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Archive for December 17th, 2009

Improvised Snowthrower Skid Shoes

Our snowthrower rests the entire weight of the front end on a pair of skid shoes, which erode against the asphalt driveway. Replacements cost nigh onto eleven bucks each, which activates my cheapskate gene.

Worn OEM skid shoes

Worn OEM skid shoes

You can see from the markings that the slots are about twice as long as they need to be, so I figured I could replace them with some random angle iron. Might not last as long, but far less expensive.

Bedframe skid shoe

Bedframe skid shoe

Having a nearly infinite supply of bedframe steel in the heap, I chopped off two suitable lengths, poked 3/8″ holes into the appropriate spots, then milled short slots to get some adjustability.

Bedframe steel is about the nastiest stuff you (well, I) can still machine: high carbon, fine blue-hot chips, and hard edges. It might actually be better-suited for skid shoes than the soft steel OEM parts.

They’re not pretty, but the driveway hasn’t complained yet.

The only real problem is that those sharp corners snag on the edges of what we loosely term “the lawn”. I should apply the smoke wrench, miter the corners, and bend the edges upward. If I’m going to all that trouble, I should also hitch up the buzz box and wave some hardfacing ‘trodes over the bottom.

But that’s in the nature of fine tuning and sounds a lot like work.

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