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My David Bradley "fails"

sickle mower david bradley

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56 replies to this topic



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Posted August 30, 2012 - 07:16 AM

Thought some of you might get a kick out of this video. The poor sickle needs some attention, but it does cut. The sections need to be held down better is all, Ive got to fab a couple of pieces to make it work right.

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#2 Amigatec OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 07:27 AM

It has 2" sections, I believe Jari sections will work, also you might try turning the pulley around so the smaller side runs the tranny and the bigger side runs the mower. That way the tractor moves slower and the mower cuts faster
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#3 twostacks OFFLINE  



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Posted August 30, 2012 - 07:32 AM

Don't let it get the best of you. I've never used a DB, but I've used other sckle bar mowers that weren't kept up with the same results. One of them is lucky it's not laying in the bottom of the pond right now.
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#4 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted August 30, 2012 - 07:56 AM

Looks like you got plenty of exercise there! Put an electric start diesel on that sucker, say 25-30 hp!
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#5 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 07:59 AM

Starts good don't it? :laughingteeth:

If there was a way to slow down the travel or slightly raise the cutter bar it would probably help a great deal.

Still it is great to see an old piece of equipment being used as it was intended.
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#6 jpackard56 OFFLINE  



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Posted August 30, 2012 - 08:05 AM

Looks like ya got a lot of work in it already, so even though you may feel like it don't give up ! I like Twostacks have had some "BAD" times with sickles...
Amigatec's and GTTinkerer"s comments sound logical to me.

Focus on how well it starts and deal with the rest one step at a time, you have a nice piece of history there and it WILL work better than that video shows once you get the gremlins of wear & tear figured out...
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#7 Ryan313 OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 08:10 AM

I am sure you will get the hang of it and work out those bugs in no time!

You know, that grass is tall enough that you could make a maze through it!
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#8 VonWolfen OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2012 - 08:33 AM

Looks amazingly similar to my experience with a Simplicity M-1. The pulley deal will help...the absolute smallest you can rig to run the transmission. I still wonder about the overall viability of these sickle mowers. If you get it slow enough to cut, you'll spend hours cutting small plots...not a total negative, but makes you wonder. I would like to see a video of one of these old machines with a proper sickle set up....and see how it is supposed to work. Nice looking and running machine.
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#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 10:03 AM

Well at least you got a good workout Alan. It almost sounds like you may have a governor problem as the unloaded mower was still bogging down the motor for several seconds when engaged.
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#10 Lauber1 OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 11:50 AM

interesting.....dont remember any of mine going that fast at the ground. Do turn the pulley around and see where that takes you. Also there is a shoe on the bottom of the bar that will raise the cutting edge up off the ground. The tall grass setup will help keep the stuff from being cut twice.

I do find it strange that when you engage the clutch the engine pulls down that much.
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#11 LilysDad OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 12:01 PM

Your going to sleep good tonight! When you think your not getting anywhere, go use a sling blade or a hand scythe for awhile.
Then come back to it.

I agree that it's rolling too fast. You shouldn't be doing wheelies.
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#12 jbumgarner OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2012 - 01:41 PM

I've never ran a sickle mower before and from what I can see don't know if I want to, but look at the bright side, your machine looks great and starts without problem. I think the guys all have valid points and I think you'll figuire out the bugs. Good luck and once you get the bugs out I would like to see an updated video then.
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#13 olcowhand OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 02:34 PM

Well it's a good thing I finished my afternoon cup of coffee before watching this video Alan! What were the words you were muttering when she'd die? :rofl2: The pulley size definitely needs to be changed, as even if the sickle were in perfect shape, I think that's just too fast. I get enough exercise with my farm work, so I think I'll stick to my 4 wheel GT's. I got tired just watching!
Seriously though, slow the gearing down, and get that governor working proper. Sounds like it's not working much at all....am I right?
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#14 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2012 - 02:41 PM

Having never seen one of these up close before, Are these units all one speed or is there a way of changing gears/speeds?? Is there reverse on them?
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#15 John@Reliable OFFLINE  


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Posted August 30, 2012 - 03:01 PM

Well, look on the bright side, it starts on 1 pull :smilewink:

P.S. I agree with others on ground speed and governor, if my Gravely ran like that it would've been long gone!
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