I've commented here several times in the past most of what I've gotten
done since coming back to family farm hasn't been "fine"
woodworking...here are a few pictures from the barn reroof/refurb,
there's one of the detail on the old doors; I didn't have one of the
replacement in progress but there's one on the south side west end in
the "then and now" as well as the haymow small door that were done at
that time...I've still not gotten to the big main doors...
I'm the one in the overalls standing w/ the roofing hatchet...
Darn fine looking barn. I wish it was in my back yard and I wish I had
a back yard big enough to put it. :~)
I would love to see inside and out pictures when you get done, if that
ever really happens. I could see something that big as being a constant
work in progress.
Indeed, which is why I just couldn't stand the thought of letting it go...
It's kinda' bogged down for the time being, I'm working on trying to get
another shop area closed in so can have enough heat to do some things
like build the windows during cold weather this winter if nothing else...
I'll try to get a few of the inside when I get a chance to pick up some
of the litter--I started trying to fill in some of the areas that hadn't
had slab floor poured and got sidetracked and things have just gotten
worse from there...
Been some of both; we hit it pretty hard while doing the roof and
initial work for a couple of years; wasn't much farming going on as was
so dry and Dad had put most of our ground into grass...since, have
started more work elsewhere on the place and it has (finally!) rained
some this year so other priorities have brought progress to pretty much
Was trying to get restarted plus had an electrical problem w/ the
neutral feed which prompted me to post a query to another group while
was have brain cramps figuring out what was the issue. Ended up being
the connector from the meter pole overhead and had commented there when
found it that having the manlift was a boon; another commented in jest
that having one was clearly "cheating" which prompted me to post these
showing it in action. That got me thinking that at least some folks
over here might would like to see the wood parts...
Thanks...have to credit my grandfather with "doing things right!"
On Monday, November 9, 2015 at 8:48:45 AM UTC-6, dpb wrote:
That's one heck of a nice (hobby) project. Good for you, to restore it.
Are you near the coast? I suppose a barn with a widow's watch is not too c
ommon. That's a nice feature. *With those silos, I'm thinking you're not
near the coast, but in middle America. Or is that feature called somethin
g else, in your neck of the woods?
Yeah, the view of the interior would be a nice, but considering the size of
the barn (multiple "shops" in one building!?), the effort you're putting i
nto it and the general view of the surroundings, I'm wondering whatall othe
r interesting things you got going on, to warrant all that effort (beyond t
he barn restoration)?
To me, those kinds of restorations are almost candidates for a vacation spo
t, to visit, see the restoration process, etc.
I can imagine some of those old (past/before.... and recent?) pics hanging
in various places, inside, when done.
Hats off to you!!
Personally, I don't think that's a Widow's Walk or Watch. Most likely
what we're looking at is the Central Air Conditioning System. ;)
You can see - in both the before and after photos - the slats that
allowed for ventilation.
All barns have roof vents or one sort or another.
Very neat project and nicely done, dpb!
On 11/09/2015 12:13 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:
Correct, it's a cupola. The barn loft was built to handle loose hay
(the track for the fork(*) is the structure projecting out from below
the roof ridge) and the cupola is the outlet for the upflow thru the
loft for ventilation. There are eight openings, four each side, along
the long walls that were both locations for access and the air ingress
locations. There are no windows in the loft except those very high on
the east/west ends.
(*) The fella' in the yellow shirt on the scaffold at the corner (same
one on the roof where I'm in the lift and we're replacing a section of
the bed mould on the upper section) is a guy I found at the local
homeless shelter the day before the scaffolding was coming in by truck
and I needed some help to unload it. He'd just finished getting mugged
while riding a freight back from El Paso and had spent the previous week
painting tank batteries for one of the local oilfield service companies
but hadn't found anything yet that morning when I called for that
day/week. After we got stuff unload, he say "Need somebody to help set
it up tomorrow?" and ended up working for me full time for almost two years.
Oh, and the point of the above was to say he really wanted to see the
hay rake work again, but we didn't get that far -- have _not_ opened the
big door at all; it, unlike many others, is _NOT_ hinged at the bottom
to swing but is in a set of vertical "tracks" built on either side an
hangs on a couple of block and tackle ropes. Those are, I'm sure the
originals dating back to 1920 or thereabouts(**). I am unwilling to
risk removing the blocking underneath the door until those have been
replaced; they look to still be in good condition but I'm not going to
risk it; the potential damage plus risk to life and limb if that comes
down is too great.
(**) I do not know precisely when the barn was finished; the two silos
to the east were put up by 1916/17 and the foundation poured for the
barn shortly thereafter. But, the WW I rationing on lumber occurred
before the lumber was obtained and so the actual construction didn't
commence until after Armistice Day (Nov 11, 1918) so know it likely was
1919 when completed. The story goes that the local lumberyard owner is
supposed to have called grandpa the day after the armistice was signed
and started the conversation with "Andy, we can build that barn now!" :)
Most city-slickers don't realize the amount of heat generated
by drying hay. Easily sufficient to cause a fire if the hay
isn't dried and stacked correctly. Thus, one leaves a gap between the
barn walls and the hay to allow airflow to extract excess heat
while the hay dries and the cupola acts as an outlet.
Of course, drying it before baling it is preferred.
Most of this has been obsoleted by the use of outdoor storage
techniques (large round bales, silage socks, etc).
For the "mandatory" definition of "preferred"... :)
Once it's baled, if it's not sufficiently dry first about the _best_ one
can hope for is some deterioration, far more likely is mold and useless...
The bales are tied too tight for effective drying once done.
We never baled anything until very recently...we had an old twine binder
and bound and shocked sorghum for winter feed thru the 70s and 80s if
had more than would go in the silos.
Indeed, we've not filled the silos since in the '80s altho it was by far
the "most funnest" job of the year; great fall weather by then plus we
filled with several neighbors so were big crowds of people around so was
as much a party as work...
The south one of the two small silos had been rotated slightly by a
small tornado years ago and was standing on only one remaining block on
the south foundation. I finally knocked them both down some time after
the bulk of these pictures were taken.
Other than at steam or other old exhibitions never used a stationary
thresher but had essentially the same task--we had (actually still have
it just no longer used) stationary chopper that had to haul the bundles
to...I didn't mind shocking nearly as much as the retrieval; by then the
dirt had blown into them, often had to dig out of snow, was invariably
cold and windy I seem to recall... :)
We had a chopper that we pulled with the MF180, and a blower to
fill the silo. Mainly chopped corn for silage.
Threshing oats was actually enjoyable - it was a multi-neighbor
event - two farms shared the binder and threshing machine; we'd
set the threshing machine up in the center of the field early in
the AM (level it, then grease every one of the hundred+ (at least
it seemed that way) zirks) then thresh until dusk. We ran the
thresher with a Farmall M, and used either a Farmall B
or a Farmall Super C to fetch the shocks.
Baling the resulting pile of straw was a dirty, messy job.
Yes, we had ensilage cutter (2-row Gehl's) and an Allis blower for
silo-filling as well. Too dry here for reliable dryland corn; we used
other sorghum feed crops for the ensilage source. Of course, the
irrigated folk use corn for ensilage altho they all use trench or
surface pile storage any longer; nobody fills an upright any more.
In the olden days, the blower was run off the flat belt w/ an old 'M';
it was converted to direct PTO drive and one of the smaller Deere's
used. We went from M to 400 to 560 Farmalls before the 4010 and up
Deere transition as the power unit for the chopper.
I broke out the old ensilage blower a couple of years ago to run a bunch
of old straw bales thru to break up for use when we regraded the yards
around the house to restore drainage. After 60 plus years including the
"Dirty 30s" and the 50s in particular when had so much dirt blowing the
elevation had increased around the house by as much as 8-10" so it was
sitting in a hole when we returned that had caused some foundation
settling...drug it back down to more nearly its original level to
reestablish drainage for when it does actually rain on occasion...when
Dad had his "retirement" sale a few things either didn't sell or were
never collected by the buyer; the ensilage blower was one that had no
bidders. A-C blowers were the best; they, unlike Gehl or all others had
curved blades. Story goes they reached a limit of how high could lift
ensilage with flat blades at reasonable rpm and somehow the problem got
over to the Allis Chalmers power generation people and a steam turbine
engineer designed their blower blades for them.
I've thought if ultimately get the shop really set up to take that
blower as the core of a dust collector...and how's that for back "on
On 11/10/2015 10:33 AM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:
Actually, it probably is too large but there's a smaller one left from
the silo unloader that is probably what I'll actually try it with. It's
about 24" diam instead of 36 or 42 or whatever the ensilage blower
actually is (I really don't know w/o measuring it but it is sizable).
The first picture on the left of the first link is the one we've got;
the next to the right is the later, big brother version...
The second link is a brochure picture showing the curved paddles. It
shows unloading out of the back of a truck which was prone to the whole
load sliding out at once and slugging the blower. We used a
custom-built drag box that Dad designed that let you dump the truck onto
it and it was driven by variable-speed hydraulic motor to allow precise
control over feed rate to the blower. Once had a third to half the
truck unloaded, then could just finish dumping on the drag and head back
to the field instead of waiting to finish pushing it all thru the blower
before heading back out. Key to not keep the cutter waiting for longer
In _those_ daze, we had Oliver, Minneapolis-Moline, Allis-Chalmers, JI
Case, International/Farmall and Massey-Harris as well as Deere
dealerships all in town. Now there's only Deere local; nearest red
(Case/International) is 60 miles. The Deere dealership also distributes
for most of the major implement manufacturers but they're the only
factory dealership in the county. They're actually one of if not the
largest single-location independent Deere dealerships in the country by
sales volume I'm told...
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