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JDSnyder

Sod Buster #3

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arnoldir
Hello Herb, I'm really enjoying the saga of the little plow that could. I have a single plow on my Wards Plow Trac Walker and have been using it for simmilar clearing tasks around the yard. The first furrow never looks good cause there is no room for the soil to flip over, it's that 2nd furrow when you have one tire low and the soil is rolling over like a wave on the beach that it all comes together. I really enjoy plowing with the walker because you can see the cut, and it feels like an old horse drawn rig. My best results have been in moist soil, so I will run the sprinkler the day before plowing if it is really dry.

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Kent
Hey Herb, I've been meaning to ask -- what kind of digital camera are you using? You certainly turn out a lot of very nice pictures with it, in all kinds of situations... Kent

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Kent
Kent, It's a Sony Mavica MVC-FD73. My wife gave it to me Christmas 1999. I don't really know anything about digital cameras, my wife did all the research. She told me when she asked for recommendations, she said I appreciated quality but didn't like anything overpriced (she's right). She did a great job. I have no complaints about the camera.

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JoeJ
Done..! I know it doesn’t look professional, but wait till next time when I’m not fighting roots. Marty, you’re right, increased ground speed did help. I always take it easy when using equipment until I’m familiar with it. At first I was afraid I’d hit a root and either break the plow, tractor, or get thrown over the steering wheel. I’m still not going as fast as I could (2nd & 3rd low range). I did learn how to lift the plow slightly without stopping when feeling increased resistance. And I can now feel when roots are getting bunched up, or when a rock gets wedged between the plow and the coulter. What a great feeling getting the hang of a new activity. Now I’ll chop out the big roots and hook up the disc. I’ll post another photo after that’s done. Thanks again fellas for all the help. http://home.att.net/~herb.niewender/plow-done.jpg

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JDSnyder
This should be my last “Sod Buster” post for a while. Just wanted to “show off” my first furrow (for what it is). Sincere thanks to all those who provided me with guidance. I think I understand the basics and now need some hands on experience. Kent, I couldn’t wait for the grandkids, so I sanded the plow myself. You are right..! It does make a BIG difference. I’m pulling a full 6 inches without added weight. By getting a “feel” for the plow, I seem to be doing okay even without AG tires or chains. I’ve removed tree roots for years with a dozer. What a difference using a plow..! I learned how to lift the blade and “work” the root out on following passes. Obviously plowing virgin land is harder than re-plowing an existing garden. As I’m chugging along, sitting on my butt, I can’t help but think how tough it must have been for those who settled this country. Southern New Jersey has soft sandy soil. Just imagine busting hard sod loaded with clay, rocks, and boulders while walking behind a real 1 horsepower plow (mulepower in Kent’s case). And that’s AFTER trees were felled, and stumps pulled by hand. How did they do it..? http://home.att.net/~herb.niewender/plow-action-seq.jpg

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MPH
Dutch, you may claim not to know anything about digotal cameras but I agree with Kent, you sure know how to use it. How do you go about posting them on here so quick???MPH Your plow job looks great by the way, dealing with roots and all..

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MPH
Dutch. your field looks about like the "lawn" dirt I been tryin to rake clean, full of roots. Think more ground speed may give you a cleaner furrow, a plow should throw most the dirt on one side, it may be all the roots causing the problem. MPH

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Kent
Wow! Glad to hear it's working for you. I can see where you'd need some serious traction -- Lugs would make a lot of difference. You do have some roots and vines to deal with, don't you? Later, when we got "mechanized" on the farm with an old Ford 8N, we bought a single disc plow for it. I've never seen many of them, but it worked great. Instead of a plow point, it used a single big (30" to 36" ??) concave disc like the coulter on yours. The dish on it is what cut the furrow and turned the soil. This one you had to weigh down and it had a tray on the top mount for that purpose (like most disc harrows do). But, talk about slicing roots in a newly cleared field -- it would cut right through roots the size of my wrist. It would also plow 12" - 15" deep, or possibly more, with enough weight on it and in the right soil conditions. It was also great for plowing ditches -- one pass going each direction and you could have a ditch about 24" deep, when you count the berms thrown up on each side....

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JDSnyder
Marty, That Sony puts the image directly onto a floppy disc. I just have to pop the disc out of the camera, pop it into the computer, process and upload. Thanks for the compliment and again for the tip about ground speed.

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jlasater
Kent, That plot is going to be “Grandma’s Garden.” Your other comments prompted me to start yet another thread, “Antique Disc – Comments Please.” For some reason this old disc really fascinates me. As for vertical cutting for overseeding, please don’t laugh, but I want to test a worn out carpenters carbide blade in dirt. I’ll use an electric saw, and if the blade doesn’t wear down too fast, I may make a shaft and mount a gang of them, maybe with angled spacers for a “wobble” ala dado cut. Hey, they get thrown away anyway. The wife’s really big on dethatching, so I’ll keep looking for a Revitalizer to keep her happy.

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MPH
Dutch, if I ever get around to doing it I plan to use 14in carbide blades on my tiller for tree roots like you were plowing through, troule is I spent to much of my life makin the blades dull. MPH

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MPH
Dutch, I really don't have a clue, Know they'll cut concrete coated form boards for a day or two, and take quite a few nails. Like you said their to be thrown out anyway, so I'd call a day good, just gotta desine a simple switch em deal. MPH

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JBucketman
Just wanted to post a picture of the job my "junk yard" disc did. The tractor is posed for this photo. When it was working, the disc was down to the hubs. Now for the rake........ http://home.att.net/~herb.niewender/discland.jpg

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Guest
Your "lookin" good. Now all you need is an old pair of bib overalls and your a true farmer. Glad we could all help you friend. Marion W. Kerr

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Kent
Good looking job, Herb. What's next? Are you going to sow it down or plant a garden? Since this is a "serious" disc, can you adjust the "toe in" or angle between the two gangs? If so, you can do some pretty versatile work with this one, I'll bet. It looks like it may be part a "horse-drawn" one, intended for a single horse perhaps. Ours was significantly wider -- 6 discs per gang as I recall -- and we used a team of two mules to pull it. We used ours a lot. For example, we would disc the cornfields in the fall to cut up the corn stalks and mix them in with the top few inches of dirt. (We picked the corn by hand -- no machine to pick it and chop the stalks up and spit them out.) Then, we would frequently sow oats or vetch (sometimes even turnips) right after that discing, with no other prep, and disc them in lightly to cover the seeds. (I can't remember exactly how it works, but the toe-in also will control how deep it cuts.) In the spring we'd then plow the whole thing with the turning plow. Many of the corn stalks would have rotted away, and we'd put any remaining ones and the green stuff down at the bottom of the furrow to decompose before planting time... mixing green, brown, and dirt -- and Oila! Compost at root level! If you can set the toe in and adjust it to a perfectly straight line, you could use this disc to vertically cut your lawn for overseeding, ala the Revitalizer.... Hmmmm!

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