Blacksmithing/Metalworking question

exmarFebruary 19, 2011

Hi Folks,

Recently purchased a Mantis tiller, which is the topic of another post here. I don't like the fact it doesn't have wheels and Mantis wants too much for them.

Looking at the tiller the Mantis replaced, I figured a way to recycle it's wheels onto the Mantis. The wheels on the old unit are mounted on a steel rod which is horizontal and then takes a 90 degree turn to the vertical to mount to the tiller gear box.

What I'm thinking of doing is simply heat the steel rod and "reform" the 90 degree bend into something like 130 degrees. I have an anvil, hammers, etc. Thinking of using a charcoal fire as the heat source. Also have a propane torch, but don't think it'll get hot enough.

The Mantis came with a kick stand, which is mounted on two brackets which attach to the handles down near the gearbox. Will also heat and flatten the rod to be inserted between the brackets, drill a hole for a bolt and done deal.

The wheels won't get a lot of stress as they're primarily used for parking the unit and provide an easy way of guiding and steering while cultivating between rows. Also won't be used for transport as the garden is quite a ways from the barn and I simply load everything I need into a garden cart for the trip.



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it's your cow, but for no more than a mantis weighs, i don't see the need of wheels. i've used mine for tilling as deep as it will go or tilling up weeds in the garden and i've never seen a need for wheels. with the kickstand you shouldn't need anything else to park it.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Ex: Don't know the size of your Steel Rod . I assume its cold rolled carbon steel , If it's case hardened you will require much more than 130 Degrees F to bend properly .
A Oxy / Acetylene torch would be much more effective . Good luck within your endeavour .

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:55AM
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ewalk, what is 130 degrees F relevant to?

An air/propane torch produces a flame temp of approximately 3600 degrees F which is certainly hot enough if the torch tip is capable of flowing enough gas to deliver sufficient btus of energy for the size metal you are working. If propane doesn't work you might try Mapp.

A friend of mine built a forge using a steel truck wheel with a metal trash can over it, charcoal, and a blow dryer for forced induction to heat some metal that he was working. I didn't see it in action but he reports that it worked. Guess you won't know unless you try. I figure it's your Mantis, you can do whatever you want to it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Air / Propane units do not have sufficient heat for any effective forging or heat treating of any carbon steel metal of any serious thickness . I have seen where Oxygen / Propane units are used for light cutting and forging application , but normally Oxy / Acetylene is the most practical usage . Anyhow your right Barbwire , even I can't see the revelantency of the Fahrenheit Analogy Roflmbo , i suppose the X-Man lost me in his Fabrication Orientation lol . Sorry I will try to ensure that I have at least 2 cups of coffee next time . As for forging I have case hardened more than a few Axle Shafts for X-Country Snowmobile Racing Applications .

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 9:33AM
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