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206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Project:

Project to fix poor welds, rust, and extend moldboard. Original condition shown below.

Vehicle Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tractor

I did the same but added wings to make cutting edge match plow
Think you have too much chance to catch and bending blade not supported
I actually bought those on eBay and had a welder tack them on
They were made for a JD in plow can get 6” or 12”

Thanks to fdmars I decided to do a proper modification to make my 5' Curtis Snow Plow into a 6' moldboard.

Options Considered:

  1. I approached a local dealer and found a 72 inch moldboard replacement was $1100 a few years ago. Too pricey at the time.
  2. I found a used Curtis moldbard the right width and price a few states away. Just swap moldboards and re-sell. Too much travel cost.
  3. I could cut the plow edge down to 64 inches, minimum needed. I wanted to use it at 72 inches for a while.
  4. I could purchase wings or extensions and tie the moldboard to the longer cutting edge.
  5. I could use it as is for a while and see how it performs scraping mild snows and perhaps a deeper snow if I get lucky.
6. Find someone with the skills to fabricate/weld a plow extension.

I found Sparks, Arcs, and Sawdust (Jacob Hinds and Jeremy Hinds). I plan on presenting their work in this thread in the coming days.

I kicked off the project by fashioning a moldboard rib template, which I continued to file after image captured.

Wood Bumper Fender Tool Automotive exterior

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

Providing a little more background. I purchased my Curtis snow plow used in early fall 2015 at a bargain. It was originally sold in 2005 through a Deere dealer in Central Indiana.

The plow has three main pieces: moldboard, trip frame, and A-frame. Curtis uses the same trip frame and A-frame for 5' through 8' moldboards. They have different parts for A-frame options (JDQA (5FBMQA), SSQA, or brackets for loader arm direct mount). See below for reference.
Font Line Motor vehicle Aircraft Auto part

I found the welds on the moldboard and trip frame were excellent. The welds on the A-frame that were not unique to JDQA were good. The welds for JDQA shown below.

Brown Wood Line Gas Rectangle

Top: Inside edges of A-frame riser.
Bottom Left: Left Outside Riser Weld
Bottom Right: JDQA upper hook plate weld

In case you are wondering why I didn’t do welding for this project... my welds typically look like the above. However that is not what I would expect from purchased equipment. Nor is it wise to use a 600 lb plow on your loader with questionable welds that are starting to rust away. The inside weld was basically nonexistent. There were many other areas of plow that were starting to rust due to poor paint prep and outside storage by previous owner.

Thankfully, Jacob Hinds at Sparks, Arcs, and Sawdust was able to diagnose 2 issues with the welds and correct them. Any guesses? More on that in another post.

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I mentioned in the previous post that there were two problems that Jacob fixed. He utilized a Licoln Precision TIG 185 in stick mode with 7018 stick.

1) Metal Magnetism and Welding
Rectangle Automotive exterior Font Parallel Electric blue

Jacob wound the ground wire around the piece 5 times and established a good ground near the weld as a means to treat magnetism. I found a similar treatment at the following site.

Weld Pundit and Magnetized Metal

A few excerpts...
"You can weld magnetized metal with oxyfuel welding but not with arc-based processes. With an electric arc, welding a magnetized metal will be challenging because magnetism will interfere with the arc. Magnetism can cause welding defects or even extinguish the arc. To counter this, you can weld with AC current or demagnetize the metal."

"If you partially demagnetize a workpiece at the joint, do it right before welding. If you don’t weld right away, after a few hours, residual magnetism will return.

When you demagnetize metals, always place them at a West-East orientation. This way, you can avoid the earth’s magnetic field interference and achieve better results."

"With AC
Let’s take a closer look at each step in the process of using AC to demagnetize metal.

  1. Wrap several times a welding cable around the workpiece. No less than five and no more than ten times is a good starting point. The strength of the magnetic field results from the amperage plus the times you wrap the cable around the metal.
  2. Connect the welding cables to close the circuit. You can temporarily switch the working clamp and the electrode holder or torch with welding cable connectors. After that, join them and you will have a safe connection.
  3. Turn on the welding machine.
  4. Set the amperage at the highest level so that the magnetic field will be stronger than any residual magnetism in the metal.
  5. Turn the welding machine on.
  6. Now decrease the amperage all the way down at a steady and slow rate. A ten-second drop-down period is fine.
Now measure the metal with the gaussmeter. If demagnetization didn’t work, wrap the cable more times around the metal to strengthen the magnetic field and start again."

The second problem covered in the next post.

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
2) Deep Oil Contamination

The second problem had been around a long time, which allowed time for the oil (assume cutting oil from 2005) to diffuse deep into the metal. The oil would contaminate the weld. Normal preparation of removal from surface with solvent and grinding was not enough at this point.

Jacob preheated the metal before welding for quite a while to bake the oil out of the metal. I found a forum after the fact with similar technique recommended even though different type of metal.

Aluminum Oil Pan Weld

The Results Below: Jacob made a solid root pass and at least two cover passes on every joint!
Rectangle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle

Preheat most obvious on inside risers of A-frame.

Fluid Wood Water Line Tints and shades

Left: original
Middle and Right: Final

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Project Update (1-JAN-2022):

Figured I should provide an update since my previous post was from last year!

Jeremy and Jacob did not disappoint in the next phase of the project. Now that all original welds were extremely solid, the project could turn to the extension of the blade. Their first step was to paint the moldboard template I made black for contrast in order to digitize the image.

They then used their Avid CNC and Hypertherm Plasma to cut out the moldboard extensions and ribs. Pretty cool stuff!

Light Wood Lighting Architecture Rectangle

Top: Avid CNC and Hypertherm Plasma just finishing the moldboard extensions.
Bottom: Left to Right progression of the first moldboard rib (1/4 inch plate). Note: Sparks indicate the direction of travel away in the first image and toward in the second and third images.

I am glad I spent some additional time refining the rib pattern with a file because the production pieces were exactly what was digitized from the pattern.
Wood Art Tints and shades Font Automotive tire

Plasma cut ribs are left and center. Original pattern on the right.

See the Video Below:
Hypertherm Plasma in Action!

Jeremy Hinds has always had interesting projects and done his research well. Jacob and Jeremy's journey into the use of robotics for plasma cutting did not disappoint. Up next: Jeremy Hinds applies creativity and ingenuity during the fabrication process.

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)

Jeremy and Jacob tacked a metal rod of proper diameter onto the 6 inch moldboard extensions. They bent the top of the moldboard around the rod to match the original.

Then they located a wood log that had a proper radius to the lower section of the moldboard.


Now that the extensions were close to final shape, Jeremy and Jacob clamped it up and started to pull it all together with the welds.

The final part of fabrication involved cutting some cross member rib supports at the Avid CNC with Hypertherm plasma. They ground the outside moldboard weld flush and left the interior weld intact for strength.

Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Yellow

The overall alignment and smooth finish of the moldboard are really starting to shine! It was at this point in the project where I could see how nice the end product would be thanks to Jacob and Jeremy Hinds.

Next up... Jeremy works on paint preparation.

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Paint Preparation:

Extensive grinding and media blasting were performed by Jeremy on the moldboard, trip frame, and A-frame pieces. Every surface was coated with a rust converter / preventer. Last the pieces were sprayed with Eastmans Epoxy Primer. The weld on the A-frame riser looks great with fresh epoxy primer, can't wait to see it in green.

Plant community Light Green Nature Plant

The project returns to my shop in the next update. Jacob and Jeremy Hinds of Sparks, Arcs, and Sawdust did a like new factory job on this project!👏

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Shop Preparation:

I decided to re-install my 2-stage compressor, build a 3/4 inch Maxline distribution manifold by RapidAir, build a paint booth, and build rafter supports to prevent truss damage.

Wood Floor Flooring Gas Engineering

Left: Tie between trusses with load points.
Right: Angled supporting posts and suspended moldboard.

Rectangle Line Automotive design Flooring Engineering

Left: Filtered supply air (needed more surface area)
Top Right: Prepped and ready for enamel (consecutive exhaust filters in background)
Bottom Right: Compressor/ Maxline setup (used drop 90' away) and booth exhaust port to dust collector fan

HVLP Enamel Application:

The enamel application went well (2 coats).
Green Gas Engineering Cylinder Machine

Miscellaneous Parts:
Upper Left: I ground washers with Dremmel, primed, and painted (wet enamel washer dominoes is not fun).
Photograph Green Product Wood Rectangle

I made a spring stretcher and ground the springs with 80 grit flap disc (Right side). Primed and painted while partially stretched (bottom left)

Plow shoes and markers received some attention but I did not capture images.

Up next... finalized project photos.

206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

The back side of the plow which originally showed the poor welds and rust is like new from the factory.

Automotive tire Green Road surface Plant Asphalt

Jeremy mentioned he wanted the front side of the moldboard to appear seamless. Any flaws are from my HVLP application.

Plant Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread

I am just paitently waiting for snow to fly in Central IN so that I can use it.

Wheel Tire Tractor Vehicle Motor vehicle

Additional Remarks:

One of the neat things to see is when people post their welding progress or seek input from the experts on GTT. This project did not have that aspect, my apologies. I was pleased to collaborate with the son and father duo of Jacob and Jeremy Hinds at Sparks, Arcs, and Sawdust. They totally delivered on the vision I had beforehand. If you find yourself in a project beyond your means then perhaps reach out to your local machinists/welders. If in Central Indiana I highly recommend checking out Jeremy and Jacob Hinds to see if your project is a fit.

Green Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wood

Email contact: [email protected]

Sparks, Arcs, and Sawdust on the Gram

Premium Member
14,263 Posts
Nicely done!

Thank you for posting the project. I hope you get some snow and are able to use the plow.

Premium Member
14,263 Posts
Sometimes snow seems like an impossibility in Central Indiana.
Keep up the hope.

I'm just south of you (near Owensboro). We got a couple inches last week. Looked nice for a couple days then we went back to rain.

We might get a dusting on the north edge of this one, maybe. Not holding my breath for sure.
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