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Jig Makes Seed Boot Repair Go Fast
Carl Schafer has a handy jig for repairing seed boots on 750 Deere no-till drills. Over time the holes used to locate the seed boot wear. This can cause seed to randomly miss the furrow. Fixing them usually entails drilling out holes and inserting bushings. Generally that involves removal and use of a drill press. Though some jigs are available for sale, Schafer felt they were overpriced. He came up with a simple jig to make the exacting job go fast without removal of seed boots.
  “The last drill I repaired was 40 ft. wide with 64 seed boots, one every 7 1/2 in.,” recalls Schafer. “Each one had two holes that had to be drilled out and bushings inserted and tacked in place. Using my jig and my little 1/2-in. electric drill, I had the job done in about 8 hrs., including tacking each bushing into place. I can finish a 15-ft. drill in 4 hrs. easy.”
  The jig is a simple piece of 1/2-in. steel, 1 3/8 in. by 3 3/4 in. He drills three holes in the jig to match the three holes on either side of the seed boot casting. Two holes are for guide pins to ensure accuracy when drilling out center holes for bushings.
  The holes are offset 3/16 in. from the centerline to fit against the casting. Two guide holes are centered at 1 1/8 in. from either end of the jig. These may be either 3/8 in. or 7/16 in., depending on the drill.
  The center hole is a 1/2-in. dia. to which Schafer tack welds a 1/2-in. by 1-in. long hardened steel bushing.
  “The bushing and the jig plate are guides for my bit,” says Schafer. “I like at least a 1-in. long guide to be sure my bit stays in line.”
  To repair a seed boot casting, Schafer lines up the guide holes with the casting inserts the two 3-in. long pins after adding a drop of oil to each for lubrication. He cuts his pins from drill rod rather than using stock bolts.
  “Drill rod is correct dimensionally, and I can get a 3-ft. long piece for $7 or so,” he notes. “Stock bolts are often not dimensionally correct and can be off a couple thousandths of an inch either way. Drill rod is perfect.”
  The pins slide all the way through both sides of the seed boot casting. Schafer then inserts the bit and drills out the exactly centered hole on both sides of the casting.
  “Once I have both sides done, I slip in the 1/2-in. (outside diameter), 3/8-in. (inside diameter) bushings,” he says. “I slip a 3/8-in. bolt through to keep them in place and add a single tack weld to each bushing to hold it in place. Pull the bolt, and move on to the next seed boot.”
  Schafer emphasizes blocking the raised drill before crawling underneath. He says making a jig takes only about an hour. He estimates the whole thing, including the $11 bushing for the drill bit guide, only costs about $20.
  “Remember to only tack the guide bushing a couple of times; don’t weld it tight, or you’ll bow the jig,” he warns. “I was going to patent this and try to sell it, but decided to just give the idea away in hopes others can use it.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carl Schafer, 5265 Napier Rd., Plymouth, Mich. 48170 (ph 734 453-8816).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #5