The seasons have rolled past and it is finally time to lay some new grass on your lawn. But, you notice that the seasons have not taken kindly to your lawn and it is bumpy in places. So, before you lay new grass, the obvious step is to even out the bumpy ground.
You can do this with the help of a leveling tool, but those either cost an arm and a leg. Or, they come very flimsily and non-durable. The perfect middle ground is to build one for yourself. And we are here to help.
The quickest way to build a leveling drag is to use a wide metal structure with ridges like a spare metal grid or a piece of chain link fence as a substitute. You can add a bit of weight to it and tie a rope around it to drag it on your lawn.
But, you can build leveling drags with other things as well. Let’s take a look into it.
What Is A Leveling Drag?
Leveling drag is pretty self-explanatory from its name. It is the tool you drag on the soil to level out your lawn. Now, leveling drags off of Amazon can come pretty pricey, and that too for a very small range.
We are talking almost $150 dollars for a 4-foot leveling drag, and that is just ridiculous. So, we are going to hack our way out of it. However, to do that we need to first understand how a leveling drag works so we can mimic it.
The core idea is that it is going to rake the soil on your lawn and drag it along to fill in bumps and dents. It usually has a flat top and some angled wires on the bottom to lift and push the debris around. And, over time, with consistent leveling, your lawn will become even.
So, clearly, we need something that can rake the soil and has a flat top. It will also make our job a lot easier if the tool has a wider range.
Now that we know what our goal is, let’s get to make, shall we?
Easiest Way to Build A leveling Drag
There are many ways to hack this thing. But when we say easiest, we mean the lowest effort. This approach will require very little effort from you.
You will either be able to finish the whole project with things lying around your house or you can get all the supplies in one trip to your local hardware store.
The easiest way to build a leveling drag is to screw together some pieces of lumber using metal hooks and using a chain or rope as the lever to pull it around the lawn.
Parts you will need:
- 8 foot 4*4 – One
- 8 foot 2*4 – One
- 1 foot 2*2 – one
- Metal i-hooks
- Carabiners (Optional)
Okay, now let’s put it together
Prep: Cut the 4*4 in half to become the outer structure of the leveling drag. It will also act as the extra weight on top of the structure. Cut one of the 2*4 pieces to become reinforcement in the middle. And cut the 2*2 in 4 pieces to put the hooks through them.
Process: Lay down four of your 2*4 pieces horizontally at an equal distance. Lay the two halves of the 4*4 on the outer corners vertically and the two halves of the 2*4 in the middle. Now drill in the i-hooks for good measure. Use the cut pieces of the 2*2 to use as reinforcement for the hooks.
This is where your rake should come to its shape. All you need to do now is tie two ends of a long piece of rope to the structure as a lever. If you are using a chain as a lever, you can drill two carabiners to attach the chain to the DIY rake.
And, voila, you have your own DIY leveling drag that does not cost you a fortune. And, trust us, it will work just fine.
Tip: This measurement caters to a 8-foot span leveling drag. You can alter the measurements to fit your needs.
Alternative Ways to Build A leveling Drag
That was one way of building a leveling drag, but there are countless others. People have come up with very unique solutions when it comes to building lawn care tools.
But, unlike a lawnmower, a leveling rake isn’t used that often. So, spending a fortune on it is unwise. Here, we have handpicked the best methods for you to make your own landscape rake. Let’s get into it.
The PVC Pipe leveling Drag
This is a fun one! It reminded us of lego building. You have to get a bunch of PVC pipe and T-connectors, L-connectors, and then glue them together to make your final structure.
Here we are providing measurements for a large-sized leveling drag. You can modify the measurements to your liking.
Things you will Need:
- 4 X 1 inch L connectors
- 15 X 1 inch T connectors
- 1 X 1-inch endcap
- Different Pipe Lengths –
1 X 5 ft Long
4 X 1.5 ft Long
6 X 6″ Long
2 X 8″ Long
4 X 11″ Long
4 X 3″ Long
6 X 5″ Long
- PVC Glue
When you have all your pieces ready, we will start assembling them. This might be tricky to understand from reading, but if you keep following the instructions, you will get there-
- Attach a 1.5 feet long piece and a T-connector with the help of an L-connector in the middle. Keep the 6” piece side towards you and the L connector side away from you
- Take an 8” piece, glue it to the T-connector facing forward. Grab an 11” piece, glue it to the T-connector facing right, parallel to the 1.5 feet long piece
- Repeat step 2
- At the end of the furthermost 8” piece, glue an L-connector parallel to the 1.5 feet long piece
- Attach a T-connector to both the 11” pieces in the middle, facing each other
- Now connect two 3” pieces with a T-connector and use that T-connector to join the two 11” pieces
- Now take two 6” pieces and with the help of two T-connector connect the 1.5-foot pieces to the T connector at the end of the 11” pieces
- That is half your structure done. Two get the other half, repeat steps 1 through 7 again, and then glue the two halves together using a T-connector in the middle.
- Add the handle of the rake to the open end of the middle T-connector
And, voila, you have successfully made a very complicated structure that you can use as a soil spreader.
If you are not tired of all this measuring and gluing yet, let’s look at another alternative method of building a leveling drag, and this one requires a welding machine! (Get your welding goggles out)
The DIY Metal leveling Drag
This one isn’t the cheapest or the most efficient way of building a leveling drag. However, it is the most effective. This is the closest to an actual leveling drag and it will give you the best results.
Let’s get on with it.
Things you will need:
- Steel Angle Iron (¾ * ¾ )
- Strong Broom Handle
- Brackets (optional)
- Cutting and Welding equipment
- Cut off two long sections and two shorter sections to make the initial rectangular layout of the rake
- Weld it together
- Cut some more angled iron fitted to the measurement of your longer pieces. These will be the inside blades of the rake
- Weld them together as well
- Use two pieces of angle iron on them vertically for reinforcement
- Weld together a socket using brackets for the handle
There you go! Now you have a professional-looking leveling rake that will last you a lifetime.
If you have read this far, thank you so much for coming along. Those were just a few of the best techniques to build a leveling rake by yourself. Let us know which technique is your favorite. And we hope you will build your own leveling drag soon. Good luck!
You can cover the yard with sand or topsoil to give it an appearance of evenness. But, that is not sustainable.
If you have animal holes and nests in your lawn, you can get rid of those dug-up bumps by rolling. But if the land has a sway or curve to it, rolling won’t do much.
If you have both types of equipment, getting a full roll-out done prior to the raking is preferable. It will get rid of the bigger air pockets.