Letters To The Editor

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Wheel manure spreader
2 / 5
Sherman JensenGas engine club
3 / 5
Betty RClipper mower
4 / 5
Sears catalog harness vise
5 / 5
Fordson "F" with a TACO mower

Grain drill research

I am doing research concerning the ‘Blunt Succor Grain Drill,’ patented by Robert Blunt and manufactured by John L. Ashurst starting in about 1873. It is described as ‘the best on the market,’ by a book called the History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois. Does anyone have any information or articles on this subject?
– Marilyn Richards, 16815 La Mota Way, Winter Garden, FL 34787; e-mail: Httledebbie79@aol.com

Unknown planter

I am seeking information regarding a front-mounted, 2-row corn planter for an ‘H’ tractor. I recently purchased such a planter and do not know whether I have all the parts or how to install and use it. I want to attach the planter to an ‘H’ that I recently restored, so my son, David, and I can take them to the annual Pioneer Power Show in July in West Branch, Mich. If anyone has a picture, it would give us some idea of what we have or don’t have.
– Roger Bowen, 4530 Maple Ridge Rd., Sterling, MI 48659; (989) 654-3249

Wycof and Tuttle Reaper query

I have an old reaper manufactured in Perry, N.Y., that I am restoring. The name ‘Wycof and Tuttle’ is cut into the cast drive wheel, the patent date is March 1883, and the cutting bar measures 4 1/2 to 5 feet. I would like to know the original color and the material used for the platform, which is missing.
– Robert Thomas, 44046 S. D. Hwy. 44, Marion, SD 57043

Keystone thresher gift

Our New Zealand machinery club has been given substantial remains of a Keystone thresher that we are restoring. We can find no details locally or on the Internet. Does anyone have information regarding the history, or a handbook?

Also, would anyone have drawings of the insides of tin threshing mills of the 1930s, as set up for work? We would like to use one in a threshing display for the city of Dunedin’s annual fair. Thank you.
– Ernie Bell, 199 Gordon Road, Mosgiel, New Zealand 9007; e-mail: ernie.bell@xtra.co.nz

Color specifications sought on Oliver plow

My sister gave me a right-handed, one-way Oliver plow that needed handles, which I obtained from Alfred Egbers in Uehling, Neb. I want to paint the plow to make it look new and use it as a yard ornament, but I don’t know the original color. I would appreciate any information on this plow’s color.
 – Sandi Dai, 22917 250th St., Underwood, 1A 51576; e-mail: sandicow@ne.uswest.net

Tachometer search

Upon receiving the April edition of Farm Collector, I was excited to see Alan Easley’s letter about his BP-1 chainsaw. It was the first time since 1958 that I’ve seen a reference to a tachometer that seems to read rpms by resonance contact rather than shaft speed. I tuned up outboard motors in the 1950s and since have been trying to find such a tachometer. Can anyone help?
– George H. Suprenant, 34 King St., Wilmington, MA 01887; (978) 658-8047 (3 to 8 p.m. EST); e-mail: deosup63@msn.com

Information sought on broadcast seeder

We are seeking information on this recently purchased Union Junior narrow track broadcast seeder, which we would like to restore. Except for red on the boxes and a few flakes here and there, nothing remains of the original colors, and we haven’t found any manufacturer’s marks either. We have never seen another of these seeders and neither have members of our gas engine club.
– Sherman Jensen, 1645 Nyberg Court, Saint Croix Falls, WI 54024; (715)483-3602; e-mail: s_bjensen@centurytel.net

Laughlin tractor information sought

Going through an equipment guide, I saw the specifications on a Laughlin tractor. It was a 1948 gas with a Continental engine, 163 cubic inches, 26 HP on the drawbar with 4-speed transmission. Has anyone ever heard of the Laughlin, and where could I get more information on it?
– Byron Laughlin, 17636 CR 1182, Flint, TX 75762

Barbed wire values

I have several rolls of barbed wire taken from a line fence. It is the Joseph F. Glidden Square Line, patented Feb. 8, 1876. I was wondering if it has any value?
– Gerald Forristall, P.O. Box 218, Treynor, IA 51575; e-mail: g4istall@aol.com

Pawnee Steam School

The Pawnee, Okla., Steam School was held March 22-24 this year with 133 people signing up for steam engine-related classes.

One highlight was when an instructor blew down his 40 Case to a certain water level, pulled off the governor belt and climbed a 50 per cent incline.

The steam engine instructors spoke about boiler construction, conditioning, safety, steam guage repair, boiler piping, steam cylinder oiling, steam injectors, steam governors, valve repair, tube rolling and water chemistry. The Medina (Ohio) mishap also was covered. All of the instructors are unpaid and all nine live a distance from Pawnee. The class was held to help those owning and interested in steam traction engines to repair and properly care for them.
– Lester E. Pierce, 4998 320 St., Stanberry, MO 64489

Owner seeks materials on Clipper mower

I have shown this picture of my old lawn mower to a number of people, including a couple of antique dealers, but no one can identify it. On the inside of the iron wheel are the Patent dates: ‘Nov. 9 – 1893’ and ‘Aug. 30 – 1898.’ Below that, on the wheel, it says, ‘Clipper lawn mower.’ I would appreciate any information.
– Betty R. Ogle, 2124 105th Ave., Indianola, IA 50125

Insights on Fordson’s PTO

This was one system, but there also was a power takeoff possible from the gear of the belt pulley on the right-hand side.

Ford never made any of the useful farm and construction machinery attachments, but the basic provisions for them were incorporated into the original 1918 design. Instead, a number of companies sprang up to supply ‘after-market’ items for the Fordson, and many still exist.

These attachments range from full and half-tracks to complete rollers and graders and to smaller items such as external magnetos, water pumps, governors and seat springs.

An early pioneer from New Holstein, Wis., where the TACO factory was located, reported that he saw several railroad boxcars loaded with TACO’s various after-market attachments leave the factory each day.

Although seldom credited for its modern outer appearance and inside working parts, the Fordson was way ahead of its time. Other makes of tractors didn’t sell power take-offs until the 1930s, but this attachment was available on the Fordson in the 1920s. The original term ‘power take-off’ was applied to a belt pulley, and the Fordson offered this accessory from the beginning, 1918, although it didn’t have an ‘in-out’ shift until the Irish (Cork-built) Fordson ‘N’ came out in 1929. Rockford, the company that made the non-shift for the Fordson, was one of the few pulley-manufacturing companies that did not offer this clutch feature. Although many different designs and configurations were available, either the belt pulley gear or the worm gear power source were the Fordson owner’s choices.
 – Jack Heald, national director, Fordson Tractor Club, 250 Robinson Road, Cave function, OR 97523

Harness ‘horse’ (vise) identified

The item from Robert Miller pictured on page 7 of the April issue of Farm Collector is identified as a harness vise. Among readers who responded: Gil Ruehl of Cincinnati notes the device had a foot pedal that tightened the vise part, which held the harness in place. ‘The vise is made of wood so the harness doesn’t scratch the leather.’ Virden H. Smith, Findlay, Ohio, writes he has one ‘almost identical except mine uses a bolt and a blacksmith-made wing nut to tighten it instead of a strap and foot pedal. Pieces of leather were clamped on it with the edge sticking out so they could be sewn together by making holes with an awl, and sewing it with a heavy cord rubbed with beeswax.’

Sears catalog harness vise, sent by Jim Moffett, Modesto, III.

Square-headed bolts can be made at home

The March issue of Farm Collector featured a story on Parke Miller’s Union Corn Planter. In the story, Parke mentioned it was difficult to find square-headed bolts these days. I have had the same difficulty and have a solution.

I fabricate squared bolts by brazing a square nut onto a threaded rod cut to length. Square nuts and threaded rods (also known as ‘all-thread’) are common and available at hardware stores. I start by cutting the threaded rod to the proper length, spinning on the nut, and then brazing the two together.

If you need a bolt with a shoulder, there are a couple of options:

Find a hex shoulder bolt of the right size, chuck it in the lathe and turn down the hex head to a diameter that will accept the square nut, then braze them together.

The other option is to cut some threaded rod to the proper length, braze on the square nut and braze over part of the threads beneath the nut. Then chuck the assembly in the lathe and turn down the brazed-over threads to form a shoulder.

If it’s a high-stress application, and you want extra strength in the braze joint, here are a few more options:

Spin the nut on the threaded rod so that a few threads show on top of the square nut. When brazing, build up the braze material to form a nice dome for a good appearance and a strong joint.

Use a hacksaw to cut an ‘X’ across the top of the threaded rod before brazing. This gives additional bond area and a stronger joint.

Use an oversized drill to form a countersink on the nut prior to brazing. This also increases the bond area.

I find this ‘cut and braze’ method is adequate for almost every job, and after painting you can’t tell the difference.

Also, when dismantling old equipment, I find that heating a rusty nut with an acetylene torch until the nut is cherry-red and then applying a wrench really does the trick.

– Kirk Unzelman, 4635 130th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98006, (425) 746-6520

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