Knife Sections for Macdon Flexdraper - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Knife Sections for Macdon Flexdraper

We run a pair of flexdrapers and use them for approx 4000ac/yr while cutting peas/lentils on the ground. Over the past few years we've become pretty disappointed with the Macdon knife sections. They seem to break way to easy and we kill a pile of valuable time having to change them in field. Has anybody found any other sections that they like for these heads? I looked into Scumaker sections but have to change all guards and little black poly skids under each section if I go that route and the heads may get traded for 18 if I like the changes on new units so basically hoping I can just find some more robust sections for this season.

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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 10:45 PM
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I have about 3 pails of sickles and guards in the scrap heap from running a Macdon swather two years ago, everything I tried was total crap! That included factory stuff and Westward stuff, maybe some other cheapo stuff at the local place here too.

What I have heard of is guys putting a Crary knife on their MacDon and being happy with it. Not sure how it compares to the cost of a Schumacher setup but you may be able to just run the sickles: Crary - Cutting Systems - Gold'N Cut - KingKut Sections

Orlando A. Battista
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 11:00 PM
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We've never had significant problems with the Macdon stock knife style. We buy the chrome-plated coarse sections because my dad always felt they lasted longer, but they turned out to be cheaper than the stock macdon black ones last I bought them. The only issues we have with the knife this last year were that we kept shearing off the little bolts, but we don't typically break the teeth themselves, despite being on the ground. Figured we just had a batch of soft bolts.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 11:03 PM
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Bolts will break easy if they are a touch loose.
We used to break quit a few knife sections, set our headers "lighter" and that pretty much elenimanated that.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 11:14 PM
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The crary guards and sections work unreal in edible and soy beans. I thought they weren't quite as good in cereals though. They are heavier built and the sections are very protected. Worth the extra money imo.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 11:16 PM
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Used that Gold'N Cut system perhap when it first came out even, greatly reduced sickle breakage.
Almost thirty years old but still interesting and pertinent:

Would like think design and materials used would be better now, fundamentally little to work with on cutting equipment.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 11:21 PM
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I ran an New holland swather with the schumacher set up. It is no better than the macdon. Like previously mentioned set your header lighter so its not riding so heavily on the ground and you should see improvement.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-22-2017, 11:22 PM
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Case IH sections, can't rememberthe rating but the black ones, way better and for the Case IH guys Macdon guards are way betterthan Case ones

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 01:37 AM
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Change a lot of Macdon sections as well. However, I would never swap it for a SCH knife. The Macdon cuts way cleaner without the use of an air reel. We generally look over knife in the morning and change sections with an air wrench and a screwdriver to move knife back and forward. If there is a noticeable bad cut during the day will change. Use to think that a SCH was an easier system to change sections on. Always going to the end and turning knife. A guy is always learning - I now maneuver the knife at the broken section with a large screwdriver or pinch bar - picked that tip up from someone else on the combine forum! No need to remove side shields and turn knife!

We also break a lot of guards. With an SCH knife we had hardly ever had section or guard problems but it never ever cut as clean. A Macdon system almost cuts lentils without the use of a reel (almost!). An SCH relies very much on something to drive the crop over the knife - ie. an air reel or a bat in order to cut clean.

I have found the biggest thing for lentils has been to roll them after seeding to push all the rocks out of the way as best you can. - makes a huge difference. I assume you are doing that too!

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-23-2017, 02:06 AM
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between a swather and 2 fd 70's we usually break less then 5 sections each per year here. I think I did 3 on my fd this year. Are there rocks or other things that need to be dealt with in the field? maybe the knife breaking is the symptom and not the real issue..?

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