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Comment on DIY drum dibbler presentation

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I do like what you've posted and the links you've offered. I like the general design of the sewer-pipe drum dibbler, and the list of materials and the discussion.

There are quite a few hints. However, to actually build the drum dibbler from what's now given, I'd be doing a lot of guess work and trial-and-error. Of course I could do this, but I believe your intent is to make the process of DIY construction an easy one.

I believe a "next iteration" in the presentation would help alot. Suggestion: either do a well-illustrated (clear photos) MAKEzine-type DIY step-by-step article of the actual making and construction, or a well-shot, voice-over Youtube video covering that process.

Also, why not make the dibbler's handle/frame - which attaches at the hubs, an which you pull on to roll the dibbler - from something like 1" square steel tubing, welded? Wouldn't that be less flimsy and more durable than either plastic tubing or wood?

Two Bad Cats LLC's picture

Joel, Thank you for your feedback. I agree with everything you said. I have never built a dibble wheel that does not require welding, so I've posted everything useful for non welders that I can think of. We can't weld everything on our commercial DWs because we have to ship them, and it's nicer to hold the 1 1/4" wood then the 1" square steel. For someone that can weld, I would adapt our designs and weld everything. Just be careful of the 2 arms(on our infinite dibbler) as alignment is important. We have intended to push not pull the DWs. It doesn't roll quite as well, but I think it helps keep the rows from veering, but it would be interesting to talk more about it. The hardest thing is clearly the axle attachment. We have steel parts punched commercially to the right specs then welded to either the axle or the tube the bushings go in. It is a pain and is precise. I'm not sure how to make it easy without tooling. To your suggestion, I guess the best course would be for me to post a guide as to how we do it and others can adapt it for home use, as that is not my strong suit. What do you think would be most useful?

Thanks again, Pete

Joel_BC's picture

Yes, a guide would be good. A few sequential (clear) photos with a little commentary. (By the way, Pete, thanks for the reply.)

I see what the difficulty is with the axle attachments (hubs?) - being made in a machine shop. You say "it is a pain and precise". Do I assume you're talking there about the fabrication of these by the machinist? or possibly the fitting and welding of the axle attachments onto the frame/handle?

Probably not cost-effective to make a lot of extras and sell hubs by online order... I'm guessing you might not sell enough to make the fabrication and hassle of filling orders worthwhile, from your end.

Possibly illustrating your axle attachments with a photo and diagramatic sketch (with suggested dimensions) would enable someone to go to their friendly local machinist to have some made???

I'd like to see DIY concepts and designs like yours go somewhere in the real world, and I do know that some people are making use of Youtube to suggest the "how-to" best practices for a particular project.

MAKEzine (online) used to have a lot more detail-illustrated project how-to's than it seems to offer at present. These days, most articles have got just a few general pics with a bit of description or brief discussion - far less useful.

Two Bad Cats LLC's picture

Joel, I'll do my best to put together what we do as well as I can. I'll put it on a page like the one previously posted. To get people started, below are photos of the axle parts of our single dibbler and Infinite dibbler. I can sell any parts people want. On a case by case basis I can let people know the problems we have had getting them correct. By the time you are done getting a machine shop to make a part you might as well buy ours. We get quotes for parts and most are like qty 1- $20each qty 20 $5each qty 100- $2.50each , so we would be happy to help, but most times it's easier to sell someone the one we made/had made for $5 then for any single person to have one made. Some, like laying out the hole pattern that fits our wheels or the star inside of the drum you could do with a scribe, center punch, and drill press and not be far off. Others like our leg design that the drum axle would attach to are difficult. 1" square steel drilled with a 3/4 hole. Then a 3/4" od, 1/2" Id piece is welded inside that hole(idarms2.jpeg). So in answer to your questions, yes there is some fabrication that would be difficult for a home person to do/have done. We will sell what we can to help. Our hub system for the single dibbler would be the easiest to sell as a stand alone, but because of the weld location, it's a bit harder than just drilling a 2x4(see the photo sdaxle). For the Infinite dibbler/ drum dibbler it's trickier.

long story short, we'll post what we can(I'll shoot for within 2 weeks) and if someone needs something/parts/advice we'll help. Thanks for your continued interest, Pete

Joel_BC's picture

I thought I'd add something to the feedback I posted before. For non-video (but illustrated) guides, I think that by and large, Instructables.com may offer the best general model I've come across for online DIY maker's instruction.

For instance, have a look at these instructions for building a rocket mass home heater:
(scrolling down all the way through)

dorn's picture

Great to see this discussion! Right now it seems the best way I have seen to approximate that content flow is through embeded content - using imger.com or similar. You can add images in sequence and with annotated steps. Perhaps some of the Farm Hack web developers might jump on this thread too?

The tool template itself has a good example about how to embed imgr and google spreadsheets etc. within the wikis - http://farmhack.net/tools/tool-template-wiki

Here is the code for embedding any content by just replacing the URL:

I quickly created an example wiki using the instructable post as an example of embedding a whole page - here http://farmhack.net/wiki/rocket-mass-heather-embed-example

but to work in forums, wikis, or tool wikis the text format (the drop down menu found bellow text edit boxes) needs to be set to "markdown syntax and HTML"

The Farm Hack web development group as been talking about creating an easier tool authoring system that would have an interface more like www.hackpad.com that would be more intuitive and remain editable (imbedded content is not as editable by all).

If this thread continues on this track - perhaps pick it up over here http://farmhack.net/forums/ability-embed-imgur-albums-tool-wikis

Two Bad Cats LLC's picture

I'll try to use the format suggested. Working on it now. Thanks again for the feedback. Once posted you'll have to let me know how I did. P

R.J. Steinert's picture

Hi all - check out the insert button when you upload an image to a Conversation or Wiki. It will insert into the body of the post the HTML markup for the image. Doesn't work on comments yet...

\ RJ

Two Bad Cats LLC's picture


Let me know how to clean it up a bit before I start linking to it.

Thanks, P