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Drilling auger shaft


chengny's Avatar
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02-07-08, 11:36 PM   #1  
Drilling auger shaft

Does anyone have any experience with through-drilling the auger drive/output shaft of a standard snow thrower?

I ask because one of the holes on the outer diameter of the right side auger on my Craftsman 11HP has become badly worn. This machine has two reverse gears and when shifting from forward to reverse it can really pick up momentum before the shear pin makes contact with the auger. Needless to say this drastically reduces shear pin life - and makes for really jerky operation.

Getting to the point; there is nothing wrong with the auger (or the drive shafts) other than the fact that the outer shear pin penetrations are shot and allow for excessive play.

I would like to relocate the shear pins to a fresh area of the auger and was wondering about the type of steel used to fabricate the auger drive shaft. I would assume it is hardened, and fairly difficult to drill while still on the machine.

Can it be drilled with a nice sharp cobalt bit for example? The devil is in the details on this one you know...

Dont want to lose the temper of the steel and the drilling must be exactly normal to the diameter.

Would it be in my best interests to remove it to the shop and use a drill press or can I do it in place?

If I tried it, I would pilot drill with a 1/8" bit first and use cobalt bits.

Can the auger drive shaft be hand drilled in place?

 
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02-08-08, 04:10 AM   #2  
IMO,

I don't see any reason why you couldn't re-drill this shaft. But, I would suggest using a drill press. A hand drill can't be held steady enough to get a hole the exact size needed, It will end up a little larger. It's also harder to maintain the hole centered in the shaft drilling by hand.

I have made different sized cradles to hold shafts in my drill press, A short piece of angle iron welded to a piece of flat bar with the "V" facing up holds shafts centered and helps maintain a nice uniform proper sized hole.

Drill at a slow speed and use plenty of cutting oil and you should have no problems.

Hope this little tid-bit helps.

Good Luck

 
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02-08-08, 09:50 PM   #3  
Thanks Mr 31,

You just reaffirmed what I already knew was the correct way to do this. I was kind of looking for an easy way out.

I have used the angle iron brace trick myself in the past and as simple as it sounds it works great - just as you say.

But as I recall, I think some of the better quality drill press vices come with a built in chamfer at the top of the jaw faces. The size of the vee doesn't really matter as long as you can settle your work piece into it. The pressure provided by the downward force of the bit tends to keep the shaft firmly in place.

It's finding the exact centerline of the shaft that gets involved. With the vice free to move about the table, I would drop a chucked-up bit (usually an expendable old one - of the same diameter) down bewteen the jaws. Then with a little guidance, I would gently tighten the jaws allowing the vice to center itself under the chuck/bit. Then with the bit still clamped firmly in the jaws, I would evenly take up on the hold down bolts. Back off on the vice, raise the bit out of the way, replace with the actual cutting bit. Then take the scrap bit again and clamp it in the vice, but this time from the side. You have now returned the jaws to their position directly under the drill bit and the shaft is perfectly centered. Pull down on the press to make a small mark with the drill bit. Take the shaft over to the work bench, center punch it at the bit mark and then return it to the drill press and bang through in one cut.

I'll just use bolts for the rest of the year.

Plan to disassemble the auger assembly in the spring. A good opportunity to blast and coat the exposed steel anyway.
Any idea what to use for paint?

Thanks again,

Jerry

 
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02-09-08, 04:03 AM   #4  
Posted By: chengny A good opportunity to blast and coat the exposed steel anyway.
Any idea what to use for paint?

Well Jerry, Sounds like you have the drilling fully covered !

If you mean media "blast" this exposed steel and if it has rust /pits I would suggest a coat of Por15 first. Then follow with a coat of epoxy primer.

This will help prevent rust from returning or bare metal from rusting. After these coatings, Any paint you desire can be applied.

This is the process I'm using on my Ole Chevy I'm restoring.


Cya

 
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02-10-08, 08:12 PM   #5  
I meant sandblast.

I have already tried removing the chute from the machine and applying a coat of Rust-Oleum primer. The affected areas were basically already blasted by the grit mixed in with the snow. It was what I would call "near white metal".

After the primer, I then applied two coats of exterior enamel ("baking" on each coat at about 150 degrees). Allowing 12 hours between coats.

After the first clean-up of the driveway, inspection revealed that the new coatings (all 3, two enamel and one primer) were being stripped right back down to the bare steel.

I took serious pains to do this correctly and am kinda bummed that it failed so quickly.

What is this Por15 that you mentioned?

Could you explain in more detail? Understand, this is not a basket case. The machine is almost mint - I just want to keep it that way. So there is no rush.

Thanks,

Jerry

 
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02-11-08, 06:26 AM   #6  
Posted By: chengny What is this Por15 that you mentioned?
Jerry,

It's my understanding that this site doesn't like manufacturer's links posted. All you have to do is type Por15 in your browser then click on the first one that has Por15 in the web address.
There you can read all about it's uses.

Understand, this is not a basket case. The machine is almost mint
Well, That was my misunderstanding....

I was under the impression you had exterior rust on the body/frame work on this unit you wanted to address.

The interior parts (auger/chute) where this sandy snow rides could be considered the same as the underside of a mowing deck. There have been many people try all sorts of products on the underside of decks to reduce "sandblasting" through the metal.

I have only heard of one product that reduces grass from sticking to the bottom of a deck and reduces the sandblasting effect, That is Eureka Fluid Film.

Now, Back to your auger and chute.

I would try painting with a epoxy primer first, Rust-Oleum has a bare metal primer which is of the epoxy type. Not sure this is what you used before ?

Scuff the primer with 400 grit wet/dry paper (dry) then follow with a coat of epoxy appliance paint, Scuff that after fully dry/cured with the 400 paper then add a second coat.

The epoxy paints leave a harder smoother coating with smaller pores than regular enamel paint. Once all is dry/cured before each use spray these areas with Fluid Film and this will leave a slick coating that in most cases will reduce this paint wearing/blasting situation.

Just to let you know, The above is only my thoughts/opinion to your paint wearing/blasting situation. I do know the above procedure (use of epoxy paint) is better than the one you used previously. But, I can in no way guarantee this paint/procedure to cure your wearing/blasted paint problem but only prolong it from happening so quickly.

You can type Eureka Fluid Film in your browser to find out more about it and where to purchase.

Good Luck

 
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02-11-08, 11:39 PM   #7  
You know what Mr. 31, I'm just going to let it go.

If the mild abrasive action of the entrained sand only causes the factory applied coatings to gradually fade to the underlying metal - so what? There is no rust and the snow blasts out just fine, so why mess with it. It seems to be aging gracefully.

I'm sure that the machine (or I) will be in the ground way before the sand could erode the 3/32" steel that the chute appears to be made of.

BTW, as long as we're talking about over-analysing things; I had an epiphany last night after cutting through my last shear pin. It was still snowing - about 2 F and 20 knot winds - real sucky night/morning!

I punched out the remainder of the sheared off pin (it was actually an official Craftsman OEM pin - my last resort) and stared at the situation for a while. I knew that the bore through the shaft was fine and that only one side of the auger bore was all elongated and knife-edged. I did not want to do a hack job on the shaft in the middle of the night and I had some metric bolts of about the same diameter. But they were even skinnier and would be cut through before the first pass. I just rotated the outer shaft about 90 degrees in relationsionship to the auger drive and eye-balled a spot that was close axially. It didn't really matter, there is about an 1/8" of end play, between the outer bearing and the differential. Drilled through the sleeve with no problem and the bit found it's way right into the shaft bore. Drilled through the other side of the sleeve. I dropped a bolt through and finished up. There was never any reason to bore that drive shaft at all. Just needed to bore new holes in the outer/auger sleeve.

I am done/shot/beat. I snow blew -blowed?? all night and then spent all day from 7 AM till 8PM hard wiring a heat lamp to the household 120 AC system (incl various switches, outlets and sheet rock repairs). So now the Big Gun has a nice little place to stay warm under this tarp contraption I found at my local hardware store.

Thanks Dude. See you in the spring - I have a 652 series Yard Machine tractor that needs going through. Wanna help? I'll buy you a beer!

 
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02-12-08, 05:24 PM   #8  
Posted By: chengny See you in the spring - I have a 652 series Yard Machine tractor that needs going through. Wanna help? I'll buy you a beer!
Bring it on Jerry !!!

But, Make it a Coke instead....


Take Care

 
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02-18-08, 05:20 PM   #9  
Roger that.

Friend of Bill?

 
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