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David Bradley Cornplanter


David Bradley Cornplanter

shared by Paul Rye of Kingston, MI

David Bradley Cornplanter


(1) If a fertilizer attachment is to be used, the marker and scraper supports and the axle bearings should be moved to the rear position on the frame. See instructions for fertilizer attachment.

(2) Place a wheel on R.H. end of axle, select row width position to be used, and secure (drive) wheel to axle with cotter pin.

(3) Place remaining free-running wheel on L.H. end of axle and locate the outer collar (note pins in corresponding axle holes).

(4) Adjust the set screw collar against inner end of hub.

NOTE: For 28” rows remove set screw collar from axle.

David Bradley Cornplanter


(1) Bolt the lever assembly securely; to the frame.

(2) Bolt the braces to the seat support, and tighten bolts in lower ends.

(3) Attach the seat as shown, and move forward or back to control neck weight on team. When a fertilizer attachment is used the seat should be attached back of the support braces to afford better balance.

David Bradley Cornplanter


(1) Attach the front and rear frames. Place bushings in rear frame with head of bolts and flat washers against bushings. Be sure check head release arms are inside rear frame as shown, for check-row planters.

NOTE: It may be advisable to remove the automatic check wire release arms when planting 44” to 48” rows and release the wire by hand to avoid wire hanging on markers.

(2) Attach the connecting link; with square washers next to spring.

David Bradley Cornplanter


(1) Adjust Clutch Throwout – The cam should be turned on the bolt so that the throwout roller disengages the clutch firmly when the planter lever is in the raised or transporting position. The throwout must not interfere with the clutch while planting with a floating lever.

(2) All planters are assembled for a row spacing of 42”

CAUTION: If the row spacing is changed, care must be taken to avoid turning the seed shaft pinions out of time on shaft.

(3) To Check Pinion Timing – When the throwout roller is engaged as shown the square notch for the pinion bolt must be forward.

(4) Be sure that the force valve or plunger arm is located on the check shaft so that the plunger is centered and free in the boot. Keep the clamp bolt tight.

David Bradley Cornplanter


(1) Place the 56 link drive chain around the sprockets and through the idler assembly as shown.


Either the large, medium or small drive sprocket may be used, at will, without adding or removing links.


(2) If horses are to be used attach the pole as shown. The front end of the pole should be carried about 32” above the ground and the rear end should be adjusted by means of the adjusting bolt so that the planter front will operate level (see boxes vertical) or as needed for accurate check rowing.

(3) Attach seed boxes as shown in Figure F, Illustration 6.

David Bradley Cornplanter


(1) Attach markers to swivels.

(2) Adjust the marker extensions for same row width as planter. NOTE: For row spacings less than 36” place the extensions in the 36” position and move the blades inward in 4” steps as indicated.

(3) Move the rope eye clamps on the marker extensions so that they will swing up to rope eye at center of each frame casting.

NOTE: When necessary for narrow row spacings the marker blade should be inward from rope clamp. The lower rear rope eye may likewise be used when necessary.

(4) Thread the rope through and adjust in length with one marker pulled in and the other swung out to operating position as shown.

(5) The transport hooks may be attached to either front or rear roller bracket to avoid interference with rope eye clamps or marker blades.

Adjust the lower end of the marker blades forward or back to leave a sharply visible track. Be sure each marker swings out all the way.

David Bradley Cornplanter


(1) Slide the reel shaft into place and secure it with the lock as shown.

(2) Connect the foot pedal and control rod. Place bushing in pedal with flat washer and head of bolt against bushing.

If tractor hitch is used the extension lever and control rope should be attached as indicated on Figure O.

(3) Place the reel on the shaft and align the friction pulley with the tire by means of a set screw collar at each end of reel.

(4) Hook end button into slotted hole in drum to wind wire on empty reel. A wire guide is unnecessary, if the wire does not fill reel uniformly drive nearer to, or farther from wire as needed.

If it becomes desirable to use reel on L.H. side of planter, the wire must first be wound in opposite direction on reel.


(1) Adjust spring by means of wing nut giving it sufficient tension to give the check forks a snappy return action at all times. Unnecessary wear will result however, if spring tension is excessive.

(2) Always be sure that the equalizer to which front end of spring is hooked is turned with short end toward the clutch assembly as shown (UNDERNEATH VIEW.)

David Bradley Cornplanter


Illust. 1 – Underneath view of seed box bottom showing the KNOCKER PAWL and the two CUT-OFF PAWLS.

Illust. 2 – Underneath view with seed plate in place.

Illust. 3 – Underneath view showing RETAINER RING in correct position FLAT SIDE TOWARD PLATE for edge drop and whole hill plates.

NOTE: Retainer ring must be turned over OFF-SET OR SHOULDER TOWARD PLATE when flat drop (thinner plates) are used.

Illus. 4 – Inside view of seed box with edge drop plate and retainer ring in place.

For best results in chambering of seed all surfaces which contact seed should be kept free from rust by covering with light oil when not in use.

David Bradley Cornplanter


Be sure the seed fits into cells correctly as illustrated above to attain best results. Imperfect filling of cells as illustrated at left above will result in irregular dropping and damage to see.

Plates should be selected by fitting seed into cells as shown and also by trial in the planter before going to the field.

When selecting seed plates, field conditions should be duplicated as nearly s possible with particular respect to grading of seed, fullness of seed boxes, variable drop setting, driving speed, and check fork action.

It is good practice to use a length of check wire and drop seed on the surface of a lane or adjoining field.

On softer ground the wheels may be moved from behind the runners so that accuracy of both dropping and checking may be observed in shallow open runner furrows.

The retainer ring must be turned with the flat side toward edge drop and whole hill plates as shown above. When the thinner flat drop plates are used the retainer ring must be turned with offset side next to seed plate as shown.

NOTE: When whole hill (8-cell plates) are used for either checking or power dropping the variable drop pedal should be in the “2” position to plant the seed from one cell in each hill. If set on “4” two cells will be emptied, resulting in double hills. If set on “3” alternating single and double hills will be planted.

Seed plates and box bottom parts should be covered with light oil when not in use to maintain smoothness and polish.

David Bradley Cornplanter


The side of the boot and runner is shown cut away to illustrate check-row valve action.

Illust. 1 – Lower valve holding hill of seed waiting for next button on check wire (or for power drop finger to revolve when power drop is used.) A second hill accumulates above upper valve.

Illust. 2 – The force valve, or plunger, has deposited the hill held by the lower valve. The following hill is being transferred from upper to lower valve.

These parts should be kept clean and oiled sparingly with light oil to avoid binding, excessive wear and rust. Rust and corrosion such as may be caused by fertilizers in especially destructive to valves and springs. At the beginning of a season examine seed box and boot parts for obstructions such as insect nests, webs, etc.

David Bradley Cornplanter


The check-row planter can be set to space hills at regular intervals without the use of check wire.

(1) Remove the roller from the clutch trip arm and attach it to the power drop arm, as shown. By this means a hill is dropped each revolution of the seed shaft.

(2) Three hill spacings are readily obtainable. If the chain is placed on the small drive sprocket, hills will be spaced approx. 47” in the row. The medium drive sprocket will space hills approx. 31 ½”, and the large sprocket 27”. The special 3597M sprocket will space hills approx. 17 ½.”

(3) By means of the variable drop shift pedal 2, 3, or 4 seeds per hill may be dropped, same as when check-rowing. The clutch throwout will disengage the power drop when the planter is raised out of the ground, same as when checking or drilling. If whole hill plates are used the shift pedal must be set in the 2 position to drop 1 hill each revolution of the power drop trip finger. Setting the pedal for 4 will cause two cells to be emptied each revolution resulting in double hills. The 3 position will produce alternating single and double hills.

David Bradley Cornplanter


When drilling is desirable for planting head lands or small irregular fields, proceed as follows:

(1) To engage the clutch for continuous operation hook the link to the drill lock arm on the check shaft and throw the lever back to position shown.

(2) Remove the spring wire lock from the boots, swing the lower valves back and replace locks, as shown. This completes and open passageway for seed.

David Bradley Cornplanter


Select the desired approximate seed spacing from the table. Adjust the drive chain and the variable drop shift pedal as indicated for the spacing chosen.

To resume checking, be sure to release lower valves, and unhook lock from check shaft.

David Bradley Cornplanter


The drill planter should be set up and adjusted exactly as illustrated with the check-row planter except for figures G, H, K, L and M which apply only to check-row planters.

All seed box and seed plate information applies equally to both check-row and drill planters.

Regulate spacing of seed in the row, at will, by means of the variable drop pedal and the three chain drive sprockets.

David Bradley Cornplanter


The Tractor Hitch should be attached as shown above on both check row and drill planters.

(1) Attach the stub pole as shown.

(2) Attach the tractor control lever.

(3) Attach one end of the connecting links to the front lever. Be sure not to omit the bushing.

(4) Remove the foot rest from the planter lever. Attach the lift spring arm in its place with the longer bolt. At the same time attach the rear end of the connecting links. Be sure the bushing is placed in the link with the flat washer and head of bolt against the bushing.

(5) Disengage the planter lever with the latch ring as shown.

(6) Bolt the lift spring bracket to the rear frame as shown.

(7) Attach lifting spring and link, as shown.

(8) If check wire is to be used attach the control lever and rope to the reel foot pedal. When the wire reel is not being used attach the lever and rope to the scraper foot pedal.

Hitch the Planter to the Tractor. The Tractor Drawbar should be about 15” from the ground.

(9) Adjust the lever extension forward or back and extend in length for most convenient reach from the tractor seat.

(10) Adjust the lifting spring so that the planter will raise and lower with equal ease.

(11) Adjust rear end of pole so that front planter frame and runners operate level, or as needed for most accurate check-rowing.

The slotted holes in the lever connecting links permit the planter to float in a limited range. To make links rigid place the two bolts in the adjoining round holes.

Runner depth gauges are especially helpful with a tractor hitch. When used they should be attached about as shown in the above inset. When the ground is too uneven for planting with a fixed lever, the depth gauges (together with a well adjusted lifting spring and the slotted lever link, will help maintain a uniform planting depth.



When laying the wire out to plant a field, leave extra buttons at both ends to be let out for any increase in length of rows. Be careful to avoid, and straighten, any short kinks in the wire.

Line the planter up to plant the first two rows. On each succeeding turn the planter should be squarely on the marker track and an equal distance from the end before the wire is swung into the check head and staked. Pull the wire reasonably tight, and set the stake back of, and directly in line with, the center of the planter. The stake should be close to the head land fence, or if open extend the wire beyond end of field. For best results the stake should be hooked to the 4th button back of the check head.

Throw the wire over the same each time a stake is advanced. Carefully gauge the handling and setting of the stake to place as nearly as possible the same tension on the wire each time. Avoid an overly tight wire, – set the stakes solidly.


The check forks are subject to considerable wear and should be changed when necessary. The two forks are interchangeable. When both sides become worn they should be discarded. Excessive play should be avoided by taking up the arm bolt. The arms must be kept tight on the check shaft.

The check head rollers should be kept tight, sparingly oiled, and in good repair.


After planting a few rows, go in a few rods from the end and examine the cross check. Locate a hill near a wire button and then proceed across the rows placing a small stick to mark the center of each hill. Digging should be done cross wise of the row to avoid moving seeds out of check. If the check is good the sticks will form a straight cross row.

A perfect check can hardly be expected near the ends except when a field is open and the wire is extended on beyond the head land.

The check wire travels with the planter (about 3” at midway on 80 rod rows) therefore the button back of the planter should fall 1 ½” past or beyond the hills at this point on the two rows just being planted.

If hills are being carried too far – adjust the nuts upward on the pole adjusting bolt to throw the runner heels back. If hills are not carried far enough – adjust the nuts downward on the pole adjusting bolt to bring heel of runners forward. Retighten the cross bolt when adjustment is completed.

Raising or lowering the neck yoke has a similar effect upon the check. If either the team or the harness is changed this adjustment should always be re-checked.

Driving speed has a direct effect upon accuracy of check and should be kept constant.


Always fill the seed boxes alike – if they fail to feed down uniformly – look for trouble. Don’t run the seed supply too low in the boxes – examine it occasionally and dump any accumulation of butts, or oddly shaped seeds. Examine the box bottoms, seed pawls and plates for obstructions – bits of cobb, husk or twine. Replace the retainer rings correctly and latch the boxes down securely.


For best check-row planting results ground speed should not exceed the equivalent to 75 hills per minute with 3’ 6” check wire, – 80 hills or buttons per minute with 3’ 4” wire, – 85 per minute with 3’ 2” wire, etc. Maximum speed with 3’ 6” wire should be 100 hills per minute.


Under conditions where a more uniform depth of planting can be maintained with a floating runner actions, the latch ring may be used to disengage the depth control lever. By means of the lever foot rest and the foot lift lever the runner should be controlled to penetrate uniformly through alternating soft and hard or high and low spots.

The seat should be moved forward or back to a position affording the best balance.

Runner gauge shoes as shown in the inset on Figure 0 are an aid to maintaining uniform depth, especially in very loose or sandy soils.

CAUTION: – When planting with a floating lever the planter must not be permitted to oscillate or raise enough to engage the throwout cam and interfere with clutch action.

Extremely deep planting should be avoided, except if necessary in avoiding destruction by birds, rodents, or soil washing, or if necessary to reach moisture for germination. A good plan is to plant just deep enough to cover the shallowest hill.

Furrow opening disc attachments are recommended to avoid too deep covering, when deep planting is required because of an extremely dry soil condition.


Always raise the runners before turning or backing to avoid damage, or clogging with dirt. Keep the runners polished and replace them when worn to avoid the scattering of seeds.


Seed plates other than those furnished with the planter are available.

David Bradley Cornplanter


When a fertilizer attachment is used it should be attached and operated as follows:

(1) Move the scraper and marker bar back to the rear position on the planter frame, as shown.

Disconnect the drive chain and move the axle bearings and scraper pedal back to rear position.

(2) Disconnect the balance spring connecting link; bolt the fertilizer support to the planter frame; then reconnect spring and link.

Add five links to the planter drive chain and replace it, same as before.

David Bradley Cornplanter

(3) Place the fertilizer drive sprockets and brace bearings on axle. Place the 40 link chains on the sprockets. Adjust length of braces so the support frame stands at right angles to planter frame (use carpenter square.) Adjust the chain idlers.

(4) Attach the throw-out rods. Adjust by means of turnbuckles so clutches are fully engaged when planter lever is in the shallowest operating notch, and just disengaged when the lever is moved to the transporting or raised position.

(5) Attach the R.H. and L.H. hoppers. Identify hoppers by R.H. and L.H. stenciled on cans.

CAUTION: – Do not get hopper bottoms mixed. Be sure that the agitator and feed pan revolves toward the point of the feed plow, in each hopper,, so that fertilizer will be plowed over edge of pan and into the tubs.

(6) Attach the boot brackets (notches up) to rear of planter boots with the longer cap screw bolts furnished.

Clamp the fertilizer boots into position (both boots are alike.) Locate boots in upper notch of brackets for very deep planting or in one of the lower notches for shallower planting.

(7) Attach the spouts to runner frame and boots.

(8) Attach the flexible tubes.

(9) Attach the fertilizer valve control rods. The pin welded to the upper rod guides should replace the regular pin through the check shaft plunger arms. Adjust the set screw collars so the check forks are permitted to go all the way forward when the fertilizer valves are closed.

NOTE: – On a Model Number 917.5225 Drill Planter the valve control rods are not needed. Simply omit the rods and allow the fertilizer valves to remain in the open position.

David Bradley Cornplanter

(10) To disengage clutches by hand while planting move each hand lever back one notch. When the planter lever is set in the deepest planting notches it may be necessary to move the hand clutch levers back two notches to keep fertilizer disengaged.

To regulate fertilizer distribution loosen the thumb nut at rear of hopper base. Turn hopper up incline to increase feed, or downward to reduce feed, then retighten the thumb nut.

CAUTION: – If fertilizer is very fine and dry care should be taken to avoid adjusting boxes too high, otherwise fertilizer will feed too fast and may spill over rear of feed pan. Keep the feed pan and cone free from adhering (sticking) fertilizer, or spilling may result.

Capacity of hoppers will vary from 50 to 60 pounds per can, depending upon material. The amount distributed may be regulated from 25 to 800 pounds per acre.

David Bradley Cornplanter


When the pea and bean attachment is used, it should be attached as illustrated above.

Figure Q shows the attachment in the 48” position. The pea and bean boxes should be mounted inward from the corn boxes for 40”, 42”, 44”, 46” or 48” rows, as indicated by arrows.

The box support castings and seed tubes are made R.H. and L.H. The seed box and drive pinion parts are all alike.

David Bradley Cornplanter

Figure R shows the attachment in the 28” position. The pea and bean boxes should be mounted outward from the corn boxes for 28”, 30”, 32”, 34”, 36”, or 38” rows as indicated by arrows.

NOTE: The Variable Drop Pedal on the seed shaft is shown in the 4 position in order to better show the pea and bean drive pinions. Shifting the pedal does not change the number of seeds dropped from the pea and bean boxes.

Be sure that the pea and bean drive pinions mesh properly at all times.


Two beans per hill are dropped when corn is planted in hills, with either check wire or power drop.

Should it be desirable to drop one bean per hill, it may be done by removing one half of each drive pinion from the seed shaft.

When corn is drilled, with either check-row or drill planter, the spacing between beans is determined by size of planter drive sprocket used:

Large drive sprocket, one bean each 13-½ inches.

Medium drive sprocket, one bean each 16 inches.

Small drive sprocket, one bean each 24 inches.

48” 46” 44” 42” 40”Regular set-up, R. H. assembly on R. H. side and L.H. assembly on L.H. side of planter as shown in Figure P.
38”Same as above, except place L.H. brace bearing between inner end of wheel hub and set screw wheel collar.
36” 34”Same as above, except move the braces outside of planter wheels. Omit the chain idlers. Have correct number of links in chains and tighten if necessary by adjusting length of braces.
32” 30”Interchange complete assemblies. Move R.H. drive assembly and hopper to L.H. side and complete L.H. assembly to R. H. side of planter. Chains, braces and idlers will operate outside of planter wheels.
28”Same as for 30” and 32” except remove set screw collar from inner side of L.H. planter wheel.