much difference to the naked eye I'm afraid (can't "see" how it's been sprung/weakened), but I'll pull it out and get some pix on-line just as soon as possible.
Never had one of these or even looked at one closely so I'm shooting in the dark so to speak. (Comments are in no particular order.)
* Did the straightening up operation you did leave you close enough to where the tips of the tines all touch the ground at once? Thinking of twist and/or vert/horiz bend. Think it is still possible for all tines to touch at once and still have a combination of twist and bend present.
* Is there any physical damage you can see that might account for the apparent weakness?
* Hard to tell but is the channel mounted with legs point downward?
* Would help me at least if I could see and end view and how the tines are retained.
* I'm thinking the channel has not been heat treated and I'm having a hard time thinking of how bending it has weakened the material. Could see some weakness IF the straightened channel still has some distortions. Channel shape does not offer optimum torsional stiffness.
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What is the thickness of the C-channel? I will bet it's just 3/16", and really need to be replaced with 1/4" or 3/8" to make it super strong.
Another option might be to weld VERY heavy (read thick) angle on each side of the C-channel that way it would not interfere with the pivot.
Are you talking about taking it apart (remove all tines) and adding reinforcement and reassembly? ...or is this a shortcut fix you're thinking of?
The best way to fix it would be to take it apart, you might even get away with one heavy duty angle piece after it's been straightened..heat it..beat it, repeat as needed. Working it with the tines attached would make shaping the metal more difficult, it will be heavier to move and reposition.
The con side to disassembly is the time it'll take to get all the tines off, and you'll have to replace any buggered bolts/nuts.
I have a small used light duty rake like the one pictured that I got with the 770.. I never used it, it's only 5 foot. I'm guessing yours is a 66 or 72"? You're welcome to use it if it's not too small.
Take a look at the second picture, my post hole digger, the auger is bent, now that'd be tough to straighten out.
So it becomes a question of a very tough repair job but with no reassembly hassle... or a much more straightforward repair job but with a reassembly nightmare. I'm guessing that I'll have no real choice but to disassemble. The odds of successfully straightening that top C-channel while still fully assembled are probably not too good.
p.s., Thanks Tim for the kind offer... ... but yes, 6' is pretty much required to cover my rear track. Definitely need gauge wheels as well. -d
Well Doug if your going to be using it, I would want to fix it right and be done with it. If you lived closer we would probably get it done for a few cold ones. You might try your local welding supply store and see if they know any local guys that are reasonable. I jump at the chance for my friends for a good project like that. It really looks like a simple fix to me.