I spent most of the day in the workshop today, thought I'd have a go at welding up the new seeding boots I'm making. Actually I didn't plan to do that, just that when it was sheep feeding time it was also raining so I thought I'd play around with a little bit of welding until the rain cleared. Well the rain did clear. In fact I don't think it rained for long at all, but once I got started with the welding I kinda got on a roll and just kept going.
So here is the parts laid out on the back of a tyne (that is in the vice) as they would sit on the actual machine. Here I was trying to work out in my mind how it would all come together and I ended up making a jig (hope that's the correct spelling??) so I could weld the parts together in that.
The jig was pretty simple, just a few nails in a board with a sheet of metal to protect the wood a bit, and stop it from catching on fire. I'm not sure if the tin was successful or not. Was good for clamping the earth clamp to though. The nails held the 2 parts together firmly at just the right angle so I could weld them together. I just put the nails in when I did the first assembly and then after that all I had to do was slip the 2 parts into the jig between the nails. Below you can see the first weld - or at least where it is, between the mounting bracket (the angle iron with the hole in it) and the closing plate, right in the tight "V" there. And look, the earth clamp there on the bottom.
And then turn the whole jig over and weld the second weld between the two plates. It's easier to see the nails holding the parts in this picture.Once that was done I just pulled the new mounting assembly out (that's what I'll call it) with the chipping hammer in the bolt hole, and the earth clamp and then check the angles and position of the welds against another assembly that was already completed. That way I made sure that they were all relatively uniform. Here's 2 I prepared earlier (I just wanted to say that)
So I did about 55 of them this morning. And no the poor old sheep missed out on being fed. There is alot of green grass and other weeds coming up in the pastures now so the sheep feeding isn't quite as vital.
I went into town again today (another excuse for the bakery) 1 because I'd used up all the welding rods, and 2 because I wanted to check on the progress with the repairs on the semi tipper. Well the bakery was lovely - beautiful vegetarian pastie and a Farmers Union Iced Coffee. I had no problem dropping into the rural supply shop and getting another box of welding rods (or electrodes - all the welding I do at home is electric arc welding by the way). But when it came to the semi tipper repairs... they're going slowly. I was hoping I'd have the truck back this afternoon so I could collect some of our fertilizer, but It wasn't going to be done today. So hopefully sometime Monday. By then we'll be desperate as we'll want to kick into gear with seeding... and we cant do that without fertilizer. At the same time let me just say that the guys are doing a fantastic job with the repairs and I'm glad they're taking their time to do a top notch job. I know I wont have any problems with it in the future.
Armed with my new box of welding rods I decided to get stuck into welding the boots up. What you see above is a prototype we ran last year on the air seeder bar. It seemed to work well so the new batch of boots are based on this one with only a slight change. Below is a new boot - freshly made today - and you can see that I've used a 90 degree angle plate as a mounting bracket rather than a straight piece of plate as you can see above. This will make it easier to get the nuts on and off (which doesn't have to be done often once they're on there) and to keep them tightened up (they can work loose).
The steel tubing I used is actually exhaust tubing (inch and a quarter I think - no it might be inch - not sure but it's rare to find this smaller size on cars any more apparently). All the pieces of tubing are actually recycled from a previous design boot that we used on this bar - unsuccessfully, so you can see remnants of the old mounting brackets still on there. But that wont affect the operation of this new design at all.
So what you can see above there is the finished product. I did about 45 of these this afternoon. I couldn't do all 55 because I actually ran out of tubing. A few of the old ones have either gone missing somewhere, or were destroyed when we had them on the bar originally. The pictures below show the steps in welding the boot tubing to the mounting assembly. I'll talk you through them.
Ok so there is a piece of tubing clamped tight in the vice. I even squashed the end in a bit to narrow down the seed/fertilizer's exit from the boot for a more accurate fall into the furrow. That was the theory anyway. In reality I didn't really squash them much at all, this one just looks like it.
From there I tack welded the mounting assembly on. This is the one step that I don't have a picture for but you can just imagine it if you like, on the bottom end of the tubing you can see above. Then I did a full weld on the top side of the bracket.
Then pull it out. Chip off the slag with the chipping hammer (I hope you know what that is - if you know anything about welding you would - but I've already had to explain it once today to my son, which took a while, so it would probably take longer to explain it here).
And that was it. All done!
And there is the finished product on the back of a tyne on the air seeder bar all ready to go. The rusty looking angled down part on the front of the tyne (the tyne is the bendy diggery thing the connects to the top of the bar) is the point. It's a knife point, meaning it's really thin for minimum tillage, with a tungsten tip, so it doesn't wear out. That's the bit that does the digging.
So it's all very technical, but the important thing is it does the job. Before I put the rest of the boots on I'll just clean up on the inside of the tubing where I've cut the pieces or weld has dropped into the inside of the tube. That way the seed and fertilizer will have an uninterrupted flow through the boot. I'll just use either a round file to do this or a die grinder if it's too much for the file. I need 53 boots all up for the bar, and I'll probably want a few spares, but as you know I only made about 45, so I need to make another 9 (that's how many mounting assemblies I have) and I plan to used the same exhaust tubing for them, but this time the other end of what was the old boots. They will have an angle in them (cause they were on the bottom originally) which will be ok as some of the hoses the seed etc runs down stretch a fair way and would benefit from having a "laid back" kind of boot. I'll show you the pics when they're done.