Welding

ATV plow, first use.Β 


Got 4″ of powder last Thursday night, finally enough to try out the ATV plow! 

 I built the mount, and had it all ready in early October of 2016. But the night I finished it, and went to test ride with it mounted, is the night the clutch went out. I didn’t know what to do with the clutch until spring of 2017, so the wheeler and plow sat unused all winter. I never got to try the plow until this weekend!

SO, Anyway, I used the Prairie to plow my yard and driveway Friday. Works great!  

One small section of drive plowed;

Took about the same amount of time as it does with my truck… Truck moves more in one pass, but takes more time to maneuver… The wheeler is smaller, easier to turn and has better visibility. But not as much power or blade size to move a lot at once. 50/50-90 kinda thing.  I’ll break it up from now on, truck for large bulk areas, wheeler for the tight spaces, trimming up. 

Did have one problem. The plow doesn’t have an upward stop for lifting the blade… Just where you stop the winch. So if you go too far, it just keeps pulling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have it all the way up or not. 

Broke some welds on the mount pulling it up too far.  Will need to re-weld that, and make some sort of positive stop that hits the bumper or something, so I can tell for sure when to stop the winch.. 

I’m thinking just a upward angled bar braced off the plow, that would hit the bumper, and be a solid stop I’d feel. Maybe have it high enough that I could see it… Something like that. 

Got the main mount piece with the breaks inside melting/drying out now, will get it done and back on in the morning,  so I can plow the new 2″ or 3″ tomorrow afternoon. 

I’m really not surprised it broke… I’m only semi professionally trained at welding, still not real good at it, and this was done with a rather light welder for steal this heavy… 

 And it was being torqued at this area by a 2000# winch, with about 3′ of leverage added… It simply tried to hinge on the welds and sheared them, and is now hinging/flexing others.

 Looks like I missed welding straight across the back edges too, which would be a lot of loss of strength against pull in this direction.. Whoops.  

I’m actually happy it broke where it did. This piece is a 2″ receiver hitch mount, that goes into a 2″ receiver tube mounted on the wheeler. Breaking at the female side on the wheeler would have been a Lot bigger of a pain to fix! 

And the plow itself hinges onto this piece. Breaking the plow side would have been worse too, mainly for being able to get it into my heated shop where the bigger welder is set up, and I’d probably have gad to do a lot more re-engineering if part of that broke.

All in all, if it was going to break, it’s the best area for it.

This time I’ll full box all 4 edges where the two pieces stack,  maybe drill a couple holes in one and plug weld it down to the 2″ square tube… Maybe add a cross plate above the tube. And use a much bigger welder for more penetrating heat.

Yeah, apparently forgot to paint it against rusting before I parked it last year too… 

Anyway, onward to custom plow mounting 2.0!

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Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Damages, Fabrication, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding, Winter | Leave a comment

ATV Rear bumper/brush guard

After I got the front guard on, on my trail ride test run, the day I posted about, I also did some brush busting. Going forward was great, a lot less worry with that push bar, I was plowing over sma 2″ to 3″ diameter trees! 

But when I couldn’t get through where I was trying to make a trail, turning around meant a 12(more like 20!) point turn in narrow quarters, pushing against/over what I had to… And it was a lot of pushing against the rear rack, rack walls, and fenders. 

Decided then that I need a rear bumper/guard. 

Lots of research later, I decided on the simple tube bumper style, and preferably one big tube. Hoping I could get curved ends.. 

To the scrap pile we go!

Bunk bed frame ends, just happened to be wider than the racks and plastic, but narrow enough to match overall… 

Some creative cutting, and more cutting… 

Amazed me, those 3/8″ cross bars were solid, not tubing! 

Mock up of Mount positioning…

Simple brackets, angle irons welded into slits cut in the tube. 

Getting it all squared and oriented right, those slits aligned, and the brackets squared in to get the curved bumper ends level/square was a pain… But worth it.  

And some welding, which I didn’t get pics of.  Worked out perfect… Ran everything together, got it all. Then decided to touch up a spot, ran about 1/4″ of bead, and the wire stopped… Ran out of welding wire right there! (Man, that roll went FAST!!)
Had to move the winch fairlead down about 3/4″ to clear. Was easier to do that than notch the tube. πŸ˜‰

 Voila, crooked bumper mounted. πŸ˜‰ 

I’d squared and leveled it to my accessory receivers… Forgot that the left side of the rack is still tweeked down a little, thus that tube is low on that side as well.  

Adjusted the mount holes, little bigger for some tilt, and thus a level bumper!  

Not sure I like the clearance I ended with. The rack wall corners stick out further than the bumper corners.

And everything else is only an inch, or two inside it…  The idea was a brush guard more than anything, and a push bar so I don’t push with plastic or rack, and it should accomplish that.

  Will run it for a while and see if I need it spaced out some (thinking 1″ max), but I *think* it’s ok. 

Also wasn’t thrilled about the winch roller fairlead being recessed slightly.. But it’d take an extreme upward cable angle for it to rub the bumper, so that too *should* be fine. I didn’t want to space the fairlead out very far, reducing it’s stiffness to its bracket (figure all the pull of the winch, and weight of the wheeler rides on this rollers when in use!).

Amyway, thar she be!

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Recycle, Repurpose, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding

ATV Rack extension/retaining walls.

Got tired of having to strap/hold stuff down, especially for the fast 50 yard, or even 50 foot jaunts around the property. Thought it’d be nice to just trow something on and not worry about it sliding/bouncing off. 

Thought “oh yeah, they make those walls for the racks”  but I ain’t got, nor willing to pay $60 or more for one. 

$5 in welder wire, scrap scrounged steel, and 6 or 7 hours over a couple evenings is a lot cheaper and easier! And more fun too! 

Gotta be one of THE coolest tools I’ve bought. It’s astounding how handy a cordless angle grinder can be, especially with a cutting wheel! 

It’s amazing what you can do with 2 grinders , 2 cutters , and a welder, some old furniture, with a little imagination. πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜‰πŸ‘ 

Needed some medium weight tubing, and finally saw an old futton/couch thingy frame in my scrap pile. 

Pulled a loose slat out, and it was sturdy but not too heavy, seemed heavy enough (both durable, and thick enough to weld).
Cutt all the slats out of one side,  got 12, 23″ pieces. 
Trimed, striped paint from ends for joints, measure, layout, bent some corners (2nd set of corners I did butt joints, for ease of layout/assembly, but it wasn’t as nice a finish).

Cut and welded it all up in two evenings. 

Those corner clamps are made for cabinetry & carpentry , but are a gift from God for layout and holding while welding too!  Makes me wonder why I never though to use them for this before.

It took about 11 of the pieces total.  10.5 really, but one piece I have left is 23″ worth of short chunks, not a whole piece. Have one whole one left. But I also have another 12 left to be cut from the other half of the couch frame!

Yes, it looks tall, but that’s only about 6″ which sounds short to hold things in place. But it’s what I found was average for the factory and aftermarket sets of these walls,  so that’s what I went with.  Still sounds short, but looks tall to me.. But I like it. 

Here, mostlt finished, painted and mounted, with the accessory mounters secret weapon(amazing what you can hold down with u-bolts, and also the strength/secureness they have).

 That might seem light duty for this, but you have to remember that the rear rack capacity is only about 130 pounds, and I’ll be strapping anything big/bulky/heavy to the rack itself, not the wall. 

Here you can see the contrast in the corner styles. 

It does get two more things before it’s really completely finished; 

Some holders/brackets at the front corners for a removable front cross bar.  And some mesh walls all the way around, IF I can scrounge some cheap or free mesh.

 I might go back and grind/smooth some of the rougher welds too. πŸ™‚  

Really liked this one, it was a challenge,  needing to not only design and build, but keep everything true, straight, and square so it would all line up. Had to tweak it a couple times, even cut, bend and re weld the widened cut (sorta like a pleated spot?)once to take twist out.  

Was a fun challenge welding round tubing too, hadn’t done that before.  Also uphill/downhill, and upside down, sideways, and various angled welding, which I’ve not done a lot of. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding

Exercise, Β not as intended.

Needed some bolts for upcoming projects, my hardware bins are getting kinda sparse. So I took the free bow flex I hauled home last year the rest of the way apart.

Pretty good haul of steel stock, cables, and hardware! Some pieces of steel, and cables I’ve had plans for, for a while. The rest I’m sure I’ll find uses for soon. 
#freesteel #freehardware #scrounger #McGyver #fabrication 

Categories: Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Materials, old tools, Scrounging, Welding

ATV Drop basket/milk crate carrier.

First of the items for the rear multi-mount. (This is what I was building when I designed the mount system.) 

I like the idea of a drop basket, but wanted modular so I could take packet crates in and out.  

Measurements came out great! The wheeler overall width is around 47″ according to spec. I measured to about 44″ tire to tire, where I was comfortable with the width being inboard of the tires. 

The rack itself is 40″ wide. 3 standard milk crates add up to 39″.  Couple inches either end for the frame comes to 43″ or 44″. Perfect!

Layout;

Some of the best weld beads I’ve ever laid down! 

Welded up;

Painted;

Brackets made for the crates, one single crate, one double crate. 

Hardware for brackets, no snag heads inside(can’t catch your hands or tools on them).

All together;

Turns out the frame flexes a little more than I like, even empty. I should have used angle iron for the ends, its stiffer than flat bar. But I’d cut the sides too short to assemble well with angle iron ends..  

So I’ll put in a down post on the two rear(toward front of bike) corners, 

reaching to the crate bottom. Then angle brace them both directions, to the sides and ends. Will stiffen the frame, I think.

And yes, I know they block using the winch. But the winch is something you hope to not need. If I need it,  I can most likely, easily set a crate and it’s contents out for a few minutes for winching.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Welding

ATV Rear Winch InstallΒ 

I started with the concept of a rear reciever, and mounting the winch on a hitch insert. But it stuck out way too far to be practical. 

And, the reciever would have been a pain to work around to get into the trunk, even if trimmed.

So, I moved to above the trunk, behind the seat. Perfect open spot for it, just needed the tail light moved.

Had to scrounge a wider plate, to offset between the frame tails, and still have bolt realestate.

Made a mistake with the saw, cut too far. Twice. Erg.

The offset between the frame rails is to sit the winch and fairlead far enough back to clear the racks etc with the winch cable.

I LOVE this cutoff saw! Goes through 1/4″ plate like butter! Just gotta turn the lights off in the shop or it trips all the breakers. 

Squaring it all up, laying out for holes.

Drilled. 

I checked 3 times to make sure the winch cleared the bracket bolt heads. Oops. 

Found a bar with holes that matched, cut to length, made a spacer.

Test assembly;

You will note here that it’s only u-bolts holding the plate in. It was super tight, and if it slid backwards the plate would hit thr curved up frame rails, ride up the curve, and tighten the u-bolts. But I wasn’t 100% happy with it.  

So for the final install I drilled one hole on either side, through the plate and frame rail centers, and bolted it. Removed the two rear u-bolts in the process. 

Bonus there is not having to worry about gouging my hand on the U-boat tails when I reach in for the spool freewheeling release.

 Didn’t exactly like holes in the frame rails, but they’re small enough to not weaken it too much. While still big enough I think to keep the thing from going back under pull. 

Plate re welded at the cuts, welds dressed flat, corners clipped and rounded, drilled, and painted. One of the nicest install brackets I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself! 

I had to install the wiring twice. First time I got it all in, then tested the winch before bolt up… And it fried the relays.

 3 hours later, after some research on relays, and about 75 texts with a buddy that’s an electronics tech, I finally found where it was wired wrong. ( that’s how it was pre wired as it came too!) 

Had to take it all back out and lay it out, rewire it to match the existing wiring for the front winch. Works beautifully.

 5 minute fix. Ha!

Then reroute/reinstall it all. 

The relay bundle will almost fit in a small side area of the trunk.. This is a temporary setup to make sure I still don’t need to rewire again. Will fit it into its relay box it came with, and in turn into the side cubby hole later.

Wires out the side, gotta silicone the hole when I’m sure it’s setup permanently. 

One set of wires crosses and goes into a drain hole in the battery box, to the battery. The other set goes up, over the trunk.

And outcome the winch…

My mess of wires while trouble shooting 

The way someone wired it wrong…

Temporarily relocated the tail light. Need to build a bracket for it. (Cut the stock tabs off to clear the fairlead bracket)

Aaaannndd, two days, about 12 hours total work (amazing how long fabricating things can take!) It’s installed! 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Welding, Wiring, Wrenching

Milk crate traction.

Amazingly, these things wee originally used as a milk bottle carrier… I doubt most people know that.  I didn’t for years…just figured it was an odd name, if I ever gave it any thought.   To most of us, they are simply The greatest portable step/stepstool in existence. 

Especially the older metal ones!  

If you can find them. We always had 3 of them, one that I adopted and carried in my truck for forever, one that’s had a broken top as long as I can remember, and one with a Christmas tree stand permanently wired to the top (raises the tree for clearance under lower branches for packages and watering the tree).

About 3 years ago, I lost mine.   Had to climb into a dumpster to dig for something of sentimental that was accidentally thrown away… when I found it and headed home, I forgot the crate by the dumpster. Oops. Couple hours later when realized, it was already gone.  Someone here picked up a great find, a metal crate at the dump that night. Lol. 

So, I’ve been carrying one of the modern plastic ones in the truck for a while. Nothing wrong with them really, they work fine. I just miss my old metal one.

So. I had this chunk of steel diamond plate I scrounged last summer. And some time to kill. And my welder already setup. πŸ˜†πŸ˜‡πŸ˜†

The plate was too wide one way, too narrow the other. Cut it down to fit. Turned out to be tough tempered plate, should wear great for eons..  The 1/2″ or so on the other axis doesn’t bother me.. Still sturdy enough, and won’t hurt anything.

I really, Really,  REALLY need to practice my “out of position” welding (technical term for any welding not on a flat, level surface in front of you…)  Turns out it’s a bear to weld the inner lower corners/edges of a box! Whether laying down, or stood vertical.  

Inner welds look like crap, but will hold more than enough. 

Outer edge welds were a lot better, right up until I ran out of welder wire. Ha! Will have to finish it later (if it ever seems to need it) 

1/2 can of Rustoleum gloss black later, and I have a fancy, rugged, heavy, should last a lifetime step! 😎

With a younger sibling 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Modifications, old tools, Sentimental, truck, Welding

ATV 2″ front receiver, and plow mount.

Wanted to modify my snow plow from my ridding mower to fit the Prairie 360. The plow mount got partly crushed in storage in the yard a few winters ago, so it hadn’t been used, and couldn’t be used anyway… No loss to cut up what was left of the mounting. 

But I wanted an easy, fat quick disconnect from the ATV, that also didn’t reduce my ground clearance like most factory mounts do.

  Good time to build the front receiver hitch that I’d thought would be handy anyway!
5 evenings work, 4 or 5 hours each, and two designs later; 

Bought a couple more U bolts than what I had (and the 2 U bolts were all I had to buy, the rest was already on hand!) And mounted;

The plate is welded at an angle to the receiver  tube, and sits flat on the frame tubes, which the u bolts go around. The tube is also butted against a frame cross bar at its rear, with a tab at the top sitting on the frame cross bar.  The front also bolts through a cross bar of the bumper.

Thus inward push is directly on the frame in two areas, and it’s protected from twisting up and down, and side to side.  It’s terribly over built, 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick plates and tube… Heavier than most truck hitch mounts. 

And, recessed in the stock front skid plate;

The plow mount uses a inner receiver piece, welded to the mount plate for the plow, which then bolts as it did with the tractor, to the plow pivot plate, which the plow angle bracket, and plow itself pins to.   Before, the plate and pivot would stay on the tractor,  and you understand pin it at the vertical joint. 

I have it so that stays pinned, and the  rear half of the mount will just pull from the 2″ receiver.  

One bonus I gain on this setup, is the plow mount plate receiver piece, is bolted to the plow plate… I can make anything I want to mount to that plate, just match the bolt pattern. Gives a send level of interchangeable mounts if I need it. 

I still need to add a vertical “tower” just in front of the vertical pivot, run up higher than the winch, with a pulley for the cable, to be the angle of lift force correct, and minimize winch strain.  

But it works pretty good!  It’s a little light on the plow, I’ll be adding a heavier cutting edge for durability and added weight (4′ of 1/8″x4″ steel plate). 

The power angle system I’m building for it will also add some weight, should dig in nice with that on it. (More details on that later! ☺) 


As a side note, since it does look like a light setup, especially for our winters; I don’t figure to so all my plowing with it. 

I have a 3/4 ton truck and two heavy duty plows for my yard, driveway, and our road if needed.   But I also have areas around the yard, garage, etc that the truck doesn’t fit into, or where I can’t get it at an angle to push away from the buildings etc.   The ATV on the other hand will maneuver these areas.  

I plan to do those hard areas with the ATV, then in between big snowfalls where I’ll use the truck, I can maintain the walkways, and parking areas etc with the ATV. It’ll be easier for the light 3″ or 4″ max. snowfalls.  😎

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Improviser, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, tool mods, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Welding, Winter, Wrenching

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