All Around the Farm, October 2012

  • Solar Fence Chargers Need Protection from Hail

    Solar Fence Chargers Need Protection from Hail

    I attached a wooden frame with hail screen onto the post where my fence charger is mounted. The two T-shape pieces of wood are approximately 2×2 inches, and they're mounted with deck screws. The side pieces have notches in them to give support to the top pieces. The hail screen is attached to the frame with recycled light-gauge electric wire.

    John Hansen, McCracken, Kansas

  • Clean Out GuttersWhile Standing on the Ground

    Clean Out Gutters While Standing on the Ground

    This add-on cleans the leaves out of eaves spouts. I made a 4-foot-long, 1.5-inch-diameter PVC extension (although it could be shorter or longer). The brace also makes an assist handle. Loosen the nut by the PVC sink trap at the end to swivel the elbow. Remove metal screws in the radiator hose coupling to take off the spout cleaner. No more climbing ladders!

    Lowell Bass, Ada, Ohio

  • Convert to Spring-Loaded Pliers

    Convert to Spring-Loaded Pliers

    I found a simple technique that gives spring-loaded action to an ordinary pair of pliers. I just slipped a length of soft rubber or plastic tubing onto both ends of the pliers, and it holds the jaws open until I squeeze. It's much easier to use, especially when I'm working one-handed in an awkward position. It also makes the pliers easy to hang on the wall or over a workbench.

    Thomas Hofer, Graceville, Minnesota

  • Circulate Tank Water

    Circulate Tank Water

    I stood a used saddle tank off a diesel truck on end in a 6-foot-plus-deep hole. I put in a small pump through an opening in the top. It pumps water into an old bathtub (reservoir) that the cattle drink from. Since the tank is so deep in the ground, the water stays warm enough to keep from freezing in the tub as it circulates. I fill it every seven to 10 days in the winter.

    Larry Heiss, O'Neill, Nebraska

  • Idea Of the Month: Easy Sprayer Winterizing

    Idea Of the Month: Easy Sprayer Winterizing

    Bright-colored electrical tape marks the locations of the clamp closest to each area of potential water entrapment in a sprayer. Once placed, leave the easy-to-see markings on as a time-saving guide.

    Aaron Hofer, Graceville, Minnesota

  • Send us your ideas

    Send Us Your Ideas

    Submissions should be precise. Include a sketch or photograph when needed. The Idea of the Month receives a $2,500 Firestone in-store credit offer. We pay $200 for ideas that appear with drawings and $100 for unillustrated ideas. Send idea, a daytime phone number, and email address to or to: Successful Farming Magazine All Around The Farm 1716 Locust Street/LS257 Des Moines, IA 50309.

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