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GWGAllisfan

Sickle mower fasteners

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GWGAllisfan

I've been working on my sickle mower. After much research, I decided to try the old farmer way of removing the sections. So I clamped the broken  bar, teeth down against the angle iron of my trailer, and with a few strikes from the sledge hammer ( swung lightly, not overhead) the rivets sheared off easily. Just a little clean up with the punch, and I have the sections cleaned up, except one that was already bent up. I have to admit being surprised that old school way worked so well.

 I do have some questions about fastening.

The book calls for #6 rivets, of the kind that are peened over. This may be something I don't have a good way to do, since it requires an anvil, or at least a heavyweight table to hammer against.

Could I use 3/16" machine bolts, with lock nuts? They should clear, but could they get tight enough?

 Would pop, or blind rivets work? I suspect they won't be close enough to the bar to not hit the guards.

If I can get the bar fixed, then get an FDT running, I can be sickle mowing again.

Edited by GWGAllisfan
spelling, and bad phrasing

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jlasater

Most combines now use nut/bolts to hold the sickle sections on. Check with an AG store and see what they have. The nuts are usually a mechanical locking type with a tapered head to protect the ends of the threads.

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GWGAllisfan

Ok, someone tell me the downside of this idea.

 I have tested some 10-24x1/2" hardware store bolts, and if they are used with the heads on the sickle section, the nuts clear the guards easily. They are slightly bulkier than rivets, but seem to work.  I would likely use lock washers and loctite.

My concerns are that they may loosen and create problems, or rust so bad that they can't be removed. I don't want to destroy the nearly unobtainable sickle section, or the new bar.

 I'm not sure if I can install the rivets, even if I order them. 

Either affirm , or tell me the problems with this plan, please.

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spi

Having an anvil is nice but there is more than one way to skin a cat. It might take some creative thinking but lots of things can become anvils in a pinch, like your vice, another hammer, trailer hitch, a large rock. Your best tool can be your imagination.

 

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dhoadley
11 hours ago, spi said:

Having an anvil is nice but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

 

Skinning a cat with an anvil sounds unnecessarily difficult. Just sayin'... 666

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Bill725

In this application the rivet is subjected to shear forces and not every rivet is created equal. A pop rivet is hollow on the ID, whereas a solid rivet is not. A solid rivet can withstand much more shear force than a pop rivet. Therfore, I strongly recommend using a solid rivet, But, if you choose to use pop rivets, PLEASE post a reply on how well they perform.

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gwiseman

Rivets, when peened, swell in the section and sickle bar creating a tight bond so the section will not move but is solid to the bar.That bond is essential to get a good clean cut when mowing. Newer applications using bolts & lock nuts usually have sunken sets in the bar for the bolts to create a tight fit. However, no more than we use this old equipment in each application I suspect bolts will work for you. Just check each time before use and tighten any loose. As for removing the old farmer way, that works! Farm stores sold a section removing apparatus for years that did essentially the same thing, only with a long handle using down pressure for leverage to slide it off the bar slicing the rivet in two. 

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jlasater

I would be comfortable using good fitting (meaning no slop) grade 8 bolts in this application with the metal self-locking nuts (not nylocks, but the nuts with indents in them or the ones that have triangular shaped hole in the middle) and torque a couple properly so you have a feel for how tight they should be and go for it.

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GWGAllisfan

Well after much thought, I decided to order the proper rivets. I should be able to pick them up from Grainger on Tuesday.  I just realized I need to go buy a ball peen hammer, but that's not a problem. I might see if I can borrow an air hammer.

Am I right that the rivets go through the bar from the bottom and are preened from the top.?

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CarlH

The last time I thought about doing a new bar for my sickle, I decided to use an air chisel with a bit/tool I found at McMaster Carr to peen the rivets.  Figured it would be a LOT easier than swinging a hammer.

Edited by CarlH
Added info.

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B10Dave

Proper riveting tool for both removing and setting new rivets should be available from farm supply stores like TSC and CO-Op stores. Looks like picture and makes the job easy and done properly. No hammering or prying or grinding required.

 

getDynamicImage.jpg.37d6b023be116f1c25c5245b4851a1f1.jpg

I have one of these and used it regularly to replace sections on my mower/conditioner when we still farmed.

Edited by B10Dave

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