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  1. #1
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    I've been shoping around for a landscape rake to help clean up all the small branches I have all over the place from my tree removal. My dozer rake is totally worthless on the small branches. Picking them up by hand takes forever and is a guranteed way to catch poison ivy.

    The rakes I've seen look like they will do the job, but there are two concerns. One is the price. I don't want to spend $400 to $450. The other issue is they seem too close to the tractor.

    Since I've never owned or used one before, I could be way of base here. It seems to me that the further back the rake tines are, the more sticks I can catch with it.

    I also don't see any reason for the tines to pivot. If they are locked in place, then I just drage it behind the tractor and pick up everythign I drive over.

    My goal is to build the frame out of a stick of 4 inch angle iron with some 2 inch flat stock. I've ordered 25 heavy duty rake tines from Agri-Supply at $4.99 each for a total of $148. When they get here, I'll buy the iron and assesories.

    Before they arrive, I'd love to hear any comments on my plans. Especially if I'm way off here and it doesn't make any sense.

    Thanks,
    Eddie

  2. #2
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    How wide of a rake are you looking to build?

    25 tines is not very many, to be most effective to pick up debris, the tines really need to be close together. Now if you are looking at dragging just the larger sticks, then I suppose you could space the tines farther apart.




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  3. #3
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    Your thinking is about right. Having built two rakes, one for 3 point years ago and one for a garden tractor, and being on the verge of building a new one for the 3point(using the tines I bought for the garden tractor), a few design hints and comprimises come to mind. If I may make a few suggestions:

    1. Having the tines not pivot is ok, just be aware that it won't corner very well like this and will spill collected debris out the side when you turn sharp as the tines will be drug sideways. It is best at collecting debris in straight lines. That is how my last one worked the best and I found myself planning straight passes to collect debris into piles that I could more easilly pick up later. If your land is anything like mine, you will want to drive around under the trees to pick up sticks and such, and doing this in a straight line is difficult. The tines farther back and with a taller frame, will allow more debris to be built up in front of the tines. The one I built for the garden tractor works so well, it can occasuonally collect so much matrial that it stops the 27HP sears GT5000 that I own. If the frame is too low, accumulated debris will actually lift the rake tines off the ground and start to spill material out the back. Unfortunatly a longer arm between tractor and tines will increase the difficulties in turning. There is no real elegant way to have it follow thru turns unless you attach it to the drawbar and allow it to pivot there and tow it like a trailer. If you allow it to freely pivot any farther back, a tine hooking on one side on a rock, stump, whatever, will cause the rake to pivot unpredictably. If you tow it like a trailer, then connecting it to the 3PH lift to raise the rake and drop off collected debris is more difficult. Being able to angle the tine rack and lock it there can be handy for windrowing rocks and debris.

    2. I would seriously consider adding gauge wheels behind the rake. You can make them out of wheelbarrow wheels and a little bit of steel for probably less than $50. This will help keep the tines in constant ground engagement without digging too deep, particularly if your terrain is uneven. This will help keep you from making more debris to pick up, such as dislodging rocks that are now just below the surface. Neither of my previous builds had gauge wheels, the next one will.

    My chain harrow is also pretty good at picking up small debris as long as there is not too much of it, and it follows easilly around modest curves(attached to drawbar with pull chains). But as the debris builds up, it clumps up and this lift's the harrow off the ground and the accumulated debris rolls out the back. It does consolidate the material into these clumps which are much easier to collect than the individual pieces. You might consider getting one for use after you pick up the larger stuff with the rake.

    Good Luck and show us some pics of your build.
    Ron

  4. #4
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    Bob,

    The tines I bought are 1 1/4 inches wide and 3/8 thick and the rake is gonna be six feet wide. I'm going off memory here, but I think I figures a 1 3/4 inch gap between each tine. Is this too far apart?

    My goal is to clean up pasture land and the dirt that will be my roads. Damage to the ground isn't much of a concern, but getting as many sticks as I can is.

    Ron,

    Thanks for sharing your experience and insight. I hadn't considered turning. I'm still confused how the pivot works for turns? If it's staight for picking up sticks, does it turn somehow on it's own when you turn your tractor?

    I'm planning on straight drags mostly. Just pull the material out to where I can build up some big piles. I can handle some huge piles with the dozer and it's rake, or I can pick them up with my front bucket with or without the grapple. It's the massive ammount of them that is overwhelming!!

    My roads are a minimum of 30 feet wide to as much as 50 feet wide. Then there's the debris under the trees that I'd like to clean up.

    My goal is to back in under the trees and pull out the barnches into the middle of the road. Maybe create a very long stick pile along the middle of my roads that I can work with.

    I've seen some of the posts where others have put guage wheels on there rakes and box blades and can see the advantage to them. They look like an easy add on if I want them, but for now I want to see what it's like without them.

    Down the road when things start to take shape and I'll probably add them for sure!!!

    Thank you,
    Eddie

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    Eddie,

    Make sure your tractor doesn't have any sensitive stuff hanging down where driving over a branch can cause some damage. Or have a skid plate.

    One of my next builds will be a skid plate for my BX. Until then, I won't take it across brush as it has a lot of plastic and hydraulics exposed down there.

    ron

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    I built my own 72" landscape rake. It is a fairly long distance from from the 3pt lift arms. I used 38 tines (ordered as 2 separate orders to save on shipping).

    I mounted my tines 2" on center and used the 1" tines with 2-holes from Agri-Supply (#33193). These are the same tines from the same Italian source that Woods and Landpride use.

    Here are some pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    My friends call me Mad, everyone else thinks I'm mad.

  7. #7
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieWalker
    Ron,

    Thanks for sharing your experience and insight. I hadn't considered turning. I'm still confused how the pivot works for turns? If it's staight for picking up sticks, does it turn somehow on it's own when you turn your tractor?
    The point I was getting at is that a free pivoting rake dosn't work real well. When I say free pivoting, I mean that the cross bar that holds the tines is allowed to pivot in relation to the drawbar portion of the rake. The second rake I built for the garden tactor was allowed to pivot. I thought this was a good idea and that the rake tines would continue to be drug in a straight path(relative to the direction of the rake travel) even as I turned the tractor. As soon as I started to drag with it, I realized it was not such a good idea. The tines will hang up on different objects so the force across the rake will not be even and the rake crossbar would pivot and hop all over the place as the tines hooked up on objects, even while pulling straight ahead. Or the rake would pick up more debris on one side and stay over on that side permanently. I wound up adding diagonal chains from the ends of the crossbar to up near where the rake attached to the tractor to hold the rake fixed at the desired angle. Fixing the rake angle means that the tines will be drug at an angle sideways while turning the tractor.. IE. The front wheels of the tractor move forward and right in a right turn The center of the rear axle is the pivot point and the tines on a rigid rake will move forward and left, the opposite direction of the front wheels. This can allow some material to be spilled out the side of the rake on the inside of the turn as the tines are drug sideways. A tight slow turn can just about empty the rake of material

    If the rake is built rigid but allowed to pivot where it attaches to the tractor(like towing a "T" shaped trailer), it will follow along behind the tractor like a trailer and the tines will stay relatively parallel to the direction of travel just like a trailer axle does. Some of the ATV type pull behind rakes are like this. This type rake would handle corners better and drop less material but be more involved to lift with the 3PH. If you are going to be pulling straight ahead, then it is not really an issue. If you can pull the material into windrows then pull the windrows into piles that you can pick up with a bucket, that should work well. I found myself working in big circles, pulling the debris into a central point like spokes on a wheel and either burning it there or re-locating those piles to bigger piles with a trailer. This was before I had the tractor with the FEL, so I burnt a lot of small piles on rainy days in the fall as it was less manual labor

    Good Luck with your project.
    Ron

  8. #8
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    Eddie I really think you'll be missing out if you don't make your rake so that it can pivot. I realize that your main reason for the rake is to pick up sticks but reversing the rake really does a nice job of smoothing dirt and gravel drives without moving your stone all over the place.

    If you add the pivot feature now before you build your rake will be more valuable to you later.


  9. #9
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    Eddie, for a 6' rake I think you will need more tines. I pull a 6' rake, not sure how many tines mine has, but here are some photos to help you out.

    My rake pivots 360 degrees and can be locked into position with the tines facing forward or rear (see the last photo for a close up of the pivot). There are 10 positions (5 forward, 5 rear) where the rake can be locked into place. By locking the rake at an angle you can windrow your sticks to the side.

    The rake also tilts (not necessary for your applications), but the first photo shows the tilt pivot.
    Attached Images Attached Images




    Snow Trac, the Swedish Snow Tractor, at Wikipedia
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  10. #10
    Super Star Member rswyan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Creating a simplified Landscape Rake

    I'm with everybody else here - I think having the ability to pivot would be worthwhile. With it angled and a little adjustment on your sidelink it can be used to crown a road.

    I built my own 80' landscape rake, along with a set of gauge wheels (which will also fit my Woods boxblade) using the same tines and spacing as MadRef. They work just fine for football-sized and slightly larger rocks. In fact I just spent the last few days, making a couple of modifications to it - relocating the angle index plate, relocating the toplink attaching point, and adding a remote hydraulic cylinder to vary the angle. A couple of welds this morning and it will be done and ready to work.

    I never did around to painting it and making it look all pretty ..... so I never posted any pictures of the completed unit. One of these days .....

    Here's a link to the thread:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=57726

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