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All Around the Farm: December 2016

No need to ever thaw out a frozen lock  

Every year, before everything is completely frozen, I put these lock covers over the keyhole on each door of my shed. I use a 2-inch magnetic spring clip and a piece of rubber roofing. They keep the snow and ice out of the keyhole. During warm seasons, I simply hang them on the inside of the shed next to the door knob, so they’re easy to find when it turns cold again.                     

Bob Strawhacker Mediapolis, Iowa

looks like new again    

A few years ago, our kids got us a flag pole topper in the shape of an eagle. While I had the flag pole down to put on the new ornament, I decided the pole could use a paint job. So I went to the farm store to buy paint, but instead, I purchased a 20-foot-long piece of PVC pipe. Once I slid that new pipe over it, the old pole didn’t need a paint job anymore!   

Frank Gallup Independence, Iowa

all-around-workbench
custom-fabricated workbench

After purchasing a new fuel trailer for the farm, I outfitted it with tool and parts storage, a workbench, designated oil and grease storage, and a vacuum. On top are holders for aerosol cans and hand cleaners. On the right, I made a custom rack to hang the tow rope needed for safely pulling out equipment, and there is a bucket for trash.        

Derek Anthofer | Dedham, Iowa

empty paper feed bags go here 

I built what looks like a giant memo holder spike stick to push empty paper feed bags onto. The ¾-inch rod is about 3 feet high and is welded onto an old disk plate. The top has a point sharp enough to easily puncture the bags. When it gets full, I just put it out on a concrete slab and set the torch to it.   

George Waldner Britton, South Dakota 

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save a service call  

My trucks get a lot of use since I grind my corn and mix my own feed. I figured that as long as there is an air source on the truck, I ought to be using that instead of making a service call when there is a flat. So I put 30-foot air hoses that I found in storage in each of my trucks. The two ends have the necessary fittings.  

Josiah Stahl White, South Dakota

telescoping magnet 

When machining ferrous metals, loose metal fragments can end up in fingers, around machinery, and all over the shop. I use a telescoping magnet placed near my drill press. The magnet attracts metal chips for easy disposal. One great use was when I was redrilling the head bolt on an engine (in place) and wanted to keep the metal chips out of the cylinder.           

Frank Fabin | Eagan, Minnesota

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cattle crossing  

I was having difficulty crossing the creek to check on cattle and fences. Then I came by some used 4×12-foot cement slats. With my skid steer, I sloped the west bank to my liking and placed two of the slats running lengthwise. Then I kept adding more, pushing them down the slope and across the sandy creek bottom. I went to the other side of the stream and did the same thing until the slats were together. 

David Friedrich | Alta, Iowa

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