Eighteen Dollar Harrow
by Justin Reynolds of Glouster, Ohio
This is the story of a harrow on a budget. I saw plans on the Tillers International website for building an adjustable spike tooth harrow. I modified the plans somewhat to suit the materials I had available and built a functional farm tool for eighteen dollars. The manufactured equivalent, a metal three foot spike tooth harrow, would have cost at least $300.
The original Tillers design calls for a combination of wood and metal materials. I used wood for some of the pieces they had called for to be metal because that’s what I had available. The wood I used is oak I had on hand from a dismantled barn and the spikes are eight inch pole barn spikes which I purchased new. I originally scrapped together the nuts, bolts and washers which connect the moving parts but I ended up just buying some so it would be uniform and more functional. The bottom of the runners have a strip of metal for added durability.
I began the project by working on the runners. I used two pieces 1-3/4” x 4-1/2” x 63” and a half inch paddle bit to drill holes 10” apart, centered on the 4-1/2” side, starting 13” from the front. I rounded off the front of the runners with a chainsaw.
Next I created what we’ll call the cross members. They are made from five pieces 1-3/4” x 2-1/4” x 46”. Then, 2” from each end I used a table saw with the blade set about 1/2” high to make a cut on all sides. After that I used a mallet and chisel to make the ends rounded to fit into the holes in the runners. Finally, I drilled holes 10” apart into the 1-3/4” side starting 6” from one end to put the spikes into. I was careful to drill the holes slightly smaller than the spikes, so they would stay in place but not so small that the wood would crack as I pounded them in.