HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by drrdave27, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. drrdave27

    drrdave27 Junior Member

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    Over the next week I am building a seed ball machine "Seed Baller" so for all those hands on people I will post a how to .

    MATERIALS
    - Dryer or washing machine motor
    - Dryer belt and pully
    - Blue Barrell
    - 4 x castors
    - Portable RCD
    - Mounting frame for casters and barrell.

    Step One

    Moter Build

    The best motor for this type of design would be one out of a comercial clothes dryer or washing machine.The one in this build is out of a Maytag washing machine. I would have preferred to use one out of a dryer as there is less modification reqd but could only get my hands on the washer motor.

    [​IMG]

    This is the motor straight out of the washing machine. The mods I need to do are:-

    1) Change the drive shaft from washer belt to dryer belt (washer belts are not big enough to fit over a blue barrel)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    2)Get wiring diagram and rewire motor to run off an applience lead. I recommend this step only to people with electronics or electrical experience/skills. After all there is always a hazard of electric shock or blowing the motor up if wired incorrectly. Once again it is easier to wire up a dryer motor (for maytag anyway) than a washer motor as the washer motor I am using has a capacitor start winding which makes for more connections and comprehension of the wiring diagram. BTW most comercial washers and dryers have a wiring diagram inside them (taped to the inside of the machine where the timer lives in my case).

    I wont explain in detail how to wire the motor because if you cant confidently figure it out for yourself then you should probably get a pro to do it. Just find a Perme electrician and offer them some of the finnished product.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    **NOTE** : The original DRYER motor that I was going to use did not need the Capacitor as shown above.

    Before installing the motor into the finnished "Seed Baller" it would be wise to build a box/shield for the motor to go into as there will be water being sprayed around. Hence the use of the portable RCD. Just like you dont see the exposed motor on a cement mixer. Now that the motor is done for now lets put it aside and start building the "Tumbler" and its roller stand. I will build it this week and post next weekend. Any questions are welcome.
     
  2. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    nice project! would be great to see more...
     
  3. drrdave27

    drrdave27 Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    OK its up and running. I'll post some more how to pics now and a youtube vid tomorrow. I had a great time building this and would consider donating it to a worthwile organisation / group, so if you are interested please PM.

    BUILDING THE BARREL ROLLERS AND SUPPORT last time i built the motor now its time to construct the barrel and put it together with the motor on some kind of platform.

    step 1) Find a suitable platform to mount the barrel and rollers. I used an old shipping crate from the dumpster at bunnings. I got the rollers out of a junk dryer. The metal brackets that the roller wheel's are attached to are the only thing I paid for (under $5 at bunnings). Screw 4 of the roller assemblies onto the crate and make sure they are square as shown. Make sure they are not placed wider than the barrel is.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Step 2) build the belt pully and mount with the motor. This will allow the unit to be easily assembled and disassembled and also keeps tension on the belt. Had to use a grinder to modify the belt pully bracked (once again not nessesary if using a dryer motor) :rolleyes:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    cut the bracket and mounted it to a piece of wood on which the motor will sit as in the next photo.

    [​IMG]

    Now we have the motor and belt pully section and the barrell and rollers section, next step is to put them together and put the belt on.
     
  4. drrdave27

    drrdave27 Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    Step 3) Build a frame for the motor and pully system to sit on and attach it to the barrel frame. Screw a piece of wood onto the side of the shipping crate as in the photo, this will become the point of attachment for the motor and pully frame. The photos explain it better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So above you can see the motor and pully mounted to a piece of wood which is then screwed to the motor frame with the ply wood. That is then screwed to the wood on the side of the crate. Doing it this way allows one to adjust the distance and angle of the motor and pully in relation to the barrel with min fuss. Also the belt is now around the blue barrel on the rollers. Now we get the distances and angles right and screw everything in place.

    [​IMG]

    This is how the belt goes on and notice the spring hanging off the pully. this needs to be fixed to the board to put tension on the belt. The last step is to ensure that the belt is aligned straight with the pully and motor shaft. Then we can turn it on and test.

    [​IMG]
    notice how belt is nice and straight this is important otherwise the belt would keep sliping off. Fix the spring down and you have the finnished product. All thats left to do is cut the ends out of the barrel and turn it on.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The unit works great and should produce thousands of seed balls, and queries or questions give me a hoy. cheers David.
     
  5. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    How come so high tech?

    I thought seed balls you made to throw where council had rounuped or other subversive eco-gardening Guerrilla Gardening type activities?
     
  6. drrdave27

    drrdave27 Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    Well if you wanna make heaps of seed balls it takes a very long time to roll them by hand. It's not really that hi tech, I just have a way of making things seem far more complicated than they are. Basically take a small motor, a belt and use it to turn a barrel. If anyone in bris wants to help me use this machine by all means lets get it rolling. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    I get it you are related to Trotsky in THE REVOLUTION :)

    This is something I am getting into by stealth; planting sunflower seeds where Council kills grass.
    I like the look of live grass. Council likes the look of dead grass.

    I think it might also, be just subversive enough, to get older kids interested in gardening and the environment

    But seed balls what's the story?
    I guess you would need a few varieties. Introduced stuff (cheap-sunflowers, poppies . . .?) local natives, natives (??), sun lovers, shade lovers, wet /dry?; veggies?, lettuces?
    I guess you would need to help seeds along with some water holding stuff (vermiculite, zeolite, charcoal) and some clay to keep it all together and give you something to pitch or bowl (depending on your ball game in your part of the planet). A tich of Fertiliser? Osmocote?

    You would want seeds that would be happy germinating on the surface and be cheap (poppies?)
    Is that the way to go?
    Am I on track?
     
  8. Woz

    Woz Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    As I understand, Seed Balls were first used extensively, at least in contemporary times, by Fufuoka. THis is a Video detailing the recipe for making them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWyduWsoy8o

    Woz
     
  9. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    Sorry, no broadband=no utube
     
  10. drrdave27

    drrdave27 Junior Member

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    Re: HOW TO BUILD SEED BALL MACHINE.

    take one part red clay, one part composted manure and the seeds. Mix with water to the consistency of toothpaste, maybey a little thicker, If you use the roller it does the mixing and rolling of the balls for you. The seed is now "planted" in a type of time bomb cocoon. The clay dries and hardens protecting the seed from being eaten and also from a harsh sun. When it rains sufficently, clay dissolves seed germinates and has added kick from the manure in the mix.

    I like the use of herb seeds, or those of any other cheap /free useful plant. The best part about it, is its "set and forget" because the seeds will not germinate until conditions are optimal by default (ie enough rain).
     
  11. jdaley

    jdaley Junior Member

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    Location:
    Bendigo, Australia
    Climate:
    Meditaranen
    Why not consider just using the dryer itself with a liner perhaps?
     

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