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Discussion Starter #1
I had mentioned in a previous post here in the Metalworking forum that I was interested in keeping the utility of my box blade on the tractor but also adding the capability to add ballast when needed. This need has become even more important as I make more use of my grapple. This whole idea required some thought on how to best approach this problem and here is what I have done so far. Comments and suggestions are welcomed!

I worked on the design so that I could easily (relatively speaking) add and remove the weight system. My side brackets so far look like the following:
box_blade_design.JPG

The idea here is that I will be able to add the system from the back of the box blade by placing the bracket on at a 30 to 45 degree angle, hooking the small round tab, seen under the lettering "Green", to the back (rear facing?) of the box blade. I put this design into my tool path'ing software (CAM) in prep for cutting on my plasma table. That finished product looks like this in a program called Mach 3:
IMG_20151018_142026.jpg

I made a run to the local steel yard and grabbed some 1/4 plate that was scrap to them but perfect for my needs. I enlisted help from the kids to hoist this beast of a thing onto my cutting table and began the cuts:
IMG_20151018_153142.jpg

I have two end brackets cut at this point and a piece of 1/2 x 5 steel plate for the weights to hang on. I also added a hole so that I can slide a 3/4 inch pipe through the handles of weights that are put on the weight bracket. I can't imagine them ever bouncing off but I'll have complete piece of mind for the price of a short pipe and a few lynch pin clips with it all locked into place through the end brackets:
IMG_20151018_170543.jpg

In that picture I just have the 1/2 plate sitting lose in the end brackets for a test fit. I plan to make another set just like these for the other side of the box blade so I will have two bracket systems in total, one on each side for balanced weight distribution.

Since I have these parts in raw metal form, now is a great time for suggestions. Any thoughts?
 

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Very interesting Bryan, nice work so far! Can you post a pic of it attached to the box blade se we can get a better idea of its function? My initial thought is the small tab may not be enough with the leverage of suitcase weights hanging on that bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd very much like to post a pic of a test fit. In fact, I'd like to perform a test fit myself but the tractor and ranch is about 320 miles from where I am fabricating this bracket. I have to work this all from pictures and measurements I make while there. I'll be back in a few weeks and can test it out. I'll take pictures too.

Interesting point you raise about the tab. Thanks! :thumbup1gif: The primary function of the tab at the bottom is to keep the unit from bouncing up and off the back of the box blade. The cutout takes all the horizontal force as that is a snug fit, front to back, on the box blade. However, if there were enough upward force from a tractor bounce I could see how that might be a potential concern. Did I understand correctly what you were seeing as a possible weakness?

There are 2 inches of steel from the back of the bracket to the cutout and the rounded tab below it is just shy of 3/4 of an inch measured top to bottom. If that is the area you were seeing then I have a might have couple of idea's to address that issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's a mix of do-it-yourself pieces. The table I built myself. I purchased the electronics from a place in Texas and the gantry from Minnesota. The Hypertherm power supply came from our local AirGas distributor. That was a fun project as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We finally made our trip to the ranch and I was able to test fit the weight bracket.

This is what it looks like from the rear of the tractor without any weights on it.
IMG_1477.jpg

My design hooks the back edge of the box blade so you can lift the whole bracket on and off when needed by raising the front up and unhooking the back of the bracket. The round tab at the bottom of the back is used to keep it locked into place.
IMG_1476.jpg

This weight bracket allows for up to a max of 11 of the 42 pound suitcase weights on each side.
IMG_1478.jpg
 

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Very nice, looks like it will work great-thanks for the follow up.
 

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Looks great. Do the weights get in the way of the ripper shanks?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks great. Do the weights get in the way of the ripper shanks?
I made it so the weights are behind the rippers and just in front of the rear blade. Access to the rippers is completely unobstructed. The placement also provides visibility from the tractor seat to any build-up in the box when grading material with the weights still on and in place.
 
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