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All Around the Farm: May/June 2013
Swing or stand, doesn’t matter to the birds
A retired farm disk makes the most fabulous bird feeder. It can withstand most weather conditions. Also, the center hole provides drainage for snow and rain. Just weld or rivet to heavy wire so it can hang from trees. Or it can stand freely on a base made from another inverted disk. My son has made several of both types.
Gloves slide on moist hands
I like to use disposable latex gloves when I know I’ll get into oil, grease, or diesel fuel. When my hands are wet or sweaty, it’s hard to put the gloves on without tearing them. So I put some gloves in a 1-quart resealable bag and added some flour. I just open the bag, insert my hands, shake a little flour on them, and the gloves slide right on.
Lowell Shubert || Coulterville, Illinois
Straps stay in place
To secure large loads of bales with ratchet straps, I make sure the hook is in position on one side, then I attach an extra-strong magnet on each side of the hook. The magnets keep the hook placed tight and set, so I can go to the other side and secure my load with ease. This lets me haul loads alone.
Dan Cray || Potosi, Wisconsin
Worry-free water tank filling
This support bracket is for the type of float valve designed to fill my stock tanks. I fastened two pieces of flat metal about 6 inches apart with some U-shape rod for handles. I then bolted the float valve to two angle irons welded perpendicular to the flat metal. I no longer have to closely monitor my tanks.
The furnace man might have one
This handy fan is made out of an old furnace blower. It creates a powerful breeze that was really welcome last summer in the tremendous heat. I can feel it from a good 15 feet away. It is enclosed with both an old fan screen and a mesh screen for safety and makes very little noise.
Make fire extinguishers easy to spot
Walking through the 100×300-foot barns I manage, I realized I couldn’t see the fire extinguishers. That’s because when they get dusty, they blend into the posts they’re mounted to. To solve this problem, I made them stand out by wrapping the 6×6-inch posts with white plastic where the extinguishers hang.
Kenneth Hinnenkamp || Melrose, Minnesota
Light up your welding work
I removed the LED lights from one of my worn-out LED light hats and fastened them to my auto-darkening welding helmet with hot glue. The wires and switch are all routed to the inside of the helmet. Now I can see exactly where it is that I need to strike the arc, even in dark areas.
Never lose a tooth from a hay rake again
I had a problem with my hay rake: Every once in a while a tooth would break off. So to keep the broken tooth from getting picked up by the baler, I ran a chain through the coils of each set of teeth. The chain encircles the coils so if one does break off, it stays with the rake instead of hitting the ground.
Bern Vander Zwaag || Holland, Michigan