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Oliver grain drill
Posted by kman at 2007-02-09 10:36:16
I have an Oliver Superior model 38 grain drill, but no chart or seeding rate table on where to set it for planting seed. I haven't a clue where to begin to set it to plant different amounts of seed for differents crops. Does anyone have a planting chart or table for this drill? It is six feet wide with the big steel wheels and has a grass seeder on it. I'm sure somewhere there is a seeding rate table for it, but I can't find one. I'm open to suggestions. Thanks
Response by Clyde at 2007-02-09 15:41:58
It would help if you state what you plan on seeding. That drill will sow oats, plant corn (you have to cover a few holes to make it a row crop), wheat, barley, grass seed.
Response by kman at 2007-02-09 21:25:07
I plan to plant oats, barley, peas, alfalfa, and orchard grass for starters, but I'd like the seeding table so I could plant pretty much anything. Does someone have such a thing? I'm sure it exists, if I can just find it and get a copy. I'd bet someone on the porch has one of these drills and is using it. I'm not even sure what adjusts the seeding rate. The alfalfa box has a lever that opens or closes gates on the feeder holes. The grain box is different. It is a good little drill, solid built and still in good shape. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks
Response by smith at 2007-02-09 21:31:00
Sounds like a good outfit for two horses. I hope someone can help you out on the chart.
Response by Dennis S at 2007-02-10 15:57:13
kman- I'll tell you how my John Deere works and I'll bet yours is similar. There is a square shaft, about 3/4 inch, that runs the length of the drill. Above each drill shoe is a tube that funnels the oats seed down to and thru the shoe into the ground. Above each tube is a sprocket about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and about 2 inches thick. When you slide the square shaft to the left or right you can observe, all those sprockets move. And, they are what kicks out more or fewer seeds per revolution of the shaft. When the drill shoes, or discs, are taken out of the ground, either by handles or a trip rope the shaft will stop turning, and the drill will stop spewing out seeds. When sowing oats I put in 2 1/2 to 3 bushels/acre, and for that seeding rate I have about 1/4 inch of the sprocket showing. My drill has a chart right inside the cover. One reason for the square shaft is that you can put a wrench on it and give it a twist each direction before starting out each day. If they rust up overnight, or since its last use, you can break things.
Response by Greg Schneider at 2007-02-10 21:08:44

Try calling the Floyd County Historical Museum in Charles City, Iowa (641) 228-1099. They have copies of owner's manuals for many of the Oliver equipment line. I was able to find one for my Oliver 26 Grain Drill.

Good Luck,
Response by smith at 2007-02-10 23:06:07
Kman, be patient. Some porch monkey will have one.
Response by jwaller at 2007-02-11 06:46:14
Somewhere I have a chart for my Case drill. May be similar. Time consuming way to set would be to put about 60# of oats in and see how much you plant when it goes empty. Could then adjust for other seed (somewhat close) as to the size of the various seeds. The smaller the seed, the smaller the opening to the seed cups-smaller number on the drill setting.

Be sure to pour some used oil into the sprockets when you park it for the year. Will keep the shaft free.
Response by Dale Wagner at 2007-02-11 14:09:41
There are two types of common drills - double run and fluted feed. Fluted feed varies the displacement of the seed chamber. Never have seen a grass seed attachment that wasn't a fluted feed. The shaft moves back and forth to adjust the seed volume.
Double run use a variable speed gearing and has two sides to the seed chamber. All the Oliver Superiors in this neighborhood were double run. Don't know where one is that has the seed chart still intact inside the lid. I know my dad's didn't have it and he went to my cousin's place to read the chart.
Today, Oliver may have the seed charts online somewhere.
Response by Dennis S at 2007-02-11 15:42:43
kman-Sam Moore's book Implements addresses your question on pages 53 & 54. Before you start trying to set your drill, clean all the old seed, dust & dirt out of the grain box. A shop vac works real well. Then pour a couple gallons of diesel fuel into the box. The fuel will run down unto the gears and loosen it up if it's stuck from not being used. Let that diesel fuel set there for a day, and then take a wrench to the shaft, twisting it both directions, like was mentioned earlier. Once the square shaft turns I take about a 4 or 5 foot steel crowbar. Find a place on the drill's frame to pry against, placing the point of your crowbar at one end of the square shaft and slowly move the shaft so only as much of the gear's teeth are showing in the seed cup as you think is appropriate. And, go from there. If it's not seeding heavy enough, just pry the shaft over a hair to make the drill kick out more seeds.
Response by Clyde at 2007-02-11 17:37:11
You know Oliver was bought out by White, which was later AGCO. If you can find an ex dealer of any of these brands or a salvage yard, you may find what you are looking for. I'm guessing the drill you described was built in the '50s or '60s, if not earlier. Have you talked to any neighboring farmers?
Response by Jonathan Shively at 2007-02-12 09:21:55
Greg, your seed chart won't work for this? I can't find the digital image of my seed chart. Digital camera is not working at this time, otherwise would send an image of what my Oliver has inside the lid.
Response by kman at 2007-02-12 14:28:37
Thanks for all the responses. Dale, the grass seeder is just a shaft that slides back and forth by turning an eye bolt on the end of the box, with a gauge needle to tell you where you are. The grain box is what you called a double run, I guess. It has a gearbox with two little shafts with stops on them. I'm not right sure how it works.
Jonathan, I'd sure appreciate that picture if you can find it or get one. You guys are great! Keep up the good work. Thanks again, Kevin. Email me .
Response by Jonathan Shively at 2007-02-12 23:04:08
Kman, your seed boxes (not your grass boxes), are they a round plate with nubs sticking up and increase seed amount by adjusting towards the center of the disc and reverse for the opposite? Also have a couple of handles that slide vertically and have numbers? Will try to get a camera and send a photo to you, as I don't know how to post a picture. I am computer/photo illiterate!
Response by Greg Schneider at 2007-02-13 19:45:58
Jonathan raised a good point (as us Ag. Teachers often do), so I looked in that Oliver Superior Grain Drill owner's manual of mine and discovered I made a mistake (once again, as us Ag. Teachers often do). While it does contain a wealth of knowledge, the seeding chart is not in the owner's manual.

So... sorry Kman. And Jonathan, when you find that picture of the seeding chart, perhaps you wouldn't mind sending one my way as well ().


Response by Brett at 2007-02-16 12:35:49
I have a 13 x 7 Oliver #26 drill, and I'm needing the same chart. It is not listed in the parts manual or the owner's manual. I have rebuilt mine with new parts from AGCO, but would like to be able to use it without calibrating every time. I would gladly pay for copying, postage, your trouble, etc.
Brett in Strasburg, VA
Response by Brett at 2007-02-16 13:11:06
The Oliver #38 used the fluted force feed metering system like many modern drills. The #26 used the old double run metering system with a gear shift to change the sowing rate.
Response by Jerry Hicks at 2007-03-01 11:03:03
I have the same drill and I still have the charts that go with it. I will try to get copies made if you want.
Response by cary at 2009-05-10 21:53:37
Was wondering if you could send me a copy of the oliver 26 seeding chart? Greatly appredciated.
Response by Wally Tremelling at 2012-05-20 15:50:05
Jerry Hicks says he has the charts. I will pay you to copy and send to me if you would please. My e mail address is . Let me know how much $.
Response by Leslie Hanson at 2015-03-28 11:22:18
I have a oliver drill #38 I would to know how to shift the gear box to change seeding rate
Response by Geoff at 2015-04-01 00:39:02
After looking around the net it appears this is the best option----
Seed chart information is available from: Floyd County Museum, 500 Gilbert Street, Charles City, Iowa, 50616. Copies are available for a small fee. Phone # 641-228-1099. Mary Ann Townsend is the Curator.
Response by Geoff at 2015-04-01 00:55:18
Seed table pic (use enlarge to read) Looks like for a 38 I think.


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