Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter Trail Grooming ( snow groomer builds )

Not only have we built a New golf course we are always finding new ways to add too and build up the community . This week we are getting a rink set up in the tennis court area and will be grooming walking trails as needed after snow falls . 
After much research I offered to build a packer ..smoother type trail groom for the course . 
Trying to use what was available in the yard for a drum.
18" culvert pipe should work . The idea for the drum is to compact the snow for a base to walk or ski on . Using cinder blocks for weights and some trial and error it should work great . 

Cut it to 72" +  - .

Ordered some metal for the build . Mostly 1.5 x 1/8th tube stock and some 1" solid bar .

Cutting and measuring total width of inside pipe ... just shy of 18" Length was the same as drum . 

When drilling many holes invest in a good product . This carbine tip hole saw from Lawson works great . Drilling out for 1" solid bar stock .

Drilling a hole right through midway of short pieces for drum . 

The hole was very close but had to round file out the rest on just one side .

Just tight enough to press in . 6"length .5" solid rod stock.

Through the first hole 

and butts up against second . 

Checking for square before

Welding them good and solid 

Also weld around base of pipe here 

Welded up all the insert pipes together . 

Slide it into culvert pipe . This pipe had some markings to show 180 degrees . I lined it up 

Drilled the holes 2 in each end 8 in total through bar stock .

Bolted down in place . You can see the marks I was talking about earlier... here . 

Next I cut 2 roughly 1 ' long pieces and traced out for round tube stock found in the scrap pile . 

Using a hand grinder ,groove them out to the line (just one end). Cut the round tube stock enough to get the bar away from side of drum . 

Made for good bushing stock . Drilled a hole 7/32

Tap for a 1/4 - 28 thread count

And install grease nipples. 

Line it up for square and jack stands are a great help .Tac and weld together.

Lining up the pull arm in centre to weld . 

Rolls around great .

Reinforcing pull arm  on both sides.

Similar idea for smoothing plate . Leaving a little extra out on ends . This way if you did not need the smoother and needed additional weight for packing you could flip it back onto itself on the pull frame .

Doing this will give an attaching point to adjust different angles .( As you build and design... things may change as you will see later. All part of the process for a first time build ). 

Right now I'm figuring out the adjustable section . Using pins I could quick change to a scrapper (If needed) instead of the smoother . 

Looking in my scrap pile I'm recycling some bedknives to reuse as a scraper . Laying it out in the scissor lift. Weld inside the holes to a piece of 1/4" flat stock.

On the smoothing section using bedknives  again . The hole spacing is perfect to put bolts through .

Weld it to a piece of 1.5 " tube square stock . ( after the trial run I'm going to put a deflector of some sort so the snow doesn't pile up against square tube) .

Welding was quick and easy on the back side  .

Scraper blade was a little to flexible ,adding bracing like this stiffen it up good .

Laying out scraper and smoothing bar .

Happy with this set up and tac and weld in place . The scraper have 1.5" angle on both side of up rights to pin it in place .When its not needed we can just remove it .

All assembled . It's in the up position adding more weight on drum for compaction . It will need more weight for it to work properly . I'll build a weight box on the Y section of pull frame on Monday.

When the trail gets compacted you flip the smoother down to help
keep a level surface .

You can see the pin set up for scraper in this picture . Welding in supports

for a snow deflector from cutter made from rubber mat . Using self tappers and washer it went on pretty quick.

Ready for paint and a few minor mods after the trial run .

Snow was getting scares dry and crusty but I did try it out where the loader had travelled the previous day . Not bad . Just needs more weight ..the right type of snow ..and a little deflector on the smoother bar .

2 days and about $200 .

Finally some snow to groom . Had the groomer out today and it work great '

Once it sets up it will perfect for skiers .

Thanks for interest in my blog .

Thanks to The Links of Brunello
 for the go ahead to build

Did a little redesign of the build .Final product in above picture

Added bearings for drum . Sped up build speed . And easy to change out

Framing boxes in drum now

Little foot jack in center to lift rear scraper smoother . You can now use weight of drum on smoother section . Lifts off the snow

 In for paint

Andrew my students in to work on the second unit .

Welding in the scraper section

Lining up tow bar for welding

Stiffeners added 

And in for paint . Rear section is easily removable for service and repair if needed .

I like the black..... sun seems to keep the ice off it .

A few random pics

Nylocs so I could leave them a little loose to move a bit with raising and lowering

Quick walk around of final build . 

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