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Spin blade cultivator
"My `spin blade' cultivator lets me cultivate at speeds up to 12 mph without plugging up and requires very little maintenance," says Lowell Flitter, Lewisville, Minn., who built his disk blade cultivator on the frame of his old Deere RG4 6-row, 30-in. cultivator.
Flitter removed all the shovels and cut 2 ft. off the back end of each cultivator gang. He mounted 18-in. dia. Allis-Chalmers disk blades on the four inside gangs and 12-in. dia. discs on each outside gang. Blade height is individually controlled by gauge wheels, and the angle of each blade is controlled by adjusting a screw on the steel mounting bracket that supports each blade.
"It cost less than $150 in materials to build per row," says Ritter, who has used the cultivator for two years. "I built it because I got tired of constantly adjusting all the shovels on the old cultivator. My spin blade cultivator has only one blade per row and they require very little adjustment. Each blade fills up most of the space between the rows so weeds can't escape. The blades' outside edges are only 6 in. from my 30-in. rows. The smaller blades on the two outside gangs work great for guess rows.
"The spinning blades don't slab or throw dirt so I can cultivate the first time through the field at 5 to 6 mph compared to 3 to 4 mph for a conventional cultivator. I've cultivated in seventh gear and even tried going in road gear on the second cultivation, but my Deere 3020 tractor didn't have enough power. The weedier it is, the more the blades spin which helps keep their leading edges clean and trash flowing through. I haven't plugged up once yet. I can cultivate with the blades 6 to 7 in. deep, but I normally set them 1 1/2 to 2 in. deep. The blades self-sharpen as they spin and after about 500 acres are still sharp with only about 1/4 in. of wear.
"I looked at the Eversman spin sweep cultivator before I came up with my own modified design. The main difference is that I mounted the blades on the cultivator's parallel linkage instead of the toolbar. It works good on uneven ground because the parallel linkage helps the blades compensate for dead furrows and bounce over rocks. Using one large blade per row works better than having several blades between rows because trash flows through better and there are fewer parts to maintain. I think the same idea would work to convert any rear-mount cultivator."
Flitter bought the disk blades for $6 apiece from a machinery dealer who had gone out of business. He used thick wall steel tubing to make a spindle that rides inside a 6-in. long "bearing" (also made from thick wall steel tubing). A 1 1/4-in. drawbolt runs through the spindle and is secured to the top of the bearing by a nut and large washer. A washer is welded to the bottom of the spindle just above the blade, while another washer is welded to the bottom of the drawbolt underneath the blade. The disk spindle bolts to two small steel plates that attach to the cultivator parallel linkage. The screw to adjust blade angle is mounted on the steel plates.
"The leading edge of each blade must be pointed downward in order to keep the blade from riding on top of the ground," says Flitter. "To set the blades at the right angle I place a 3/4-in. thick plywood board under the rear edge of each blade, then lower the cultivator until the front edge of 'each blade touches the floor of my machine shed. Then I adjust the screws until all the blades are at the same angle.
"I used the cultivator's original shields because I was in a hurry to get to the field. However, I plan to replace them with tunnel shields because they're stronger," notes Flitter, who mounted a grease zerk on each bearing.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Low-ell Flitter, Lewisville, Minn. 56060 (ph 507 435-2102).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #1