|Project by Wolfdrool||posted 01-28-2013 05:51 PM||10244 views||4 times favorited||18 comments|
I built this cab for protection from the cold and snow when snowblowing. I’ve had the chance to use the cab three times now, and it works great. I stay warm and dry while blowing and so does the tractor dashboard. I do have to wear hearing protection as the cab magnifies the engine noise to a level similar to lawn mowing.
This tractor cab is made from 1/4 baltic birch plywood skins on select fir frames. Paint is Valspar tractor enamel on Glidden Gripper primer. This paint and primer are not sold as a system, so time will tell how this holds up. The Gripper primer is great for wood, and the Valspar colors are a great color match for the tractor. Both primer and paint are easy to apply, level nicely, and have excellent coverage. I used a medium nap roller for the tractor enamel to get good coverage, as I did not want to spray the enamel inside during the winter. It self levels pretty good after rolling and even better if lightly back brushed.
The cab is mounted on two wooden “box” brackets at the front and rear. The front box is rigid, but the back box has some flex (up to about 1/4 inch up or down) for easier mounting. The front box is narrow to allow the hood to be raised. The back box is wide for stability. The box brackets are mounted and supported on spacers to factory holes on the dashboard area and the rear deck area, so no modification or drilling of the tractor was needed.
I forgot to intentionally plan for gas cap access, but luckiily the design allows full access to the gas cap. That could have been a problem for sure!
The cab is very open all the way around the bottom for ventilation but no snow enters from below. The two box pods on the front of the cab below the windshield come off by loosening a pair of knobs each. After the pods are removed, the hood can be raised for service without removing the whole cab. I plan to mount a CO/CO2 detector inside by the front mounting box just in case.
I used 8x (8 times stronger than glass) and 50x (50 times stronger than glass) acrylic, and the 50X acrylic is so much better. The 8X tends to chip and crack when being machined. The 50x acrylic cuts smoothly using a Bosch 30 tpi laminate jigsaw blade and also drills great, too. The acrylic should have great UV resistance over time. The acrylic windows are screwed to wood window frames through slightly oversized, pre-drilled holes in the acrylic to accomodate expansion and contraction of the acrylic. The drill clutch setting is set very low to avoid cracking the acrylic when driving screws. Snow does not stick to the windows while blowing unless it is snowing very hard (I had to clear the windows during a heavy snowfall at 1 inch an hour, but not otherwise). The cab with 50X acrylic windows weighs between 70 and 80 pounds.