HEY, to the guys who made the Coleman Iron Mule garden plow - Homesteading Today
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Old 03/31/10, 10:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 15,577
HEY, to the guys who made the Coleman Iron Mule garden plow

Used mine first time today. That thinghs fantastic. Im amazed nobody hasnt tried to start building them, like the AC G. I used it today with a, what they used to call a Texas Sweep, a cultivator schovel, with 8in wings on it. The shank it tilted to where the schovel just slips below the ground thanks to the set wheel. Ive got a harrow type impliment. Like a push plow that has a 5 tooth harrowing impliment, only this one is a foot wide. I want to put on a bigger pulley on the engine to slow it down. ive got the gas carb adjustment adjusted as slow as possible. It never stopped, it wore me to a frazzle. I changed out the metal handles for wood handles to make it look older to go along with all machinery on my farm.

Just wanted to say how much I appriciate it. A R E A L good machine.
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Old 04/01/10, 12:05 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
I want to be there when you put a bigger pulley on the engine to slow it down. Just to warn you though----be prepared to go for a fast ride. I'll have a video camera ready.
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Old 04/01/10, 12:52 AM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,635
Does this have the steel wheel with the paddles on it? I have one setting around minus the engine. Looked like rather horrible thing to use so i never put an engine on it. Now bearings and chain are probably rusted solid. Googled around a bit and couldnt find an online pic, just couple craigslist ads that had expired. Does seem its supposed to have had either a 3hp or a 5hp engine with the 6:1 gear reduction. Are you using a gear reduction engine or trying to use a normal engine? So just as well i never tried it, dont have a 6:1 engine so I would have been flying.

Are you trying to direct plow garden with it or just smooth up a patch you first plowed with tractor?
"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

"Well, then ignore what I have to say and go with what works for you." -Eliot Coleman
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Old 04/01/10, 10:09 AM
fordson major's Avatar
construction and Garden b
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: east ont canada
Posts: 7,380
thanks windy!! took the words right outa my mouth!! can ya get some static pix bill? was looking at a onewheeled homebuilt power cultivator in a shed the other day, have to get it home and running for the owner yet!
igeach carnaid
chaora dhubh
"Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."

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Old 04/01/10, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 15,577
Ive got pics on my phone, if I can send them to ya I will. I dont know how to do it. Yes, its got the gear reduction unit.

Guess im wrong, but I thought the closer to the shaft size you got, the close to the actual speed of the engine you got, and the further waway from the shaft size u got, the slower. Guess it could work in the reverse also LOL. It takes a 5/8ths pulley.

Today I put the harrow thingie on it, and It did fine. I suppose It could use a reverse. If I was 30 yr younger, I wouldnt think so. It could definatly use a better way to stand alone, by itself. I reset the shank to be at its lowest setting. I had too long a bolt holding the harrows, so I ran a 2pt 4in long schovel in front so that it would be the schovel, rather than the shank that hit the ground. Doing all that lopwered the handles, and to tell the truth, guys, Sometimes I couldnt tell if I was pushing a bit, or just hanging on and leaning into it.

MAN, I wish Ida trierd it Y E A R S ago. Ive probably had it 15 yrs. It would run me on hard ground so I never took it into the garden. I always thought that, maybe if I had, when it hit the pull, the gear reduction whatever, would kick in and slow it down, and cause the engine to dig in. ., sorta like overdrive. Dont work that way. I had it gone through, the carb, last year. And it runs slow, and just fine. Not as fast as yesterday. The bad thing is, as is with all push type plows, u leave your footprints in the just cultivated dirt. I always go back and just push pull a rake over the ground to wipe out the prints, going backwards, , like my GF said about my, well, u know. She said, NO BIG THING.

FM Id like to find out if the patents on this thing are expired, or if anybodey owns them. It would be S I M P L E to make one. I could make one a week, Sell it for $100/150 minus engine. I think it would sell here in Okieland where everybody does things on the cheap, and all think there natural born machanics
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Old 04/01/10, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 15,577
There was one or 2 people in here who had said they had worked at the Co who make them, is why I started out this post as I did.

HJ I got an idea how I can get u some pics of it. Im working in my hog tight 18 X 30 small garden. BUT I did do primary tillage with it. The Texas sweep slid under the ground 2/3in and sliced everyting at that level which weakened the ground pretty much, But it had yet enough of a tilt, that I could see the ground being worked at the surface. When I tllk off the sweep this morning, I sharpened the edges from point to end of wing. Dont know if that will help, cnt hurt.

There was a BIG book put out in the 70s called T O O L S, for gardeners, homesteaders, and small scale farmers. Thats where I first saw it. I just found the price and parts book on it, pencil dated 4 13 83. it also shows a planter and fert hopper to go with it. It has a shank that comes out where the cultivator shank is, and it turns into an upside down T with what looks like a harrow tooth comeing out of the ends of the T The leg of the T being the shank. This mounts ahead of the planter.

HJ, I dont know what u till with, But Ive got a 2 wheel Wards garden tractor with reverse, and plow, disc, harrow, cult to go with it. I got a Pony, troy bilt tiller, and a Mantis tiller. And id say, with all that. The Iron Mule is a worthy addition to the arsinal, Not to mention the Cub, soring tooth cultivator for it, 2 section harrows, 8ft horse disc. Id say I had all I needed, but I can tell you, as far as the little garden is concerned, the Coleman is going to be a primary conmcern in keeping it worked up, If your not any better fixed than I, or not as well, Id sure fix it up and try it out. If u put a new engine on it, you oughta be in better shape than me. My bearings are all sealed, and I dont like that, cause I know someday the dust will get to them, but Oh well. Im going to try to get the planter, or a planter attachment for it, I think it would be great for planting 90ft rows of sweet corn, 4 a week, or so. And the fert attachment to go with it,
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Old 04/01/10, 12:02 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
If you take a moment to think about it FBB it is easy to figure belt speed increases and decreases.

If you put your thumb and fore finger together and form a circle and then use two hands thumb to thumb and fore finger to fore finger it is easier to see that the larger will have more overall length to the circle, and so it is with sheaves or pulleys.

Think about how many feet of belt per minute would be moved on each size of pulley.
Pretty simple to see that a 4 inch pulley would move twice the amount of belt that a two inch pulley would move.

For example only let us say that an engine is turning at a constant rate and a a 4 inch pulley is moving 80 feet of belt per minute. A receiving pulley that is also 4 inches in diameter would move the same amount of belt or 80 feet per minute (4 to 4 the same as 1 to 1). However if you install a 2 inch receiving pulley it must turn twice as fast to move the same 80 feet per minute (4 to 2 or the same as 2 to 1) . If you go the opposite size from 4 inches and install an 8 inch pulley it will only turn half as fast to move the same footage of belt (4 to 8 the same as 1 to 2). Changing the driving pulley to 2 inch and the receiving pulley to 8 inch and you have 2 to 8 the same as 1 to 4).

Once you stop to think about ratios it is pretty easy to see how they work. Just get out a multi-speed bicycle, support it and go through the gears while pedaling it and it all becomes clear.
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Old 04/01/10, 04:13 PM
Registered Users
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 15
Coleman Iron Mule

Hi FarmBoyBill
I made the first Coleman Garden plow ever made back in the middle 60's for a Dr. S.N. Coleman. You could plow with this plow like you could with the old mule so thats how the name came about. The engine was a 3 HP B&S with a 6 to 1 gear reducer on it. Model # 80352. It had a 3" pulley on the motor & a 8" pulley on the jack shaft. A 10 tooth sprocket on the jack shaft & a 40 tooth sprocket on the pulling wheel shaft. # 40 roller chain, It came with a 6" turn plow, A 4" turn plow' A 2 tooth fork, A 5 tooth fork, A 12" sweep A 5" shovel, A Fertlizer Hopper & a planter. You could make a good garden with this plow if your dirt was not to hard. I had one but slod it 23 yrs. ago. Glad you like the one you have.

#1 roo
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Old 04/01/10, 04:30 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
Wow, great information and with great detail for ratios, etc.
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