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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Orlando / Daytona, FL
    Posts
    143

    Default Thin cutting edge for tractor tree spade?

    I have a small tractor that I am making a tree spade for. It will attached to an existing 4ft bucket. It will be about 30" wide and stick out 26" from the cutting edge of the bucket, in a triangle shape. It will be made from 1/4" steel, with some breaks in it and steel strip welded to it for strength.

    I would like to weld a cutting edge on it, to help it break through roots when transplanting small trees. Most of the stuff I find online is for huge equipment that uses 1" thick x 7ft wide cutting edges.

    Any idea where to find something smaller? I would prefer to buy it then hand grind an edge on 4-5 linear feet of steel.

    I thought about using lawnmower blades since they are thin and have an edge already on them, but how hard are they?
    Justin Starkey
    Syncrowave 250 TIGRunner
    Miller 210 MIG
    Spectrum 375 Plasma
    Ford and GM Dyno-tuning on the Moblie Dynojet trailer I built.
    VMP Tuning.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    356

    Default Misnomer

    They don't need to be all that hard (you are cutting wood) and if you worry about them being "sharp" you will wear them out that much faster...I guess what I am saying, sharpen what you have and use a "replace/repair" plan. After all how often are you going to use this very fine idea of a project?
    Last edited by Doughboyracer; 10-26-2011 at 10:12 AM.
    MillerMatic 211 Auto-set w/MVP
    Just For Home Projects.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Goochland, Va
    Posts
    32

    Default

    "sharp" edges will blunt and even bend when you use them to cut roots. The root cutting "spades" that I have used on the Bobcats have from 1/4-3/8" thick material with cutting edges that range from steep taper to none specifically to keep the edge thick to avoid damage from rocks.

    You are better off serrating the edge and leaving it pretty thick than honing it to an edge.

    It might not be helpful to compare with a small tractor, but my Bobcats have 36-45HP and haven't done serious damage to the edges even in rocky Virginia soil.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    139

    Default

    I built a spade for my Kubota sub-compact and just used 5/16 steel plate with a single bevel edge. It is not hardened, but has held up well. I don't think you need to worry about a hard edge.
    JD
    Old Miller Swinger 180 Buzzbox
    Miller Diversion 165
    Smithy Lathe/Mill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Orlando / Daytona, FL
    Posts
    143

    Default

    I picked up the 1/4" plate from the waterjet shop yesterday and took it by my buddys shop to put a 15* brake in each side of the spade for strength. I will just grind a little bit of an edge on it and see how it holds up. We have mostly sand here in FL.
    Justin Starkey
    Syncrowave 250 TIGRunner
    Miller 210 MIG
    Spectrum 375 Plasma
    Ford and GM Dyno-tuning on the Moblie Dynojet trailer I built.
    VMP Tuning.com

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