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  1. #1
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    Default Yet another bucket-mod thread

    I have reviewed all the other bucket mod threads I could find, and I've decided that I am going to put hooks and a 2" hitch receiver on my bucket. I'd like to get some input on the best way to install them on my specific bucket.

    -2012-12-01-15-45-a

    The bucket is made of ... well, my caliper says 5/16", but that seems like kind of an oddball size, so I suspect it's more like 1/8" with a 1/32" coat of paint.

    -2012-12-01-15-45-a

    Here's a top view of the bucket, so you can see what I'm working with. I understand from other threads that I'm going to have to reinforce the top of the bucket. Since the top is more or less parallel with the bottom, I'm thinking it's at a fine angle, and I believe I will just weld a piece of flat stock to the top of the bucket, with the hooks and receiver tube welded to it.

    -2012-12-01-15-45-a

    What thickness of stock is recommended? I'm thinking somewhere around 1/4" to 3/8"?

    I know that I need not to have the hooks outside the lift arms, but I would like to have them farther out than that, and I would really like to have them in line with the lift arms if at all possible. What about doing the reinforcing sheet like this:

    -2012-12-01-15-45-a

    Or maybe even this:

    -2012-12-01-15-45-a

    That last one concerns me a little bit, because it will involve welding over the welds that hold the bucket to the bracket. I'm not sure I want to mess with that... I don't know if that's just trepidation, or if there is any real risk there.

    For the reinforcing stock, is a complete weld along the entire length recommended, or would several inches of bead spaced out over the length of the reinforcing piece do?

    The bucket is only 1/8" thick, and I'm confident that I can weld on material that thin without burning through. But I usually use 3/32" electrodes. Given what these welds are going to be asked to hold, I wonder if more than one 3/32" bead is called for, or whether I would be better off to step up to 1/8". I'd much rather run a single 1/8" bead in the joint than three 3/32" beads. There's just a lot more room to screw things up with the multiple passes. Also, I'm not sure how the variable thickness of the metals to be joined is going to affect things. In the past, when I have played with that, I have had a little trouble getting the heat to go where I want it to. The thinner piece gets hot faster than the thicker piece. Any advice would be appreciated.

    I realize that some of these welding questions may start to put this project in the category of, "If you have to ask, you shouldn't be doing it," but given the expected loads that will be put on the welds, my gut is that this is within my capabilities. The welds are easy lap joints in the flat position. The loader has about a 1000 lb capacity, so that's the MOST that they will be asked to carry. Worst case scenario is that the whole thing breaks away and the trailer that I'm moving goes down a hill--but the trailer has, what, 200 lbs tongue weight empty? I think I'm capable of pulling this off, even at my level of experience, but if y'all disagree, I'll certainly take that into consideration.

  2. #2
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    5/16" plate is not oddball size as all American plate comes in 1/16" differences standard, however that is really thick for a bucket top. Most likely it is 1/8".
    Reinforcement to the top is good for the middle trailer hitch or in some cases folks also put a hook in the middle which I dont like to see. If you look at old FELs that have a middle hook most of them are bent in the middle. If I were putting reinforcement due to expecting to heavily load it, I would use channel iron. In your case since you already have a flat surface that would keep the top flat. Stitch weld it to the FEL with about 2" of 3/8" fillet weld every 12" all the way around it. That will be plenty of weld.
    No need to go between the mounting points either as your first photo is plenty.
    For my bucket which I only put hooks at the lift points, I put on a 3/8" thick plate the width of the top of the bucket(4") and about 6" long and welded it all the way around and then welded the hooks on to it. I have picked up my 1500 Chevy Silverado front end (about 3000#) and had no issues. On my kubota B26, I just welded the hooks directly on to the top of the bucket and have lifted logs with a chain that was as much as the tractor would lift without any issues.
    I would say that IF you are not going to put more than 500 pounds on the center contraption you shouldnt need any reinforcement or at most maybe a 4x 12" plate (or whatever the width of the top of your bucket is) welded all the way around and then weld your hitch to it.
    I hear recommendations on Kens bolt on hooks that requires on drilling some holes and bolting them on. Might check into that also. He may also have a bolt on trailer hitch.
    Before you mount the hitch, clamp it on and see if you can actually get it under the tongue of the trailer in the mounting location you are considering. Your FEL might be too high to lower it under the tongue.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    5/16" plate is not oddball size as all American plate comes in 1/16" differences standard, however that is really thick for a bucket top. Most likely it is 1/8".
    Right, right. Sorry I wasn't more clear. I didn't mean it was a non-standard size, just that most buckets in this size range are made from 1/8", and that's what i would expect.

    Reinforcement to the top is good for the middle trailer hitch or in some cases folks also put a hook in the middle which I dont like to see. If you look at old FELs that have a middle hook most of them are bent in the middle.
    Right. No hook in the middle for me, but I love the idea of putting the receiver tube there. Most of the time when I am moving the trailer around with the tractor, it is empty, so I would expect only a few hundred pounds on the center at most. I'm not sure I would trust the tractor to safely move a fully-loaded (up to 7000 lbs) trailer. I'm sure it has the grunt to do it, but I'm not sure it has enough traction and braking power.

    If I were putting reinforcement due to expecting to heavily load it, I would use channel iron. In your case since you already have a flat surface that would keep the top flat. Stitch weld it to the FEL with about 2" of 3/8" fillet weld every 12" all the way around it. That will be plenty of weld.
    Channel, huh? I can see that channel would be stronger due to the right-angle bend, but I'm not in love with the idea of raising the receiver tube any higher than it needs to be. Is there a down-side to using flat stock? Could I increase the thickness of the flat stock to achieve similar strength to channel?

    On my kubota B26, I just welded the hooks directly on to the top of the bucket and have lifted logs with a chain that was as much as the tractor would lift without any issues. I would say that IF you are not going to put more than 500 pounds on the center contraption you shouldnt need any reinforcement or at most maybe a 4x 12" plate (or whatever the width of the top of your bucket is) welded all the way around and then weld your hitch to it.
    It is definitely tempting to just weld directly to the top of the bucket. If it were just the hooks, I would probably go for it, but the receiver tube in the middle of the bucket is what concerns me. I doubt I would put more than 500 lbs on the center, though. Like I said, that would represent a pretty heavily loaded trailer, and I'm not sure I would feel safe doing that. I would love to hear any opinions from anybody else on that number.

    I hear recommendations on Kens bolt on hooks that requires on drilling some holes and bolting them on. Might check into that also. He may also have a bolt on trailer hitch.
    As awesome as Ken's bolt-on hooks are, I have a welder and I'm darn well going to get some use out of it ;-)

    Before you mount the hitch, clamp it on and see if you can actually get it under the tongue of the trailer in the mounting location you are considering. Your FEL might be too high to lower it under the tongue.
    I'll bet you're the same person who had that problem in another thread, right? I will definitely test it, but I don't think it will be any problem, especially since I did a spring-over-axle conversion on my trailer. It rides pretty high now. Also, my ball mount has something like 6" of drop because my truck rides pretty high.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Josh, I went ahead and welded the whole top with 1/4 inch on my old kubota bucket, to reinforce it. I think you can handle this project at this point. I stitch welded it at first, but decided I did not like the way it looked so I continuous welded it. the reason I did the whole top was for looks and also if I want something else at some time on the top, it will be ready to go. I would not worry about welding over the old Kioti welds, I would cut the slots for the vertical tabs and weld it in to them also. You can do this..I have faith in you.

    Post 24 of this thread show's my top bar.

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/c...ing-pin-3.html

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    I would not worry about welding over the old Kioti welds, I would cut the slots for the vertical tabs and weld it in to them also.
    What's your thinking there? Mine was just the aesthetic of having the hooks in line with the loader arms.

    When all was said and done, how did you handle re-painting your bucket? The added parts are going to be bare metal, and I'm going to grind the weld areas to the metal of course. Do I just prime (including primer on top of the existing paint) and then spray-paint? Seems like matching the color may be tricky, but I hate the thought of re-painting my entire bucket just for that, especially because my Tractor-Supply paint job is not going to be anywhere near as resilient as the factory.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member srs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Josh, here is how I did mine. I believe it is 1/4" thick piece of angle iron. First picture isn't that good but shows how the angle iron makes the bucket quite strong. Works great for moving my 16' trailer, that is the one in the center I made to fit under the tongue of the trailer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -100_2278-jpg   -000_0003-jpg   -000_0001-jpg  
    Stanley----Kubota B3030 HSDC

  7. #7
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuabardwell View Post
    What's your thinking there? Mine was just the aesthetic of having the hooks in line with the loader arms.

    When all was said and done, how did you handle re-painting your bucket? The added parts are going to be bare metal, and I'm going to grind the weld areas to the metal of course. Do I just prime (including primer on top of the existing paint) and then spray-paint? Seems like matching the color may be tricky, but I hate the thought of re-painting my entire bucket just for that, especially because my Tractor-Supply paint job is not going to be anywhere near as resilient as the factory.
    Mostly I think it will look better, to cut out slots for the vertical uprights, and weld to them.. Just how I would do it.. as far as painting, it is just rattle canned. the kubota with TSC Valspar Kubota II paint.. the Kioti with believe it or not with Kubota Dark gray chassis paint, and it seems to match the bucket better than you would hope for. My thoughts on the bucket is that it will be all scratched up and will need repainting all the time. Which is what I do with a rattle can. It looks fine.. it is a ground engaging implement I dont expect it to look like the hood. Here are the bucket hooks on the Kioti job and paint job.

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...oks-again.html


    James K0UA

    Post Script: I don't bother with the priming, I just shoot it with the rattle can. My thinking is that it will soon be scratched up anyway. I just paint it when it starts looking bad.. Notice I did not use angel iron, not that I don't think it is a good idea, but because on the Kubota bucket mod, my top 1/4 inch bar butted up against the SSQA on the back side, and I welded to it, so it is supported over most of its run very well.
    Last edited by k0ua; 12-01-2012 at 08:01 PM. Reason: added info
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    My thoughts on the bucket is that it will be all scratched up and will need repainting all the time. Which is what I do with a rattle can. It looks fine.. it is a ground engaging implement I dont expect it to look like the hood. Here are the bucket hooks on the Kioti job and paint job.
    You know, you're right. And the kicker here is that I just realized that my bucket is black. I know that sounds dumb, but in my head, it was an off-black gray color that I thought would bug me if there was some different shade of gray just for my work. But I can live with black over black. It never looks too different.

    I'm still going back and forth over whether the trouble of cutting out the slits is worth the benefit. Maybe I'll just look at it as fabrication practice and roll with it.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuabardwell View Post
    You know, you're right. And the kicker here is that I just realized that my bucket is black. I know that sounds dumb, but in my head, it was an off-black gray color that I thought would bug me if there was some different shade of gray just for my work. But I can live with black over black. It never looks too different.

    I'm still going back and forth over whether the trouble of cutting out the slits is worth the benefit. Maybe I'll just look at it as fabrication practice and roll with it.


    It will do you good to do this, and look good and you will be proud of it when it is done.. just measure and mark carefully and use your angle grinder with a "slitter" disk to cut the slits. Just my opinion, do what ever you think best, but the extra work will just be a dim memory about the time you finish it and say "dang, that looks pretty good!"

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  10. #10
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another bucket-mod thread

    Look up under the lip of your bucket and see if there is a piece of rectangular tubing welded in under the lip. That is how my LS is built so it is much stronger than it appears with just a sheet metal bend. If it doesnt have one, that would be a good way to strengthen the lip and not increase the height or change the look. If you arent that good with overhead welding, you may need to remove the bucket and roll it upside down to make if easier to get to. The lip on mine is like a open sided box on the back side and was just perfect for a 2 x 3 tube steel that can be welded solid or stitch welded as it wont trap water under the lip. This would leave the appearance of the bucket the same.
    If it already has this tubing under the lip, then no further reinforcing would be needed.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

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