I made some progress on the wheel hoe this weekend. As you can see I have built the handles. They are made from a 1" x 6" x 5' pine. I used the pistol grip design which seems the best suited for pushing, and pulling. I used a scroll saw to cut out the handles, and the table saw to cut the length, and make the cross brace. I used a router to round all the edges so splinter won't be a problem. I'm happy with how they turned out. Sorting out the details for the attachments is next. AH
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Here is my progress so far on the wheel hoe. You can see where I cut scores in the metal to make the bends. These will be welded for strength later. I want the back wider so the attachments can be set off center for chores like hilling.
Here you can see I added a brace behind the wheel and extended the sides to make room for the attachments without interfering with the wheel.
Here you can see the basic design. Everything is tack welded for now. I like to make sure everything square and I'm happy with the design before the final welds. You can see the attachments will be adjustable right to left, and up and down. Next I need to add mounts for the handles.
I went out to the garage and looked through my scrap to see what I had that I could be used to make a wheel hoe. Now I know your thinking what a pack rat I must be. Well, I'm not that bad. I do have two five gallon buckets filled with bits and pieces of scrap metal that I have collected. I have managed to build a few things over the years with scrap that was free.
So here's what a gathered up; A lawn mower wheel a little dirty but in good shape. It has a ball bearing center so it roll easily. Its solid rubber so no flats from those nasty little sand burrs. I have a small field sweep, hilling blade, Three small cultivator tines, and somewhere I have a small v-plow. I found a clasp from a old tool bar that will hold the attachments. The rest is flat stock that will use to build the frame. I chose pieces that would be strong but light as possible since I want the hoe to be easy to use.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I have been wanting a wheel hoe for my home garden for sometime. It's not a item you see at the box stores. It's something I never really think about until my back is hurting from making furrows, or weeding the garden with a hoe. I started looking to see what's available. There are several designs to chose from. They all look like they would do the job. The one thing they all have in common is that they are pricey. If you have a garden of any size they would save a lot of work. So the price maybe worth it in the long run.
This is the Planet Wizbang model. It can be purchases as a kit or complete. The web site also give information on how to built it your self. The already finished model it is $199 shipped less the handles which are $60- $75 depending on the ones you want. www.plantwhizbang.com
This one is just for fun. It's also the low cost leader. Sometimes you just got to work with what you have. I do it all the time.This the Glaser model. Swiss made. Goes for $349 with a oscillating hoe attachment. www.johnnyseeds.com
This the Hoss. Designed after the original Planet Jr. model from a century ago. I must be a good design to still be the standard today. It costs $189-$239. It comes the the cultivators. Other implements are available. www.easydigging.co
This is the Oak Valley model. It sells for $265 and comes with either a metal wheel or inflated rubber tire. www.valleyoaktools.com
This is the Earthway big wheel. Sells for $105-$130. www.earthway-outlet.com
These all look like they will do the job. I like the smaller wheel design and the handles more to the rear look like they would do a better job of digging. I have used the big wheel model and they work fine but they feel wobbly. The big wheel is difficult to use around larger plants, it just gets in the way. I think the wheel needs to big enough to roll over the soft soil with minimal effort. I would like to be able to use different attachment to accomplish as much work as possible. Most of these manly come with the oscillating hoe (hoop) which is used for weeding and breaking up the soil. I grow corn so making furrows, weeding, and hilling are all important.
After looking I think I will try and build one. It all boils down to time, money, and desire. My Dad once told me deciding whether one should buy something or do it yourself, comes down to time and money and which you have more of. I think he was right. Like most people I find both to be in short supply most of the time. I enjoy building things so desire is not a problem.