DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 3


Part 3! We fabricate a swivel mount for the plow and craft cutting edges from HDPE

We left off part 2 with a mostly completed plow lift group. I just had one thing left to do which was cut the winch hook off so I could connect the winch cable directly to the shackle under the winch.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Used my 4.5″ grinder with cutoff wheel to cut the hook from the winch line thimble

PS, check out those cool new picture watermarks! Slick huh?

Snow Plow Swivel

Now we need to build a swivel for the snow plow so it can rotate from side to side for ‘windrowing’ snow to one side. Probably unnecessary for a Honda accord plow, but we left the realm of necessary a LONG time ago with this project.

I seriously spent way too long thinking about this before I came up with the design. I wanted it to be as simple as possible.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

This was the brainstorming step where I drag a bunch of stuff out of bins and the basement to see what will work.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Aha! A simple idea. since 2×2″ tubing fits into 2.5×2.5×1/4″ (receiver hitch) tubing I will just make a sideways hinge of sorts.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Straight position.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Full angle to windrow.

Now I need to center punch and drill a 5/8″ hole through both pieces of tubing to make the pivot point.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Always center punch your mark on steel before drilling. It keeps your drill bit from ‘walking’ out of position.

Seriously, don’t be lazy. Just center punch your holes before drilling them so you don’t either ruin the piece you are working on or have to waste time welding the hole back up so you can try again. They are cheap, buy a 5 pack like the ones below so you always have one when you need it.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

5/8″ hole drilled with the bolt inserted so I can mark the relief cuts.

I used my sliding T bevel to make sure the angle was the same going both directions. Mine is a good ol’ wood version but for a couple of bucks more you can get a fancy digital one.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Using T bevel to make sure I had the same amount of travel in both directions while marking.

Now I need to cut the sides from the 2.5″ square tubing so the 2″ tubing can slide into it. You can see where I wrote cut on one side and fold on the other. Initially I was going to try to cut three sides to make a flap on each side where I could fold the tabs in and re-weld them but upon trying it I decided it was too hard to do and just cut the holes out instead.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

The area to remove marked out for cutting.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Cut out with my 4.5″ grinder and a cutoff wheel.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Areas cut out. I gave up on the ‘fold’ part and just cut both tabs all the way off.

Don’t fret! All these cuts and holes will make sense in a bit. The next step is to drill holes for a hitch pin in either side of the 2×2. Once again while drilling large holes, I step up in drill bit size 2-3 times before reaching my final hole size.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

I love drilling holes….NOT

Finally, I get to assemble and install the snow plow swivel / angle mechanism.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Assembled and installed in the straight position.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Angle snow windrow right.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Angle snow windrow left.

So why did I drill holes in both sides of the 2×2 tubing? Remember back to part 1 where I declared that I wanted to be able to push OR pull snow. Building from this snow plow swivel I will be able to unpin the plow, turn it around, and pin it back on so I can push or pull snow.

Cutting Edge

The cutting edge and base edge (the part the cutting edge bolts to) are going to be a little different than normal plows. Typically snow plows use steel cutting edges. This won’t work for my project because it can scratch the driveway, is heavy, and is a lot harder on the vehicle. In the last decade or so there have been a lot of advances in synthetic materials which has many contractors switching to rubber or plastic cutting edges.

My cutting edge will be made of a 1/2″ thick piece of HDPE which stands for High Density Polyethylene. I chose 1/2″ thick because it is what I had laying around the shop from another project, if I had to buy new material for this project I would probably go with 3/4″ or 1″ thick HDPE for some extra durability. This is a relatively new material that is super durable, corrosion resistant, and self lubricating.

It has become pretty common now and can be ordered in many different sizes on Amazon:

I wanted to make 3 same size cutting edges from the piece of HDPE that I had laying around. The reason for this is so I have two for the plow now and one spare in case I break one.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Measuring the HDPE to get three equal pieces.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Cutting it on the table saw with a normal wood blade. HDPE can be cut, drilled, and milled just like a piece of wood, using many of the same tools.

Once cut, I stacked all three cutting edges and marked for drilling.

 

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Measuring to find the center of the cutting edge.

 

Not sure if this is how they are supposed to be used, but I use a sliding square seen in the picture above to mark most of my projects. I like how I can slide it to where I want and lock down the adjuster then repeat the measurement as many times as I need to.

I then found the middle of the piece and marked it. Since I wanted each cutting edge to be symmetrical so I could interchange and flip them I divided each side into three equal parts and marked them also.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Divided each side into 3 parts which makes for 5 bolts per cutting edge with one extra bolt in the middle where the two meet.

Next step is to drill the cutting edge. No need to step drill the HDPE since it drills easily similar to wood.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

After drilling the cutting edge out to 1/2″

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Close up of the curley cuttings from the HDPE. I put a board under the HDPE so I don’t drill into my metal table below.

Receiver Hitch Snow Plow

Mostly finished cutting edges together laying end to end. I will need to drill out the bolt hole in the middle where the two cutting edges meet.

Well, we are out of time again. Check out part 4 we will make a steel frame and get to plowing!!!!!

 

Index of the snow plow build process:

DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 1 – lifting frame and winch
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 2 – Completion of lifting frame
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 3 – Building Plow pivot and cutting edge
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 4 – Complete plow frame and assembly (First time plowing snow!)
DIY Receiver Hitch Snow Plow – Part 5 – Build blade angle adjuster