All Around the Farm: April 2014
Tire dunk tank is shop-built
Submerge a tire entirely, and it won’t take long to see where the bubbles are coming from (and, therefore, where the hole is). My watering tank is supported by pieces of 4×6-inch lumber and a sheet of plywood. There are lengths of flat iron braced to a vertical arm to push the tire down. Countweights on a cable in the handle make it easy to lift.
Doug Langel | LeMars, Iowa
Waterer stays cleaner and is less prone to freezing
I set a used plastic bucket into each hole of my energy-free waterer. The buckets are cut off level with the tops and bottoms of the holes, and I’ve drilled small holes in the bottom. This keeps debris from settling inside the trough and contaminating it. The pails are kept in place with two stainless roofing screws.
Paul Rissler | New Enterprise, Pennsylvania
Pull a one-row planter
Starting with a three-point hitch from a small tractor, I put foam markers on each side. They are adjustable. One can be down and the other up, or it can be adjusted so they’re both halfway down. The liquid fertilizer I use is in a 2.5-gallon jug with a .25-inch valve and hose that runs behind the knife-like, spring-loaded iron in this one-row planter.
Ralph Pothast | Ottawa, Ohio
Everyday item keeps plastic pails from sticking together
I use plastic pails for carrying feed. It’s frustrating when I stack the empties, because they then tend to stick together. I solved the problem by putting a 4.5-inch-high empty soup can in the bottom of each pail before stacking the next one on top. With the taper on the pails, this does prevent them from sticking together.
Steve Forland | Northwood, Iowa
Built-in boot dryer
My home has floor vents with removeable covers. So I took one out and purchased a plastic vent cover to replace it. Then I cut out two holes for 1.5-inch PVC pipes. I also put a few openings in the pipes. The top of each pipe is covered with a 1.5-inch plug that also has holes added to allow air movement. The rest of the vent is covered with wood so all the air gets directed through the pipes.
Jared Glanzer | Carpenter, South Dakota
New starter switch?
The starter switch on my ATV went bad. I learned that a new one would cost $75. With nothing to lose, I drilled a 1∕16-inch hole into the case, being careful not to go too deep. Then, I squirted electronic cleaner into the hole and worked the switch. Next, I shook it out and worked the switch again. The final step was to cover the hole with JB Weld. Now it works like new.
Francis Fisher | Lynch, Nebraska
Riser stand-in works temporarily
When a riser gets damaged, I don’t always have the time to fix it. I keep extra pipes made up in advance by recycling other damaged risers. The damaged end is sawed off. Then, using pop rivets, I attach four 2×24-inch strips of the same recycled material. A smaller diameter circle made of a 2-inch piece of old riser is fastened to the bottom ends of the 2-inch strips.
Allen Keim | Kinderhook, Illinois
I have discovered that the fitting brushes used by plumbers for cleaning pipe fittings make excellent tools for cleaning up battery cable terminals. The brushes are available in different sizes and can be found in the plumbing section of big-box building-supply stores. I use the ¾-inch size for the positive terminal and the ½-inch size for the negative terminal.
J.R. Aldredge | Milner, Georgia
A collection of the best farmer inventions.