Wednesday 14 August 2019

Plug Plant Extraction Tool or jig Mk II

Way back in February 2015 I made this simple Module Seed Extraction Tool of Jig up to assist in getting the seedlings out of the 20mm x 20mm x 30mm deep nursery module trays I had bought second hand off ebay, I cut the large trays down to full half and quarter trays and wanted a fast way of extracting a row of plug plants from the trays. 

Photos above is the jig primed for use and below the guide module in the closed position


1) Take one bed slat offcut from another project.
2) Put elastic band on drill the same dia as the dowel at half the thickness of the wood as a stop.
3) Mark the holes at the bottom of the seed modules along the wood.
4) Drill the holes as vertical as possible as I only have a hand drill.
5) Cut the dowels to a length that is half the depth of the module plus the depth of the holes in the base.
6) Wood glue the dowels in place.


1) Move the single strip of module up to the top of the dowels.
2) offer the tray on top of the strip of module on the jig.
3) lower the tray.
4) The seedling plugs are pushed out of the module from the bottom.

Well that's was the theory, and when it came time to remove the onions grown from seed for potting on I used the jig and it worked. 

Fast forward four and a half years and I'm at it again only this time making a Plant Plug Extraction Tool for my new CMH Containerwise Materials  Heavy Duty 77L Shallow Long-Life Propagation Trays  one of which has load of Beetroot Plug Plants that will be going into a bed on the allotment this weekend. 

Below is the jig un-assembled 


1) Take one bed slat from the timber store and cut to required lenght.
2) I bought a 12mm timber drill bit and some 12mm diameter timber doweling. 
3) Marked the holes at the bottom of the seed modules along the wood.
4) Drill the holes as vertical as possible as I only have a hand drill to a depth of approx 5mm.
5) Cut the dowels to a length of 25mm 
6) Wood glue the dowels in place.

And thus the MKII Plug Plant Extraction Tool or Jig is born and will be ready for use as soon as the wood glue is dry. I do have enough dowel to make more extraction tools for different tray configurations I have bought or perhaps even consider making one that does all the 77L Shallow tray in one go, now there is a project for the Winter.

If you visit CMH Containerwise Materials Handling and make an enquiry then please do tell them where you heard about them, this gives them and myself some ideal of how many people are visiting their web site as a result of my article. I have not been paid to write these articles about their company and I'm not on commission. I have to say I'm quite honoured to be listed with Charles Dowding and Huw Richards 

Hopefully I may get discount on future purchases if enough of you find them via my blog, but if the modules last as long as I think they are going to, I don't think I will be buying too many more of their trays. That being said I have got another half plot now and an additional greenhouse that is half constructed so who knows what next year might bring.

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