Greetings from West Africa!
As I've been lurking around here for a while and benefiting from all of the great ideas that you all have ... I think I'd better contribute some stuff of my own!
One of the more valued and important tools in the area where I live is a planting machine. They are drawn by a donkey, a horse, or a pair of oxen and used to plant all of the main crops here - millet, sorghum, corn, and peanuts.
I've wanted to start building them for a while, but up until recently the cast iron gear box was very hard to come by. The main company making the planting machines (Sismar) located in Dakar, Senegal is not interested in selling the gear box as it would take away from their market share. BUT, someone made a copy! All the way down to the Sismar stamp on the back. It's not a great copy, but good enough to give a try at making a machine around it.
With that gearbox in hand, I borrowed our family's old and worn out planting machine and basically made a copy with a few modifications. I used a bit heavier steel for the main frame, welded more elements instead of using rivets, eliminated some features that no one seems to use any more (row guides, etc), and made a seed box out of aluzinc instead of galvanized steel.
Our family was happy to use the machine for planting their peanuts this year and had no complaints about how it worked. The only thing that I think needs fixing is bending the handles after the donkey cart driver smashed into a tree with the planter tied to the cart.
Here are a few pictures of the finished product:
And a video of it in action:
Hope that this inspires someone out there to attempt something similar!