Author Topic: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower  (Read 37602 times)

Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #125 on: June 10, 2018, 08:02:24 AM »
Interestingly, the parts drawing that I have illustrates quite a different form of flail.

Mine are rather like a  comma curled around their mounting bolt, whereas these ones swing on a bent rod link. I don't suppose that the grass minds which form clouts it on the head at a great rate of knots  :lol:

Carlquib, do you have any references you can cite to the sucking nature of the curl?

The only similar replacement flail to mine that I can find illustrated on the web has a very similar amount of curl to mine
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline carlquib

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #126 on: June 10, 2018, 08:15:13 AM »
We use several different types of these flails. They are used for mowing, same as yours, but also to defoliate sugar beets before we dig them. The sucking reference comes from there. My parma topper whirls them around at 2500 rpm. You can watch it pull the material up off the ground so it does a better job shredding it. I've had the other style of j knife as well and they just don't do as good a job. They don't generate the lift on the material. I'm sure glad mine aren't $15, I believe the last batch I picked up was about $7.00, which I though was plenty.

My name is Brian and I'm a toolaholic.


Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #127 on: June 10, 2018, 09:37:59 AM »
... mm $7 - that's about 5 which is far more reasonable, though as Norman says not too complex to make given a forge and a suitable jig.

I wonder what steel they are - something fairly tough I expect  :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline carlquib

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #128 on: June 10, 2018, 09:57:53 AM »
The flails we get are made from a 1095 spring steel.

My name is Brian and I'm a toolaholic.


Offline Jo

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #129 on: June 10, 2018, 12:37:51 PM »
Sounds like the idea use for old car suspension leaf springs   

Jo
So many engines to build and yet so little time.

Offline NormanV

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #130 on: June 10, 2018, 12:50:48 PM »
Five years ago I bought a new blade for my rotary mower, it cut really well. I have just looked at it for the first time since then. It looks totally wrecked, but, I cannot detect any difference in its cutting abilities. Grass is not so tough!

Offline wgw

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #131 on: June 10, 2018, 01:30:17 PM »
In an earlier life I designed mowers and etc. We did some experiments on grass cutting, as expected the main thing was speed of the rotor tip, with correct speed could cut grass with just about anything. A few lengths of chain worked just as well as a sharp blade. Of course it depends what the cut grass is to be used for.  BTW grass is tough stuff, try getting it in a bearing.



Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #132 on: June 10, 2018, 01:46:45 PM »
I have one area of pasture that is rather infested with rushes, both 'clump rushes' and 'creeping rushes'.

Regular cutting is about the only way to keep them under control, but it is very noticeable that the tractor (Ford 4000 1974) labours far more on the rushes than the grass, also you can tell from the smell which you are cutting !

Having sharpened the blades I did the entire 10 acres in high range 1st gear this morning before breakfast, whereas the last cut pre-sharpening was low range 4th until in the rushes, when I had to drop to low range 3rd, and low second on occasions.

Really the field needs proper drainage installed then it's acidity regulated to get rid of the rushes, but it makes no economic sense for sheep grazing.

(Where the rushes are is very peaty - originally a stream bed then silted up about 100 years ago)
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline wgw

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #133 on: June 11, 2018, 06:33:03 AM »
The rushes can create their own bog, the roots attract water by capillary action. I,ve got some in a small field, and it's high, started getting boggy after 3 years. My fault, didn't bother cutting the few bits there was after a year with no grazing and it just spread. Sheep might help, spraying works.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #134 on: June 11, 2018, 06:53:43 AM »
Heavy cutting, then when the new shoots emerge hit them with a 'weed wiper' charged with glyphosate is the received wisdom - be good if I had a weed wiper  :scratch:

The idea being the the roll of the wiper only touches the rush shoots and not the surrounding grass. A drop of washing up liquid in the glyphosate helps break down the waxy surface of the rush.

I have had some success on 'clumping rushes' with a backpack sprayer but it's hard going covering a large area. Whenever I need a bonfire it is always placed on the most dense patch of rush that I can find - they don't like that at all  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #135 on: May 08, 2019, 07:27:23 AM »
(Revival of an old thread but this is where the information should go!)


Start of the grass mowing season, so on Bank Holiday Monday I coupled up the Turner 6 foot flail mower to the Ford 4000 for the first time this year.

It was an ABSOLUTE PAIN to get the PTO female spline on the PTO shaft onto the male spline on the tractor. Would have been easier if there was help about but I was single handed. So what's the problem? Well turning the male spline by hand just gripping it is not possible due to drag and suchlike in its gear box. Turning the female spline, which is in the UJ on the end of the PTO shaft is only possible by putting a lever through the UJ, but then it turns back by itself due to the weight of the flail teeth flopping one way or the other.

Now while trying to get the rotational alignment  right, you have to press a button on the UJ yoke to allow the male spline to enter the female, and draw the two together all in a confined space between the mower and the tractor.

It actually took me 90 minutes which is obviously not acceptable - something must be done  :bang:

Having mowed the 'ten acre' and sitting down to relax I started Googling - I surely can't be the first to have this problem. Sure enough, some one has patented a spanner to go on the male spline in such a away that you can rotate it a bit while offering up the UJ female spline. This would make the job hugely easier. The spanner of course has to be able to be removed once the aligned parts are together, so has to be open ended not a ring which could have been made to fit the splines.

The patented 'spanner' solved this by being a simple parallel jawed open ended spanner, with a screw through one jaw to engage into the low part of a spline - crude but probably effective.

So for goodness sake make one before the next time you have to change the mower over - so I did  :ddb:

A quick Autocad sketch into SheetCAM as a DXF and then off to the CNC plasma table would do the job, but the thickest plate that I had to hand was only 8 mm thick. No matter - make two and weld them together - so I did  :ddb:

Rough and ready the pair got tacked together, an 8 MM thread popped into one jaw with one half sitting in each plate and lets try it out - so I did  :ddb:

I was concerned that a steel screw bearing onto the inner diameter of the splined shaft might do damage, but by reducing the end of the screw and doming it any damage will be minimal and anyway it bears on a bit of the shaft that in practice is never used. I would have used a brass bolt but not only did I not have a suitable one, I suspect that it would shear off in use.

All rather crude, certainly agricultural, but it works  :clap:

Hopefully next change over will be less frustrating
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 11:36:03 AM by awemawson »
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline seadog

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #136 on: May 08, 2019, 10:38:15 AM »
Now all that you need to do is to make sure you put it somewhere where it can be found when it's needed. Or, chain it to the flail  :D

Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #137 on: May 08, 2019, 11:12:41 AM »
I deliberately made it so it was not too long to go in the tractor tool box  :thumbup:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline pycoed

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #138 on: May 09, 2019, 07:02:53 AM »
Just be thankful you have the button type yoke! I'd love to know who thought it would be a good idea to use a collar that you have to pull back whilst you are shoving the PTO shaft forwards to engage :bang: :bang: :bang:.
My tractor (Zetor) has a "helpful" metal shroud around the PTO stub as well, not to mention the damned PTO shaft guard that doesn't telescope any more since my old tractor self immolated  :Doh:

Offline mc

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #139 on: May 09, 2019, 06:42:52 PM »
I would of thought the flail should be fitted with an overrun clutch?

Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #140 on: May 10, 2019, 02:20:56 AM »
Old technology here Moray, 1970's tractor and flail probably much the same vintage
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Will_D

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #141 on: May 10, 2019, 05:59:48 AM »
Just be thankful you have the button type yoke! I'd love to know who thought it would be a good idea to use a collar that you have to pull back whilst you are shoving the PTO shaft forwards to engage :bang: :bang: :bang:.
Agreed 1000% a few of our machines have collars and they are real PITA
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Offline awemawson

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #142 on: May 10, 2019, 09:07:41 AM »
It did occur to me that a Jubilee Clip temporarily applied would sort the push button issue - or even a suitably sized G-Clamp
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline mc

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Re: Rebirth of a 6 Foot Flail Mower
« Reply #143 on: May 10, 2019, 07:21:08 PM »
Old technology here Moray, 1970's tractor and flail probably much the same vintage

I've worked on older machines with overrun clutches, but have never dealt with a flail. I can't make up my mind whether a flail would have enough of a flywheel effect to justify needing one or not...

It might just be because I'm 6'4", but for big PTO shafts I just hold them between my legs, while wrestling the splines in to line. Once they're aligned and on that first 1/2", you can then worry about retaining pins/collars.