All Around the Farm: December 2014

  • Guard the tracks, and hang the chain

    Guard the tracks, and hang the chains 
    When I made a shop out of an existing 70×120-foot building, I buried a length of I-beam about halfway into the concrete between the two overhead doors. Later, I found an old plow and salvaged the square tubing to make a door guard. It protects the tracks of the overhead doors, and I also use it for hanging up log chains and binders.      
    Grady Thorsgard | Northwood, North Dakota

  • Ice-olate air compressor from the floor

    Ice-olate air compressor from the floor
    To keep my air compressor stable and to minimize vibration when running, I took this step when I mounted it to the shop floor: I put a hockey puck between the floor and each lag. The pucks make inexpensive vibration pads, and they cost just a few dollars each. I drilled a hole in their centers to accommodate the lag bolt I used to bolt each one to the floor.   
    Joe Ciarlette | Joliet, Illinois

  • Small calves eat plenty

    Small calves eat plenty 
    Larger, more aggressive calves were eating most of the corn from my traditional creep feeder. This design permits only smaller calves to enter. Cattle panels block the ends, and a piece of salvaged chain-link fence divides the feeder lengthwise. The center-mounted 9×20-foot feeder is easy to move within my rotational grazing system. Scrap metal jack stands on each corner adjust for stability.
    Rex Martin | Aurora, Indiana

  • The water hydrant is definitely off

    The water hydrant is definitely off
    Since my house is over 100 yards from the barn, it was impossible to tell if I’d remembered to turn off the water hydrant by looking from the house. So I simply mounted a white board behind the hydrant, and now I can easily see, in the contrast, whether the handle is up or down. This has saved a lot of walking back to the barn to check on the water hydrant!    
    Gerald Meadows | Mound City, Missouri

  • Dump rake becomes header trailer

    Dump rake becomes header trailer   
    To build this trailer, I turned to the 30-foot dump rake in my tree row. First, I removed the raking hitch, teeth, teeth holders, excess angle iron, rods, hydraulic cylinder and hoses, and lift arms. Then, I welded on pipe and tubing at a 45° angle to give the front of the header something to rest on.
    Jim Eidmann | Rugby, North Dakota

  • Catch all of the antifreeze

    Catch all of the antifreeze
    When draining the antifreeze out of a vehicle, it invariably happens that some amount of the antifreeze solution will find its way along the vehicle’s frame and, thereby, miss the collection bucket. To solve this problem, I started placing a hot water heater drip pan on the shop floor and then placing my bucket in the pan under the vehicle.
    Craig Fahlstrom | Dickinson, North Dakota

  • Penetrate the ground more easily

    Penetrate the ground more easily     
    It is one tough job getting fence posts put up in hard soil. To make this work much easier, I replaced the bigger auger on my post hole digger with a narrower corn head snapping roll point. I welded the right-hand corn head snapping roll point to a 2-inch pipe, and then I mounted it to my post hole digger. 
    Milo Schmuckal | Kingsley, Michigan

  • Cobble a hobble with inexpensive materials

    Cobble a hobble
    After one of my first calf show heifers had her calf, I needed a way to hobble her. She wouldn’t let her calf nurse; her udder was too hard with the pressure from her milk. So I used two adjustable dog collars, one on each leg, and then a third with a clip on it between those two. By threading the clipped collar through the two rings on the adjustable collars, I was able to keep her from kicking.
    Allyson Stanek, age 13 | Hayward, Minnesota

Check out the latest farmer inventions in this month's All Around the Farm.

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