I was moving more of the five oak trees that were cut down a few days ago this morning and needed to change from the grapple to the bucket. Then I noticed one of the plates was bent - both 'prongs' (for want of a better term.) I am not going to blame WR Long, the design and workmanship are great and the grapple works great. I think I was operating the grapple while pushing brush, etc. together and that probably exceeded the design limit of the plate. The cylinders are fairly powerful but since this is my first grapple I have nothing to compare it to.
No big deal I thought, I can weld, cut, machine - steel and aluminum. At first I thought this was a great opportunity to buy a PortoPower (I'm a tool collector) but as I looked at the bent plate I couldn't figure out how to use the PortoPower in either pulling or pushing configuration. Then I thought about a shop press, I've had my eye on one of them for years but never had much of a need for one (which has never stopped me buying a speciality tool .) But again I couldn't figure out how to use a press since both 'prongs' are bent.
Then I thought about heating the area with an acetylene torch and using a sledge hammer to whack them back but then I will lose the temper of the steel.
Any ideas out there other than replacing the plate? This is a head's up to add some gussets to them so I'll figure out how to beef them up more.