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  1. #161
    Elite Member
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    May 2012
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    2,892
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    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    A bit more progress to show. When I realized that I was going to have to put a front plate on the loader-side of the adapter, I looked around for pieces of metal that I could use. I had two 11"-and-change drops of the same 3/8" thick 2 1/2" wide flat stock that I made the side plates out of. It would do perfectly, except for one thing. If I put the front plate inside the two side plates, then the front plate would rub up against the loader arms. If I put the front plate outside the two side plates, the side plates would be too narrow to fit the loader arms. Therefore, I fit the joint up as a non-overlapping corner. I set the plate vertically on the table and used magnetic welding "clamps" to hold the alignment. There was about 1/16" or less of gap between the side and front plates. This allowed me to have full confidence that I was getting 100% penetration on the joint, since I could see it from the back side. A single bead would probably have been more than adequate, but for aesthetics' sake, I ran three beads to fill out the joint. For completeness, I went ahead and welded up the fillet on the back side as well.

    -2013-02-08_21-56-49_646-a

    -2013-02-08_21-56-34_835-a

    Don't ask me what happened right around a quarter of the way into the bottom-most photo, where the bead suddenly zigs upwards. I have no idea. I thought that I was carefully following the edge of the plate the whole way. I'm guessing that I was actually slightly nipping off the edge, and then unconsciously fixed it and began actually following it. I dislike welding at night (by a halogen work lamp) because it makes it that much harder to see the work piece. Sometimes I'll be off my intended path for three inches of bead before I realize it.

  2. #162
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    2,114
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    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuabardwell View Post
    In retrospect, this could all have been avoided if I had drilled the holes, then built the adapter, then aligned and welded in the bushings. However, this would have prevented me from welding up the back side of the bushings, which is one reason I did it the way I did. I'm not sure which would be more desirable: easily aligning the bushings or having full-pen welds. Because the bushing holes were drilled oversized, not welding up the back side would leave an ugly gap.
    I think you answered your own question. Fun to align, was it? No. You need to account for distortion in welding, as it will happen. So figure a way to align it to death or bore it after welding.
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  3. #163
    Elite Member
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    May 2012
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    2,892
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    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Quote Originally Posted by dstig1 View Post
    I think you answered your own question. Fun to align, was it? No. You need to account for distortion in welding, as it will happen. So figure a way to align it to death or bore it after welding.
    Indeed. Unfortunately, I lack the tooling to bore, so I'm trying to muddle through. I sure have learned a lot about welding in bushings on this project, though. Learned what not to do anyway...

    I just came in from doing the final alignment after filling out the joint with bead, and I'm really in a pickle now. Before I put the last two beads in, both sets of bushings were sufficiently aligned to allow the pins to be inserted by hand, if a little stiffly. After I put the last two beads in, one set of bushings is misaligned such that, if I spread the side plates to center the pin on the receiving bushing, the pin is at such an angle that it won't enter the bushing. And if the plates are aligned such that the pin is parallel to the receiving bushing's axis, it's not centered. I'm really puzzled as to how putting the last two beads on caused this type of misalignment, but it is what it is.

    At the moment, I don't see any other approach than to cut out one of the bushings with an over-sized hole saw, grind the outside down a bit, and weld it back in properly aligned.

  4. #164
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    250
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Tractor
    Case 1210, Mitsubishi D2050

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Well, if you can locate a bridge reamer, it would work. It is made to align in one side and ream the other to fit. They are typically 8-12" long. I have bought them used off eBay at reasonable (<$20) prices even for 1.25" holes.

  5. #165
    Elite Member Chilly807's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    3,167
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400DT

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Every time you add a bead of weld to something, it changes the stresses on the base metal and you get more distortion. It's a big part of the reason why most pro-built attachments like this aren't welded to death, but are done enough to give the desired strength without twisting too badly. Long continuous beads look good, but add a lot of heat on one side. I've cheated a bit before by angling parts slightly apart before I weld, knowing they'll get sucked togather when the weld cools. Without a lot of experience which I don't have, that's pretty much hit or miss. Sometimes you get it right, other times you don't.

    I'm learning a lot from this project.. I'm glad you're doing yours first, I make enough mistakes as I go without breaking trail.

    I've learned that I'm going to need a reamer ( I have access to most sizes I need through work), and I'm going to finish all my welding, THEN ream the holes to finish size as my last step before cleanup and paint.

    I'm also learning that if I overbuild it, I'll be making a lot more work for myself in trying to get things straight again.

    Thanks for the progress reports, it IS interesting watching it go together and learning as we go.

    I looked at a pic of a kubota pin-style QA a couple days ago and noticed the step in the bucket-side of the adapter.. about the same time you noticed you needed one. Most of the ones I've seen before are the SSQA style.

    Sean

  6. #166
    Elite Member
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    May 2012
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Folks, I am this close to calling this project a learning experience and tossing it in the scrap bin. I'm sure I'm just frustrated and will get over it, but I can see that I have gone about this totally the wrong way, and now I feel like I am just banging around trying to correct my mistakes with more mistakes. Yes, I have learned a lot, but I'm not sure if at this point, what I'm really learning is how to put band-aids on dumb mistakes, instead of learning to do things properly in the first place. The true essence of a "hobby welder." Ugh.

    I made up the second loader-side bracket, this time taking every precaution I could think of to keep the holes aligned through welding, and at the end of it, both of the sets of bushings are so out of alignment that no amount of spreading or squeezing will bring them back. My best guess is that the weld caused a slight cupping of the side plates. Getting out a straight-edge to confirm this wouldn't tell me anything, as the side-plates were not dead-straight to begin with, but that's my best guess.

    Another thing that is confusing to me is that the side plates squeezed in narrower after welding up the outside fillet. This is opposite to what I expected: I expected the weld metal to cool and contract, pulling the side plates outwards. Can anybody explain what happened?

    At this point, the next step would be to take the two loader-side brackets back to the machine shop and ask them to ream them out. The problem I forsee with this is that they may be so far out of alignment that they would have to be opened up way too far to get the pins to go through, resulting in sloppy fitup and eventual wear and wallowing out of the holes.

    As I think about it, I suppose another alternative would be to cut out half of the bushings and weld them back in. Which, frankly, would not be too onerous, and would salvage the project. Dang it. Here I was looking forward to forgetting about the whole thing.

  7. #167
    Elite Member Chilly807's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    Kubota L3400DT

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Ahhh.. you've come this far, no point in stopping now. How bad could it really be? If it were me, I'd finish the welding, then take them back in to get reamed as you said. If they're a little sloppy, they're a little sloppy. It's a loader bucket or a set of forks, they bounce around a bit anyway once they wear in. If it's too bad, you can fill in the low spots with a bit of weld then grind the excess away. I'm enough of a hacker that I'd use a rat-tail file to get clearance and not worry about it a bit.

    Good learning experience.

    Sean

  8. #168
    Elite Member
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Well, folks, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that I used a hole saw to cut out three of the four outside bushings and welded them back in, properly aligned. I chose the outside bushings because they are only 1/2" long and it was easier to get the hole saw over them, versus the inside bushings, which are like 2" long. Anyway, after welding them back in, the alignment was perfect. Well, I'm sure a real machinist would have criticized it, but the pins slid in freely and dropped out under their own weight, so I call that pretty darn good. In fact, the only one that binds at all is the one that would just barely work without cutting it out. I was tempted to cut it out to get from "sticks a little" to "doesn't stick at all", but I decided it wasn't worth it.

    I considered how I might weld up the back side. I realized that, if I stuck the rod through the inside bushing, I could access the back of the outside bushing with acceptable rod angle. I ultimately passed on that, for two reasons. First, I wouldn't have been able to see what I was doing very well, and might have screwed things up. Second, I was pretty tight on clearance for the loader arms on the inside, and I didn't want to lay down any weld bead that would eat that up. This would all have been moot if I had a larger grinder than my 4.25", but my grinder is unable to get to the back/inside of the bracket, so I figured better leave well enough alone. As far as penetration, I wasn't too worried. The factory bushings on my bucket are only welded on the outside. On top of that, there was about 1/16" or more of gap where the hole saw's kerf was, so I figured I was probably okay to go on penetration.

    The bad news pertains to that inside clearance for the loader arms. When I dry-fit everything, I determined that I would have about 1/8" of clearance on the inside of the bracket, as long as I did a non-overlapping corner joint--in other words, touch the corners of the pieces together, with neither one inside the other one, and weld it up like a fillet. Why didn't I just use a wider piece of stock? Well, I had two drops of the same stock I used for the side plates, and they were just the right length, so I decided to try to use them. Unfortunately, when the welding was done, I lost a lot of that clearance as the weld pushed the side walls closer together. With my spreaders and liberal application of a mallet, I was able to get the side walls back more or less parallel with each other, and there was enough spacing for the loader arms, so I considered myself to have succeeded. I went and welded the bushings back in and happily put the loader-side brackets on my tractor. They're on there now!

    And that's when I realized my mistake: the bucket level indicator. It needs to go inside the bracket, and there simply isn't enough clearance between the side plates to fit it in. Not at all. Like, there's maybe less than 1/32 of clearance, total. The bracket goes onto the loader arms without any forcing, but once it's there, it's basically lightly touching at all times. There's no way that I can think of to make enough room for the level indicator.

    My only option, as I see it, is to cut off the front plate and make it wider. Of course, I'll also have to cut out the bushings again and re-align them. At which point, I may as well just start from scratch, which is what I may do at some point. For now, I'm going to work on something else.

  9. #169
    Silver Member RBA50's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    171
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    Goldendale, WA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: Homemade quick attach

    Seriously? You're going to let a bucket level indicator stop you? I've been following your progress, and you have overcome a lot of problems/mistakes. I don't know how your level indicator works that it needs to go inside a bracket, but that would be the last thing I would be concerned about. There are lots of ways to do that, from sliding rod in a tube dealies to the kubota method of an angle plate welded to the top edge of the bucket with the top parallel to the bottom. My previous tractor had the simplest of all, just look at the bucket and see if it's level, (or wherever you want it).

    Don't let a little thing like that stop you, you're almost done. Clean it up, paint it, install it and use it. Figure out an indicator later. I bet it takes you about an hour to figure one out and make it and install it.

    For what it's worth, we've all been there, gotten discouraged when things don't seem to be going just right. Just keep plugging away and when you finally get it done and it works you'll forget the frustrations and stand back and say "Now that's pretty cool."

  10. #170
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2007
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    857
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    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

    Default

    I took the indicator off mine because it always needed to be lubed to keep from screeching. It took about 3 times operating to get used to it.

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