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Author Topic: How to Make a Sod Cutter?  (Read 6739 times)

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Offline Mark M

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How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« on: April 19, 2004, 03:58:56 pm »
I've got a little sod to cut so I can repair some spots in my yard and install a garden. In the past I rented on of those kick-type sod cutters and it worked well but I can't find one in town and they cost about $225 to buy one. I checked on renting a powered unit and it is about $150 a day so that is a little more than I want to spend. Has anyone every built a sod cutter or does anyone have any good ideas on how to do so?

Mark

Offline Tom

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2004, 04:11:01 pm »
I never built a sod cutter but I've hit a lot of grass cutters.  What you do is toss the ball up just a little bit and haul off and hit it as hard as you can, just as square as you can, with your bat, but off plane a little so that it reaches the ground about 50 feet out goin' like a bat outa H__.  You want it to meet the ground at a low angle and it'll skim through the top of the grass like a scared cat, going so fast that it'll leave a rooster tail behind it. By golly, it's the hardest thing to stop next to a line drive.  Unruly too.  Just about the time you think you have it lined up right, get in front of it with its path shut off with your glove and your foot and other knee, it'll jump up and nail you right in the chest.....or if you're unlucky, in the chin.

Yep,  I know all 'bout them grass cutters.

Don't know much about sod cutters though. :-/
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Offline beenthere

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2004, 04:24:32 pm »
Tom
Did they wind you up a little too tight, when back in that swamp this past weekend?  ;D
south central Wisconsin
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Offline etat

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2004, 04:58:53 pm »
I'm worried about all of em.  DanG, wish I coulda been there.  
Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline Tom

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2004, 08:11:58 pm »
I have read about sod cutters in Fireside or Mother Earth or some document like that.  The usually have to do with building Soddies (Sod homes).  While the mechanical ones have blades that are driven (sometimes by engines or sometimes by ground contact traction wheels)  I recall one that was a sled or box.  It had a knife that protruded from the bottom of the sled at the depth the sod was to be cut. It was "U" shaped just like one of the descriptions in an article below and all the leading edges were sharpened.  Weight was required to hold the sled down and I remember the suggestion "put your children on for the ride."  The sled was hooked to a horse or two and dragged across a sod field.  The sod could be picked up later, but there was a device that rolled the cut sod out of the trough and onto the ground beside.  I guess it was easier to pick up that way.  Keeping the knife in the ground seemed to be the hardest part.

There were plow-like handles attached to the sled and someone wouldl walk behind the device. I think that pushing down or lifting up on these handles helped to keep the knife in the ground too.

Below are two fairly non-informative articles I found on the internet.
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http://www.eng.uci.edu/~mpontius/hartley/3-11_sod.html

The pioneer constructed his own sod cutter. My father, being a blacksmith by trade, built one and it was loaned far and wide; in fact it almost never was at home. The cutting blade was sharp on the front side and bent in a "U" shape, thereby cutting the sod 12" wide. The sides, or upright portions of the "U" were fastened to two runners of sled effect, that served a dual purpose, namely to control the depth, so as to cut it of uniform thickness and to hitch the power to. They pulled rather hard, took a darn good team to pull one, as the sod was usually cut about 4" thick. It being of uniform width and thickness, they usually cut it in the proper length with a square pointed spade, which was about 24".
________________________________________________

Look for "Trail Ace" about half-way down this document.  There might be something you can use.
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/fspubs/96232802/962802lo.pdf
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Offline Haytrader

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2004, 09:04:30 pm »
I made one to transplant burmuda when we put our house in. I used a peice of worn out V blade and attached it to the front end loader on my tractor. I just sit the loader on the ground and backed up. The wieght of the tractor put the blade in exactly 3 ". Oh, it cuts a slab of sod 16" wide.We ended up cutting the sod into 6" squares because we had so much area to cover. Here is a picture of the back yard just finished with the squares.
And here is a picture after lots of water. (sandy here in town)



Haytrader

Offline Paul_H

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2004, 10:20:10 pm »
Good Job Haytrader 8)
eg  tregar  meste  på  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Haytrader

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2004, 05:13:32 am »
TY Paul
Lotta work
Haytrader

Offline Mark M

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2004, 07:29:31 am »
Thanks fellas, you gave me some ideas.

Haytrader I think the picture on the bottom looks better. Mowing all them little squares would be hard.  :D

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2004, 05:49:25 pm »
Stinky do you have a tractor, welder  and access to an old spud farmers bone yard on the back 40? If not, talk real nice to your neighbors. :) ;D

If you could get an old digger spade or rock picker spade and rig it up to a 2 point hitch. When you lower the hydrolic arms the spade should be beveled at 20 percent so when you kick the tractor in forward motion it bites into the sod at what ever depth you lower the hydrolic arms. I seen folks use them in lifting bare-root seedlings in nurseries. The sod will pass over the spade and your left with a nice long strip of sod to role up. Wish I could draw worth a darn :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Percy

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Re: How to Make a Sod Cutter?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2004, 07:57:58 pm »
So old Nick and Orist are sitting on a bus stop bench just enjoyin the day, talkin over old times and how they still hope one day to get rich. A truck goes driving by with a load of sod all rolled up on the back. Nick  points at the truck and says "When I get rich, thats what Im gonna do." Orist says " You gonna drive truck?" . "No" says Nick, "Im gonna send my grass out to have it mowed." :D ;D :D
Its not the "years in your life" but the 'life in your years" that matters...Abe Lincoln