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Author Topic: Bucket forks  (Read 1023 times)

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Offline Crusarius

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Bucket forks
« on: September 05, 2017, 01:03:29 pm »
So I am working on building a sawmill. I knew eventually I would want a set of forks for my tractor. What I just realized is that the steel I purchased for the sawmill build is really heavy. (I knew this before but I just decided I should not keep trying to move it all myself). I am not all that bright, and can sometimes be a little slow, but I finally decided to make up a pseudo set of bucket forks to lighten my heavy lifting.

So here is the build. Hope you all enjoy.

I started scouring the shop for the materials I was going to use. I knew that I wanted roughly 4' long forks with a tapered end and a hole for a hitch ball or lifting clevis. I found a piece of 2"x4"X.25" angle. This would turn into the fork tips. I reinforced them with 3/8" plate. I drilled a 1" diameter hole for the clevis. I used 2x6x3/16 for the forks.



The bucket mount was a little more challenging. I needed something to spread the load across the lip of the bucket and to support the tips of the forks. I used the same piece of 2x4 angle that I used for the tips.

I also wanted it to be width adjustable. Since I am in the middle of the sawmill build I just happened to have the perfect materials for this in stock. I used 2.5" 11 gauge tube welded to the forks. This tube slides perfect over 2" .188 wall square tube. I also used the 2.5" to create standoffs for the slide rails.

The 2.5" was welded directly to the angle and then the 2" are to be welded between the 2.5" after the forks are slid on. This gives me the option of adding a backplate at a later date simply by inserting 2" into the tube.





I made a spring clip for the underside of the bucket just to give it a little more stability. The primary reason for this is it kep falling off when I was trying to test fit everything. I made a press brake quite a while ago and it always seems to come in handy for stuff like this.




This is a view looking at the end of the brake.

In the testing phase I realized that the angle the forks ended up at would not work. I was unable to see them from the driver's seat. I ended up having to shorten the vertical tubes and flip the entire assembly over. This made me very happy since I had already full welded that part. I definitely did not screw around with the welds.

To be continued...
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Offline Ox

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 10:30:34 am »
 :P popcorn_smiley
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 01:05:07 pm »
Phase 2:
So as I mentioned above I had an issue with not being able to see the end of the forks. My initial thought was "crap I really don't want to cut those welds". So after some pondering, staring and ignoring and some more pondering I figured out how to fix it without to much work. The vertical 2.5" square pieces I had made 6" long. The 2.5" piece was offset. So after some measuring and thinking I figured out if I cut 1 3/8" off the end of the 2.5" verticals that would make it so the forks would hang below the vertical. The best thing about this was I was able to fit it in my chopsaw and bandsaw so I did not have to make the cuts by hand.

This is how I originally had the frame setup.


This is how it ended up after the modifications.


The angle is now leg up instead of down. The good news is I still get the same strength just in a different way.

The forks are now flush with the bottom of the bucket. This makes the bucket level indicator close enough to the level of the forks that lining up to pickup a skid is so much easier.

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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 01:06:42 pm »
I placed the tube on the end of the forks in a way that they would help hold the forks in place.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 01:18:53 pm »
I just realized how disorganized and chaotic my thoughts are. Maybe I  need to slow down and take it easy :)
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 01:29:21 pm »
During testing I bumped the tips of the forks on the ground and the entire assembly bounced and fell to the ground. I decided to add the turnbuckle you see inside the bucket. The previous owner had cut a hole in the bucket for drainage so I decided to just use it.

That little turnbuckle addition worked great to keep the forks connected to the bucket.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 01:43:24 pm »
With the weight of the forks and no support for the frame the square tube twists and locks in place. This works great in preventing the forks from moving. But it does not work great for when you want to change the location of them.
I ended up adding a center vertical with a hook that goes over the back of the bucket. This allowed me to rotate the frame into place and keep it there. I originally started with just a clip over the bucket. But after testing and bouncing it around I found that without something to hold it on it liked to bounce off. I added a spring clip to the front side of the bucket. This worked very well in keeping the clip from bouncing off.



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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 01:44:47 pm »
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 01:46:11 pm »
Here is the completed assembly minus the other 2 uprights for the back plate. I do have them made just not on in the picture.

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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 01:48:54 pm »
here is the complete assembly in the paint booth.


This is my little helper.


Me grinding


Me welding


completed assembly with all 4 colors of paint since I kept running out...
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Offline Ox

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 09:43:47 am »
Good job.  You'll use them a LOT.
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 10:28:03 am »
hopefully tonight I will get a chance to play with them and see how they work. little concerned since I can bounce on the forks and lift the back of the tractor. I really need to get my tires loaded.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 10:52:15 am »
Agreed, if you're going to carry much of a load on the forks or in the bucket, load the back tires or otherwise add a ballast to the rear of the tractor!   ;)
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 10:53:45 am »
I usually run with the box blade on the back. it makes decent ballast but makes maneuvering much more challenging. Especially in my woods / yard.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 05:30:36 pm »
Nice fab job on the forks.

Get the back tires loaded AND use a counter-weight on the back.  Those forks are on the long end of the lever.  It doesn't take a lot of weight to get the back end to come up.

If you use forks on the back of the tractor as well, you can make a counter weight on a skid and pick it up as needed.  Or just grab an oak log on the back.
HM126

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 09:00:42 pm »
thats not a bad idea. I typically use the box blade it works alright. Definitely need to load the tires though.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 09:01:18 pm »
I was playing with the forks tonight. they work really nice. Will post some pics tomorrow I hope.
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 09:31:33 pm »
Looking at a guys bucket forks the other day. He cut a hole in the back of the bucket so he could see the forks, when he wants to use the bucket he bolts the piece of steel back in to cover the hole.

Nice job on the forks.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 11:20:59 pm »
They came out nice. I purchased a pair of the clamp on ones and each one has a pocket for a vertical 2 x 3 and I have found it is a required feature when picking up a stack that is taller then the bucket or a top heavy item.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Bucket forks
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2017, 03:03:22 am »
I got my forks from the junkyard. I was so lucky that the upper part of the
forks hooked right under the lip of my bucket.

 

 
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