1902 Encyclopedia > Agriculture > Rollers. Breast Plough and Trenching Fork.

(Part 21)


Rollers. Breast Plough and Trenching Fork.


Those formerly used were solid cylinders of timber or stone attached to a frame and shafts, for which hollow ones of cast-iron are now generally substituted. The simplest form of these has a smooth surface, and is cast in sections to admit of more easy turning. They are made of diverse weights, so as to be adapted for the draught of one or two horses are required. Those of the former description, weighing in all 6 cwt, and costing as many pounds sterling are exceedingly use full for all purposes where expedition rather than heavy pressure is wanted. From their greater durability, smoother surface, and less liability to clog, the readiness wit which they can be cast of nay weight that is required, and their moderate price, it is probable that cast-iron cylinders will speedily supersede all others.

Several important variation on the common smooth roller have been introduced of late years. Of there the first notice is due to Crosskill’s clod-crusher, on the ground both of its intrinsic merit and the date of its introduction. It consists a of cast-iron discs 2 _ feet in diameter, with serrated edge and a series of sideway-projecting teeth. Twenty-three of these discs are strung loosely upon a round axle, so as to revolve independently of each other, The free motion thus given to each disc, and which has latterly been increased by casting each alternate one of greater diameter in the eye, adds at once to the pulverizing and self-cleaning power of the roller. Three horses yoked abreast are required to work it, The axle is prolonged at each and sufficiently to receive traveling wheels, on which it is transported from place to place. Although primarily designated and actually much used for breaking clods, it is even more in request for consolidating loose soils, checking the ravages of wire-worm, and covering is clover and grass seeds. For the latter purpose, its action is perfected by attaching a few bushes to it, which fill up the indentations, and leave a surface so beautifully even as to rival the accuracy and neatness of a well-raked border, It is now to be had on a smaller scale adapted to the draught of two horses.

Cambridge’s roller possesses several features in common with Crosskill’s, and is used for similar purposes. In the form in which it was first brought out it consisted of discs, fitting close to each other, with fluted instead of serrated edges. In its recently improved form the disc are not made of uniform diameter as formerly, but each alternate one is the set is raised about two inches, and has the centre hole, nor circular and close fitting to the axle, but triangular and wide. The result is that while the discs press uniformly on the surface over which they are rolled, the larger ones rise above their fellows with a jerking motion, which gives a most efficient self-cleaning power to the implement, and thus admits of its being used when other rollers would be clogged. The eccentric discs are now made either with serrated or smooth edges as customers prefer. After careful trial we have come to the conclusion that it is the most useful roller for general purposes which we yet possess.

Under this head may be noticed press drills, which, by means of a series of narrow cylinders with conical edges, form corresponding grooves in loose soil. Seeds sown broadcast over a surface thus treated come up in rows. The land-presser is a modification of the press-roller. It is made with two or three conical edges cylinders to fit into the seams of as many plough furrows, the other end of the axle on which they are fixed being supported by a plain carriage-wheel. It is drawn by one horse, and follows in the wake of two or three ploughs, according to the number of its cylinders. When wheat is sown after clover lea, this implement is found exceedingly useful in closing the seems and forming a uniform seed-bed.

The Norwegian, or, as it should rather be called the Swedish harrow is strictly a clod-crushing implement. From its radiating spikes penetrating the surface over which it is drawn, it has been called a harrow; but its revolving motion entitles it rather to be classed with rollers, In its usual form it consists of three rows of cast-iron rowels arranged upon parallel axles fixed in an iron frame, which is supported on three wheels, --- one is front and two behind. The outline and arrangements are in fact the same as in Finlayson’s grubber, only substituting parallel rows of rowels for tines, there is also the same leverage for raising and depressing the frame, But this implement has recently been constructed and lever apparatus are discarded altogether. It thus consists of a simple wrought-iron frame with four rows of rowels. A few boards are laid across the frame, forming a platform over the rowels, on which the driver stands when it is wished to increase the weight and efficiency of the implement. On the upper side oat either end is fixed a piece of wheel-tire, on which the implement, when turned on its back, can slide along, sledge-fashion, when it is wished to move it from place to place. As thus constructed it can be made for about £5. This is the best implement yet introduced for braking moist clods.

Breast Plough and Trenching Fork

Before leaving the implements of tillage, it many be proper to notice two, which have been a good deal brought under notice of late years, viz., the breast-plough and trenching-fork. The former is extensively used in carrying out the process of paring and burning, It is the implement known in Scotland as the flaughter (or thin turf) spade. In using in the workman guards his thighs with a piece of board, fastened on apron-wise, and with this presses against the cross-head of the implement, and urges forward its cutting edge. When a thin turf has thus been severed from the surface, he turns it over by a jerk of his arms. The fork is used in giving a deep autumn digging to land in preparation for root crops. Both operations can ordinarily be more economically performed by using horse-power with suitable implements. But for clearing out corners of fields, hedge sides, and similar places, manual labour with there tools can frequently be made to supplement the plough to good purpose.

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