Letters: Deciphering shock tier’s operation

In response to Sam Moore’s shock tier column


| April 2011



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The bottom shock tier is the same as Jerry Kelly’s and has a rope attached that is heavier than necessary. At top is another example of the same tool with what is believed to be the original handle.

Photo by Jim Moffet

Reader Jim Moffet, Modesto, Ill., wrote columnist Sam Moore to comment on Sam’s February 2011 column on shock tiers. “Each month I look forward to receiving Farm Collector to read, learn and enjoy what Sam Moore has to say. His article on shock tiers tweaked my interest. I have also looked at thousands and thousands of patents for many, many items and, like you, I have never found the patent for Jerry Kelly’s tier, which I believe has a replaced wooden handle. One of the two in our collection has what I believe to be the original wood handle with the end being like the end of a pitchfork handle, while the other one has a replaced wooden handle about 7 inches long. These features make me doubt that the handle was intended to be put into the shock.” 

Sam Moore responds: In my column, I said Jerry Kelly’s tier was probably operated in the following manner: “The pointed stick is pushed into the shock to hold the tier while the free ends of both the rope and the twine are carried around the shock. The stick is removed from the shock and used to hold the tier, while the rope is placed between the pulley and the movable dog, and the twine is hung on the hook at the end of the knife blade. The tier handle is held with one hand, and with the other the rope is pulled tight around the shock, compressing it. When the rope is dropped, the dog should hold it firmly in place, while the twine is tied and then cut off using the knife blade. The rope eyelet on the movable dog is pushed toward the pulley, releasing the rope, which may then be removed through the side opening. If this isn’t how the tier is used, I’m sure a reader will let me know.”

Based on the photo (shown here) and what Jim Moffet wrote, it’s obvious that the handle is intended only to hold the tier and it is not pushed into the shock as I thought. My thanks to Jim for pointing out the correct operation of the shock tier. -Sam Moore, Salem, Ohio