I'm trying to come up with a ballpark date for an old plow, to decide
whether it was more likely my great or great great grandfather's.
Not much to go on here. No markings on any of the parts. Square nuts/bolts
and one truss rod is covered with a galvanized tube. I'm guessing the
galvanized tube is more of a clue than anything, but I don't know how old
that makes it. My "old in 1951" Morgan vise has galvanized parts too.
As for wood, the original stuff is ready to retire, but still intact. It's
quite soft. Actually looks like pine to me. Someone might have replaced
the wood at some when along the way, but it's definitely been sitting out
in the rain for the last 30 years, which would seem to contraindicate pine.
Cedar? Hemlock? What soft wood would withstand 30 years in the rain, and
untold decades in the basement, not to mention decades of hard use?
Whether it was my great grandfather or my great grandfather's father, he
was dirt poor, and lived in the mountains of Virginia.
Finally, the "I have my great grandfather's axe. My grandfather replaced
the handle, and my father replaced the head" argument comes to mind here.
I'm restoring this as a gift for my grandmother, and am in a heated debate
with my mother over what to do.
Mom says bolt/screw/wire (or even *duct tape*
bleah!) on some kind of braces
to shore up the rotten wood, leave it half rotten and rusty and covered
with dried up cow shit, and the fact that this wood has been touched by old
and long-since-buried hands will have more sentimental value. OTOH, I say
to do the tool and the man who once used it honor, it should be restored to
working order, which absolutely means new wood, and maybe electrolysis and
painting. (The metal has a stable coating of rust, so if I can get the
bolts apart, I can do this without having to de-rust it. Could use swaying
either way on that score.)
She says the receiver of the tool will never use it (and she won't... she's
80-something, and has gotten pretty fragile these past few years), so I
should do the minimum necessary to keep it from falling apart, keep the
old, sentimental wood, and then wire a flower pot to it and call it a
planter. I say restore it completely, make a nice display box and put the
old, rotten handles in the box.
Making a planter out of a 70-100 year old plow seems obscene to me. Am I
wrong here people? Then again, Mom knows her mother's mind better than I
do, so I'm inclined to do what she wants with it, even though the concept
is highly offensive to me as a lover of tools.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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