How to make a simple wooden plow

topic posted Fri, February 4, 2011 - 1:34 AM by  beast
anyone interested?
posted by:
  • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

    Fri, February 4, 2011 - 10:28 AM
    Just for your info beast, I read most all of your posts but seldom reply on this one because I am not very "crafty." I am trying to learn.

    However - having been a jarhead for so long I know more about DEstruction than CONstruction - so it takes me a bit longer. I enjoy your posts and have copy/saved several I think I actually might be able to do.

    Keep up the good work
  • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

    Fri, February 4, 2011 - 10:55 AM
    the earliest plows were nothing more than a forked tree trunk
    the smaller diameter portion cut longer to use as a tongue
    th heavier part cut short and sharpened for plowing
    it didnt turn over the soil, just busted up the sod good

    as farming developed the farmer needed a little better form of tillage
    and the shovel plow was created
    a shovel plow didnt do much then break up th sod, it just did it better
    shovel plows are till used today fo digging ditches, firebreaks and turning up root crops

    after the shovel plow came the mouldboard plow
    this plow actually did turn the sod over, exposing the roots so the sod would die off
    it also helps mix the top soil with th underlay and improves aeration

    the main structure of both types are identical, the only real difference being the plow point itself
    first i wil cover the post and beam construction of the main frame
    then ill go over the points
    you can use wood points (not very durable) or metal ones
    either one can be made by an inexperienced smith
  • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

    Sat, February 5, 2011 - 8:45 PM
    since you wont have a plow to measure from...
    i suggest you hook a singletree to a planted fence post
    do it so you can adjust the height its hooked at
    then work on getting the measurements shown in these 2 drawings

    these are what you will use to make your wooden plow
    • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

      Sun, February 6, 2011 - 7:59 AM
      I'm not planning on plowing, but that's fascinating. :-)
      • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

        Mon, February 7, 2011 - 4:42 AM
        there is a difference between not planning to do something and not knowing how if stuck in a situation where it is needed... Many people go to a pistol range and study how to put holes in people, few if any of them are PLANNING to do so but should the need arise they thought it would be a good idea to have the equipment needed and the knowledge and practice to use it. I find information like this to be in the same category. Hope I never have to use something that primitive as my primary tool for acquiring produce... but damn it would be better than not having it should the need arise... Just saying.
  • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

    Thu, February 10, 2011 - 11:31 PM
    now you need the wood to make your plow
    oak, ash, hornbeam, black locust, chestnut and apple work good
    i like black locust, its hard to work but damn is it strong
    find a nice tree thats 6 inches thick at the base and nice n straight for 12 feet
    even if its only straight in th places you need it will work
    you need 4 feet of the bottom and the rest can be thinner at the tip
    say 3 inches diameter
    first peel and square your log, make the 4 foot section (the post) rectangular
    4x6 works good, the beam can start at 4x4 and taper down to 2x2
    measure up about 2 feet from the bottom of the post and mark for a mortice
    2in x 4 inch, this wont be square to the post, angle it down a little
    the beam needs to tip down so the far end is in alignment like the drawings
    once you have your mortice, but the large end of your beam into a tenon
    that fits snuggly in the mortice hole (it should fit tight but not so it splits your post)
    now drill a 1 inch diameter hole through your post, right through the center of the mortice
    set your beam in place and mark the hole on its tenon
    remove the beam and drill a 1 inch hole through it, but not in the mark
    move your drill 1/16 to 1/8 forward and at the correct angle to match the angle of the beam
    now you need a 1 1/8 inch diameter peg to hold it together
    black locust is the best for this, its shear strength is phenomenal
    cut it from heartwood if you can and dont make it too small
    if its too long you can saw the ends off later
    just taper one end and drive it through the post and beam
    this will seat them together tightly, dont worry, it should never fall out
    and if it does, just make a new peg
    this is your main plow frame :)
  • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

    Sun, February 13, 2011 - 12:50 PM
    now you need two 1"x2" pieces of good hardwood
    between 6 and 8 feet long with nice even grain
    green is good cuz you need to bend the ends
    take them out and hang them in your rafters so the short end is under a beam
    then over another with the long end unsupported
    this takes time but the wood will warp around into nice a handle curve
    then all you have to do is carve it to fit your hand
    bolt the straight ends to your plow beam with the handles pointing down and back
    now drill a hole where the handles line up with the post, drill a matching hole thru the post
    the holes should be about 1" diameter
    cut yourself a nice long black locust peg and drive it thru the post
    leaving enuff on both sides of the post for your handles to mount on
    when th peg is thru the handles and set where you want it
    drive a nail thru the handles and post into the peg to lock it in place
  • Re: How to make a simple wooden plow

    Mon, February 14, 2011 - 12:05 AM
    in keeping with the "simple wooden plow" theme we will cover a wooden plow point
    they do wear out fairly rapidly but are cheap to replace
    if you choose you can make a metal point, ill over making one of those
    in 'the blacksmith shop' sometime in the future, they arent that hard to make
    for a wooden one yoou need to understand the stresses put on the point
    the biggest load stress is on the point itself, so it needs to be strong and reinforced
    dont hang it way below your post, no more than an inch is needed
    the load will be born up the entire height of th point so you want the main grain vertical
    now if you want a wide furrow, that adds a whole new load, a side load off the main point
    to handle this you will need the grain going crossways
    if you just attach a new board to the point it will split your point up the vertical grain
    so it need to be connected in a way to keep that from happening
    and the trailing edges if your horizontal board wil need support to do this
    so making a simple wooden plow point isnt really quite so simple
    especially if youre wanting to roll a furrow instead of just making a trench

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