kubota bucket rebuild

Today @mancubwelder brought in his old rusted out bucket off the front of his 1983 Kubota B8200DP. We're going to save the parts of it are salvageable, but the rest is going to be fodder for the gas ax!

Before we start cutting this mess apart, we want to make sure our base metal is as clean as possible. The bucket is caked in sand, dirt and other debris from sitting out in the elements. So first things first.

Material Prep

We're using a Pferd knotted wire wheel to remove all that wonderful garbage we don't want getting sucked into our cutting torch. After we get the inside of the bucket all cleaned out we're going to identify what we can keep and what we need to rebuild. Luckily, after giving the bucket a once over, the back of the bucket is okay so we won't have to rebuild the mounting brackets.

Cutting Out the Bad Metal

We're going to make this bucket a little beefier when we rebuild it, but the current material is 3/16" carbon steel. We're going to start out with a #1 tip. There are some thicker parts of the bucket that will get cut out, so we may need to adjust our tip or pressures on the fly.

When we're cutting out the bad metal we're always very careful not to cut into anything we want to keep. It's much quicker to grind down to fit than it is to weld a big gap.

Go Big or Go Home

We decided that as long as we're rebuilding the bottom and sides of the bucket, we might as well extend it. The original depth of the bucket was 17 inches. We decided to add an additional 2.5". Before going over to the CNC cutting table we traced out our design on a piece of cardboard.

Once we got all the dimensions, we brought it over to the Koike and cut it out.

Weld Out

We wen't back and forth on how we wanted to weld this out, but ended up decided to use an .045" Bohler Diamond Spark gas shielded flux core wire. This was our first time using this wire and we immediately noticed was it has a copper coating, similar to ER70S-6 MIG wire. At first we thought we grabbed the wrong wire. It ran super smooth and we're interested to see how the copper coating helps it against the Florida elements over time. The fit-up was absolutely perfect, so the welds all laid in nice and flat without any problems.

In the next episode in this series we are going to build a knife. edge for the front of the bucket and do some hard facing to make sure it stands the test of time.

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