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
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
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
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
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