LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Clar SchachtThe wrench

Content Tools

I found this wrench in some of my grandfather's tools. Does anyone know what the wrench was used for and how much it's worth?

- Clar Schacht, P.O. Box 55, Lockney, TX 79241

'Rest'-oration

I call this homemade lawn chair antique implement art. It's made from planter wheels, hay rakes and lift levers - and an I.H. gear for a cup holder. It's nice to sit in, and the wind won't blow it away!

- Joe Brautigam, 1245 Telegraph Road, West Chester, PA 19380; (610)696-3343; e-mail: sndgear@aol.com

Watching 'Miss Millie'

The article 'Catching the Wind,' by Jim Lacey (Farm Collector, April 2003) about his windmills couldn't have been more appropriate for me. I found it ironic that the windmill I erected several years ago was also the older model 502 that was featured in the article.

Like Jim, when I found my 502 it was still up and surrounded by trees. This was probably good as the trees partially concealed it from view, which likely contributed to the lack of bullet holes. We found a crane service less than a mile away, and in no time, we had the tower and mill down, partially taken apart and strapped onto our trailer for the trip back to Raleigh. We got a lot of stares, waves and horn honks as we made our way down the interstate.

And also like Jim said, the oiling mechanism in the model 502 didn't work well, so we had to replace several parts. Thank goodness for the availability of replacement parts and for the generosity of a dealer who took the time to answer all my questions and provide some great advice.

After cleaning and repainting the tower and replacing the worn parts, we decided to erect the tower from the ground up, piece by piece. This was the way it was designed to be done, since back then it was not easy to find a crane, nor was there any extra money to pay for one. We had to get used to being up that high, but with a good safety belt and help from some friends, we soon had the tower up. We didn't pull up the mill itself , so we cheated and hired a crane to come out and lift the 500-pound head and set it on the tower. The crane operator kept hanging around after the lift was finished, and his payment was 'just to see it run.'

When my friend Robert found out I had a mill, he came by, saw it and really got the fever to get one of his own. Of course, now being 'experienced,' I offered to help him with his when he gets ready to erect it. After all, sharing and helping is a big part of this fascinating hobby of collecting and restoring old tractors, tools and things.

Watching 'Miss Millie' as she stands majestically above the pasture and slowly begins to turn is something special that I never get tired of. Being about 88 years young doesn't slow her down one bit. People who come by also get a big kick out of watching her turn.

Restoring a windmill isn't that hard, especially after you've done one. However, like all projects, there are some tricks of the trade that make it a whole lot easier and safer. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a unique piece of the past.

Robert said the other day that he has a relative who's got the fever and will be getting one. Guess it will be even easier the third time around. I am always interested in talking about windmills.

- Ed Hobbs, 4417 Inwood Road, Raleigh, NC 27603; (919) 828-2754; e-mail: hobbsed@msn.com

Hay bale tale

I remember very clearly our days baling hay. When I was a very young boy on our 160-acre farm in Oklahoma, my father owned a little IHC one-horse hay baler. The horse went around and around to pull the tongue to power that baler.

I rode that horse or sat on the tongue with a sack full of hay for a seat. The singletree ring or something else sometimes broke. The tongue would snap back, and I was walking behind the horse, my shins got a big jolt. Ouch, that hurt!

When Dad fed the baler, he used a small fork to drag the hay from the table where a pitcher had placed the hay. My dad always pushed the feed of hay down with the butt of the fork.

Many days he finished 200 bales by noon. In my teenage years, I worked for a neighbor who owned a little Case baler powered by one-cylinder motor, but it didn't have the power we needed for baling, so he would take the motor off the baler and belt up his Allis-Chalmers B tractor for more power.

One day while baling, the owner of that baler said, 'Shut it down' after one hour of work. I had been tying the wire as I always did. There were 93 bales baled in that one hour.

The hay was pushed from the back-side of the field, down a windrow until the back rake got full, then to the baler. This was a homemade rig with long 2-by-4-inch studs sharpened on the end to form teeth. It had a long 2-inch pipe for an axle, and two wheels near the back. Also, a 2-inch pipe was bent in a semicircle and fastened to the axle.

A John Deere tractor was used to push it with the front wheels inside the semicircle. The pipe was raised up and fastened to the center of the tractor to push or back the rig out and guide it as needed. The driver always backed out in the field to get another load as it was easier to guide, and he could go faster.

- Virgil Bradley, 912 S. Thompson Ave., Gushing, OK 74023

Happy Days

I enjoyed the article on the LaCrosse tractor (Farm Collector, April 2003), and I'm curious about the final stages of the company. I have a well-used copy of an Oshkosh tractor owner's manual. Evidently, there were Happy Farmer tractors produced under the Oshkosh name. Have any survived?

- LeRoy Wyman, P.O. Box 123, Brownell, KS 67521; (785)481-2220

Twice Happy

The April 2003 Farm Collector article on the Happy Farmer was interesting. About 20 years ago, I had the pleasure of touring Oscar's Dreamland with my now-deceased stepfather. The best part was when he recalled farming in Montana with many of the old tractors, including the Happy Farmer. His closing commentary was, 'It made you happy twice: the day you bought it, and the day you sold it.'

- Len Howe, 14126 4th Ave. E, Tacoma, WA 98445; e-mail: lenhowewa@aol.com

Putting the pieces together

I recently purchased a beautifully painted wooden, hand-operated grain threshing mill at an auction. It's in many pieces and needs restoration. I sure would love it if anyone could lead me to a photograph or a manual or drawings, which could help me figure out how to get it back in working condition. I have a one-page instruction sheet dated 1904 from the Manson Campbell Co., Ltd., 103 Wesson Ave., Detroit, MI.

- Bill Monahan, 1810 9th St., Anacortes, WA 98221; (360) 293-8595

Drill color query

I collect old drill box ends, but as you can guess, there is no paint on them after 100 or 200 years in the tree belt. I would like to find a book on drills with the color correctly identified.

- Gary Krehbiel, 3461 S.E. 120th St., Rago, KS 67142

Reader in the dark about lantern

I have a Feierhand 'Superbaby' 1 75 lantern. It also has a number on it, K1491/1. Can you tell me anything about it? It also says 'original nier patent.' It was buried in the dirt walls in my uncle's basement.

- Michael Greniger, 17720 Sugar Lake Trail, Cohasset, MN 55721; (218) 326-0053; e-mail: bigmikie@cohassetmn. com

Plow needs a name

Here is a picture of my wood-beam plow. It has an imprint on the back of the mold-board that reads, 'SBCPCO.' Can anyone tell me the name of the manufacturer and some information about the company, such as the date? I do know that this is a left-hand plow.

- Tony Friga, 3790 County Road 3580, Willow Springs, MO 65793; (417)469-3256

Gathering grader info

I bought this Sawyer-Massey grader recently and would like any information anyone has about it.

- Loranne Scholey, 3608 113th Ave., Edmonton, Alberta T5W 0P8, Canada

Milking mystery

This is a picture of a rotary vacuum milking machine pump. I'm looking for any information about this piece of equipment such as the manufacturer, age or anything else someone might know.

- Ken Hollenbeck, 607 Cherrywood Lane, Sister Bay, WI 54234; e-mail: khollenb@dcwis.com