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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. Winter months here in Ohio mean time in the workshop. My grandpa who is 86, still lives in his. While he has slowed down over the years, he still enjoys working, especially metal work. He has built so many things over the years; wagons, tables, planters - all kinds of things. Certainly a tradesman and engineer - the old-school farmer who could build anything, had ingenuity to figure things out, and work-ethic that is rare to find these days. Throughout my life he has taught me a lot of skills, and I hope to continue that trend. This year he agreed to help me with my own project, building a cultivator for my 4044M. For some reason, he has time for my build this year, which is out of the ordinary, as he always seems to be working actual farm efforts. For all those times you wished you had one more time to with your grandpa, this is one for me.

This build is about the experience, rather then the end result. If it works out, I will have both.

The cultivator will be designed for the 4044M cat 1 quick hitch. It will serve two roles. First being a weed cultivator for a large garden and sweet corn field. Second, essentially a three bar field cultivator to "work ground", with the ability to add a rolling basket if needed. The reason I segregate the two roles, is this tiller is intended to have an quick adjustable set of tines which can be moved to accommodate the plant rows.

Below is an image of what we have built already. This project will mostly incorporate new steel, and recycled tillage parts (guide wheel, S tines, and brackets). All steel has been cut on a band saw, bored with on-site drills, and stick welded. No laser cuts, wire-welds, or anything here! Like I said, old-school. I am letting Grandpa take the lead, as I am still 10 years old in his mind (better than 8 years old, where I was this spring!). We definitely have different working styles, but cooperating on this build well. The conversations are mostly great, and at times sobering, especially when it comes to health, aging, and the future. Nonetheless the conversations are meaningful, even if not intended to be. Constant encouraging and reminders for him are needed to explain his logic, reasoning, and methods. Not that I am wanting to challenge him, rather just curious and wanting to learn.

I will continue to update this as this gets built. Hopefully, not too long. I would love to use it for planting season! These are the days I will remember.

20200107_164426.jpg
 

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Looks like you're off to a great start, but I agree, the memories that you will retain from this project are worth more than the project itself.
FWIW, my father turns 86 today, make the most of your time with him.
 

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Several years ago I built 2 similar 3pt frames that I used for multiple jobs.

I built chisel points to use for digging food plots. These could be re arranged to cultivate row crops as needed. A pasture renovator to mount to the frame (cow pie breaker) This worked well on damp gravel also. And a very aggressive thatch rake.

I now have plans in my "good idea" note book for new improved models.

Enjoy your projects...

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The journey is more important than the destination. I wish I would have spent more time with my Grandfathers. My fathers is 81 and will have hernia surgery Monday. That scares me to think about surgery at his age. He taught me a lot. I remember when I first got to work for him at the age of 13 building houses.

He only paid me $2.50 an hour while minimum wage was $3.35. He explained that I had to provide nothing and was getting an education during the summer. He said he expected me to take the plans and a crew the next summer and work without his supervision. He also said he was trying to teach me how to take care of things myself and to not have to call someone to come fix everything at home. It worked!

Last Father’s Day, my oldest son posted on FB that I had done the same thing to him and that he enjoyed working around me. He has been a chemical engineer with a refinery for almost a decade and still calls me for advice. I still talk with my father for advice even though I think I know what I’m going to do. I like to hear his answers which 99% of the time align with my ideas.
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Boar - I envy you!! Have fun with this project and enjoy every minute with your grandpa. I'd love to be able to spend time with either one of my long-passed grandpas. I'm looking forward to following this project.

Pat - Happy Birthday to your dad. My dad passed on March 28, 2019. I miss him every day. He was 84 and died 17 days after his and Mom's 65th wedding anniversary. I can tell from the pics that you post that you cherish all your family (even your liberal sister! :) ).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You would think paint wouldn't be a passionate discussion. I was wrong. So my Grandpa has built lots of equipment; three kick bale wagons, a semi trailer, several tillage pieces just to name a few. Most of which he has painted JD green, while there are some others he has painted IH red. I never asked him why. I just assumed he kept them the same color as what he purchased them at, or what the majority of the color was when he built or bought it. Never really thought too hard about it. Well, I now know more since discussing the paint of this home built cultivator.

I must preface that I don't feel the need to paint my homemade stuff JD green. JD didn't make it, and JD paint is expensive, so I say paint it any color you want, as long as it doesn't look strange or weird. I mean, I personally am not going to paint my cultivator neon green and pink and hook it up to my JD tractor, or anything like that. Just me. I like more classic implement colors. In this case I was going to make the frame deep gray, and the tines simply gloss black for ease of touch up and paint durability.When discussing primer and paint, the opinions opened up. My Grandpa (and my uncle who was there) both agreed on primer, but both insisted it must be JD green. I brought up the other implement colors he had used before to encourage discussion, but his decision was made. Here's the logic flow for my Grandpa:

  • All equipment built should be the color of the tractor, which for us, is exclusively JD green (not JD paint though - just the green). This is nearly impossible though, as most farmers (us included) will buy equipment from multiple vendors (Landoll, Unverferth, Pick-Rite etc., which have different painting schemes, so other rules apply)
  • If the implement was originally a different color it should stay that color, especially if it has a logo
  • If major overhaul was done, it it older, and/or it does not have a logo, it can be painted JD green.
  • Painting should only be done to protect the equipment and not be frivolous. If running gears are blue, they stay blue, even with a green unit on them, that is, unless work is done to it, and they don't have a logo, then they can be green
There you have it. My Grandpa's logic with paint. Good thing, I have JD green paint so I will use that for the frame, and I bought gloss black for the tines.

Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer (white)
JD Green Paint - frame
Rustoleum Gloss Black - tines

Boar's Interesting History Note:
My Grandpa was a AC guy when he was young. He and my great grandpa had an AC WC for their first tractor, since switching from horses. The WC had the steel wheels, however, two years after they bought it, the road they lived on was paved, so they switched to rubber tires. They had that tractor for a few years, and decided to trade it in on a new JD. The only reason they switched to JD was the "new" sales guy visited them on the farm, toured it, made a good first impression. My Grandpa was actually considering a Ford at the time, but the sales guy was "willing to come out and talk and see what you need done". My great grandpa made the decision soon after to order a new JD 50 (which we still have), starting nearly 70 years of JD ownership on our farm.
 

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Enjoy your time with grandpa. I am extremely jealous!

I owe ever fiber of who I am to the time spent with my Granddaddy. Unfortunately I lost him when he was too young (63) to die and I was too young (18) to understand.

He taught me how to keep the old Farmall Super A and 49 Dodge truck running by filing the points with Granny's emery board and set the gap with a match book. He taught me to drive the tractor when I was too small the reach the pedals sitting so I had to stand up to drive. He turned me loose in the truck at age 12. He taught me to care for EVERYONE as we sold watermelons door to door and gave them to the poorer people. We grew just enough to consume and sold and bartered just enough to get by.

I worked in the tobacco fields with my Granddaddy from sun up to sun down from the time I was 8 until he died. Got paid in experience only while the hired workers made $3 to $7 per day depending on the year. I will never be able to repay the value of my experiences. We worked together, hunted together, fished together. and generally enjoyed life.

I'm with grandpa on the paint. My implements are all BUT John Deere but as they get rebuilt they get painted JD Green.
 

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The only reason they switched to JD was the "new" sales guy visited them on the farm, toured it, made a good first impression. My Grandpa was actually considering a Ford at the time, but the sales guy was "willing to come out and talk and see what you need done". My great grandpa made the decision soon after to order a new JD 50 (which we still have), starting nearly 70 years of JD ownership on our farm.
A couple of years ago I found a used (out-of-print) book called "John Deere's Company". An historian had done an exhaustive work of John Deere's life and his company up through about 1980. I read about half the book, but I found it hard to read after (in the story) John Deere had passed away. I found the story of his life very inspiring. He did not lead an easy life. Your comment about the "new" sales guy reminded me of John Deere.

He had some very innovative contributions to the plow, but he was at his best when marketing his products. Deere would load up his wagon with a bunch of plows that his company had made and take off down an unknown road, stopping and talking to farmers. He'd offer to plow their field for them. The polished steel on his plows made them scour very effectively, so he could complete the plowing much faster than the previous generation of plows that had to be scraped clean regularly. His hard work plowing the farmer's field was proof of this claim, and he usually sold a plow at the end of the process. But he also got to live the life of his customer, getting ideas of how to improve his plow and coming to understand another variety of soil. This intimate knowledge of his customers and the environment that his products had to work in was key to his long-term success.

It seemed to me that Deere was way ahead of his time in a lot of ways. He was an abolitionist, taking an open and visible stand against slavery when it could have cost him a lot of business. The book noted that he left most of his personal holdings in the company to his daughters. His son's had worked in the company all their lives and had already become wealthy. Deere reasoned that women in the family had worked just as hard without the big rewards and recognition, so he made this move to compensate. After reading this, I wondered if the company would still be around almost 200 years later if he had acted more traditionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Progress Report

Finally got the cultivator built. I would say it's 95% constructed. I have a couple holes to drill yet, and a couple welds to grind and touch up. The build is going much quicker than I expected, and a lot smoother too. The test fit on the tractor passed, so I would say success so far. The welds could be cleaner but that's my only criticism so far. Once the welds are further ground, I am going to begin priming. I am using a Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer in white for the priming application. I moved the cultivator inside so painting would be easier, dry quicker. We are supposed to have rain most days, and just above freezing. Oddly I have more space in the house than I have in the shop at the moment. These PROJECTS, lol!

I have also completed sandblasting half of the S tines (6/12). In the second picture I am priming them, and painting them with Rustoleum Protective Enamel Oil-Based in gloss black for durability. I fussed about paint for a while. This will be black tines with a JD green frame, like Grandpa "suggested".
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting information keane. It's amazing reading about the journey people take, especially people who make big differences.

Boar's Interesting History Note:
My Grandpa inherited the farm operations at a very early age. At age 17, his dad, my great-grandpa fell ill and could not continue working the farm. In order to pay for the farm, and to expand it's potential, he began a specialty crop, sugar beets. My Grandpa declared was the most difficult crop he ever had to grow. Additionally, he worked as mason for many years, laying block. Working there, he developed construction skills and to this day, he has constructed five houses, and many other buildings. During this cultivator project I asked him what he would of rather of done (besides farming). He said without hesitation, he would of loved to be math teacher. I asked him why does he think he would be a good math teacher (besides he can do numbers in his head faster than most people that I know). He said, learning math is hard for kids because they aren't building anything. He said, the fastest way to learn is to use it while building something, and ultimately see something fail because it wasn't done right (referring to the math).
 

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Your comment about your Grandfathers choice of paint for implements took me back many years to when I was 10 years old. I'll never forget the "green plow"...
Back then, you didn't just go to a Tractor Supply or something similar and buy a 3 point attachment for your tractor.
If you couldn't build it yourself, you found a welding shop that would build what you wanted .
My father wanted a back blade to use on our FORD 8-N tractor, mainly to use as a snow plow to clear the driveway in the winter and grade it in the summer, but didn't have a welder or tools to make one, so he had a shop build one for him.
The day he brought it home, he also brought home a can of paint to paint it with … GREEN paint ….
I was confused … I wondered why Dad didn't want to paint the new back blade RED like the color of the tractor …
I asked him… "Why are you painting the new back blade Green instead of Red ??"
His answer, although surprising, I guess was logical …. He simply said ... "I like the color Green"...

G
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Between work travel, family, and bouncing around other projects (which my wife has a strong influence on), progress on this is sporadic. Trying to make some progress today. Have the cultivator primed and six tines completed - sand-blasted, primed and painted. I am attempting to head out today and sand-blast the other six tines, and get those primed tomorrow. I also intend on taking the cultivator out to the shop and drill holes in the steel for the adjustable tines. It's starting to come together. Knock on wood, but this project is going well with Grandpa!
725800


Grandpa and I need to discuss sweeps. I do have about 18 new 7 1/2 inch sweeps, but I am concerned those will be too wide. When I get everything put together, I will have to take a closer look at the sweeps, and of course will post pictures.

Attached is an image of the cultivator primed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@ gwizz - my Grandpa also said he liked the color green. He said, it didn't look as dirty (referring to his AC WD, which was orange). His opinion I guess. I just imagine the kubota forum just packed with threads on keeping the orange clean. I mean just crammed.
 

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@ gwizz - my Grandpa also said he liked the color green. He said, it didn't look as dirty (referring to his AC WD, which was orange). His opinion I guess. I just imagine the kubota forum just packed with threads on keeping the orange clean. I mean just crammed.
 

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That looks darn good Boar (y) (y)
 

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I have a confession to make ... I still have that old Ford 8N, AND the back blade, but after many years of hard use the back blade needed rebuilding, which I did, then it needed a new coat of paint.
I didn't follow in my father's foot steps with green paint, I painted it RED to match the tractor ...

G
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@Gwizz - I would of painted it red.

So here is my first dilemma. I got these row gauges. I got a right one and a left one for the cultivator. My Grandpa said just put them on the cultivator as is. The things are probably at least 20 years on, and the tires and paint are cracked from rot. My Grandpa seems to think they will last a few years until needing replaced. Call me a perfectionist or whatever, but I am not taking the time to do all this and put on some half butt wheels on it, that need blasted, painted and new rubber. Eventually, it turns out my Grandpa thinks they need replaced, just doesn't want to be a part of replacing them. He said he has cursed too many curse words over those types of wheels in the past. Ok, no big deal, I will do it, that's fine. Big difference in not helping and thinking it shouldn't be done Before doing so, I wanted to ask around.

I plan on finding new rubber first. I don't want to take the whole thing apart, and not be able to find tires. The wheels seem to be about 9 1/2 inches and the whole tire seems to be a bit over 11 inches. I think they are a 4x10 tire. They probably need new bearings too. My approach to this, is remove the bolts, and cut the rubber off, since it's mostly rotted anyway. Once I do that, I will disasseble, sand blast, then prime and paint, and assemble . Depending on much of PITA it is to put the wheels on, I may take it up to a local tire store and have them just press it on, depending on costs. They typically are reasonable, so we'll see. Let me know if you know anything about these, like any tips, sizes they are, and where to buy tires online, etc. I am going to check the Deere/Case dealer today or tomorrow.
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I guess if it were me, I'd take your Grand Fathers advice and just use 'em as they are, at least for now ..
No doubt you'll find out the solid rubber tires will set ya back some hefty jing if / when you find some.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Pins are made as shown in the picture below. My four year old son came out to the workshop today and helped me pound the bends with a hammer. He seemed to enjoy it, and it got both of us out of the house. Core construction wise this thing is done. I just need to paint it, of course JD green, which will be a while - just takes time to paint. I do have a couple small items to find or buy. Further list of tasks below.

  • Paint cultivator green - have paint, need to find/buy a brush
  • Finish priming adjustable pieces
  • Finish painting tines/brackets black
  • Buy bolts for tine brackets
  • Find/build/buy square U bolts for guide wheels
  • Find out what to do with gauge wheels - reuse as is, refurbish using new parts as needed, or use something else (currently researching)
  • Buy top link pin
  • Assemble (the fun part!)
Side Note - Grandpa found a few drag scarifiers or harrows at a neighboring farm. He brought them over to see if they can be used on this build and another project. They would need to be torched and welded to be at length, but I am determining if they are worth it. I guess I would prefer a rolling basket, but my grandpa claims these are better. Which sometimes "better" to my grandpa means "cheaper", not actually better. Thoughts?
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Yesterday I went to JD dealership (worst equipment dealer I have ever been to - multiple experiences - love JD, hate the place, smh) to ask about the gauge wheels. I figured I would start there as it's on my way. The young dude in parts went to his computer and asked for the model or serial #. I said, I didn't know, just that it was off a 30 year old cultivator my grandpa had. He said he wouldn't be able to help me if I didn't know the model or serial. While he was looking it over, I asked him if he could just search his computer by typing in gauge wheel. He said, it doesn't work that way. I didn't push the issue. He went to get another person, who was claiming it was off a 8 series planter. They invited another guy. They asked if I have any pictures of the cultivator. I didn't. I was there 25 minutes, and gave up. I said I would run out to the farm and find the model of it. I left, and went to the farm. I got out there and grandpa was in the shop like he always is. I told him briefly about the experience and he laughed and asked me to get the wheel. He took it and flaked off some paint which revealed the white wheels. He said it's not a JD and looked at me like I was a ding dong for going to JD. He explained that when he grew beets, this was actually two international implements he combined into one, and then painted green. He said the wheels were 9 inch international cultivator gauge wheels. This just reinforces my paint conversation earlier.

On another note, my uncle explained that he thinks that the wheels could be off a International 184 row crop cultivator and the same wheels could be found on JD RM cultivator, both being supplied by Ace. I will look briefly today, but am looking for alternatives. The axles seem to be 3/4" width.
 
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