Grappling with another project

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Fawteen
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Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:51 pm

I had a crude (VERY crude...) home made grapple arm on the ol' Jap Deere which worked great with my home made forks for clamping logs in place while bucking them up.

It went with the tractor when I sold it and I've been drooling over various grapples for the Cabota but the prices were just scary, especially when you added the expense of a third function mod to the loader valve. Like $2500-$3000 scary. Not gonna happen on my budget.

Then someone over at Tractor By Net posted a picture of their "thumb grapple" made by Green's Machine out in Illinois. Very attractively priced at under $400 and well constructed.

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So I bought one. But, being the cheap Esso Bee I am, I wanted more versatility, specifically the ability to use it on my bucket OR on my forks. I've come up with a way to make a mount that the grapple frame will bolt to and with four bolts I'll be able to swap it between bucket and forks, or just take it off and store it if I don't need it.

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First step is drilling the holes in two pieces of 1x3 mild steel flat stock.

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Next step is to weld nuts to the back side of the mounts so I can just drop bolts through from the top and reef 'em down when I want to mount or move the grapple.
What do you mean I can't do that?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:26 am

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Next I mocked up the grapple on the bucket to see if any tilting of the mount was needed to ensure the tip of the thumb would meet the bucket properly. Turned out I could weld the mounting plate flat on the existing flange of the bucket (whew...). Then I used a suitably sized hole saw to cut relief holes for the welded nuts on the back of the mounting plate.

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The mounting plate sits nicely centered on the flange so the next step is to clean things up, grind the paint off and weld the mounting plate in place. Another benefit of the mounting plate is that when the grapple is not installed, chain hooks can be bolted to the plate.

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Grapple mount for bucket complete.
What do you mean I can't do that?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:57 pm

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On to the mount for the forks. The mount will be going on the back guard with braces welded down to the main frame.

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Some modification of the back guard is needed to make room for the mount. After the mount is in place, as much as possible of the steel removed from the back guard will be relocated as needed and welded back in place.

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I wound up having to cut away a bit more of the back guard so I could cut the relief holes for the welded nuts on the mount. Mount is all in place, done for the day.

Next step is to redo as much of the back guard as I can.
What do you mean I can't do that?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:28 pm

Image

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With grapple in place.

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With grapple removed and bolt-in section of back guard installed.

Next step is hydraulics. Hoses and fittings on order from Surplus Center
What do you mean I can't do that?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:20 pm

Image

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Drilled matching holes in a piece of 1/2 x 3 flat stock and welded two D rings and a hook to it. This bolts onto the grapple mount when the grapple isn't installed. Should make hooking things up for lifting a bit easier.

I ordered 3 of the hooks but there isn't room on the mount for all three. I'll make plates and mount the other two out by the loader arms later on.
What do you mean I can't do that?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Red Dave » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:50 pm

That Grapple in an interesting project. I bet it'll be handy too.

Got any video of it in action?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:02 pm



Funny you should ask...

Just got the hydraulic stuff in today and assembled the various fittings and ran the lines.

I seriously underestimated the travel of the bucket and need longer lines from the cylinder on the thumb to the connectors on the loader. Once I get them, I'll rig some sort of way to secure the hoses on the loader side and just have the hoses on the cylinder side moving.

I also underestimated the reach of the thumb, should have got the 28" instead of the 24" but I don't think that will be a problem.
What do you mean I can't do that?

melvinhatcher
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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby melvinhatcher » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:04 am

I need help on what size hose connectors and fittings you used to connect hoses to the hydraulic cylinder on your green machine thumb, also it would be nice to see videos of your machine in action.

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:47 am

Hi, Melvin, and welcome!

Thought I had a video posted, not sure what happened to it. I'll see if I can fix that.

I'll also get back to you on coupler sizes after I double check it.
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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:54 am

Youtube Video of Grapple

For some reason, the "youtube" tags aren't working. Probably those dicks at Youtube changed something.
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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:06 am

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The Kubota-installed remote uses push/pull quick connects. I bought an extra set and ran 3/8 pipe-coupled hoses to the front of the loader frame.

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I used quick connects and "sexed" them with one male and one female fitting on the loader side and on the grapple side so the open/close function on the valve in the cab would always be the same. It also allows me to couple the hoses together when not in use to keep dirt out.

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Same on the grapple, obviously, plus I added flow restrictors to keep the grapple from slamming around.
What do you mean I can't do that?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby melvinhatcher » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:57 pm

Thanks Fawteen, I have my thumb mounted, I have a third function valve and hose connectors for my snow blade already mounted on the tractor. All I need now is two 90-degree 3/8" NPT swivle hydraulic fitting to attatch hoses from the thumb back to the hose connectors on the tractor. I just want to buy the correct fitting on my first purchase. :)

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby melvinhatcher » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:52 pm

Almost finished except a few minor adjustments. There are not any snugness or pulling of the hoses in any position of the loader,
but they do hang a little too low for my liken at the lowest position of the loader.
My plan is to put 90-dgree swivels on the hoses where they plug in at the bulkhead.
Sorry about loseing the pictures, but Photobucket has made changes in their policy.

"Photobucket Just Broke Billions of Photos Across the Web"
Last edited by melvinhatcher on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Fawteen
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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby Fawteen » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:54 pm

Nicely done!

I don't think you said...did you use a 3rd function on the loader valve or run hoses from the rear remote like I did?

Also, how is that bracket on the loader cross beam secured?
What do you mean I can't do that?

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Re: Grappling with another project

Postby melvinhatcher » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:35 pm

Good morning Fawteen,
Thank you for the complement, however I am sincerely grateful to you and a few other various tractor forums. As for the third function valve, it is connected to the loader valve and was installed by the dealer when I purchased the tractor new. As for the bracket, it was installed by the dealer also, to hold the hose connectors for my snowplow. Therefore, my installation went fairly simple after I drilled the holes in the bucket.
I will send you pictures of how it is attatched after I learn how to post pictures here. Photobucket has castrated us little guys.

https://www.csoonline.com/article/32057 ... emand.html


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