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dratkinson

Core Aerator (homemade)

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dratkinson
Our soil is mostly clay and needs a lot of help. In the fall I collect my neighbors' leaves and mulch them in my yard. In the spring and fall I aerate using a homemade core aerator.

It’s heavy and the little wheel in front is needed to help me move it around in storage.

The frame is made from 5" x 1/4" channel. The tinges are made from 12" black pipe nipples. Each nipple is cut in half at a 45-degree angle. Each nipple is then cut down as you can see in the picture (wider at the bottom, narrower at the top) ... this lets the cores fall out. A piece of what appears to be triangular bracing is welded into the top of each nipple ... its purpose is to encourage the cores to fall out. The tinges screw into pipe connectors welded round a disks. The nipples must be installed so the cut-away portions face to the side. If the cut-away portion faces to the front or rear, the tinge will collapse. Experience... The spacers between each disk are 1" black pipe. The 1" rod through the center of each disk came from a hydraulic cylinder and is harder than the other steel. I was told to build it this way because steel parts of the same hardness moving against each other will tend to gall. When the parts are of different hardness, the parts will move against each other and not require lubrication. At least, this is what I was told. This aerator, with weights, weighs about 200 lbs and will pull a soil core 3/4" x 4". If I were doing it again, I’d put 5 or 6 tinges on each disk. Why? Because with 4 tinges, when the tines all line up and are hitting the ground at the same time (thunk, thunk, thunk...), it becomes really rough to pull. 5 or 6 tinges per disk would be much smoother and easier to pull.

Remember to mark your sprinkler heads and control box covers before you aerate. The round hole in the sprinkler box cover is the finger hole to open the box. The aerator made the other larger hole to the left of the finger hole. The little flag was put up after the fact ... so I’d miss it on my next pass. /r David in Denver.

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comet66
"The frame is made from 5" x 1/4" channel." Aren't you just a little bit afraid that frame will collapse? Just kidding. That is another well engineered job. From the design of the tines, to the way the wheels swing for transport. Thanks for the pictures.

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