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New (to me) 6' Disk Harrow

6131 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Hops_Farmer
So I scored this for $80 delivered to my door. The guy I bought it from said he had it for 30+ years bought it from an old farmer that used it on his farm before that. That farmer said he didn't know how old it was, but his father had it before him. It used to have a seat on it and was originally pulled by horse.

I want to attach it using a three point hitch, but don't want to hack it up too much as it is an antique. I don't mind drilling a few holes here and there, but no welding. I have a sleeve hitch adapter, but am not sure if I can use it for this. I want to be able to lift it up so I don't have to constantly get on and off to change the angle of the disks when I get to the end of the row.

Love to hear some idea

Sorry, but i couldn't figure out how to post the pics for some reason.
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I don't want to rain on your parade but discs work better when they are "double discs" instead of the single gang you have. Secondly, that set is designed to have solid concrete blocks placed onto those rectangular angle iron racks that sit just behind the discs, to add much needed weight in order to get them to cut instead of ride over the earth. As strong as the HH-34 hitch is, I don't know if it could manage that much weight hanging so far out behind the pickup point. That set is already pretty heavy but that weight is spread over six feet. In other words, the weight is a problem for your hitch and the lack of weight over the six foot width is a problem when it comes to making the discs work effectively. You could build a triangle lift that would bolt to the drawbar of the disc set but you would also need an angle brace that runs from the top link of the triangle to the mid-point of the disc set's drawbar. I would shoot for a 45 degree angle on that brace. It could be U-bolted to the draw bar.

Grease is paramount for disc sets. Make sure all grease nipples are accepting grease and that it is being distributed properly.
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While I agree that a single set up isn't the MOST ideal, the price tag and delivery certainly was.

I will try to get something fabricated up so that I can bolt it onto the draw bar. I don't want to destroy my sleeve hitch adapter. It looks like the width of the rectangular racks would fit a standard brick perfectly. Although that wouldn't add all that much weight, it would look neat and tidy. It was also designed to have a farmer on it to add weight at well. I'll concentrate on getting the hitch built and then work on adding the weight. I dragged it through the garden as it is and it dug down about 4". Not great, but it's a start.
How well it works will depend upon how friable your soil is. If you have heavy clay, then you need a lot of weight to make the discs cut compared to a sandy loam situation. I would not use your F-27 either. Instead use some heavy flat bar, tubing and round rod to make up a suitable frame that is similar to the F-27 and then bolt it onto the discs. Many of these old implements were designed to be horse drawn and therefore it was common for them to have a seat for the operator of the team pulling the implement. Let us know how you make out with it. Solid 10" concrete blocks weigh around 84 pounds each. If those racks will hold 4 per side, then 8 blocks would add 672 LBS . If only 3 per side, then 504 LBS.. If only 2 per side, then 336 LBS.

That weight combined with the disc set would be more than your hitch could lift. However, if the hitch will lift the unladen disc set, the blocks could be left in a stack next to the garden and added to the discs when needed.
The plot that I am using is an established garden. I sew clover in half of it, let it go fallow for 2 years, then swap sides. I lost my single bottom plow in an unfortunate brush hog accident, so I have to either fix it or find another one.

One thing I worry about with the harrow set is how long the tongue will have to be to allow me to pull the handles to angle the disc sets. If I go out too far the leverage will be more of an issue than the actual weight. The harrow weighs in around 300 to 400. I was thinking I might need to add counter weight in the bucket if I go too far out. I have a 30 gallon plastic drum I could fill with water and lash into the bucket.

That would be quite the site with a 100 year old harrow on one end and a blue plastic drum on the other.
I picked up one just like this back in the spring. Mine has steel weights on it. It worked well grinding up the weeds in the loose topsoil I had. Smoothed it out with a drag after disking. I don't see my 446 handling this as a 3pt attachment however.
As a youngen', the main set of discs we used had a hydraulic cylinder that raised and lowered a set of wheels for transport. Maybe something like that could be rigged up at the back end without butchering up the your disc.
Billygoat said:
As a youngen', the main set of discs we used had a hydraulic cylinder that raised and lowered a set of wheels for transport. Maybe something like that could be rigged up at the back end without butchering up the your disc.
So if I understand this right, I would angle my harrows in the cutting position, lower the cylinder so the disks were on the ground, pull it down the row, and when i got to the end, raise the cylinder so the harrow came up again. All without having to get off the tractor. I think I like that idea. I can tow it across my lawn in the straight position, but it does leave some lines. I actually have an extra set of small turf tires already. I think it's time to search ebay for a cheap cylinder.
There's two ways to accomplish that suggestion.

One way is to make the triangle frame previously discussed so that you can attach the disc set to your 3 point. The disc set will track completely in line with your tractor and therefore, turning the tractor with the discs down in the soil will be a little difficult. With this set up, you only need a single caster-type wheel mounted at the rear and attached to the main frame of the disc set. You will be able to use the 3 point to lift the front of the discs and the caster wheel to lift the rear well off the ground during turns and transport.

The second way is to pull the disc set from your drawbar hitch but you would have to extend the drawbar hitch or..... install your F-27 and use that to pull the discs. That would allow you to make tight turns with the tractor with no fear of the discs hitting the rear tires during those tight turns. But you would have to put a pair of tires at the back end to pick up the discs for transport. The tires would be positioned at or near the outboard ends of the discs. They would have to be bracketed to an axle shaft that would be pivoted by a centre-mounted cylinder. Something similar to the gauge wheel setup used on our mowing decks. You would want the wheels to lift the discs at least six inches off the ground in the raised position but the wheels should be about six inches in air when they are fully retracted so that they do not keep the discs from digging full depth. That will call for a long-stroke cylinder depending upon how you design the pivot. So don't rush into buying a cylinder until you get this figured out.
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One more thought.

A six foot disc set might pull fairly easily without any added weights. It still might pull fairly easily even with the added weights. The concern will be when you use those levers to skew the angle of the discs to make them more aggressive. When you do that, you are asking the tractor to pull them slightly sideways even though you are driving in a straight line. This makes the discs much harder to pull. The question then becomes one of whether your tractor can find enough traction to pull them and to also put enough HP to the ground to pull them. You won't know for sure until you try. However, it may be possible to remove 12 inches of discs on either side and replace the discs with pipe spacers. Experimentation will tell you what will work and what won't and you should figure all of that out prior to making an mods to the disc set such as a hydraulic lift.
Some thoughts from the great plains.

I'm with Billygoat, I don't think that will work very well as a mounted attachment. I've only seen discs that size used as mounted attachments on tractors the size of 8N Fords and larger. All modern production farm discs are pull type and are hydraulically raised and lowered using transport wheels.

As far as power to pull it, around here we figure 10hp per foot of tandem disc. So a 20ft tandem disc needs a tractor of around 200 gross horsepower, or 160-170 drawbar horsepower. Since yours is a single disc that cuts the hp need in about half, so 5hp per foot (But hold on, more reductions to come.). The big farm discs have disc blades in the 20 to 24 inch range and a working depth of about 10-12". The blades on that disc look to me to be about 12-14" giving you a maximum working depth of about 6-7", so that brings us down to about 2.5hp per foot. So if that disc is 6 foot I come up with a requirement of 15 gross hp and figuring 15% drive train losses, 12.75 drawbar hp. at maximum working depth.

Now, having said all of that, this is just a general guide line. There are a lot of variables that can impact the performance, heavy clay soil may require more horsepower.

I'm with Hydriv, load the disc with all the weight you can, hook up and see what happens.

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I don't know how to figure what a tractor can pull like ByCo. (thanx for the lesson ByCo). I think a good guideline would be to look at Brinley's disc harrow made for these tractors. Set up in a tandem, it has a total of (16) 11" discs. It has a 39" max cutting width. If what you have is 6' wide and has what appears to be a total of (12) discs, I would think you could pull it ok as long as you weren't trying to bury it up to the spindles. Only time will tell.
The prior owner used to pull it with an 11HP Farmall Cub. He said he broke the original tongue long ago and used a pressure treated 4x4 and an eye bolt to pull it. I had one laying around so I bolted it on with some 1/2" galvanized hardware I had using the original holes. I also bought a piece of 3/16" steel that I am going to attach to the end of the 4x4 so I can pull it with the sleeve hitch.

I also have an old screw jack laying around that I have been trying to figure out how to use to raise and lower some wheels. The only problem is the nut part of the jack stripped out on me. The threads don't look standard, so I will have to do some looking around for the right sized nut.

Thanks for all the great ideas so far.

I was looking at this beast and had some questions about the little square things on the back of the weight bar. What are they? I am talking about the square part in the bottom middle of the picture.

There is a bar that is attached to the weight bar as well. Any ideas as to it's purpose?

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I suspect that the bar and the squares you are referring to, held disc scrapers at one time but those can get bent and damaged.
Here is my attempt to add some weight to the harrow. Even this little bit made a difference. I was lazy and just grabbed some rocks and bungie chords. I'll grab some patio blocks on my way home and do it up right.

I also added a pressure treated 4x4 with two pieces of 3/16th steel to attach to the sleeve hitch. Works slick.

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