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Alan

HALF a HORSE.

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As some will already know, the Showman and I have been clearing a friend's land of his large collection of various garden tractors, horticultural machinery, workshop equipment and whatever else you can think of.    Nearly 2 :1/2 years later the end is in sight.  As friend John is having to sell up and move soon due to ill health, my Roper tractor which was stored on his land has now moved on to a new home.

 

As I have very little room at home to work and store in, mainly a single car size garage which is already half full of stuff, thoughts turned to something small to build which could be transported in the back of my Meriva car.  Small enough to fit in the car, but hopefully big enough to ride on, but if not towing a trailer which I can sit on and operate the tractor by remote steering etc. Various options were looked at, thought about and discarded due to too many compound curves etc.  Then, after studying photo's of the D-series Wheel Horse which has very few awkward curves a plot was hatched.

 

During the clear out lots of "might be handy one day" bits and pieces were kept.  One of the few tractors which remained, unloved and unwanted, was this Bolens ride on mower.  

 

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It was eventually stripped of useful parts, gearbox, axle / diff assembly, wheels and various other bits before the remains were left to be dumped much later.   Also found among the junk in John's barn was the bottom end of a small engine which was later found to be a 65cc BSA 4 stroke.  After further hunting by the Showman other parts were found in various locations in the barn loft.  Enough parts to build a complete engine with spares left over.   Engine just roughly assembled in this photo.  John never stored related parts together and in one place.  We think this was his anti theft device.  Find a few parts, no good without the others, so leave alone.  Appears to have worked as we have found on various occasions.  Tri rib tires Chris. :thumbs:

 

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To be continued.

 

 

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Alan, I have heard about this exciting and innovative project and I look forward to seeing updates. If it's anything like the Roper it will be brilliant. :thumbs:

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12 hours ago, Stormin said:

 About time you got around to a build thread, Alan. I was begining to wonder if it was going to happen. :D

You should know Norm that us retired people have very little time to spare.  :)  Difficult to fit everything in.

21 minutes ago, Anglo Traction said:

Looking forward to seeing the progress Alan !. I've got plenty of bite marks on my Lip from about a year of anticipation:).

:sorry: for the delay Richard.  Was waiting until I had got far enough advanced.  Didn't want long gaps between each post due to a lot of time spent looking and head scratching.

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After looking up the measurements of the full size D-series Wheel Horse, a half size model worked out at approx 38" long, 22.5" wide and 23" tall.   I did not intend building a 100% dead scale model, just something which looked right.  If all the main measurements were close to half size and the main components looked compatible with each other, then :thumbs:  Some parts, for various reasons, were altered slightly in size without being too obvious.

 

First, a suitable building bench was required.  I have one along one wall in my garage but too narrow and my creaky knees object to crawling around on the floor..  A tool trolley, unearthed from John's workshop, was pressed into service.  The wheels moved outwards to give more stability, a mid shelf added which was boxed in on three sides, and a thick sheet of chipboard on top.  Not shown on these photo's.

 

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The Bolens bits were cleaned up and placed onto some box section which would be used for the main part of the chassis,  Due to the width of the gearbox, the rear end of the chassis had to be a lot wider than scale.   This area was one of the main problems of the build, trying to keep the gearbox far enough back without touching the differential which revolves with the attached sprocket, plus keeping it and the surrounding frame within the width of the fenders and the upper sections of the footrests.  Hours and hours of head scratching, trying different positions etc resulted in "This might work".

 

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When fitted to the Bolens, the gearbox input shaft pointed down.  It was hoped by mounting with the shaft horizontal a short propshaft could be used.  This was found to be a no go due to the height difference of the engine crankshaft and gearbox shaft. The centrifugal clutch assembly also left very little room between the engine and box.

 

The next stage was to work out a mount for the gearbox.  Bits of angle were pop rivited or self tappered :rolleyes: to the frames and lots more head scratching followed.

 

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The long lengths of box section had been cut down at this stage as they would have been too wide further forward.  The next photo's show these in the correct, sort of, position with the engine roughly mounted to see how things line up.

 

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Next, watch this space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Chris said:

I heard something is being hatched in Hampshire AlanB)

Can't keep anything hidden :hide: from MoM members Chris. :)

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14 hours ago, Alan said:

You should know Norm that us retired people have very little time to spare.  :)  Difficult to fit everything in.

:sorry: for the delay Richard.  Was waiting until I had got far enough advanced.  Didn't want long gaps between each post due to a lot of time spent looking and head scratching.

Amen to that....time and also space is at a premium, and I'm not officially retired yet!.

No problem with the delay Alan, it's looking great. I have made the 'Long Gap Mistake' several times, but due to different problems. Catching up slowly though.

Regards

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The axle bearings from the Bolens were used plus the front axle mounting bracket which was hack sawed from the frame, cut in two, excess removed, slotted and drilled to take the bearings.  The extra holes were for possible height adjustment at a later date.  Easier to do now than later.  These were pop riveted to the box section ready for welding later.

 

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The front axle was then given a lot of thought.  The full size is a cast, tapered in two directions, webbed unit.  Something simpler was needed.  A piece of thick walled 1" square was used with tube king pin mounts.  A test piece was cut to gauge the angle required, followed by marking, cutting, bending, filing and drilling the main components.  Small infill pieces were inserted to give the weld something to bite on.

 

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The axle mount was made up of 3/16" plate fastened to chassis box section cross members, with 1/2" bore bushes.  The pivot is an old Austin 7 king pin.  All a bit on the beefy side but just materials to hand.

 

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I should say that ALMOST all the materials used in the entire build were saved during the clear out at John's.  Also, as I do not have proper machining facility's, most of the work was done by hand.  Hand drill, hack saw, jig saw, files etc.  I do have a small Unimat 3 model makers lathe which was used for some of the lighter machining jobs.  Also an old Drummond round bed which is in need of work and a chuck adapter.  Guess where this came from. :rolleyes:  I also adapted an old Picador drill press to take a larger hand drill.  This wasn't too satisfactory, side play and too fast for the larger drill bits. These were more suitable for wood, not metal.  Photo's later.

 

The next few photo's show the chassis and axle mounted on a board ready for welding.  The rear axle mounting plates drop into slots in the board.  The two dark coloured angles are temporary and just to help keep things square.

 

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Clearly a methodical mind at work. Most impressed Alan:bow:. I'm sure your welding is also way superior to mine :(.

I'm sure there are many people here with machines that could produce/turn up anything for you that you aren't able to.......... Should you need any, just drop us/me a PM.

 

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Alan, I am really pleased you have started a threat on this, it is great to see the detail. Fantastic workmanship, I know I have said this to you directly but stated here for the record. I can't believe how well you have captured the details of a D in this model.

 

Iain

 

 

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12 hours ago, Anglo Traction said:

Clearly a methodical mind at work. Most impressed Alan:bow:. I'm sure your welding is also way superior to mine :(.

I'm sure there are many people here with machines that could produce/turn up anything for you that you aren't able to.......... Should you need any, just drop us/me a PM.

 

Thanks Richard.  I was going to wait until the next installment but now that you have mentioned it I should point out that most of the welding was done by an ex workmate.  I do not have a welder and did not think it worth buying one for the little welding I was likely to do.  Saying that though, there have been other little bits needed at intervals which Mr Showman did during one of his RARE visits to John's place. :hide:  Thanks Chris. :thumbs:   The last time I used a welder was years ago, and that was on big heavy lumps of metal.    PM to follow later Richard. :)

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Your welcome to buy that Mig I have from Johns as I been offered another one :D

 

Thats a good way to hold the parts in place....... NailsB)

 

 

You should call this project WH Pony. Thats half a horse is it not???

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A few photo's of a few welded up bits.  The welds on the rear end of the chassis were nice and neat.  No photo's of this.  The welder decided to be naughty at the front.  Wire feed kept jamming until speeded up which resulted in heavy welds.  Some ground or filed down and others left as will not be seen.  The used Austin 7 king pin used for the axle pivot seen in the third photo.  A bit rusty but good enough to use after a clean up.  The  chassis was cut away to allow for more axle swing.

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The rear wheel adapter hubs were made up from 2" thick walled tube and round plates into which the tube was welded. The plates already had bores of near enough the correct size. The cut to length tubes, after a lot of head scratching and measuring to make sure the holes would be in the correct place, were drilled 5/16" using a standard center drill for the first hole.  I was going to use this as a guide for a 5/16" drill to spot the lower hole, followed by gradually opening up with other drills, but found a long series 5/16" center drill which did the job in one go.  This also did away with numerous height adjustments on my not very accurate drill press conversion.  

 

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The plates were drilled after marking out using a card template which was cut to just fit into the wheel dish and over it's hub.  4 holes were also drilled through the wheels using the same template.  This ensured that all holes lined up.   Even though my drill conversion was a bit of a blacksmith job, after drilling the axle shaft I found that it and the hubs lined up almost perfectly. 

 

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Before converting this drill press I had ordered a bench drill from Germany.  Good reviews etc.  It arrived 6 days later.  All excited I opened the box. Hmm !  All very nice but how can I drill holes with a heavy duty garage style BATTERY CHARGER on wheels ?  Email to Germany, "Don't know how that happened, send it back carriage paid and we will send correct item"  Did that, no correct drill, refund instead. No explanation.   Followed this up by more research. Ordered another make bench drill from Screwfix.  Delivered from London next day.  More excitement.  Unpacked, assembled, tried out, dissembled, back in box, taken to Screwfix depot nearby and refunded.  There was more side play on the chuck when fully extended as there is on my conversion.  Plus, the table was only a pressed metal affair which flexed with hardly any effort.  Didn't expect a Rolls Royce job but.!! 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Stormin said:

 Your drill problems are one of the reasons I don't tend not to do mail order. I like to see what I'm buying before I do.

I normally look first too Norm.  Didn't this time.  :(

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The Bolens axle was cut down and drilled.  The shorter end didn't need altering. The length was just right and the original wheel retaining bolt hole was also used for the model. :thumbs:  The other end was a pain in the ++++ though. :angry:  Tough to hack saw through, although it could have been worse, but the 5/16" hole was a ( censored word ) to drill.  Finally got through with an assortment of drill bits, cutting compound and my lashed up drill press using various speeds and lots of naughty words.  Luckily I only had to drill this one side. 

 

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Now, what to use for the front axle bushes.  A long time was spent looking through my piles of bits and weighing up all the options.  Some bits had the correct OD but too large on the ID and so on.  Still wanting to use what I had to hand, a piece of engineering plastic was used.  Not sure, but I think this is Delrin or Acetal or similar.  A short piece was tapped into copper tube to hold it rigid while drilling in my Unimat lathe.  I was surprised to see blue swarf as the material is black.   After drilling up to 1/4", the bore was opened up on the drill press.  Can't remember the drill size but slightly under the OD of glacier bushes which were tapped in afterwards.  These had an ID of 3/8" which was the bolt size I used for the king pins.

 

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If these bushes were later found to be unsuitable they could easily be changed. So far, with a few test drives that the Showman and I have had over rough ground, no problems have been found.

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As the front axles were 3/8" and the Bolens wheel bores 3/4", bushes to fit both were required.  A hunt through my bits and pieces for something suitable drew a blank and nothing found on the internet.  I could probably have made these up on my Unimat lathe but no suitable material to hand at the time.  I came up with a different idea using parts lying around.  New axles  were made using 10mm  coach bolts and nuts, stainless tube and 10mm bolts.

 

The tube was threaded10mm internally each end, it was luckily close enough to the correct tapping size. One end was screwed onto the cut down coach bolt after fitting it to the angle iron hub, the wheel retaining bolt fitted in the outer end.  Suitable bronze bushes with the correct ID and OD from the spares box finished the job.     These look a bit over the top but didn't take long to make.  Took longer looking for the bits.  The king pin was left at 3/8".  Weld between the two inner ends made the unit extra rigid.

 

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