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Farmer-Designed Cultivator Built To Handle Rocks
Farming rocky ground can be a frustrating experience if your equipment is not built to handle it. After years of repairing conventional cultivators, Karl Plesums, Spooner, Wis., decided to build a cultivator that could walk through his rockiest fields without a problem.
  The result is a heavy-built machine with features not found on any other machine. He uses conventional Deere chisel shanks fitted with 24-in. wide shovels. Everything else on the machine he built himself. He uses it primarily for row crop cultivating but he also strip-tilled with it last fall at 6 in. deep. In addition, he can put chisel points on to use it as a chisel plow.
  Plesums spent $2,243 on parts and steel to build the cultivator.
  "What makes it unique besides being built heavy is that it has infinite depth control from 0 to 8 in. deep, thanks to its new-style depth control wheels," says Plesums.
  The depth wheels mount on heavy adjustable brackets made from 2 by 4-in. sq. tubing. Plesums says he built the brackets as "heavy as he could". The wheels are made from a fluted coulter with sections of 12-in. dia. steel tubing welded to either side of it. Plesums welded round end caps made from plate steel into either side of the wheel to seal up the open pipe sections. Bearings mount at the center of each end plate. A bolt extends through the bearings for the wheel to turn on.
  "Most cultivators have both coulters and depth control wheels. I combined them both into one wheel that's heavy, rides solidly on the ground, and cuts through any residue," notes Plesums.
  The scissor-shaped linkage that holds the depth wheel pivots at two points right under the toolbar and on a bracket mounted on back of the toolbar. A single 1-in. dia. threaded rod is used to adjust depth.
  The spring-loaded shanks mount on brackets at the back of the 7 by 7-in. toolbar. "I fashioned the linkage after a tractor 3-pt. hitch," says Plesums.
  All his hard work paid off when he took the 8-row, 30-in. cultivator to the field. "Last fall I used it to strip-till some ground and pulled up a big rock with the end shank. It pulled so hard it caused the whole tractor to make an unexpected 90 degree turn. At that point I thought I had broken something on the cultivator but there was no damage at all.
  "The precise depth control is great for cultivating. I can work at 1 to 2 in. with no problem.
  "I could not have bought a cultivator this good. I plan to set up a spray system for in-row herbicide application for spot spraying while cultivating."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Karl Plesums, 24967 Trails End Rd., Spooner, Wis. 54801 (ph 715 468-7326).


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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2