We need a discussion on Tillers. If you're young, you might be able to get by without one, but as you age, they sure do make it easier on us old people!
My 1st workhorse is a Poulan 6HP rear tine tiller. I use this first thing in the spring to break up the soil to get the soil ready for planting. This is not a top of the line model, but it does get the job done. I have used the older troy-bilts, and they are nice, but way too pricey for my blood. But whatever brand you get, I reccomend a rear tine. They are a lot easier on a person then a front-tine.
For my smaller beds, and touch up work, I have a Bolen 2cycle mini-tiller. It works great in the wife's flower beds, and for touch up and weed ing in thew garden. One drawback if you use it for weeding is that you will sooner or later ennd up taking the tines off to take the weeds out from in between the tines. But it is still a very handy tool.
And for other times, I have a non-powered High wheeled cultivator with two attachments. The 1st is what I call a spike point, which came with the cultivator when I got it from my FIL. Then I found an actual cultivator attachment that covers about a foot in one pass. It has five smaller points, and works great at working the soil.
Skip, I am with you on this. I have 8 HP Troy electric start. Rear end tillers for me is what has to be, With all the battery and junk on it is heavy. First year I used it I was busting ground the tractor tiller had not gotten over to. Neighbor guy said I was trying to make it do what was hard for a big tractor to do. He did custom farming. Yes, it is an older model. I have new engine on it. Bind weed I have to stop and clear it out. I use the loppers to help get it out.
I have a one wheel tractor/cultilvator 3 HP I put in ditches with. I can use the Troy. But this is faster and I call it my ditcher and Little Monster. It went too fast. I slowed it down. Has some other things to cultivate with it.
I have the little Troy cultilvator but really do not know how to use it. Still learning on it. Stay away from string they say. Bigger weeds it can not handle. What horse power not much. No instructions how to cultilvate with it.
I have a push plow/cultivator. It is not high wheel but two wheel with the front being bigger than the back. The back wheel can be adjusted up or down for the depth to set the attachments that go in between the wheels. You do not hold it up and just run on the wheels. Blades can be set up and down some . I was making planting ditches with for the seeds and covering and so. It is old from back in 30 's I guess or so. I picked up some things I hope will fit it at the thrift shops. It had two blades one a little turning plow type and the other for small ditches to plant in. I lost it and I know in the corn crib but got down under someing. I bought another at farm store and have not tried it.
I have a 6.7 HP weed whacker on wheels. Fairly tall wheels. Got a lawn mower too. Yeah, the lawn mower ends up out in the field.
I bought a push seeder and I need order the other seed plates for it. Half a dozen with it. I put in beans with it was and it worked. Just push it along and it opens and plants and covers in one trip and that sure will help. You do have to set for the depth . $69 at farm store here in the big city. Way high in the seed cats.
I have the Weasel too. I got for a $l or so at the Good will. One wheel deal was broken off. I found another one for at the Salvation Army I think it was and so has all 3 now. Last year on another forum a guy had just bought one and it was called a Hound Dog at Home Depot. Mine did not have the long handle, just the short one and most any long handle I think will fit it. I have not used but got it all together now. So can. 3 wheels deals on it and you can use it 1 , or 2 , or 3. Be good I guess in raised beds. I am not sure how much good it is.
I do have couple shovels and hoes and rakes and pitch fork. Got a small hand shreder. Back in 70's they were advetised in Organic Gardening. I saw this one for $1.50 and looks to be new and no plans for the hopper you build for it. Hand turn. Be fine for small yard.
Yes, I have junk this and that and maybe it will work for something. I really could use a power shredded. But Burn the branches I cut and anything bigger I save. Got a small electric chain saw. Bow saw. I know off tillers but it all gets used in the garden. I built a drag for dry weeds and branches to take to burn pile. Light I can pull or drop a big S hook on the bumper on the car and pull it. Handles light wt stuff fine. Another thing I use in the garden is a kids plastic snow sled. I can haul plants to garden or pull it down row planting with plants and tools. I used to drag in squashes and cumcumbers and such to end of row where can pick up with vehicle. Got to get a new one as getting holes in the bottom. It glides over mud and dirt and grass fine. When I go to city I need to see if Kmart or Walmart has those plastic snow sleds. Needs longer rope on for adult. I need more buckets too and I will watch the thrifts for them. Farm store here charges twice as much for rope as does Kmart for same thing.
Skip, I am 78 and I need to do things as easy as I can and less time. Just me to do it all.
Now I want to built a hiller for potatoes and could do corn too. I bought a batch of bolts to use as at thrift and cheap. If I can not drill the holes I will have to take the stuff to the blacksmith. I want to put in behind little monster. I do not know if I can do it or not. When all else fails use bailing wire and duct tape. Hilling by hand is hard work. I am not sure my idea will work.
Colorado it sounds like you need a miniature version of a plow mould board for your 'hiller'. Sounds like a slick idea-hope it works out for you. My garden is going to be enlarged this spring. Use an old Fordson Major Diesel with a PTO driven tiller to do the heavy tilling, and then rely on an old Montgomery wards front tine job for light stuff. There is a very old Troy Built some folks I know have been wanting to sell-the engine is shot, but I am going to see if they still have it. Must be one of the earliest models-heavy cast iron and large wheels-looks to be a lot heavier made than the new units.
Dan, I want a hiller that put the dirt to the right and left like the boughten ones. $125 for one. Adjustable. Just run down the center of the row. That would leave the center down to run water. Dirt would have to be tilled loose first. My problem will be attaching to the Little Monster, I am not mechanical really., I have the old hiller blade from the old tiller and it can be set narrow or wide. But it needs wings on to toss the dirt higher. That part should be easy enough. Main thing it to attach to the frame of little Monster. IF the Little Monster has the power to pull it. I want to try and figure out something. $3 for a batch of bolts.
This old troy is a four speed. I could not shift it from low to second speed. The other two speed you have to move the belt over to the other set of pulleys. Two sets of pulleys and one belt. You can only have one belt on it. I have never tried the other two speeds. The low and fast I have is enough to do me. My son could not shift it either. It was used one and finally the next year I got it to shift. I shift this one in motion. (The old Ariens you had to stop and then shift. Instructions said so. ) Son and DIL till the garden with tractor and tiller on it. Last year I had half of it done with tiller anyway. Now I think I can break it okay inless hard dried out.
Northern Tool I am pretty sure is where son got my new engine. They do have replacement engines. Mine came out as an electric start so the stuff was there and I used the old engine for some time. This new engine is better blanced I noticed. So while down I said put on new belt. I was down a week and had to use Little Monster to ditch the melons to get water in after I had tilled. I learned to use the thing.
Colorado-It is a shame that there is not a high school shop/vo-ag class that would make this for you. I guess they discourage that sort of thing anymore-lawyers, insurance, other assorted twits...my instructor in shop was always beating the bushes for projects from the community-he felt it was the best experience for the classes to actually DO something instead of turning a perfectly good piece of wood to shavings on the wood lathe. I hope you get this worked out-sounds like a good idea.
You might take a look at Government Deals.com They have all kinds of stuff for sale, including agricultural items. Their goods are more eastern from me, so I just look at things, but if you are "back thatta way" it might do you some good.
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."