2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Rollable Disc Blades Last Longer
“Rolling pulls the metal to a fine cutting edge, restoring the dish and making the blade larger with no metal loss,” explains Putnam, a third generation disc blade roller. “The rolled edge will typically last twice as long as a non-rollable blade that has been ground to an edge.”
Putnam is based out of Nebraska, but has customers from Iowa to Texas and west to Colorado. He notes that rolling blades is growing less common and even farmers with blade rollers will often prefer to have it done professionally.
“I’ve had customers offer to sell me their rollers,” says Putnam, who prefers his own. “A factory-built roller will take 2 days to do what I can do with mine in 3 hrs. Pretty much everything on mine is custom made, other than the head.”
Unfortunately, not every disc blade is rollable, warns Putnam. He points out that most disc manufacturers make both rollable and non-rollable blades and seldom pushes rollable ones in areas without a lot of stones. In addition, most blades made from 2003 until more recently are too brittle to roll.
“Prior to 2003 they used high carbon steel in disc blades, but then they switched to using boron,” says Putnam. “It was a cleaner process, but they had less flex and started cracking around the spools. In recent years, most manufacturers have added other material to make the steel more pliable and rollable.”
In 2004 Putnam became a dealer for disc blades, seeking out manufacturers who still made a high quality, rollable blade. Most of the 1,500 to 2,000 blades he keeps on hand are manufactured in Canada with a few special orders from Brazil. They range from 22 to 24-in. dia. with a variety of hole sizes.
“Compared to other brands, I think these blades are made of a superior steel under higher quality control standards and tend to wear longer,” says Putnam, who also installs blades. “Having rolled various brands, these are among the best.”
FARM SHOW readers interested in having their disc blades rolled (in the states he serves or nearby states) should contact Putnam. If interested in buying rollable, high quality disc blades, he asks that they check the backside of existing blades for part number and brand stamps.
“Usually that is all we need to identify replacement blades,” says Putnam. “If someone outside my area is interested in starting to roll disc blades, I’d be willing to consult with them.”
Putnam charges $6 to $8 per blade, depending on size and thickness of the blade. He estimates he can do a 30-ft. disc in around 3 hrs., depending on make or model and the need to remove wheels to access center disc blades.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Putnam Disc Blades, 1210 S. Rd., Minden, Neb. 68959 (ph 308 325-4608; toll free 866 297-5130; email@example.com; www.discroller.com).
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