Onion/Garlic Wheel-Dibbler

12g87March 23, 2014

This will be my 3rd year growing for market. I have been searching for a better way to plant our onions from sets. I have seen the hand held dibblers online but needed a faster way to make the holes (this year we will be planting 6,000 onions).

I designed a hole dibbler to make 1"x1" holes, 1" deep. It is a wheel with inserted dibbles on the outside which can be removed and blank inserts put in to change the spacing of holes. It will make 2", 4", 6" 8" 12" and 24" spacing between plants. It replaces the back wheel of my Earthway planter to make the holes.

Here are a few pictures of the building process. I started with a 8" diameter by 3" piece of 6061 T6 aluminum for the wheel and 3 pieces of 1.5" by 1.5" by 12" pieces for the dibbles.

All parts were machined on Vertical Milling Machines. I then used a sand blaster to remove debris and prep the surface. To finish the wheel I used an at home powder coating gun and a toaster oven to bake it in.

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Wow, nice work. Have you taken it for a spin in the field? Looks like it would perform really well.

If I had had metalworking skills like that I don't know if I'd be farming! Or at least I'd have a heap of better tools. Still, I guess I can wait for 3D printing to get more affordable?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 4:49AM
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grow_life(6A OH)

And I felt like a genius putting two wooden wheels on the end of a piece of half inch conduit to make a rolling seed funnel.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 5:01PM
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I've tried it out in the garden already. Work well. Looks like it will be nice enough to plant some onions this weekend so should get a good test trial in.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:48PM
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I've seen old yard rollers being modified like this, only have have a 'wide' row. Plus you can have the weight, just not the planting part.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:33PM
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