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#1 Erkee



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Posted 19 May 2014 - 03:04 PM

making a hand-powered tiller,

roughly the following:

- a bowed-cedar-stick makes an auger-handle.

- a one inch steel pipe made into an end-effector to cut the earth;


the end-effector starts as a twelve inch long steel pipe

cut down the middle roughly seven inches,

leaving five inches for attachment,

each half is hammered and twisted to make either the centering-cork-screw,

or the outer-churning-screw.


the end-effector attachment end is placed
over the end of the auger-handle

and secured by hammering to the shape of the wood.

some paring or wood or opening of steel may be necessary.
cranking will churn the earth.
my first handle is about forty two inches long,
arched five and one half  inches at the middle.





no cam atm.

it may prove necessary

to turn elements upside-down

inside out or backwards

to improve the operation,

but i think this configuration will work.


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#2 Erkee



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Posted 19 May 2014 - 05:03 PM

a very heavy walled (3/16") steel 1-5/16" pipe, 90" long with a bend at 36" making an open 'L' shape of about 130 degrees.


a removable end-effector will be made to swivel-till (ie tilling only a small area for each plant, thus reducing tilling and using compost materials selectively.


this 'bar' also functions very well to hand-turn a small (7' diameter) compost pile in a few minutes.

by shoving the long end deeply under the pile, parallel to the ground and then lifting up-and-over to pry open the pile, loosen, break and aerate.


also, i have been unable to find a rock in our pile which i couldn't easily move ie > 2 ton easily possible.

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#3 hopethishelps



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Posted 21 May 2014 - 02:30 PM

Is this anything like the Garden Claw?


#4 Erkee



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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:19 AM

well, 'twill be something like the claw in that it goes around and has tine.
but it will be different in that there will probably be one main tine and a spur tine or two,
and rotated continuously.
and it won't appear to have a handle, but rather a bow or bend.
and it will be longer.

it started as a simple bowed stick,
rotated by hand at the midpoint of arc,
with one end placed on the ground,
the other end held.
- like a vertical 'skipping-rope'. -
this stick bored into the ground making a neat hole with a nicely churned pocket underneath.
it was easy to use and even easier to make because it was iust a natural shape.
picture a '\' that when spun does '\/' and '/\'.

the neat hole on the surface is nice but i'd like it to make a bigger hole and thus the spur/blade.
and heavier action.

this is more a borer cutter and not exactly auger because the soil needn't be removed by screw,
iust churned.

more play today.

Edited by Erkee, 22 May 2014 - 05:31 AM.

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#5 wildedibles



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Posted 24 May 2014 - 11:39 PM

Sounds cool :)

#6 kcmoxtractor


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Posted 25 May 2014 - 01:51 AM

cool idea, have you ever given no-till a shot? seems to be working really well for me and my beds are in their second year.

#7 Juthro


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Posted 25 May 2014 - 02:11 AM

Cool idea Erkee, it took me a bit to understand it but I got there.  Thank you for explaining it more so that I could see the light.


I like it, simple and effective.

#8 Erkee



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Posted 25 May 2014 - 08:03 PM

hey, thanks.

i have tried no-till by topping the ground with compost and planting, mulching, liquid feeding. and it's good.

not much compost ready this year, haven't started the wormery for castings, nor the mulcher to prepare their food, nor has the buggery been built, nor the snail feeder and bee homes. but that will come for their winter.
agar pods too ?
this tiller is a compromise to somehow satisfy friends, family and neighbours who feel tilling is necessary.

and it's a solution to not having the foresight to mulch a garden area last fall with leaves, to 'redirect' the vitality of some existing plants which may be displaced to grow staples for my tummy.

nature has bounty this year and still much time to take what is 'unneeded' lol

the swizzel stick works but could be improved.

here's the 'tiller part':

- the heavy pipe described in post#2 had an earlier life as hand railing,

- it has a 2" x 4" x 1/4"rectangular attachment plate welded onto the end of the 30" portion of bent pipe . it closes the pipe end. it also works nicely as a hand plate when shoving the long portion of bar under the compost pile.

- the attachment plate has two 1/2" holes

- these holes are 2-1/2" from centre to centre in line with the pipe in an 'o O o' or 'hole pipe hole' arrangement.

- through the 1/2" holes i inserted and bolted 1/2" threaded rod so that one rod protruded 3" below the plate and the other rod protruded 4-1/2"

- the rods are parallel to each other and the 30" pipe side


- makes hole about 5-1/2" diameter, 5" deep.

- when rotated at the pipe bend the longer bolt did maintain centring while the shorter bolt acted as 'drag cutter' or 'lift cutter' depending on direction of rotation.

- when used as 'lift cutter' small rocks could be lifted or pried out.

- a difference in bolt length of one and one half inches seemed adequate to maintain centring and provided some decentring ability when a larger rock was encountered.

in unrooted soil:

- rotation and churning was easily achieved, very light muscle work.

- speed was about 1 r.p.s.,

- an inch or so depth per revolution

in heavily rooted soil

- rotation could be muscular and fast or easy and slower,

- old surface vegetation was pulled in and wound on the parallel tines

- soil was more compacted.

- counter rotation somewhat loosened the wound-up vegetation but still required hand removal or a quick tap to remove.

things i will change:

- change bolt lengths to 4-1/2" & 6"( deeper easier )

- increase spacing between parallel tines from 2-1/2" to 3-1/2" or 4" ( wider holes) ,

- heavier bolts, 5/8.. ( durability / longevity / pry strength for rocks )

- hammer the bolts flat and add temper so springy and more knife-like ( reduce friction by cutting
rather than mashing )

Edited by Erkee, 25 May 2014 - 08:43 PM.

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