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All Around the Farm: February 2017

heavy-duty sawhorses  

The sleeves from the shipping crate for a bean head form the bottom pieces of these heavy-duty sawhorses I built. I left the attached loops to use with tie-downs. The top sections are made from the wings of a field cultivator. I’ve used them for building a hydraulic press and a log splitter for my skid loader. They’re also easy to move with a forklift.        

Bobby Huffman | Edina, Missouri

leave it to gutters to hold small items  

I like using strips of aluminum gutters to hold nails, screws, bolts, and other small parts in my shop. Cut to length, they are easily hung to the wall; I have used nails to secure them. There are three longer sections directly over my workbench. 

Craig Grodman Lehigh Acres, Florida 

Same job, half the time  

Since I work on a lot of trucks in the winter, my floor gets tracked with mud. I was spending a lot of time cleaning it out with a 6-inch ice scraper. So I took a piece of metal 36 inches long and 6 inches wide and welded it onto my existing scraper at its center. Now that scraper is as long as a pair of tires on a semi.  

Joseph Wurtz | Delmont, South Dakota 

shop-built office desk  

I didn’t think building a desk for my mom out of 2½-inch angle iron and 1½-inch flat iron would be hard. Then I discovered that perfect drawers and sliders take a lot of time. The angle iron wasn’t always a perfect 90°, so the desk didn’t want to hold square. I tack-welded most of the joints on the back. 

Nathan Lehman | Monroe, Indiana 

lifesaving detectors   

My son recently asked me why farmers don’t use hydrogen sulfide (H2S) detectors near manure pits. He’s an executive in the construction industry and says the detectors are required by his company if there is even the remotest possibility that the gas could be present (for example, near sewage systems, oil wells, or coal mines). Amazon has a portable H2S detector for about $100.  

Jerry Nelson Volga, South Dakota 

if the handle falls out, it won’t go very far

I had more than one close call when the hopper bottom grain trailer crank handle nearly dropped right through the dump pit grate. To keep that from ever happening, I simply cut a tennis ball to fit snugly over that handle. With the ball on, the crank handle won’t fit through the pit grate.      

Chris Geiger | Markle, Indiana

ATV service records   

Lots of people use the utility vehicle on my farm, so trying to keep service records for it can be hectic and costly without a proper schedule. It also leads to overservice or underservice. To help me keep track, I made a service sheet on my computer and taped it on the inside of the ATV’s toolbox.   

Jadon Waldner | Mitchell, South Dakota 

removable planter ramps    

I built walkways that make filling my Kinze corn and soybean box planters easier. Working at that height is nice, especially when the hopper extensions are on. The square box tubing and expanded metal sections are frame-mounted and simple to remove. Hinges at the front give better access for working on the unit.   

James Nelson | Audubon, Iowa 

improve traction in a hurry 

This easily mounted bed rack with side boards holds the weight in my pickup’s quick-tach weight system. A heavy-duty fiberglass barrel filled with concrete creates the +500-pound weight. It won’t shift from side to side. Another benefit is the improvement in the truck’s overall balance when the snow plow is installed.  

George Gunn | Southampton, Massachusetts

ATV cattle guard   

My 4×6-foot cattle guard sits on two railroad ties in the fence line. It is built from 1½-inch well pipe spaced at 8 inches. The well pipe is welded to 3×3-inch angle iron. Welded to the pipe are four ramps (each one is 10×12 inches) and 58 -inch rod spaced so the wheels on the ATV can roll on them, which makes for a smooth ride. It’s been in use for well over a year now.   

Roger Johnson | Chandler, Minnesota

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