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Setting up the cultivator, let's all learn together...


thedaddycat

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thedaddycat

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Step one, decide how wide apart you want the sweeps and set them. Set them for width and depth.

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Add the other times. Here I decided to double tines on either side of the sweeps would work for me.

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I tried to make a pass and then decided I needed to take the wheels off in order for the cultivator to get down into the ground. It did not work to my satisfaction but I had to leave to go work second shift overtime. I'll play more tomorrow.

OK, so I'm home from the OT shift and I've been mulling things over in my head. Here are a few things I thought of:

The draw bar swung a bit side-to-side. I think I can adjust the sleeve hitch bolts to restrict that movement. If pressed, maybe even eliminate any movement and have it act as a linear part of the tractor.

It is very difficult to watch both the front and rear ends at the same time... and you can manage to run the rack into your row of sproutlings if you mess up. (Don't ask...)

In this soil, I think I need more weight to get the tines into the ground. I'm already planning for another 18 yard load of compost to add some more organic matter to it.

So I'll take a look at things in the morning and maybe try to adjust this rig or else go back to either a six tine or more rack.

Edited by thedaddycat
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thedaddycat

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Here I have set up the six tine rack. This is what was on the other adjustable rack with a set of guide wheels.

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With more weight and six tines digging into the ground, the results are much better. I may add another two tines, maybe I'll go back to the full double set of 12 tines.

Now I realize how useful the mid-mount cultivator set would be, especially on a FDT. I had one but a lot of stuff got given out as a "hold on to this for me, if I ever want it back I'll let you know" sort of thing. I would definitely be willing to work a deal to get it back... but I have no idea who even had what any more.

Yes, there is or was a set in our Classifieds but it's on the West coast.

Edited by thedaddycat
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thedaddycat

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After evaluating the situation, I decided to go back to the 12 tine rack. When I used it, I noticed that the front and center tines were more engaged with the ground than the outer and rear tines. As you can see here, things need to be adjusted.

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The first thing I did was to "level" the drawbar so that the tine racks would be even front-to-rear. That should make the front and rear tines dig in more evenly. Here are the steps I took in making this adjustment:

Loosen the 9/16" nut on the adjustment slide. This is a carriage bolt where the square underside is held by the slot, a through hole in the drawbar arm, and a split lock washer under the nut. Easy peasy. I have a 5/8 wrench on that nut to make it clear in the pic, it is the one on the right.

Not so much so with the two nuts on the drawbar pivot bolts. If you've seen some of my other posts, you may recall that the 9/16" nuts inboard of the pivot bolts are jam nuts only. If you only loosen them, you will not get the draw bar to pivot. In a twist of engineering genius, they used 9/16" square headed bolts for the pivot bolts so you can use the same wrench for both nut and bolt. The pivot bolt is actually threaded into the short drop arm on the drawbar and you need to loosen those bolts after you back the jam nuts off a few turns.

 

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Now why won't this thing pivot??? I have the wrench in place to snug things up once they get close, but it's still not moving!!!

Anyone have a guess right off the bat? Sharp eyed tractor buffs will catch it. If you didn't spot it that's OK. I had it in my hands and I still missed it....

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If you want the thing to move, you have to make sure that everything else is out of the way! I had to move first the clamps on the forward tines on the inner racks, I had to move the entire  racks to get the mounting bars far enough back for the drawbar to swing.

 

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Here you can see that if you go "I'm just going to crank it all the way up and be done with it" that you get the opposite problem. The rear tines will dig in and the fronts will be churning the air...

Another thing to take note of is that you can quite clearly adjust the angle between the tongue of the drawbar and the hitch mount. If you change that it will change the position that the drawbar needs to be in for best performance.

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Here the racks are pretty much leveled out. You first need to make sure that the center tines on all your racks are even and level. These tines are fixed to the rack attachment bar that clamps to the drawbar. That attachment point is the only height adjustment for those tines.

The front and rear tines on each rack can be adjusted for height and also for spacing in or out relative to centerline. Once I had all the center tines aligned, I set the heights of all the other tines to be level with them when in the lowered position. 

Lock down the adjustment nut, then the pivot bolts and lastly the jam nuts. Check all set screws on the clamps are tight.

 

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Now ground engagement is pretty much even across the board. I may add guide wheels, maybe not. We'll see.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and maybe even scored a nugget or two of tractor smarts...

Edited by thedaddycat
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I have a Brinly cultivator and a 10" 1-bottom moldboard plow. I first set the tractor on a level concrete floor. I then level the rear lift by placing a level on top of the tube. I then level the 1-point hitch. I then check tire pressures and raise the tractor off the floor by placing the 5-1/2" side of a 4X6 under each wheel. I then hook up the cultivator and set it level with the floor. You are suppose to use anti-sway bolts to lock out the sway on a cultivator. You do not use them for a moldboard plow.

I grow sweet corn and plant it with 48" row width so I can drive a 36" wide tractor with cultivator between the rows after the corn gets tall.

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thedaddycat
5 minutes ago, Bill725 said:

I grow sweet corn and plant it with 48" row width so I can drive a 36" wide tractor with cultivator between the rows after the corn gets tall.

Growing up, my grandfather had an ancient (even back in the 60's) two wheeled walking tractor that we used. It was all iron with spoke wheels and a T bar handle to steer with and a handle to take up on the idler pulley as the clutch. He had a 3 horse Briggs on it, a repower for sure. It was only about 24" wide though as I clearly remember laying out rows with 36" rebar stakes and string rolled up on them. We would mark out a row and use the stake for spacing out the next row. I am actually considering getting one now. It will allow me to plant at a slightly higher density and the turning room needed for it is a lot less than any garden tractor.

I set these rows at 42" and they are a bit tight for the 7112. I really need to get the Putt Putt going reliably as it's only 32" wide.

Thanks for adding a more detailed description of how you go about setting your rig up. The only flat slab I have is the basement floor so I picked a fairly flat spot and tossed the plywood down.  We all do the best we can with what we've got.

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