David Kramer interned at Tillers back in 1989. He ended up in Uganda with MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) from ’91 to ’95 and then came back to Tillers as an instructor from ’95 to ’98. Since then he has been an industrial arts teacher at Comstock High School. He is currently on sabbatical from his teaching responsibilities at Comstock and has rejoined Tillers’ staff. For the past couple of months he has been diligently at work in the shop with our visiting staff member from Mozambique, Mozambane (or “Maza” for short). Below is one of their latest collaborative innovations. It has yet to be named.
It has come as a result of testing the previous K2 Ripper which some of you are familiar with (seen below).
Notable differences are the steering mechanisms. Though the K2’s single handle provides the benefit of being driven from the side, out of the ripped or planted row, it was found by Obali (Tillers’ trainer in Uganda) and Maza to be harder to turn around at the end of each pass. With two handles, the ripper can easily be picked up as oxen turn to face the next row. Another difference is the black part shown in the top picture. This device allows for the user to raise and lock the blade for easier transport. Finally, David and Maza’s new creation has been achieved with less parts and less bolts, which translates in to cheaper manufacturing costs.
Yesterday the two designers headed for Dalton, OH and Pioneer Equipment. There they will visit and consult with Daniel Wengerd for three days and most likely will return with new ideas and improvements. We’ll keep you posted.