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Articulating thumb for Massey Ferguson gc2410 sub compact bac

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  • Articulating thumb for Massey Ferguson gc2410 sub compact bac

    This is an articulating thumb that I made for my father’s sub compact Massey Ferguson gc2410 backhoe. It is based on the articulating thumb made by Amulet. The challenge was fitting all the mechanism in such a tight space, getting all the holes to line up, and making sure it was not overly constrained.. There were a few times that I did not think that it was going to happen. I chose to start with cardboard pattern, then jump to plywood patterns to experiment with link positions. I did not want to do it all on CAD since that is my day job.

    The main jaws, cut out on my bandsaw to avoid having to clean up flame or plasma cut mess.

    Light clean-up on the belt sander.

    Stack drilling the holes.
    Last edited by gda; 04-17-2011, 10:31 AM.

  • #2
    Since I was tinkering as I went I chose to use light presses on the steel bushings that I made, so I could reposition them before welding. Inside each steel bushing is a bronze bushing. Lots of turning.

    Making a steel bushing for a pressed in bronze bushing. Ouside turning, inside boring, pressing in not shown, reaming ID, then part to length.

    Last edited by gda; 04-16-2011, 08:47 PM.


    • #3
      Pressing a bushing into one of the arms.

      One of the back links

      Figuring out the kidney links. Needed to trim the ribs on the buckets a little here.


      • #4
        Starting to figure out what to do in this little space. Every offset is critical since I want the bushing bosses to stick out a little to keep the flat sides of the links from rubbing, and there is also some bucket slop to deal with.

        Last edited by gda; 04-16-2011, 08:46 PM.


        • #5
          Making some of the new shafting from TGP. Due to space I needed to switch to retaining rings. I also bought some hardened washers and turned them a hair over the shaft size to run against the retaining rings. Also opened up some bronze thrust washers.

          Retaining ring groove.

          One shaft I welded a cap on with, using my weld spin fixture I made a while ago.


          • #6
            Pieces all painted up

            Tight space

            I set it up so you can slide the kidney links out and clamp the arm up out of the way when you don’t want to use the thumb. The 2 positions for the kidney link mounting alter the attitude of the thumb, and whether the bucket is curled out more or less when the thumb closes.

            Last edited by gda; 04-27-2011, 05:19 AM.


            • #7
              I’ll post a video someday, but in these 2 shots you can see how the bucket and thumb open and close together. All in all I have about 35 hours into this – including head scratching time. Certainly one of the more challenging things that I have made without plans.
              UPDATE: Delivered it to my Dad on Easter and installed. Thank goodness it works great. Two video links here (big files). Video skips a little on first load - play twice to avoid clipping and skipping. (click on picture for video)

              Close and open empty:

              Moving a small rock (sorry for the shake, one hand on camera phone and operating with the other):


              Last edited by gda; 04-27-2011, 05:20 AM.


              • #8
                Damn! That is nice work! My last BH had a thumb, but it was stationary and the bucket closed against it. Once you have a thumb on your bucket you will wonder how you lived without it.


                • #9
                  That almost looks as good as a commercial unit with that extra-shiny paint. Very nice job.
                  This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
                  Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
                  Plastic Operators Dot Com


                  • #10
                    Nice job. I see you welded the two arms together with a horizontal link. Did you have to line bore the bronze bushings when you were done welding to prevent binding on the pin?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rbertalotto
                      Damn! That is nice work! My last BH had a thumb, but it was stationary and the bucket closed against it. Once you have a thumb on your bucket you will wonder how you lived without it.
                      A stationary thumb doesn't work well for a lot applications, ya have to be lined up just right to get any production out of it.

                      It only took about 6 years of kicking and screaming to get a former employer to let me put a hyd. thumb on a backhoe, then after the V.P. watched how great it worked out on a couple of jobs He wanted to know why I didn't insist on one sooner.....I wanted to beat him.

                      I'm not sure how versatile that is compared to having a separate cylinder on the thumb, but it must be way better than a fixed thumb would be.

                      Going from thumb to no thumb is almost as painful as having your own thumb removed



                      • #12
                        gda -

                        My boss bought an Amulet thumb for his Cat 416C backhoe about 6 years ago and never installed it. The backhoe is gone, but the thumb remains underfoot. I've had ample time to study the details of it's construction. It's pretty nice, but yours looks like an improvement.


                        • #13
                          nice job - on the project and the photos
                          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


                          • #14
                            Sweet,very nice job.
                            I just need one more tool,just one!


                            • #15

                              Very nice job on the entire fabrication. Looks first class!