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All Around the Farm: October 2016

A smarter burn barrel  

After going through a number of steel barrels (none of which lasted very long), I built a burn container using my ample supply of old steel fence posts. I welded cut pieces of the steel posts together leaving space between them. That airflow helps stuff burn wonderfully. After two years, it looks like it will last forever. 

Gerald Schneider | Britton, South Dakota

Service: yes or no?

A good way to determine whether a radiator or an air conditioner condenser is clogged is to test it after dark. Shine a small flashlight through the radiator or AC condenser core. If light doesn’t go through, neither does the air! Partial plugging has caused many unnecessary air conditioner service calls.    

Lowell Shubert | Coulterville, Illinois 

AATF wire holder
wire holder saves heartache  

I made this tool for holding wires together while soldering. It’s made from two alligator clips and a hunk of thick wire. The clips slide on the wire firmly, so they can be rotated if needed. I never use crimp connectors anymore. Don’t forget to slide the heat shrink tubing on the wire before you solder! 
I don’t know how I ever got along without this.

David Fruhling | Gold Hill, Oregon 

mark tile outlets  

Worn-out grain bin stirrator screws make very sturdy and effective markers for the tile outlets on my farm. I cut them to 6-foot lengths, and then they go easily into the ground with the use of a pipe wrench. In my experience, they stay put, even when the water rises. Painted red or orange, they are highly visible, too. Or, paint them purple to help warn trespassers the property is posted.  

Mark Streit | Sublette, Illinois 

AATF bale trailer
fast way to transport

I made this for my boss since he moves bales in the cold months with his pickup. It hauls 1,500- to 2,000-pound bales. He’s able to drive up to 60 mph when pulling it. Stab it, wench it, and go. This is the second one of these I’ve built, and I’ve nicknamed the design the Bale Mate.    

Terry Weaver | Wyoming, Illinois 

get right back to painting

Painting is challenging enough without the extra difficulty of getting a brush back in shape the next day. So I put the wet part of my roller or paint brush inside a resealable plastic bag, push out as much air as I can, and zip it closed. The brush will last at least a week that way. I’ve started using disposable trays and throwing the brush away, too, when totally finished.          

Cliff Swart | Seneca, Kansas

AATF tailgate
makes it easier to hook up  

I always had a difficult time trying to attach safety chains to my vehicle. It finally bothered me so much that I took action. I cut two pieces of steel plate to 1½×6 inches and drilled a hole in each end of both plates. Then I bolted one end of each plate to my pickup hitch; the other two ends have chain hooks bolted to them. By simply linking the chain, I can now easily attach the safety chain to my truck.          

Derek Waldner | Raymond, South Dakota

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