All Around the Farm: Nov. 2014

  • Chain saw stand

    Chain saw stand
    It was getting harder to start my chain saw on the ground, so I built this stand using 1-inch square tubing and angle iron. The 24-inch-tall stand has a 12×16-inch plywood surface. Brackets on the top securely anchor the chain saw when I start it. The base is larger (12×22 inches), so I can stand on it for further stability.
    Donald Swanson | Brandon, Minnesota

  • Keep out the cold and snow

    Keep out the cold and snow
    To save energy from the cold draft and snow blowing under my big shop doors, I came up with a block. I cut a length of 1.5-inch discharge hose to match the length of my doors. Then, I put a 1.5-inch plastic plug in one end, secured it with a zip tie, and filled the hose with pea gravel. A second plastic plug closes up the other end. It’s flexible, and I can move it when necessary.     
    Earl Dixon | Wellington, Illinois

  • Hit the road, trash

    Hit the road, trash 
    About eight years ago, I started building and selling what I call the Trash Tote. It’s made of all reinforced steel and installs with simple tools in five seconds to any vehicle (car, truck, four-wheeler, or garden tractor) that has a 17∕8-inch ball. It unhitches quickly at the end of the driveway.         
    Dan Jacobson | Pequot Lakes, Minnesota

  • Nice results with less effort

    Nice results with less effort 
    To make the job of cleaning a truck or tractor easier, I fill a 5-gallon bucket with warm water and a big shot of dish detergent (I like Dawn). Then, I add about ¼ cup of dishwasher rinse aid. This helps water run off the metal in sheets, and it leaves a shine when I rinse it off. (I also like to use a window-washing brush for the cleaning.)    
    Kathie Kania | Erie, Pennsylvania

  • One utility building, two shops

    One utility building, two shops   
    When we built our new shop, we didn’t want the added expense of a second heating system and another air compressor. So, we put up a dedicated building for those units in between the new and old shops. Hot water and air lines run through buried tile out to both shops, which are now much more quiet. This new system minimizes fire risks, too.     
    Paul Wulf | Hancock, Minnesota

  • Gain more elbow room

    More room to work
    I need more room to crawl under my air
    drill when I service it. First, I block the rear tires so they can’t
    roll. Then, I use two forklifts to lift the drill and
    secure truck rims under the front tires. Elevated this way, I gain
    another foot of work space. When I lower the row units, it gives me even
    more room in between the front row and the back row.         
    Ryan Waldner | Mitchell, South Dakota

  • Barn heaters

    Put barn heaters over alley scrapers    
    A 100,000-Btu infrared radiant heater with spark ignition now hangs 12 feet above each scrape alley grate in our free stall barn. We have automatic alley scrapers that push manure to a center pit, but when the temps dip into single digits, the manure won’t flow. The grates over the manure pit absorb the heat, which keeps the grates warm and the slots from freezing.  
    Jerry Szoszorek | Eden, New York

  • Nice and quiet

    Now that’s nice and quiet  
    I always find it important to keep it quiet in my calving barn when cows are about ready to calf. There is a gate in that area that is used frequently. If someone is working in a hurry, the gate inevitably gets banged against a post, and the noise disturbs my cows or heifers. So, I took a worn-out four-wheeler tire and bolted it onto the gate as a cushion.
    Darrin Hofer | Mitchell, South Dakota

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