How to make Imprinting Roller

Here is the procedure for making an imprinting roller from your existing drum which is 48” O.D. x 42” long. I’m assuming your drum has ends welded in it so that it can be liquid filled. Otherwise you’ll need to weld ends in your drum using ¾” thick steel plate.

The drum is converted to an imprinting roller by welding angle iron pieces to the outer circumference. Use 6” x 6” x ½” angle iron square cut into 56 pieces 10” in length.

The step-wise procedure is:

 

  1. Cut center holes in the ends of the drum for the axle housing pipe which is about 3 ½” in outside diameter.
  2. Mark the position of all angles on the surface of your drum with a soapstone pencil. The angles should be positioned such that there are 4 star rings (as viewed from the drum end) with 14 points (angular teeth) in each star. The points should be staggered with respect to the adjacent star ring. The angle toe spacing in the ring should be about 2.3 inches or 2 ¼”. The spacing between each star ring should be about 2.7 or 2 ¾”. The star ring at both ends of the drum should overhang the drum ends by 3 inches (extend beyond) to increase the imprinting width to 4 feet.
  3. Tack weld the angular teeth (all 56 of them) in the positions marked with soapstone. When satisfied with the position of all the teeth, permanently weld them to the drum by running a penetrating bead about 1” long at each corner of each imprinting tooth.
  4. Install axle housing pipe (3 ½” OD x 2 & 9/16” ID) through center of drum with 3 inches of the axle housing pipe protruding beyond each drum end to align with the extended imprinting teeth. Now weld axle housing pipe to drum end with penetrating bead to ensure strength and water tightness.
  5. Slide cold-rolled steel axle (2 ½” D) into and through the axle housing with ends extending beyond the housing enough to accommodate axle collars and bearings.
  6. Slide 2 ½” axle set-screw collars onto both ends of the axle and push until they butt up against the axle housing ends. Then weld them onto the ends of the housing pipe. Tighten set-screws to secure the imprinting roller to the axle. The welded set-screw collars eliminate any free-play between the axle and axle housing. Free-play can result in destructive mechanical hammering during operation, thereby shortening bearing life.
  7. Slide 2 ½” pillow block bearings onto both axle ends and push until they butt up against the axle collars. Now, lock bearing to axle using the bearing set screws. For bearings, use Dodge double-tapered-roller type bearing with cast steel (Note: Standard bearings with cast iron housings may break from the shock associated with impacting large boulders or other obstructions.)
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HAND HOE IMPRINTING: Shedding and Absorbing

HAND HOE IMPRINTING

HAND HOE IMPRINTING: Shedding and Absorbing

Using the heavy duty Seymour Garden Hoe, either water shedding (runoff) or water absorbing (infiltration) can be increased by a factor of ten or more. In arid or semiarid regions both approaches are often useful for farming and gardening when used side by side with the area that sheds water lying just upslope from the imprinted area that absorbs water. The absorption area receives water from the shedding area to grow better plants and increase crop yield.
downslope picture
The water shedding area is essentially a desertified area, whereas the water absorbing area is a revegetated area according to other publications available at the website: imprinting.org. This process of patchy vegetation often occurs naturally in the Desert Southwest with the barren areas contributing resources to the adjacent vegetated areas. Resources captured by the vegetation often are a result of one-way raindrop splashing. Water and soil splash into the vegetation but not out. Vegetation also captures resources from wind slowed by the roughness provided by plant structures. So the shedding/absorbing approach with the hand hoe is to a large extent directed to duplicating a natural process found in the desert. The relative size of the water shedding and absorbing areas will depend on such factors as climatic aridity and the moisture needs of the garden or farm plants being grown. The size of the shedding area should increase with decreasing precipitation and increasing plant water needs. Other factors such as the water holding capacity of the imprinted soil should also be considered. This factor rises with time and the increasing storage of soil carbon. This approach to farming and gardening is appropriate for the labor intensive cultures found in Africa, China, Haiti, India and elsewhere especially in dryland areas with advanced land desertification or degradation. Desertified land can once again become productive and profitable.
For more information see imprinting.org and check the Internet for other sources of heavy duty eye-hoes that are similar to the Seymour hoe.

eyehole imprints

Eyehoe imprints

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USING HAND IMPRINTERS

original publication 04 May 26, 2007
Dr. Robert M. Dixon

This essay explains the procedure for using hand imprinters to restore vegetation or create new vegetation on degraded land–degraded by such processes as land desertification. Large rolling land imprinters were invented in 1976 and hand imprinters came soon afterwards. The design of hand imprinters has been evolving to better satisfy the definition of the imprinting process–wedging out a V-shaped depression with minimal soil disturbance and without soil surface inversion.

The current hand imprinter is simply a commercial lawn edger–a pole connected to a rectangular steel blade sharpened on the bottom side. This steel blade is pushed into a moist soil several inches deep and then the handle is rotated back and forth
to wedge out a 60o to 90o imprint. Start imprinting at the bottom of sloping land and then work backwards upslope staggering the imprints as you go. A one-foot spacing of the imprints is recommended.

Downslope
Downslope Imprints
A triangular imprinting pattern is shown but any pattern that is appropriate can be used.

It’s important that the soil be moist at the time of imprinting to ease the penetration of the blade into the soil and to stabilize the V-shaped sidewalls of the imprint. If the soil sticks to the blade, it is too moist (wet). After the desired land area is imprinted, seeds can be hand or mechanically broadcasted (scattered). Another alternative is to scatter half of the seed before and half after imprinting.

Hand imprinters can be used for ecological weed control of exotic weeds by displacing them with later successional native species. More information available at http://www.imprinting.org/scientific_publications.htm

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SEYMOUR HOE IMPRINTER by Dr. Robert M. Dixon

Consistent with the pronunciation of the manufacturer’s name, you will see more or you will see less of each item listed, both for the good of the living earth, by using the Seymour Hoe Imprinter. The word “see” is just a short form of the word “observe.”

A List of See Mores:

1. See much more earth greening
2. See much more microroughness of the soil surface
3. See much more macroporosity of the soil surface
4. See much more water infiltration
5. See much more available soil moisture
6. See more big healthy plants
7. See much more soil microbes
8. See more soil invertebrates and burrowing activity
9. See much more biomass production
10. See much more evaporative cooling
11. See more global cooling
12. See more plants per unit area
13. See much more soil organic matter
14. See much more topsoil
15. See more soil carbon storage
16. See more good jobs that save the earth
17. See more labor intensity
18. See much more soil hydration
19. See more food, fiber, fuel and wealth
20.See more plant nutrients
21. See more corn leaves of greater width than otherwise

Now a list of See Lesses:

1. See much less surface smoothing
2. See much less surface crusting
3. See less surface water pollution
4. See much less water runoff and erosion
5. See less siltation or sedimentation
6. See much less flash flooding
7. See much less land desertification
8. See less atmospheric CO2
9. See less global warming
10. See much less soil dehydration
11. See less land denudation
12. See less weeds and diseases
13. See much less moisture stressed plants
14. See less world hunger and poverty
15. See less capital intensity
16. See less unemployment
17. See less land drying and heating
18. See less wind erosion

The preceding lists of “See More” and See Less” are just a few of the observed advantages of using the Seymour Hoe Imprinter.

Uses of this Hoe include:

1. Making imprints to grow plants
2. Chopping weeds and small saplings
3. Making firebreaks for fire control
4. Furrowing and ditching land
5. Soil surface denuding and smoothing
6. Cement mixing
7. Mixing subsoil and peat moss
8. Mixing and inverting compost
9. Unloading gravel from trucks and trailers
10. Spreading gravel on the soil surface
11. Unloading grain and seed
12. Incorporating vegetation and plant litter into the surface soil
13. Mixing seed and soil amendments
14. Firming and tamping soil

The water shedding area is prepared as follows:

  1. Mark the land area to be imprinted.
  2. Select a mix of seeds to be scattered.
  3. Uproot all vegetation with the hoe.
  4. Scatter the uprooted plants over the water absorbing area to form a mulch and/or select a soil amendment such as straw, compost or peat moss to the existing mulch.
  5. Level (smooth) the soil surface with the hoe blade.
  6. Tamp the soil surface with back side of the blade.
  7. Begin imprinting on the contour (cross-slope) along the upper edge of the area to be imprinted.
  8. Facing uphill (upslope) space imprints about one-foot apart, piling the soil removed at the lower edge of the imprint to help pool rain or irrigation water.
  9. Make imprints 7 inches wide, 2 to 3 inches deep and about 7 inches long.
  10. Stagger the second row of imprints with respect to the first row to intercept (capture) water as it runs downslope.
  11. Continue imprinting on the contour down the slope, one row at a time, always staggering the imprints in each row with respect to the adjacent upslope row.
  12. When the imprinting is completed, scatter seed over the area.
  13. Then scatter the amendment on top of the seed.
  14. Over time, maintain the soil free of plant litter and vegetation so that rainfall can seal the soil surface to enhance runoff.

Using the heavy duty Seymour Garden Hoe, either water shedding (runoff) or water absorbing (infiltration) can be increased by a factor of ten or more. In arid or semiarid regions both approaches are often useful for farming and gardening when used side by side with the area that sheds water lying just upslope from the imprinted area that absorbs water. The absorption area receives water from the shedding area to grow better plants and increase crop yield.

blog pic for SeymoreTreatment response time is normally shortened with sprinkler irrigation, especially where rainfall is infrequent. Cool soils are warmed with the black peat moss amendment, accelerating seed germination and seedling growth rates when soil moisture is adequate.

For ecological restoration projects, the preceding process should be carried out during the fall season when seeds normally fall off of native plants. A cover/nurse plant like annual ryegrass should be included in the seedmix to stabilize the imprints against wind and the erosive impact of raindrops. The cover nurse crop also helps to keep macropores open for increased water infiltration rate and depth and creates new macropores by feeding burrowing invertebrate animals such as earthworms, ants, and termites. Later the residues from the cover/nurse crop decompose into plant nutrients to feed the emerging ecosystem. For more information contact: info@imprinting.org

 

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HAND HOE IMPRINTING: Shedding and Absorbing

Dr. Robert M.Dixon

Using the heavy duty Seymour Garden Hoe, either water shedding (runoff) or water

The water shedding area is prepared as follows:

1)    Uproot all vegetation with the hoe.
2)    Scatter the uprooted plants over the water absorbing area to form a mulch or add it to the existing mulch.
3)    Level (smooth) the soil surface with the hoe blade.
4)    Tamp the soil surface with back side of the blade.
5)    Over time, maintain the soil free of plant litter and vegetation so that rainfall can seal the soil surface to enhance runoff.

Another essay found at imprinting.org details the hand hoe method for preparing the water absorbing area.

The water shedding area is essentially a desertified area, whereas the water absorbing area is a revegetated area according to other publications available at the website: imprinting.org. This process of patchy vegetation often occurs naturally in the Desert Southwest with the barren areas contributing resources to the adjacent vegetated areas. Resources captured by the vegetation often are a result of one-way raindrop splashing. Water and soil splash into the vegetation but not out. Vegetation also captures resources from wind slowed by the roughness provided by plant structures. So the shedding/absorbing approach with the hand hoe is to a large extent directed to duplicating a natural process found in the desert. The relative size of the water shedding and absorbing areas will depend on such factors as climatic aridity and the moisture needs of the garden or farm plants being grown. The size of the shedding area should increase with decreasing precipitation and increasing plant water needs. Other factors such as the water holding capacity of the imprinted soil should also be considered. This factor rises with time and the increasing storage of soil carbon. This approach to farming and gardening is appropriate for the labor intensive cultures found in Africa, China, Haiti, India and elsewhere especially in dryland areas with advanced land desertification or degradation. Desertified land can once again become productive and profitable.

For more information see imprinting.org and check the Internet for other sources of heavy duty eye-hoes that are similar to the Seymour hoe.
eyehoeImprintsEyehoe Imprints

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Dr. Dixon’s Interview with Agricultural Innovations, Inc

Dr. Robert Dixon's Picture

Dr. Robert Dixon is interviewed by Agricultural Innovations, Inc

Episode #114: Land Imprinting

Click on this link

http://agroinnovations.com/index.php/en_us/multimedia/blogs/podcast/2010/12/episode-114-land-imprinting/

to hear podcast episode 114. As per the site’s description of the interview:

“In this episode of the podcast we are joined by Dr. Robert Dixon of the Imprint Foundation. Dr. Dixon is the inventor of the land imprint machine, a roller with triangle impressions designed to improve the water infiltration capacity of the soil surface. Topics of discussion include the origins of the machine, costs of production and implementation, the results of imprinting, obstacles to technological transfer, land imprinting in the Middle East, and land imprinting as an economic development strategy.”

For more on imprinting in the Middle East, read Dr. Dixon’s earlier blog in December archives.

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LAND IMPRINTING IN THE UAE

 Dr. Robert Dixon in the UAE picture

Dr. Dixon in the UAE solving agricultural problems.

Robert M. Dixon

The Imprinting Foundation is currently transferring its imprinting technology to the UAE in a massive project covering several thousand acres of degraded desert land. An imprinting air seeder developed in Vienna, Austria will be at the heart of the project to begin just a few days after this essay is dated. A mix of the following species are to be air seeded.

Annual Ryegrass
Buffelgrass
Desert saltbush

Annual ryegrass is a cover crop which was included to stabilize the land imprints, whereas buffelgrass and desert saltbush were included to provide forage for camel, sheep and goats. The climate is like the Mojave Desert with only 3 inches of rain during the winter and hot days during the summer. The project will include irrigated seed production in the UAE to provide the greater seed volume and native species needed for such large projects.

After the UAE, the transferred imprinting technology will probably be extended to other countries of the Arabian Peninsula and then possibly to Africa and India, and even China.

Transfer of new technology is usually a very slow process. Imprinting was invented in 1976. Now, 34 years later, transfer of the technology on a large scale is just beginning. See pictures of project consultants and coworkers.

Robert M. Dixon, PhD, Earth Scientist, Inventor of Land Imprinting which was patented in 1980.

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