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They Built Their Own 2-Row Corn Planter
It’s not fancy, but Al Rutkoski’s 2-row corn planter gets the job done. He and his son Brett fashioned the ground drive planter from salvaged parts and some work in the shop.
    “We had a 2-acre hay field we wanted to plant to corn for deer,” says Rutkoski. “We don’t have a planter and couldn’t really justify buying one, so we decided to make one with stuff we had laying around. We ended up with a 2-row planter with 28-in. row spacing that drops a seed every 6 in.”
    Their first design used wheel-driven disk plates, but it required a 90 degree gearbox, chains and sprockets. Rutkoski says it was just too complicated, and they couldn’t get it to work right.
    “We decided to go with a drum-style planter using 3-in. pvc pipe and a wood drum,” he says. “We turned a piece of ash on the lathe to make the drum.”
    Each planting unit consists of a wood drum and 3 pieces of pvc pipe with a wooden seed chamber and a seed hopper made from gallon plastic jugs. The drum sits inside the 3 sections of pvc pipe. The left and right sections are stationary and act like bearings. The center section is attached to the drum and turns with it.
    “We drilled holes sized for a kernel of corn into the center pvc section,” says Rutkoski. “We had to experiment some, but we have 11 holes about an inch apart.”
    The wooden seed chamber fits over the center section. A scrub brush trimmed to match the width of the center section is mounted to the side of the chamber. As the center section turns, seed falls into the holes. The brush holds back additional seed as a hole rotates out of the chamber and releases its seed. The seed falls into a funnel made from a pop bottle and then into a steel pipe with row openers mounted to either side of its lower end.
    “The row openers are old skill saw blades,” says Rutkoski. “I put them in my lathe and ground the teeth flat.”
    Both wood drums are center drilled to accept a 1/2-in. threaded rod axle with a sprocket at one end. The seed chamber and the “bearing” pvc sections are mounted to a 2 by 6, which is mounted to the 3-pt. hitch planter framework of angle iron and steel tubing. The 3-pt. section was salvaged from an old Bush Hog mower.
    A front axle with rubber tires retains just enough ground contact to turn a sprocket attached to one wheel. It drives the sprocket on the seeding unit’s threaded rod axle. An adjustable wooden block serves as an idler wheel for the drive chain.
    The closing wheels are the wheel rims on a shortened axle from an old trailer house. Rutkoski wrapped the open center of the rims in flat link chain to fill in the space.
    “I can adjust the top link on the 3-pt. hitch to increase down pressure,” he says. “I also have an adjustable arm on the seeding units to adjust seed depth.”
    Rutkoski said they don’t need electric seed monitors on the home-built planter. When seed drops into the plastic funnels, it makes a little noise,” says Rutkoski.
    Contact:  FARM SHOW Followup, Al Rutkoski, 3441 Lamton Rd., Decker, Mich. 48426 (ph 989 325-1293; alsmachineshop1@hotmail.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5