2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4, Page #12[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Replacement Flighting Makes Old Augers New
You don't need to replace the entire auger, though, says Chris Schaffert, with Replacement Flighting Supply, Aurora, Neb. Instead, if the auger appears in good shape otherwise, you can replace the flighting and save a lot of money.
"The flighting is the heavy-wear part of an auger," says Schaffert. "Usually, the tube and center shaft aren't worn. So unless the auger has been bent, replacing worn flighting should restore it to near new condition and capacity."
The company offers replacement flighting for just about any farm or commercial auger, including flighting to fit harvesting and hauling equipment.
Replacing flighting does take a little more time, and maybe a little more talent than replacing the shaft with the flighting already on it.
But, says Schaffert, if you have any ability at all with a welder, you should be able to perform this do-it-yourself auger rebuild.
"Flighting is usually tacked on the shaft every 12 to 18 in. so all you need to do is cut the old welds, slide off the old flighting, slide on the new flighting, and re-tack it," he says. "You don't have to be a master welder to do this."
You do need to use a little caution in cutting off the old flighting, though, so you don't damage the shaft. "Some guys leave a little of the weld on the shaft so they're sure not to cut through it," Schaffert says. This is more important if the shaft is hollow. Once you have the flighting off, then you can grind down the welds a little if needed before sliding on the new flighting.
To order replacement flighting, you need to know the inside diameter of the tube the flighting runs in, the outside diameter of the shaft it goes on, the thickness of the flighting, and the pitch of the flighting. Pitch is the distance from spiral to spiral.
The thickness of the original flighting may be difficult to determine if it's badly worn. To find the original material thickness, measure the flighting at the inside, either with a caliper or after you've cut it off the shaft. "When flighting is rolled, it gets thinner from the inside out. There'll be less wear near the center, too, so that's the best place to measure thickness," says Schaffert.
Also, take a good look to be sure whether it's a single length of flighting, or if it's doubled on the shaft. Schaffert says you need to be careful not to confuse double flighting, which can increase auger capacity, with short-pitched flighting (shorter distance between spirals) which slows augers down. Some augers have double flighting at the intake only to grab grain more quickly and keep the tube full, so check both ends.
Most augers move clockwise but some turn the other way. Be sure to check so you know whether to order right or left hand flighting.
While most flighting is straight from the inside to the outside edge, some has a bit of a cup in it, which helps it to handle grain more gently. "It keeps the material running along the center shaft, rather than letting it flow along the outside edge where it can get broken or ground between the flighting and the tube," he says.
If it appears the outside edge of the flighting leans forward a little, you may have cupped flighting. If gentle handling is important, be sure to specify cupped flighting.
Before you order, you'll also need to know the total length of the auger. There is a 5-ft. minimum length for each size ordered. That's because 5 ft. is the shortest section of flighting the company keeps in stock. They can produce flighting in longer lengths, but 5 ft. lengths can be shipped easier and less expensively, too.
Prices vary, but one of the most common sizes 3/16-in. steel with a 7-in. pitch for an 8-in. auger runs about $6.75 per foot, or $ 33.75 for a 5-ft. length.
The company, which has been in business for 20 years, also sells repair ribbon, which is 1 or 2-in. wide st
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