Water Wheel Transplanter

Tool Concept


Makes it easy to plant seedlings quickly with minimum labor.
Documentation Wiki: 

5/16/2015 Major victory for OSHW! The Transplanter was sold to proud new owners Don and Lisa Straga of Masters Organic Farm in Atlantic County NJ where it will be used to grow lettuce for nearby restaurants. Don and Lisa saw the appeal of the low cost, DIY implement and its crafty swagger. The sale of this tool shows that farmers can build their own implements for lower costs than established industry and that these farm-built implements can be high quality and durable. If maintained, this machine will last for many generations.

4/4/2014 It is now green... First real use happened today. You can view some videos of that on the YouTube playlist. We just realized that our wheels give 8" spacing instead of 6" spacing. If you want 6" spacing then you will have to modify the sketchup file. The seats need to be set up to be more straight. A complete re-design of the seats might be in order. The farmers told me that the thing that took the longest was adjusting the seats because they only had 1 wrench. It makes sense to mount a toolbox on there with a couple of wrenches and other bits and bobs. Adjustments to make: *Modify from trailer to 3 point hitch *Make a long on/off switch for the water *Mud flaps

3/2/2014 Painting happened over the last two weekends, 2-3 coats of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer applied using an air sprayer that Aidan found at the thrift store. We used nearly 1 gallon of paint. Don't use eco-friendly paint thinner to thin paint for the sprayer; it was so cold that it ended up thickening the paint a bit. Sprayer operated much better with mineral thinner or acetone added to thin the paint. It's a lovely brick color.

Plumbing is complete; steel pipe on the barrel side leading to dual hoses with spiggots at the actual waterwheels with three separate outlets that can be controlled individually. One central ball valve near the barrels for easy on-off, and a 4 way connection that connects the two hoses with an additional plug for easy drainage. All plumbing was salvaged, the list of materials will be added to the BOM.

To do: finish the SketchUp details (namely the actuator), assemble the seats, and test the plumbing.

2/3/2014 SketchUp model is underway. It uses 1/8" thick 3"x3" square tube because we didn't think many people would be using our fence posts. You an access the sketchup file which is updated automatically as I make changes here: Water Wheel Transplanter SketchUp File

We did some testing yesterday which included driving around with the new gussets in with a full load of water. Everything looks good. Wheels have also been fabricated. I discuss that in the Day 15 Update which can be found in the playlist.

1/16/2014 Original barrel saddle removed and replaced by a double barrel saddle. This significantly increases the weight on the wheels. There are videos in the youtube playlist at the bottom of the page that show some preliminary field testing. We ran in to one problem in the tests where the wheel mount arm was bending. The material for the water wheels has been acquired from a laser cut source. There is a mention of them in the day 14 update in the youtube playlist.

1/8/2014 The water wheel transplanter is designed currently to hold 17 seed flats on three shelves. Two "feed shelves" which are angled down towards the seats and one upper shelf which holds 7 flats. The current water capacity is 55 gallons from a retired neem oil drum. This presents a problem because currently there are 3.2 gallons per flat whereas the industry standard is closer to 9 gallons/flat. Capacity for more water must be added. We have decided toadd another 55 gallon drum and to resdesign the mounting. Update coming...

The Water Wheels themselves come in three pieces. Two are 25" circles and one is a 80" strip. You can access a .dxf and .skp (sketchup) file at the following url: http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Aidan_Williamson_Log#1.2F8 The sketchup rendering can be seen at the top of this page.

1/6/2014 This Water Wheel Transplanter is designed to be fabricated with the following tools:

  • Abrasive Saw
  • Angle Grinder
  • Any type of welder. We used 120V Lincoln Mig Welder
  • Standard workshop tools (wrenches, hammers, etc.)

The Preliminary BOM which was created before the prototype began is found below. It will be updated after the prototype is finished.

We are documenting the production sorta daily and post our videos to this playlist:

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