A rock rake is a large metal rake that is attached to the back of a tractor and dragged behind it over large areas of property or farmland. A rock rake removes the loose rocks from the soil that can inhibit plant or crop growth and construction. While these rock rakes are sold as accessories to tractors, they can be made at home rather easily, as they are basically just large-scale versions of rakes used in a garden or front yard.
Materials for Rock Rake
When building your own rock rake, it's important to pick the right materials. Obviously, the rock rake should be made from metal, but it needs to be a metal that can withstand a great deal of pressure and abuse. Because this device will be dragged along the ground at a reasonably high rate of speed over extended periods of time, steel and other heavier metals are best to use. The real question is if you can find something made of steel or another heavier metal that will double or can be augmented to become a rock rake.
Design of the Rock Rake
The metal of these smaller homemade rock rakes needs to be changed in a certain way so that the rocks can be collected but the ground is not destroyed. First decide the size of rocks that will not be collected by the rock rake but will be allowed to pass through the metal slats. Then pick a piece of metal with slats that are the proper distance apart to allow rocks to pass through or not. The front of the rock rake (that is, the part that will be dragging against the ground) should be angled like a wedge, so that it scrapes along the surface of the dirt and lifts it up against the bars of the rock rake, allowing the smaller bits of dirt and rock to pass through. The ends of the rock rake should also be curved slightly, so that the rocks that are collected can be held against the rake and not escape back into the field.
Types of DIY Rock Rakes
A variety of things can be used as rock rakes that will effectively do the job. A chain link fence or chicken wire fence can be fixed and augmented in design to create an effective, inexpensive rock rake. A large metal vent with a few of the metal teeth removed is also an effective structure for a rock rake, which can be easily altered for these purposes. While these modified metal rock rakes will be adequate for the initial raking process, they may wear out after a couple of uses.