DIY Fabrication Pallet Forks for Quick Attach SSQA for B7510 LA302 FEL

InTheWoods

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Over here, I showed my SSQA conversion:

Now, if only I had forks for my tractor, I wouldn't need to do sketchy things :eek: like this:
1708988523392.png


But wait, I have a welder and Mr. FedEx brought this thing the other day:
1708991160002.png


The plate is decent:
1708992027132.png


...but has a few issues. The top angle should be 45 degrees, but this one measures 37. Not sure if that matters, but it doesn't seem ideal:
1708991730651.png


...and the slots for the pins on the bottom lip are too narrow. I'll need to open them up a tad to allow the pins to be fully engaged:
1708991803954.png


So the project starts. I decided the plate had steel where it wasn't needed, and decided to cut the middle out, removing about 20 pounds of dead weight and allowing a better chance of being able to see the end of the forks from the tractor seat:
1708991312498.png


I intend to 'hang' the forks off the top lip of the SSQA plate, and decided to beef it up, by welding in a 3/8 x 1-1/4 piece in order to create a more rigid tubular structure that spans the top:
1708991605060.png


The forks themselves are started - I decided to make them out of 2x3x1/4 tubing and needing some welding practice on non-critical areas, I first put in these tapers:
1708992226838.png

(Yes - purchasing surplus/new 'real' forged forks would be safer, faster, easier, and probably about the same price. But I decided against that in order to get forks that weigh less. This is a LA302 FEL.)

That's about it for today - I ordered one of these from the local steel supplier, and it'll be ready tomorrow:
1708992447268.png


Plus, I ran out of MIG wire. Speaking if MIG, here's today's puzzler - this probably looks familiar to experienced welders - I thought it was pretty cool:
1708992547373.png


It's just a pattern of steel filings (grinder dust) left on the concrete where the welder leads ran!
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Cool project.

You might look at putting a "bar" across the bottom to prevent flexing?
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Over here, I showed my SSQA conversion:

Now, if only I had forks for my tractor, I wouldn't need to do sketchy things :eek: like this:
View attachment 123094

But wait, I have a welder and Mr. FedEx brought this thing the other day:
View attachment 123099

The plate is decent:
View attachment 123111

...but has a few issues. The top angle should be 45 degrees, but this one measures 37. Not sure if that matters, but it doesn't seem ideal:
View attachment 123109

...and the slots for the pins on the bottom lip are too narrow. I'll need to open them up a tad to allow the pins to be fully engaged:
View attachment 123110

So the project starts. I decided the plate had steel where it wasn't needed, and decided to cut the middle out, removing about 20 pounds of dead weight and allowing a better chance of being able to see the end of the forks from the tractor seat:
View attachment 123100

I intend to 'hang' the forks off the top lip of the SSQA plate, and decided to beef it up, by welding in a 3/8 x 1-1/4 piece in order to create a more rigid tubular structure that spans the top:
View attachment 123108

The forks themselves are started - I decided to make them out of 2x3x1/4 tubing and needing some welding practice on non-critical areas, I first put in these tapers:
View attachment 123112
(Yes - purchasing surplus/new 'real' forged forks would be safer, faster, easier, and probably about the same price. But I decided against that in order to get forks that weigh less. This is a LA302 FEL.)

That's about it for today - I ordered one of these from the local steel supplier, and it'll be ready tomorrow:
View attachment 123113

Plus, I ran out of MIG wire. Speaking if MIG, here's today's puzzler - this probably looks familiar to experienced welders - I thought it was pretty cool:
View attachment 123114

It's just a pattern of steel filings (grinder dust) left on the concrete where the welder leads ran!
I would imagine that the lines of "electric flux" from the leads created that pattern.

Cool stuff that brings back horrific memories of my Electricity and Magnetism class days.....All that Gauss's Law stuff that the Rum has thankfully washed away over the years..... 😂 🍸
 
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chim

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.........................It's just a pattern of steel filings (grinder dust) left on the concrete where the welder leads ran!
Some people don't realize how much of a magnetic field there is around a current-carrying conductor. I worked on projects where they used Nelson Studs on the steel beams. One of them was the 7-story county courthouse here. The welding leads were run up the outside of the steel framing at one corner of the building. The leads were a few feet away from the column, and when you heard the welder groan, the leads sucked in near the column for the couple seconds it took for each weld. That machine probably produced 10-15X what we hobbyists might use:

.
 

InTheWoods

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Made some progress - started off welding these 4x5x3/8" plates to the top of the fork 'tubes':
1709145830044.png


Then I tacked the lower fork 'catch plate' onto the SSQA plate. This catch plate will hook onto the lower end of the forks and keep them from swinging out when I curl the FEL down. This was a piece I had to have made by my steel supplier as it required a 45 degree bend in 1/4" plate:
1709145947612.png


Hard to see it, but the back of the forks have a matching plate that hooks under the above plate:
1709146166451.png


I finished up the welds at the fork tines. Being the most critical part of this, I started with a miter joint, then added some gusset side plates as well as the little 'ramp' to beef up that joint - not going to win a welding beauty contest, but I'm reasonably confident it'll be OK for my purposes.
1709146287905.png


So, the main structure is pretty much done:
1709146369047.png


Next, I need to back up the 45 degree catch plate, as there's significant horizontal force on that when the forks are loaded and that little plate won't cut it alone. Then fab some sort of guard over the top of the attachment. I may decide I want some feature to pin the forks in place so they don't slide sideways - not sure if it's worth the bother yet...
 
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Runs With Scissors

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I am no expert on forks, but my "side ways fork locks" are always in the "unlock" position on accident.

So I am not convinced it will be worth the effort to fab up a locking system.

Hell, even in the "unlocked" position it takes considerable effort to move them.

Nice job so far!
 
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Yooper

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I would add some gussets to the top plates on your forks. Lots of pressure there as the forks will be pivoting off the bottom rail. The fact that they are on a taper will create a prying force. Hope I am describing this okay.

Your welds look plenty strong!
 
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InTheWoods

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I would add some gussets to the top plates on your forks...
Understood - That area bugs me a bit too. I up-sized the plate to 3/8 x 5" wide but, yeah, there's a lot of leverage trying to tear that weld apart. I'll look into it. I have some ability to draw it up and analyze it, and one of the MEs at work is pretty knowledgeable on this sort of analysis - I'll run it past him too...
 

Bountyhunter

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Just a thought. If you put a piece of angle iron across the top of the QA, it would make the top square instead of tapered. The top of the forks could then be made square to match it. It would take the "ramp" effect out of the top of the forks. If you don't like the angle iron, a piece of round bar would work as well

H
 
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InTheWoods

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I kind of like the 'ramp' effect. It seems to be the principle behind the SSQA plate itself in the way the SSQA plates attach to the 'latch plates' on the tractor. I figured if it was good enough for that, it'd be fine for these light-duty forks.

Anyway, I can calculate the stress on that area and see how it looks. That's my homework assignment...:)
 

InTheWoods

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According to the LA302 spec sheet:
1709240074636.png

The stock LA302 bucket can lift 640 pounds to 1.5m. I pulled off the bucket at 120 pounds, So, 640+120 would be 760 pounds.

But then I added back two 35 pounds forks, a 50 pound SSQA plate, and the two 20 pounds SSQA latch plates. So, the result is the FEL ought to be able to lift about 600 pounds.

According to a random log weight estimator I checked, this 10' sycamore log is about 620 pounds, and it could be lifted up to about 4 feet:
1709240598271.png


All in all, looks like this will be a decently useful item to have around the InTheWoods compound. My back is asking me why the hell I didn't do this 30 years ago!
 
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North Idaho Wolfman

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The pin is engaged properly.
It's not supposed to go deeper.
1709249303524.png
 

InTheWoods

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I got the pin engagement dialed in. The levers firmly 'cam over' now and leave the sloped part of the pin engaged with the QA plate. Seems to work.

I had some rectangular tubing left over from other projects and fab'd up a protective guard:
1709827726028.png

1709827749072.png


...and now that the project is about wrapped up, the welds looks a little better. That's the trouble with being a once-in-a-while welder, I suppose. (I use CO2 gas, so there's always splatter.)
1709827832441.png


Spent a day building a bonfire in the woods with it. All in all - no issues. I lifted logs up to the capacity of the FEL, moved through the woods, and nothing broke or bent (yet anyway).
1709827969515.png


I'll probably give it a rattle-can grey paint job. And I have found that while using it the way I do, the forks do slide around a bit too much, so it'll need some sort of feature to allow the forks to be be locked in place.
 
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Runs With Scissors

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Looks great.

Congrats on a successful build! (y) (y)
 
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