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  1. #1
    Member
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    Feb 2012
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    33
    Tractor
    Kubota BX25

    Default BX25 Grapple

    I must admit, I just LOVE my BX25. That is saying a lot coming from one who doesn't care much about cars, cycles, atvs and such even though I have all these. In fact, I am beginning to worry about myself.

    In October we had a terrible snow storm that brought down trees and branches everywhere. (We were without electricity for 7 days, 1 hr. But, who was counting? ) The storm gave me the need for a grapple. Being cheap as well as just learning to work with metal, I set out to build my own. I recently took a welding class and have been welding up a storm. The only way to get better welding is to practice and there is no better practice then just building things. If I knew more about hydraulics, I would not have built the grapple the way I did. Maybe I will make another after I can get the hydraulic situation figured out. But, until then, this one will be just fine.

    My real reason for posting this is to encourage anyone out there, who like me might want to try welding and metal working but just hasn't, to take a welding class and dive it. I am an accomplished woodworker, but for now I enjoy working with metal so much more. Work with wood and you can build a house, work with metal and you can build the world!!! (or a grapple) lol
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0845-jpg   -img_0846-jpg   -img_0843-jpg  

  2. #2
    Veteran Member CHDinCT's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    2,335
    Location
    Connecticut
    Tractor
    Kubota BX25

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    Welcome to the Orange side of life!. Interesting grapple. Would love to add one to my BX25 but no chance of making one any time soon. I just bought a welder and will start on small projects for now. Would love to take a class if I can find one close. You must be in the Northeas somewhere as that's where the Snowtober storm hit hardest. We lucked out and only lost power for a day. Mind me asking where you took the welding class?
    Chris

    2 acres and a mule, er, Kubota BX25, and too many other toys,er, tools to list.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2008
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    1,367
    Location
    Up-State New York
    Tractor
    Grand L 3540 HST-3, R4's

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    Wow, real good job there, kudo's to you, and the welding class really paid off.
    DevilDog
    He is your Friend, Your Partner, Your Defender, Your Dog. You Are His Life, His Love, His Leader. He Will Be Yours, Faithful And True, To The Last Beat Of His Heart. ...Unknown

  4. #4
    Platinum Member AStanton's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    654
    Location
    North Central, CT

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    I was involved in the same snow storm that knocked all our trees down. I found this attachment on Craig's List for my B3030 to help any more big storms that knocked down trees.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -kubota-b3030-patu-wood-chipper  

  5. #5
    Veteran Member magicheater's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    1,668
    Location
    central Wisconsin
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800, B26 TLB

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    I like what you have built. Seems you think outside the box. What would you change now that you have used it? What do you think it weighs? There is a lot of satisfaction in building something yourself.
    Working to increase the scope of the small tractor experience, one quick attach at a time.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    33
    Tractor
    Kubota BX25

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    CHDinCT - I took my welding class at a local Vocational Technical school. In learning to weld, success is based almost entirely on the quality of the instructor and than practice, practice, practice. I currently live in southeast PA but am moving to the UP of MI.

    devildog1 - Many thanks for the kind words.

    AStanton - I could use of those. But, I won't be building it! Congrats on your great CL find!

    magicheater - When one is cheap, thinking outside the box becomes a necessity! If you notice on the picture, the angle iron between FEL arms is longer than it should be. I originally was going to make it wider and probably should have, but I realized that the angle iron was too light weight to support the stresses outside the arms. Even the center tine causes the angle iron to flex. I should have gone heavier. Other than that, so far I am very happy with it. Of course, it has not had much use, yet. As for weight, I am guessing it weighs around 150 lbs. I am curious, too. Next time I have it off, if I remember, I will get out the bathroom scale and weigh it.

    I really wanted to thank 4shorts for his welding/building posts. He motivated me to do the little I have done so far. He is a treasure to the forum and a craftsman supreme!

  7. #7
    Member splotkin's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Posts
    35
    Location
    Western Ma
    Tractor
    Kubota BX1850

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    Since you are a new user, I hope you have and know about having a skid plate or other type of protection for the Hydro fan? All that brush is just waiting to shred the blades. There are lots and lots of threads about this if you want to know more.

    I have an 1850 and was also in the October pre-Halloween storm. We had a tree fall on the roof but were lucky. There was already a foot of dense snow on the roof. As the tree slowly broke in half about 20 feet up it sort of hinged its way onto the roof. I was actually watching it happen. I was looking out the window describing the storm to my wife and 10 year old daughter who were out of town. I was on the phone and then let out a very loud (Expletive Deleted) as it hit. The roof did bounce a bit and blew one of the recessed eye-ball lights right out of the ceiling.

    The next day I was able to cut the butt of the tree off the ground. Using the BX the next day I was able to get a running start and yank the rest of the tree off the roof. I was going fast enough that the end of the tree totally cleared the side of the house as it went shooting off.

    I used my bucket mounted forks to remove the mess. The BX is also great for moving 55 gallon drums of Diesel from the utility trailer to the Generator shed. I love my BX.

    We lost power for only 4 days, many lost it for 7 - 8 but we have a commercial diesel genset. We ran it about 18 hours a day and had a number of friends and a couple of college students who were evacuated from their dorms visiting for a while.

    Ah Yes, Incredible Grapple !!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -390935_2105754692541_1505738126_31795534_825681315_n-jpg   -377655_301240776554345_100000052748696_1292868_762727554_n-jpg   -391456_301240749887681_100000052748696_1292867_1362503801_n-jpg   -374920_301240599887696_100000052748696_1292862_1567291054_n-jpg  
    Last edited by splotkin; 02-27-2012 at 10:17 PM. Reason: add info

  8. #8
    Elite Member 4shorts's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    Bay Roberts, Newfoundland
    Tractor
    Big & Small one :)

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Yooperman View Post
    I really wanted to thank 4shorts for his welding/building posts. He motivated me to do the little I have done so far. He is a treasure to the forum and a craftsman supreme!
    Yooperman you did a really nice bit of work there. I can see how useful it will be for you. It's hard to beat building your own implement. You get to build it YOUR way and the way you need it plus you get the satisfaction knowing you did it yourself. I like the fact that you took the time to paint it, that tells me you take great pride in your work and it sure shows in this project.

    Thank you for your kind words on my work. When someone uses words such as "Inspired or Motivated" and my name 4shorts in the same sentence well that's the the ultimate compliment for me so thank you for that, It's a great way to start my day



    OH and welcome to the site. Your off to a great start on here with that project
    ...Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude...

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  9. #9
    Veteran Member Volfandt's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    TN
    Tractor
    2004 Kubota BX23, 1966 WheelHorse 856

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    Yooperman, thats a neat and unique grapple. It looks very functional.
    I especially like how you used the bucket curl ram for opening and closing it. Thats definitely outside the box.

    In looking at how you angled the bottom teeth, it looks like you're allowing it to follow the contour of the ground somewhat so it doesn't dig in when trying to pickup debris, is this correct?
    Do you have any problems w/it digging in too much?

    Again, good job and thanks for shareing, you may see some similar designs soon

    Dave
    BX23 w/60" MMM & thumb.
    1966 Wheelhorse 856, Gear drive.
    1966 Wheelhorse 876, HST drive.
    w/50"sickle mower, 36" RDM, snow/grader plow, Alternator welder.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    33
    Tractor
    Kubota BX25

    Default Re: BX25 Grapple

    splotkin - Thanks. I know all about the Hydro fan problem. I made a guard out of wood before I started with my metal working.

    4shorts - I built what I did mostly because I needed it and I am cheap! Isn't it about time you post another inspirational build for us? Keep up your wonderful posts, especially telling how you do things. They are so helpful that I just love them, as I am sure many do!

    Volfandt - I used the bucket ram only because I didn't know how to use my backhoe hydraulics to drive a cylinder on the grapple. Hopefully, someone will chime in on which lines I need to use off my BX25 BH hydraulics. Being able to tilt the grapple would be useful, but I must admit... I am not sure that ability would be worth the additional cost.

    As for tooth angle. That was done to keep items in the grip of grapple. Without a large enough angle, on a test they tended to slip out. In fact, I wish I had used an even great angle. But, it can't be much more because it would make dropping the debris when the FEL is raised more difficult. Like so many things with this design, there are many tradeoffs . The tines can definitely dig into the ground, but it isn't a problem for me because I am not using it where it matters.

    If you build one of your own, I sure hope you post pictures so I can steal... err, I mean borrow... any ideas!

    Just thinking out loud here. Since the storm, we still have many limbs partially broken off in the trees. I am thinking of making a pole extension for the FEL arms with a small electric chainsaw on the end that would reach a minimum of 20 ft into a tree to cut the dead limbs. I also recently purchased a PTO generator (from Northern Tool which works great!) and I could use it to power the chainsaw. Plus, the generator would add much needed weight to the back. I would also want to make some kind of outriggers, but haven't come up with a good idea on how best to do it, yet. It is the thinking of ideas and the designing that I really enjoy... not necessarily the building.

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