Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Fall is Here!

It's October, and the leaves have started to turn colors and fall. The Hedge Apples are really thick this year - some say that means we are in for a snowy Winter. Last year we only had 12" total, so practically anything would be a snowy Winter!

I did have a few items I drug home in the past couple weeks. I found an old Dearborn model 14-42 Side Delivery Rake and a bale loader in the weeds on a nearby farm ( I can SEE the field where they were). I was helping another neighbor cut some trees for the man and happened to see them. I have been looking for these items for 4-5 years, and had even asked the farmer if he knew where any were at!

I brought the rake home on Friday, gresaed /oiled it up on Saturday, put on new tires/rims, and tried her out! I removed 2 of the stripper bars because they were bent, but other than that it works just fine! I will replace a few teeth this Winter, but it will be ready to go next Summer. I had JUST finished with hay for this year - two days before I found it!

The bale loader it the type that attaches to the hay rack or flatbed of a truck. As you drive, it raises the bales on a chain elevator and takes them up to the wagon or truck bed for stacking. It is "ground driven" so It can be used behind a truck or tractor. It makes it a LOT easier than picking the bales up by hand!

I also managed to work on one of the John Deere Manure Spreaders I drug home. I pulled it up by the shop and started "tinkering" with it the other day. I greased everything up (all 19 spots) and oiled every link in all the chains. The beater bars and the spreader were realitively easy to get to turn the way they should. The main conveyor chain was a different story! I oiled up the links and greased the sprockets, but I could not get the axle to turn. When I originally towed the spreaders home, we had to remove the wheels and wire the "dogs" on the axles closed in order to get the wheels turning. Since all the wood has rotted out of both machines, the "tray" that the axles sit in have filled with dirt and have small trees taking root in them. I first had to dig and flush the dirt out. Dig, flush, dig, flush, dig, flush.....It took awhile, but I managed to remove 95% of the dirt. I then soaked the axle bearings down with PB Blaster (GREAT STUFF, BY-THE-WAY!) . After a couple days of soaking, I took a pipe wrench and a LONG piece of pipe and tried to work the axles loose. All I managed to do was break the pipe wrench in half (it was a cheap Chinese one). I soaked it down with more PB and waited another couple days. This afternoon, I decided it was time to try again. This time I took my largest GOOD pipe wrench (Ridged brand) and the pipe. I worked it back and forth until it MOVED! I watched the sprocket and saw it moved one tooth, then two, then THREE! Now, knowing that it moved and that I had to hurry before it realised what was happening to it, I hit it with more PB and some 30w oil. I started to force it just a little and got it to move more and more each time. Back and forth until it FINALLY moved all the way around. I took the pipe off and found that I could turn it fairly easy with just the wrench. I turned it all the way around 3-4 times and oiled it up again.

I decided that the next step was to try the conveyor chain. I pulled the lever to engage the chain and turned the axle. To my amazement - it worked!. I'll have to keep turning things to get them "limbered up", but at least it's this far. All I need now is some wood and two tires, then I can really have a "fling" with it!

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