Science Education and Gardening

Hacking the Scraper

Robert welding soil diverters to the box scraper.

Over the past week Robert Kelly and I have been converting (hacking) an old box scraper into a raised bed former. We’ve been making modifications, and then doing field testing to see how our design ideas work and might be improved. The idea is to build a tool that will be specifically suited for our soil and farming techniques. Robert first removed the scraper’s blades and then cut a bed outline out of the remaining steel. Next, steel diverters were added to the side walls to direct soil towards the center of the bed. Robert welded pieces of steel to the scraper’s rippers, which now act like little plows, hilling soil inwards. This implement will save many hours of labor that we used to spend raking soil into beds. Soon we will add another tool bar to the back of the scraper to which we can add implements like tines to dig furrows, or wire weeders (spring-steel wires that weed around vegetable rows).

The bed former in action. It takes a couple of passes to get a nice smooth bed, this is the second pass.

1 Comment

  1. Lynda Hopkins

    Nice! Yours looks so elegant. Here’s what we came up with…
    It only takes us one pass BUT the soil has to be nice and smooth before (very well disced). Also, our raised beds are looking slightly less raised with all this rain we’ve been having! Sigh… Still waiting for summer…

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