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Review Of My Homemade Disc


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#1 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 06:53 PM

KK.jpg

 

As I said in another thread, I am going to start using minimum tillage methods in my garden. A disc was not on my list of tools to use in preparation for planting. I did want one though for two purposes. One was to cut sod when preparing a new garden spot, but the main use was to disc in cornstalks after harvesting sweet corn.

 

I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this, but the videos I have seen of people dragging a little disc with an atv or garden tractor looks to me like they're just scratching the top instead of actually working the ground. I had hoped that by building this disc much heavier than many others it would actually do some work.

 

The short version is, with a 17* cut, weighing over 300lbs, and using down pressure on the 3 pt hitch, it still won't cut hot butter.

 

I threw some cornstalks crossways in my garden that I had tilled a week before. The disc would only go 2 or 3 inches into the dirt, and when it came to a cornstalk, instead of cutting, it just rolled over them. When I tried it in sod, It left it undisturbed except for some slice marks.

 

I guess I'm just biased after using big farm equipment, but as far as I'm concerned, I have no use for this disc.

 

Since I have enough parts to make 2 or 3 more discs, I may make one with only 3 or 4 blades so there will be twice as much down pressure per blade and see if that does any better, but that is leaning toward being counterproductive to my min-till plans.

 

I am going to work on making my planter into a min-till planter so I can leave residue on top to help control erosion and be able to plant right through it. I may need to chop the cornstalks with a mower if I give up on a disc so big pieces won't cause problems when I cultivate to keep weeds down. I'll just have to experiment to get a system that works.


Edited by freedhardwoods, October 15, 2013 - 07:18 PM.

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#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 07:01 PM

Sorry to hear that your efforts didnt pan out. .

As for them cutting in, you're right. Discs work better with weight, but even then, can require multiple passes to smooth out a plowed field.

#3 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 07:05 PM

Isn't the job of a set of discs to break up the soil and smooth it over after it has being plowed?



#4 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 07:15 PM

As I said, I am biased. Some of the discs I have used could turn an unworked sod field into a ready to plant seedbed in a couple passes.


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#5 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 07:28 PM

Freedhardwoods, sorry you're having trouble.  Garden equipment is not in the same league as full size equipment, but that is also sort of like saying that a corvette is not the same as a golf cart.  Both can move people from one place to another, you have to understand the limitations of the golf cart.

     As I understand it, disks, even full size, are not primary tillage tools.  But if your primary goal is to rip up dirt, I'd try a steeper angle than 17 degrees. say 20 or 25.

Here is a post where I was using a garden tractor disc in my garden this spring.  You can see where the 11 inch disks are buried pretty deep.

http://gardentractor...in-nc/?p=305841

The last disk is a nice David Bradley disc, with a steeper angle than I could get on the front disc.  I think something worth noting is that full size farm discs have two gangs working the soil when making a single pass,  whereas it looks like you only have a single gang working, so it wouldn't surprise me if you needed to make two passes to approximate the results of a single pass with a full size disc.


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#6 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 07:52 PM

I knew it wouldn't come close to performing like a full size disc, but I thought it would do better than it does

 

Changing the angle might help a little, but weight is what makes a disc cut. If you multiply the width and weight of my disc, a 24' double gang disc would only weigh 3600 lbs. In reality, they weigh closer to 4 or 5 times that. Some of the models listed in this brochure have almost 500 lbs per blade. If I made my little 7 blade disc to those specs, it would weigh 3500 lbs!!!

 

Attached File  dsfe46542_frontier_disk_v5a_lr_sngl_pages.pdf   1.09MB   40 downloads


Edited by freedhardwoods, October 15, 2013 - 07:59 PM.

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#7 lyall ONLINE  

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Posted October 15, 2013 - 11:13 PM

I think the angle on the disk blades are not right for cutting

for cutting the front edge of the blade and the center of the disk should align up with the center of the tractor

that way the disk is cutting the sod or dirt and throwing it to the side

 

try changing the angle and it should work better


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#8 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 12:08 AM

Like others have said, the angle and lack or weight is a big part of why it's not cutting. The way you have that set, it's more like a slitter than a cultivator.

 

Also, for working ground with a lot of trash and/or sod you really need the notched discs instead of the smooth ones.

 

As it is, you are asking it to do something that it just isn't capable of.


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#9 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 04:48 AM

But you have to remember, more passes equals more time with your tractor. I am more of a rototilling type right now, but I am hoping to get other types of ground working tools. So I am learning quite a bit here with all your troubles and the suggestions for fixing. Could you easily take a torch and notch the discs? Or are they hardened and torching mess up the temper?


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#10 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 04:49 AM

I think the angle on the disk blades are not right for cutting

for cutting the front edge of the blade and the center of the disk should align up with the center of the tractor

 

try changing the angle and it should work better

I may be off on the degree of angle. I never had to worry about angle of cut when using a big disc.

 

I lined it up like you are describing to get the most slicing action I could and tried to figure out the angle afterward.


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#11 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 04:55 AM

Would your tractor handle any more weight on the disc? I think mine would be maxed out, it looks like yours might be a bit bigger.


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#12 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 05:19 AM

Sorry to hear it hasn't worked out. All DIY projects are experiments to some extent. Use this as a learning exercise and keep improving the design. Some thoughts. Making it narrower would increase the pressure/square inch. What if you had some sort of scarifier to help break the soil ahead of the disc.


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#13 BairleaFarm OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 06:26 AM

I feel the same way but I can't swing our 16'er and big tractor in my plot. I recently bought that double gang set and it didn't do what I hoped it would do. I'll be changing the cutting angle and adding weight in the spring. It should help. I too am as no till as possible.

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#14 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 07:37 AM

Are you planing on doing a no-till like they do at the Rodale Farm ? But on a small scale ? I'm trying a mulched type garden with transplants in it. It's using more mulch then I I thought it would take , right now have 2 rows  about 85 feet long with the cover crop / mulch growing between

http://gardentractor...sses-for-mulch/

 

 

http://rodaleinstitu...rganic-no-till/


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#15 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 16, 2013 - 07:46 AM

I see several replies. Long answer later.


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