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Thread: Blackstone horse drawn grubber

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2020
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    Wexford, Ireland
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    Blackstone horse drawn grubber

    Hi there, I'm new to this forum and I have some questions about a Blackstone grubber that I just recently bought to save it going to the skip. The inside of the wheel hubs have 1899 cast into them and I'm assuming this is the year of manufacture, is that correct? Please see photos attached. What caught my attention was the wheel design as I think they look really well, perhaps it was a common design but most that I have seen have more solid spokes and don't look as decorative. The spokes are made of channel iron and are curved with steel infill between them. They are made in triangular sections that are cast into the hub and then riveted to each other and to the outer rim, there are nine spokes in total. One thing that I did find odd is that some of the sections are also curved inward somewhat on the rim side, to various degrees, and some have no curve, the curved ones have steel infill between them and the outer rim similar to the infill between the spokes. The only thing I could think of was that perhaps this was done to allow for the installation of the outer rim so that it was a snug fit and concentric with the hub, does this sound plausible or is there another explanation for it?
    Another question I have is in relation to a pulley that is fixed to the bottom of the cog wheel which allows the tines to be moved up and down, what is the purpose of this pulley? I have searched online but cannot find anything resembling this from Blackstone so any information would be greatly appreciated (photos, images, catalogues, adverts, parts lists, spares etc. etc.)

    Anyway I'm interested to hear your thoughts as I'm a complete novice. I would like to eventually restore it to as near original as possible but it may take some time.

    Many thanks,
    Fran.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Blackstone horse drawn grubber

    Looking at the photos, I'd say the 'steel infill' you mention is actually corrosion that has forced the pieces of channel apart between the rivets. This is why some parts of the rim and spokes are more distorted than others.
    If you take a hammer and punch and give some of the 'steel infill' a whack, I don't think there'll be any actual steel in there.

    Don't know about the pulley, but if it's been converted from horse-drawn to tractor it might be something to do with working the lever from the tractor seat with a rope.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Wexford, Ireland
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    Re: Blackstone horse drawn grubber

    Quote Originally Posted by MC130 View Post
    Looking at the photos, I'd say the 'steel infill' you mention is actually corrosion that has forced the pieces of channel apart between the rivets. This is why some parts of the rim and spokes are more distorted than others.
    If you take a hammer and punch and give some of the 'steel infill' a whack, I don't think there'll be any actual steel in there.

    Don't know about the pulley, but if it's been converted from horse-drawn to tractor it might be something to do with working the lever from the tractor seat with a rope.

    Thanks for that MC130! Yes it could possibly be corrosion but I don't know if you would get that much rust build up? There are a few spokes still more or less intact with little evidence of deep rust but yet they have a large volume of material between them. What could have corroded to create that amount of rust? The material is definitely ferrous but it is very crumbly in texture with multiple layers clearly evident which I thought was just the 'grain' in the steel.

    Yes that is a possibility in relation to the pulley. It does look to be original however given the shape of the bottom of the cog wheel where it is attached. Given its position it doesn't look well placed to operate the lever either.

    Cheers,
    Frank.

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