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future tool investment idea thread?  RSS feed

 
kadence blevins
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Location: SE Ohio
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this might be a little early to throw this out but I thought I could at least toss it out there... a sort of thread for possible wishlist items once the farm starts pulling together more. items that will probably be really good to invest in. for individuals who might be able to start buying things for their possible future on the land or future investments for the whole farm or just things that individuals might invest in. and since I already have links saved for some things i'll start with some that I have and are of my particular favorites.

GRAIN/GARDEN
small scale grain threshing machine that is foot pedal powered! there is a video of it being used at bottom of the page.
http://backtotheland.com/html/wheat_thrasher.html

sickle
https://www.lehmans.com/p-512-grass-sickle-for-trimming.aspx

reel mower
https://www.lehmans.com/p-1378-mascot-silent-cut-reel-mowers.aspx

ANIMAL POWER
(especially thinkin possible husp here)

wagon tongues
http://backtotheland.com/html/wagon_tongues.html

double trees
http://backtotheland.com/html/double_trees.html

pin-in yoke
http://backtotheland.com/html/neck_yokes.html

collars (new and used, horse and mule)
http://backtotheland.com/html/new-used_collars.html

wagon shafts
http://backtotheland.com/html/wagon_shafts.html

cart shafts
http://backtotheland.com/html/cart_shafts.html

WASHING
clothes washing plunger-washer
https://www.lehmans.com/p-2643-rapid-laundry-washer.aspx

clothes washing hand wringer
https://www.lehmans.com/p-2399-lehmans-best-hand-wringer.aspx

MEAT BUTCHERY
small 5lb sausage stuffer
https://www.lehmans.com/p-2366-5-lb-horn-style-sausage-stuffer.aspx

COOKERY
open fire iron cooking stand
https://www.lehmans.com/p-997-open-fire-cooking-iron-stand.aspx

WOOD WORKING/CUTTING
bucksaw
https://www.lehmans.com/p-572-hickory-bucksaw.aspx

adze
https://www.lehmans.com/p-893-german-adze.aspx

froe
https://www.lehmans.com/p-686-lehmans-own-old-fashioned-froe.aspx

gimets
https://www.lehmans.com/p-1246-set-of-4-gimlets.aspx

bark spud
https://www.lehmans.com/p-600-bark-spud.aspx

hollow face spokeshave
https://www.lehmans.com/p-3191-hollow-face-spokeshave.aspx

skidding tongs
https://www.lehmans.com/p-4924-black-steel-skidding-tongs.aspx

brace (hand drill)
https://www.lehmans.com/p-2212-carpenters-brace.aspx

brace bit set
https://www.lehmans.com/p-721-drill-brace-bit-set.aspx

SCYTHE
European style handle
https://www.lehmans.com/p-3354-european-ash-snath-handle.aspx

scythe blades
https://www.lehmans.com/p-4363-scythe-blades.aspx

 
kadence blevins
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Location: SE Ohio
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MILKING
large strainer
https://www.lehmans.com/p-4393-large-stainless-steel-milk-strainer.aspx

strip cup
https://www.lehmans.com/p-4623-strip-cup-with-stainless-steel-screen.aspx

one leg milk stool
https://www.lehmans.com/p-3359-one-leg-milking-stool.aspx

strap for one leg stool
https://www.lehmans.com/p-3360-one-leg-milking-stool-strap.aspx

ANIMAL ITEMS
hand sheep shears
https://www.lehmans.com/p-1189-sheep-shears.aspx

one man fence stretcher
https://www.lehmans.com/p-2616-one-man-fence-stretcher.aspx

burlap feed sacks
https://www.lehmans.com/p-836-burlap-feed-sacks.aspx

 
Adam Klaus
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quality ambitious list, well done.

One thought on the grain threasher-
You can use an apple cider press, dual purpose, for the same function. http://www.applejournal.com/correll/ It costs a little bit more than your threasher, but is much more versitle, and so I would say a better homestead value. It is a fantastic cider press, good for apple, pear, grapes. The real value to it though is that the grinder is perfect for chopping cabbage for making saurkraut, and also does a good job of threashing small amounts of wheat. The challenge, IME, is then adequately winnowing the wheat to get it super clean for grinding. Still havent got that step down just right, always something to learn.

Lehmans is a great company, with a good catalogue, but not the best prices. Pretty much most expensive in class, I have found. So check around, there are lots of more economical sources for often the exact same product.
 
kadence blevins
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there are lots of more economical sources for often the exact same product.


you're right there. that is true though those are the links I had, not necessarily thee best or anything. i'm sure there will be tons of shopping around before anything would be bought.
 
kadence blevins
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http://onescytherevolution.com/scythe-blades.html

this site is all about scythes and scything! I had come across it ages ago and this guy REALLY knows his scythe stuff! lots of info on how to use and care of a scythe, videos of how to use,...

and he sells some. which seems perfect because he seems the best at knowing all of this then anyone else I've found online.
 
Renate Howard
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Just be careful when shopping for lower prices. For the hand-crank grain mills, when I was shopping for them, I came across something saying that a lot of look-alike knock-offs were for sale but the workmanship in crafting them and the quality of the metal weren't the same. I'd imagine the same could be true for hand tools. Dad always used to say to get the best quality tools you can afford to avoid wasting money the first time.
 
R Scott
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Look for the best brand, then look for the best price from someone you trust. Lehmans is seldom the low price, but occasionally they are--or are the only source outside the Amish.

BIG tools--I think you need to get a side-dump semi truck and trailer. http://sidumpr.com/ Think how fast you could make hugels with that!!! Load of wood, dump. Load of dirt, dump. DONE One can dream, right

Maybe a ripper tooth for the track hoe. You can get a big single root tooth that is like an over sized yeoman's shank that can be used like one. You can loosen up a garden in a hurry with no compaction because you never actually drive on it. Really made for digging out root balls and rocks.

A few good tools like http://www.roguehoe.com/ for trailbuilding. Anyone know of a shovel company of that quality?

Dibble or drop tube tree seedling planter. http://www.bapequipmentstore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1031

The new laser rangefinders for hunters (and golfers) have inclinometers built in, so you can do very fast distance and slope measurements.

 
Timothy Ettridge
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Location: Groveland, Florida
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Would you be interested in something beyond a simple clothes washing plunger, say, something like this?
https://www.lehmans.com/p-2398-lehmans-own-hand-washer.aspx
 
kadence blevins
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Timothy Ettridge wrote:Would you be interested in something beyond a simple clothes washing plunger, say, something like this?
https://www.lehmans.com/p-2398-lehmans-own-hand-washer.aspx


I like the idea and design of that. BUT I think it would be much more money effective to find two large tubs for washing and rinsing, and the plunger washer (or a couple) and buy a separate wringer to attach to an easily movable (and storable) stand. then I could save money and storage space (tubs stack, washing plungers inside the top tub, maybe even the stand in the tub).

 
R Scott
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Friends had that one from Lehman's. Hated it. Two tubs, plunger, WASHBOARD, and wringer are way faster. Add a rocket cookstove for hot water.
 
Ken Peavey
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Taking it a step further, the ability to fashion tools adds a new dimension.
Invest in the tools needed to produce tools.

Blacksmithy
Anvil
hammers
tongs
forge
This offers the ability to work metals-readily available at the junkyard for dirt cheap

Wood Harvest
Axe
Limb saw
maul
wedge
this gets the wood
These can be fashioned with the blacksmithy tools
most are available for cheap or already on hand

Woodwork
hatchet
spokeshave
chisels
clamps
foot treadle wood lathe-this can be built from lumber and hardware
hand drill/bits
make your own tool handles
All sorts of tools can be produced with this basic equipment
band saw-produce lumber
thread cutter-threaded pole handles
Steam chamber-bend wood, now you can produce snaths, chairs, arches

Energy
A windmill can offer mechanical energy
A fresnel lens offers intense heat-try it with the blacksmithy
ram pump-continuous flow, mechanical energy, requires flowing water
PV panels, run a power tool

I've been hunting for a 20" or larger grindstone to put an edge on some things around here.
A sharp tool is hard to beat.

Transport
I've posted about a solar powered golf cart. Drive into the woods, run a cord to power a chainsaw, cut down a tree, load up the logs, haul it home. Run a water pump or fridge the rest of the time.

Power Tools
Theres a lot to be said about power tools. Turn a long job into a quick one. A bench grinder can quickly put an edge on a tool but the skill to do so without burning it up will need to be learned. A chainsaw makes quick work of harvesting a tree. A chainsaw mill will give you lumber in a few hours. A modestly appointed woodshop will give you the ability to produce so many diverse items they can't be listed-tools, furniture, cabinetry, art. Heat the shop with scrap wood and gain a winter industry.

With the right tools around, you can build most of the items in the OP list.
 
Miles Flansburg
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I am with Ken, maybe some workshops that teach craftsmanship so folks can make things rather than buy them.
My brothers best friend dabbles in blacksmithing and sells camp sets that are pretty cool.
I have been seeing old wagons and gear on craigslist lately. Most may need some work but might be a way to find some good stuff.
 
Timothy Ettridge
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I admire Ken's ideal but I think there might be more of an need for things RIGHT NOW than as a concept in the future. Eventually, yes, everything can be manufactured on site but, for example, clothes that need to be washed right now can't wait that long.

Paul, I suggest something along the lines of a wedding registry. Call it a HUSP registry, if you wish. People need to know what you already have and don't need and what you don't have but really need. Maybe it can even have a priority scale, of 1 (would be nice someday) to 10 (how the hell are we getting by without this!?). That way when the mood strikes us and we feel inspired to forgo a few lattés at Starbucks, we can buy and ship something to you in a few strokes of the keyboard.

For example, something I've long been contemplating (even before I discovered the poo-less concept here in the forums) is to find the simplest way to clean clothes with the minimum of detergent, and eventually without it altogether. This is my current motivation to buy something for the farm wash-related. That way I can get all these extra brains and muscles working on it for MY benefit...and the farm benefits as well.

Like Paul, I'm damn lazy. My concept of the ideal washing machine is to dump something in and come back in a few hours or even the next day and hang stuff up. This is why that particular Lehman's item interested me. What if it was hooked up to a wind mill or such and and just thrashed away without effort. Secondly, with all that free mechanical agitation, would nothing but water (maybe paint it black and stick it in a green house-like structure to get free heat) do the trick?

Such are my thoughts late at night before I fall asleep.
 
Peter Ellis
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A couple of thoughts having looked over the initial list.

Get a used brace, don't buy new. You can get one for everyone at used prices for the cost of buying a single new one (almost literally, I have picked up several for $5 to 10 each)

Same for the bits for the brace, you can find used sets, in generally good condition and from an era when they were well made, for a fraction of new prices.

On the bark spud front - I've found that a narrow, long blade shovel works exceptionally well as a log peeler. Function stacking


Thoughts regarding Ken's suggestions on a smithy - Not only can you make your own tools, it lets you do a number of repairs that would have been much more difficult. And since it's already been demonstrated that you can get your RMH core to produce forge temperatures, you know you can make up a working forge for little to no cash and run it practically for free. No need for coal.

A spring pole lathe is not difficult to build and would allow turning handles for tools, and you're always going to be needing more handles.

I know Paul has already mentioned wanting shaving horses, and they are another easy to make and very helpful tool. Essential for your wood shop(s).

Drawknives can be found used, but here you have a tendency to run up against some "antique" pricing. Still, for the most part the old ones are better quality steel than the modern makes, and even allowing for some "antique" factor in pricing, you are generally ahead on the quality for your dollar buying the old ones.

Broad axes and broad hatchets. New they're pricey, old they're not expensive but you may have to wade through some junk to find the good ones. They are necessary tools for green wood working and timber framing. Can be some learning curve learning to use them, and you'll discover muscles you might not have known you had Not to mention develop endurance

I did not see a broadfork on the list of tools, and would think that might be a good one to add.

In addition to One Scythe Revolution (who, last I checked, was having some problems), I recommend looking at the Scythe Works website. Informative and good selection.

The good old "billhook", ubiquitous in Europe and practically unknown here, for reasons I don't understand. I think it's a better tool than a machete, capable of covering all the machete's jobs and a number more.

 
R Scott
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Peter Ellis wrote:

The good old "billhook", ubiquitous in Europe and practically unknown here, for reasons I don't understand. I think it's a better tool than a machete, capable of covering all the machete's jobs and a number more.



Billhooks are awesome, as are parangs--both of which are nearly unheard of here. Either will clear saplings for chop and drop so much faster than any of the cr@ppy stamped machetes they sell here.

 
kadence blevins
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link to an article on making a hayrake by hand tools. would love to do this!
http://www.grit.com/animals/build-a-wooden-hay-rake-making-hay-the-old-fashioned-way.aspx#axzz2g85NS52E
 
Dave Sullivan
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Location: zone 5b New Hampshire
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Great lists & comments..!

I am sure Craigslist & the like is up on peoples short list for picking up good quality tools & homestead items cheap……..

However, one of the things I am discovering for really REALLY great stuff is estate sales. I have been surprised at the high quality and low prices for good used stuff.
From hand tools to farm tool as well as many other house hold items. Lots of good stuff & worth the effort if you are in the market.

Another added bonus to the low price is that I find the 'old school' quality (materials, design, steels, wood etc) of tools made in the past is often FAR superior to the more expensive and much lower quality new items coming out of China. Talk about a no brainer at least to my way of thinking. I love the idea of getting something I need for short money which is of higher quality than a similar large corporation product. Furthermore it ends up in my hands rather than a landfill….

It is clear to me that one way the large corps are trying to increase profit is to produce pure junk with a very short work life to it…so garbagy in fact that you can’t repair it and are forced to do business with them again and purchase another piece of junk….

I don't buy much off the shelf unless I have first checked other sources for cheaper & better quality….. then if that option is exhausted I will look for high quality tools new coming from *small family owned US companies*

Best Regards,
Dave
 
Adam Klaus
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Hi all,
I got a personal message the other day with some questions about how I use my apple chipper to thresh wheat, and thought I would post up my reply here to add some clarification-

I catch the threshed grain into a five gallon bucket.
I hold the wheat by the stalk, inserting just the head into the chipper. Once the grain heads have been stripped off of the stalk, I withdraw the stalks and toss them aside.
I don't use a hopper or anything on top, but that might be a useful innovation. Protective eyewear is always a good idea, there is a lot of little bits of chaff flying about.
My chipper uses metal grinders, they work fine.
The biggest issue is winnowing the grain after threshing. The entire process is labor intensive and tedious. Near perfection is required with the winnowing or you get a lot of chaff in your finished grain. That would be okay for eating like farina, but not for grinding into bread.
Hope that helps!
Adam Klaus
 
Curtis Budka
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small scale grain threshing machine that is foot pedal powered! there is a video of it being used at bottom of the page.
http://backtotheland.com/html/wheat_thrasher.html


I thought this was cool and might be useful oneday....
....until I found these videos, all produced by the same guy: A bike powered grain thresher, bike powered grain cleaner, and a bike powered cider apple grinder.

I don't know about plans, but he does explain a lot about the design in the videos and uses common old junk parts.





Bonus:
a bike powered water pump, generator, straw chopper, blender, and grain mill
 
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