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  1. #1

    Default Homemade Pallet Forks

    I just purchased a kubota B2630 Tractor with FEL. I have a welder and a metal saw. I'm now considering purchasing the Kubota quick attachment for the bucket. I plan to make my own pallet forks. I will make the forks that will utilize the Kubota quick attach system. I want to make my forks as light as possible but strong enough to lift up to 800 lbs. I will make the forks 48" long. Will 1.5 X 3 x .125 be strong enough to support this kind of load?

  2. #2
    Silver Member Racer71's Avatar
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    Kubota L3400 HST

    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    Be careful with the 90 degree joint. There is a LARGE force there. 800 pounds at 2 feet out is 1,600 foot pounds of torque. If your tractor has 1,000 pounds of lift and someone just hooks the end of the forks on something that heavy you now have 4,000 foot pounds pulling on that joint.
    Colorado Stan
    Kubota L3400HST, FEL, Rear Blade, Box Blade, Snow Blower, Brush Mower, Tooth Bar, Ballast Block, Still looking?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    Thanks for your feedback. Most of the load will be distributed evenly. I will reinforce the forks at the 90. I'm concerned that 1.5 x 3 x .125 may flex. I don't plan to lift anything at the end of the forks.

  4. #4
    Advertiser kennyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    Try checking with some forklift service company's in your area, they often have used forks for a good price that are "worn out" for real forklift use, but are great for CUT's. I got a pair of 40" ones for $100.00.
    KennyD
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  5. #5
    Silver Member Racer71's Avatar
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    Kubota L3400 HST

    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    Quote Originally Posted by kubota2630
    Thanks for your feedback. Most of the load will be distributed evenly. I will reinforce the forks at the 90. I'm concerned that 1.5 x 3 x .125 may flex. I don't plan to lift anything at the end of the forks.
    You may not be the one driving the tractor 5 or 10 years from now.
    Colorado Stan
    Kubota L3400HST, FEL, Rear Blade, Box Blade, Snow Blower, Brush Mower, Tooth Bar, Ballast Block, Still looking?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    You have a good point. I'm still trying to decide what to do. I was going to make clamp on forks but don't like that idea for several reasons. I need the 48" forks for a couple of items that I would like to lift. Most of the time I likely won't lift more then 400 or 500 lbs. I don't want to create a dangerous situation for anyone.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Skyco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    I'm picking up the steel to make mine tomorrow. I'm using 2x4 3/16 wall and thats for a BX24 that will lift less than yours. The size of yours is too small in my opinion...why not go with the bigger stuff? Cost and weight isn't that much more to be safe. Weight of the 2x4x3/16 is 3 lbs more a foot than the 1.5x3x.120< note my spec sheet doesn't show .125 as being "standard". Or if you really want 1.5x3 the 3/16 wall only adds 1.5 lbs a foot....
    20' stick of 2x4x3/16 is $105 locally.

  8. #8
    Gold Member RedDirt's Avatar
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    Kubota BX23, Wards 16HP HST Garden Tractor, (previous) D2 Logging Cat

    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    I've seen this joint stiffener used quite a bit when structural engineers want to beef up the tube steel connections in buildings. The tubes are slotted for the internal gusset. The gusset protrudes the outside face of tube by the width of the fillet weld, in this case 1/4". All the meeting faces of the tube to tube surfaces are welded (bevel the vertical tube for full pennetration) then both sides of the gusset is fillet welded.

    The joint can be even stronger yet if a cap is welded on the horizontal tube.

    And stronger again if the vertical tube is set with the wide dimension running in the same direction as the "fork" tube. IE. sketch is drawn with both narrow faces in the same direction. Rotate the vertical tube 90 degrees and the narrow face shows on the horizontal tube and the wide face shows on the vertical tube.


    pallet forks joint.jpg

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Case 1845 C Skid steer

    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    Quote Originally Posted by kubota2630
    I just purchased a kubota B2630 Tractor with FEL. I have a welder and a metal saw. I'm now considering purchasing the Kubota quick attachment for the bucket. I plan to make my own pallet forks. I will make the forks that will utilize the Kubota quick attach system. I want to make my forks as light as possible but strong enough to lift up to 800 lbs. I will make the forks 48" long. Will 1.5 X 3 x .125 be strong enough to support this kind of load?
    Is this rectangular tubing measuring one and a half inch high by three inches wide with a wall thickness of one eighth of an inch thick?
    Jim
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  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Homemade Pallet Forks

    I used 2x3x.125" box for my pallet forks. I havent lifted more than 400lbs.
    I would think 1.5" would be a bit light, maybe you could up the wall thinkness.
    Your best bet would be to find some old fork lift forks. They replace them when they wear, however, even worn forks are good enough for our applications. Should be able to pick a pair up cheap.

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