DeMenTEd MeTaL

Custom Metal Sculptures and Other Custom Creations

Garden Plastic Layer Project! 

One time project!  NOT FOR SALE!!!

I'm building a plastic mulch layer for use in my gardens. I bought 2X2X3/16 square tubing for the frame, 6 inch wheels for hold down wheels for the plastic, and hardware, mostly 3X3/8 machine bolts. The rest I will take from my scrap pile and some old farm equipment that was given to me as a barter.
 I cut the tubing to length and welded them into a square frame, leaving 50 inches inside.

I finished welding the frame and set it up to make it easier to work with.

I started making the adjustable mounts for the closing discs, openers, and press wheels. These are for the closing discs, and will let me adjust up and down, and change the aggressiveness of the disc.

I used flat stock from the scrap pile to build the adjusters for the press wheels. I drilled 1/2 inch holes and welded 1/2 inch nuts over the holes to hold the adjusting bolts.

This flat stock will be the mast for the press wheels. I drilled a 5/8 inch hole for the axle(5/8X5 bolts after cutting the heads off), and counter sunk with a 1 inch bit to make room for the weld.


The axle ready to weld. I used a magnet to keep the axle square with the flat stock.

Axle welded in. No need to grind, as it will be out wary from the frame.

Here is the press wheel mocked up to the frame. 1X1 angle was used for the retainers on the outside of the frame.

These small 3/4 pipes were unneeded 3 point hitch sleeve adapters. I welded 3/8 nuts on them for adjustment. They will be used for the press wheels.

 The adjusters were welded to 1X1 angle, which was then welded to flat stock cut large enough to allow bolts to be used outside the square tube frame. I drilled the plates in pairs to make sure they matched when bolted up to the frame.

One of the press wheels mocked up to the frame.  I used 18 inch discs from the scrap pile to make the closing discs.  I cut them down to 11 inches, cut 3/16 flat stock for hubs, drilled them and welded a 3/4 stub shaft to the hub. That assembly is bolted to the discs.

An outside view of the closing disc. The hubs were necessary to cover the old, worn holes in the old, worn discs.

Since I want to lay drip irrigation hose at the same time I am laying plastic film, I fabbed this guide to place the drip tubing near the center of the row. I used some leftover 2X2 tubing, cut it at a 22 1/2 degree angle, flipped one end over and welded it together.  

I cut the bottom end at 22 1/2 degrees to keep the tape from dragging on the outlet of the guide. I took some 3/16 flat stock and cut the sides of the funnel, tacked them together on the bench, then tacked then to the guide tube.  


Another view of the tape guide. I welded 1X1 angle to the sides of the square tubing, and bolted them through the frame after this picture was taken.

I attached 32 inches of leftover square tubing vertically to the frame to form the mast for the drip tubing roll holder. I drilled a hole through the tubing and welded in a short length of pipe  to support the pipe that will hold the tubing roll. The tubing isn't here yet, so I will wait to drill a hole to retain the roll. 

Here's the layer mocked up with a 3 point hitch assembly that was stolen off an old corn planter welded on. All that's left is the plastic film roller mount and prime and paint!

This is the back of the opener mounting. I was using what was available to keep costs down, and the sweeps fit into inch pipe nicely. The sweeps were found around the shop, and luckily, there were right- and left-hand ones!

A view from the front. You can see the 3 point hitch mounted to the frame, and the mast for the drip tape.

A close-up of the opener shovels

The bushings for the plastic roller. I added Zerk fittings to lessen the drag on the plastic

The roller supports are bolted in case I need to move them to accommodate different size rolls in the future

A view of the drip tape mast and guide

The finished layer. Just need plastic and final adjustments!

The layer in action...

The Results