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All Around the Farm: September 2016

help for a drill rebuild

For a safer, easier method than handling units manually, I replaced my floor jack’s lift plate with three stacked pieces of ½-inch plywood. A slot cut off-center is just long enough to hold a disk opener snugly. To remove a unit, I line it up, jack it up, remove the bolts, lower the unit, and roll it out. It goes back on the same way.    

Jared Rutrough | Rocky Mount, Virginia

save a trip up to the grain leg  

I had a couple of issues when the motor on my gearboxes stalled or the breaker flipped. So I stuck a 2-inch-long strip of reflector tape to the shift of the gearbox. Now I don’t have to climb the grain leg to check every time. I just shine a flashlight at the tape to see it rotate. This is great to have during a power shortage.   

Elias Hofer | Faulkton, South Dakota 

AATF organize
organize the small things 

I have made several of these rolling trays over the years. There is a rack on the back for cans of fluids and a light at the top for darker areas in the shop. Strip magnets fastened to the side of the cart hold wrench sockets on one side and screwdrivers on the other. Stackable containers on top are for small pieces of hardware. 

Joseph Bergbower | Newton, Illinois

take dent out of auger tube just like at a body shop  

Remove the auger screw from inside the tube. Support the tube horizontally with dent on the bottom. Insert a section of water pipe or similar round item (the heavier, the better) into the tube so it rests on top of the dent (the largest-diameter item that will fit is best). With a light hammer, tap around the edges of the dent until the tube is restored.  

Gene Ramsey | Raphine, Virginia

AATF pen
make sure there’s always a pen when you need one  

Many times I’d look for a pen in the cab of my pickup and come up empty-handed. Now, I can always find one in an easy-to-get-to spot: the air vent closest to the steering wheel. All I had to do was put a binder clip on one of the fins. Most pens fit and stay within the jaws of a medium-size clip positioned in this way.  

Jack Sutcliffe | Mason City, Iowa 

roll out the barrel (for mice with poison underneath) 

To control mice in my orchards, gardens, and barns, I use empty barrels cut in half lengthwise with poison placed under them. Mice like to nest in and under any shelter, so it works real well – better than bait stations that blow away. This method is also child- and pet-safe.         

Abraham Waldner | Aberdeen, South Dakota

AATF scrap metal organizer
build a scrap metal organizer   

Positioned right next to the band saw in my shop is this container for short pieces left over after I cut angle iron, solid rod, tubing, or other types of metal. There are four 5-gallon buckets around the top and four at the base. The base platform is made of angle iron. Casters let me move it when needed. It seems like I go to this container often because I frequently need small pieces of steel.          

Doug Langel | Le Mars, Iowa

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