LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Ray LoewenDamming ditcher" or a "lister

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This implement has IHC-marked parts on the wheel hubs. In an IHC book, I found some printed information, but no photos. They called it a 'damming ditcher' or a 'lister,' but I am still wondering if that is right. Does anyone know anything about this type of implement?

- Ray Loewen, 2134 6th Ave. N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 0W7 Canada

'What-is-it?' whoops

In response to the mystery tool C in the September issue of Farm Collector, which was identified as a woodworking scraper, possibly a scorp: I'm sure that the tool is a turpentine hacker. The tool was used to slash the bark on a pine tree to allow the sap to flow into a bucket. The tool had an iron weight on the end of the handle to provide additional momentum, as the tool is pulled downward for the cut.

- Dick Kates, 409 Park St., Oakland, IA51560

I am certain that the item pictured in the September Farm Collector What-is-it? page, item C, was used to tap pine resin from trees in south Georgia and north Florida.

- Preston Currey, Box 338, Hughes Springs, TX 75656; (903) 639-7305

Grandfather's plow identified through Weir catalog story

Reading through a recent issue (Farm Collector, September 2002), I saw the reprint of the 1886 Weir Plow Co. catalog, and through it I was able to identify my wood-beam walking plow, which belonged to my grandfather. I am 75 years old and only remember it as a used plow. It is a wood standard 'extra' model with a rolling cutter. It has been used so much that the metal on each side of the drawbar is worn into the holes.

The unusual thing about Weir plows is that they were made right handed at a time when all other plows were left handed. Right-hand plows didn't come out until the tractor plow.

I also liked the fanning mill article in the same issue. I have the Maytag version of the One Minute Mill. It is the same in design but carries the Maytag name instead of One Minute.

- Herman F. Calvert, 11886 E. 400th Ave., Newton, IL 62448

Square bolts revisited

Responding to my letter about fabricating square bolts (Farm Collector Letters to the Editor, August 2002), square bolts are available from some national industrial suppliers such as McMaster-Carr, as well as some local sources. I have used McMaster-Carr myself, and they are indeed the answer if you need a large quantity of square bolts of the same size. My challenge, for example, was rebuilding a 28- by 46-foot McCormick threshing machine, which had been sitting outside for 30 years, and it really needed a lot of bolts.

However, due to minimum order requirements, the national and local distributors are not always a good solution when it comes to needing a few bolts of various sizes for a typical restoration. Besides, we're always in a hurry to finish a project and can't wait for a delivery. That's when my technique of brazing up a few bolts to fill a specific need comes in handy. I encourage everyone to give it a try.

- Kirk Unzelman, 4635 130th Ave. S.E., Bellevue, WA 98006; (425) 746-6520

Atkinson Hay Days

When I was a young boy, we went southwest of Atkinson, Neb., to hunt ducks on the Star Plus Ranch. This is wide-open sand hill country, and the valleys are very close to water, making it some of the finest native hay-growing ground in the United States. For years, hay was baled in small, square bales and shipped all over the country from there. The town of O'Neill, south of Atkinson, produced stacks of hay and baled them directly into boxcars for shipment.

A couple of years ago, I attended Hay Days at Atkinson and saw a baler that was fed by hand, using a pitchfork. The haywas pitched onto a hayrack pulled by a team of horses and hauled to the baler, where it was pitched by hand into that machine. The bales were blocked, tied and stacked by hand. Those boys didn't need a weight room to stay in shape; they were in shape.

The hay baler was a 1910 Dain, powered by another team of horses. The horses went round and round in one place, which powered a long, spring-loaded shaft, which powered the plunger for pressing the hay. Even today, ruts can be seen in Holt County were the horses went round and round in one place, even though by about 1940, balers began to be powered by tractors instead of horses. The newer balers were belt driven, which made them more portable.

The rig at Hay Days sat on four wagon wheels, and every time they put it down, they have to pull the wheels off. When I first saw it, the wheels were on it, and I couldn't figure out how it worked.

The old way of stacking small, square bales may be ending, just like threshing and corn shelling did. I think some people should show the old ways to our younger people before it's all gone.

-James Wagner, 52341 875th Road, Winnetoon, NE 68789

Buried treasure

I want to identify an implement that I discovered in my lawn, buried up to the axles in dirt. It had been there quite a long time, and when I found it, I not only had to cut a bunch of brush away from it, I also had to kill a Copperhead snake in excess of 3 feet to get to it. I got it out of the ground with the help of my four-wheel drive Toyota pickup by pulling it with chains. I have seen one other implement like this on a Web site, but the implement was listed as a hay mower. I wrote to the person on the Web site, but apparently he did not know what it was but knew that it had 'blades' on it at one time. Once I told him what I had found, he changed his Web site to reflect that the implement was a corn stalk cutter and had a price of $1,500.

Can anyone tell me what I have found and any other information about it?

- Kathleen Horton, 100 E. Ferguson, Ste. 1016, Tyler, TX 75702; e-mail: khorton@justice.com