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  • Track Hoe Bucket

    Well I meant to post a thread on some of my summer time projects, but I was working 12-14 hours a day and never could find the time. 'Course it's not much better now!

    Anyway, one of the projects was modifying a Hitachi 48" bucket. Her hips were a little too wide so I cut the sides off and took off 8" from either side before slapping the sides back on. It was quite a welding/torching project, as you can imagine.

    First step was making some reference marks. I measured 8" from the side of the bucket down and left some dashes to find later.

    Next: cutting it up! The bottom of the bucket was 5/8" and could be cut with a plasma cutter. The front of the bucket where the shanks are is much thicker! The body is about 1.5" thick and I had to cut through the weld between shank and side. That added another 1" of material.




    Please note that it is extremely unsafe to work in, on or around something that has not been properly supported. A forklift is NOT an acceptable means of support. Do as I say and not as I do!

    Next I had to actually remove the sides! A little persuasion with a 20 ton jack was neccessary.





    After cutting the sides off it was time to trim it. I used the dashes and some masking tape to make a line that had the proper curvature. I chose to modify it slightly so the bucket narrows a little faster than it did previously. Although the volume of the scoop was decreased, it greatly reduced the probability of the bucket packing solid. It's now been in service for several months and used by several different operators and, even in super sticky clay, they haven't had any problems with the bucket not clearing.

    Last edited by Fasttrack; 11-11-2011, 03:40 PM.

  • #2
    I trimmed the sections out and cleaned up the sides. Then it was time to maneuver them into place!



    Finally, it was time to weld it back together. The root weld was done with 5/32 6011 and the final passes were made with 3/16 7018 Jetweld rods. I don't have a real rod oven, so as soon as I opened the package, it was off to the races. I had to get all my welding done in as short a time as possible. As the sun went down, the flies became interested. Unfortunately, they did not survive their curiosity.

    (This weld was done with Hobart's 7018 welds. Notice the porosity. I fought these SOB's for about an hour and then I phoned up a local welding supply place and bought a 50 lb box of Jetweld. Not a lick of trouble after that!)



    The final pass on the structural welding actually consisted of a bunch of 1" stringers going perpindicular to the joint. This built up edges of the bucket and will protect the joint from wear. The shanks and corners were all built up with a hardfacing rod after I had finished the structural welding.


    Last edited by Fasttrack; 11-11-2011, 03:46 PM.

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    • #3
      Now that was a real large and tough job. Bucket welding like that takes a huge amount of skilled welding. That looks to be about a 450 Hitachi sized one. I can see why they wanted it cut down for tough digging instead of just buying a smaller one. Those buckets run around $12,000.

      Pete

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      • #4
        Neat job Fasttrack, how long did the entire job take?

        Bill

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        • #5
          Nice job!
          I like Lincoln rod too, most of the time it just seems better even though the specs are the same.
          Years ago I turned a brand new 24'' bucket into a 50'' bucket for faster truck loading. I cut the sides off and had some ar plate rolled to match the bucket and added a strip to each side and then put the sides back on and added a new beefier cutting edge .

          Steve

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          • #6
            Darn! I was expecting to see a nice, pretty TIG weld.


            Kidding aside, that does look good. Fasttrack, are you whatcha call an "expert," or perfesh'nal?
            Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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            • #7
              Good job FT...
              I've done hundreds of buckets jobs like that.
              Whew...almost had a heart attack...thought I saw great big juicy weaves on the sides....the kind that almost always crack....but I guess it's just the lil stringers you spoke of. Not how I'd do it...but ok.
              NOTE...don't be usin 6010/11 for roots on these. Many buckets are made out of QT100 or better and 6010/11 will make the entire weld crack. Don't ask....
              Russ
              I have tools I don't even know I own...

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              • #8
                Holy crap and i moan about my tiny little buckets!, nice job, bit bigger than i was expecting though lol
                regards
                mark

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                • #9
                  That is a little bucket...
                  I've had to do the same thing to buckets 14 feet high and 12 feet wide.
                  Big coal buckets from the monster shovels up at the mines in South eastern BC.
                  You don't do them in an afternoon....lol!
                  Russ
                  I have tools I don't even know I own...

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the kind words folks. If I recall correctly it took me about two days. I was working several jobs so I did most of the bucket work at night and it was streched out over the course of several days. It is a good bucket. They had several 48" buckets and wanted a smaller bucket for trenches and this one got the axe. It was in good shape, though. Shanks barely worn and bucket bottom was in great shape. After all was said and done, it got new "spade" teeth. Can't remember the proper name, but they make a nice flat bottom in the trench.


                    Torker - whew! Those are big buckets. The biggest I've seen in person is a 6' bucket. I'd like to hear how you would go about the job. As Lynnl says I'm whatcha call a "perfsh'nal", not an expert

                    I'm not sure why I chose to do short stringers instead of several side by side. I suppose it would have been better to do the long stringers since most of the battle with porosity seems to be at the start and stop of a bead.

                    Sounds like I screwed I up using 6011. I knew the wear plates were AR and I had to be careful how I handled it, but didn't give a second thought to the rest of the bucket. I may not make as much money on this job as I thought ...
                    Last edited by Fasttrack; 11-12-2011, 01:02 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by torker
                      That is a little bucket...
                      I've had to do the same thing to buckets 14 feet high and 12 feet wide.
                      Big coal buckets from the monster shovels up at the mines in South eastern BC.
                      You don't do them in an afternoon....lol!
                      Russ
                      Sumpin like this Russ???...

                      Ernie (VE7ERN)

                      May the wind be always at your back

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                      • #12
                        Nice job on the bucket Fasttrack. It looks like you have a first rate shop to do a job like that.

                        Thanks for sharing it.

                        Brian
                        OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                        THINK HARDER

                        BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                        MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                        • #13
                          Thanks, Brian. The welder, machine tools, etc are mine but the equipment (forklift, etc) and the building belong to my BIL. In return for letting me run my shop out of his building, I do repair work on farm equipment and I have been teaching him to run the machines too. He's been enormously helpful and generous.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dockrat
                            Sumpin like this Russ???...

                            Yep...like that. They are ugly to work on...too big to flip around in the shop so everything is done in position....all welded with SS wire. Goughing them apart isn't any fun at all. The molten SS will burn a hole thru Supermans cape
                            Welding in new monster bushings and line boring them was the good part tho...
                            Russ
                            I have tools I don't even know I own...

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                            • #15
                              Good job Tom,I used to stickweld Hardfacing,then I discovered HF wire,oh,much more fun
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

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