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Thread: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by nahtnoj View Post
    Are you considering a tractor? Planning on maintaining walking paths and such?
    Tractors are meant to sit somewhere on your property, run occasionally, and eat up time like tracking down creaks on a CF bike with a space-age BB standard. They will not help you maintain walking paths, unless that path is the one you use to get from the barn/workshop to wherever the tractor has died.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    Tractors are meant to sit somewhere on your property, run occasionally, and eat up time like tracking down creaks on a CF bike with a space-age BB standard. They will not help you maintain walking paths, unless that path is the one you use to get from the barn/workshop to wherever the tractor has died.
    I'm on 13 fenced acres with 11 of coastal hay. I have a 38hp tractor with a loader, 72" shredder and a blade. Its been invaluable for maintaining a 400' driveway, maintaining the fence line and occasionally shredding the field when having it baled doesn't make sense. Its done countless other things like pull stumps and fence posts, get big stuff off the back of trucks at the road and carry back to the shop, move a berm, maintain the profile of a waterway. I even straightened a 100' privacy fence line with steel posts after 120mph straight line winds knocked it nearly flat a few years ago. Granted those posts are compromised but its been standing for the 4 years since. In 5 years its about paid for itself. YMMV

    I also own several carbon fiber bicycles and I have no creaks to track down. Again, YMMV.
    Nick Crumpton
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  3. #143
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by crumpton View Post
    I'm on 13 fenced acres with 11 of coastal hay. I have a 38hp tractor with a loader, 72" shredder and a blade. Its been invaluable for maintaining a 400' driveway, maintaining the fence line and occasionally shredding the field when having it baled doesn't make sense. Its done countless other things like pull stumps and fence posts, get big stuff off the back of trucks at the road and carry back to the shop, move a berm, maintain the profile of a waterway. I even straightened a 100' privacy fence line with steel posts after 120mph straight line winds knocked it nearly flat a few years ago. Granted those posts are compromised but its been standing for the 4 years since. In 5 years its about paid for itself. YMMV

    I also own several carbon fiber bicycles and I have no creaks to track down. Again, YMMV.
    I was mostly joking - we're on a paltry sub-10 fenced acres, 5 acres of pasture maintained largely by the sheep/goats and the rest is cultivated. We do about 2 acres by hand (scythe, hand-tiller/broadfork etc) because the slope makes tractor-ing a bit sketchy but the rest is done with a 1973 Mitsubishi R1500 with a 4' mower deck, 4' brush hog, and a 4' rotary tiller. We're considering a 3-point auger but much of the fence line is on a steep grade and think perhaps a hand unit will be better/safer in the long run. My jest was largely that working with tractors, especially old ones (i.e. what we could afford), means a fair bit of time working ON rather than WITH the tractor.

    I have also owned carbon fiber bicycles.

    Haven't been around the forum much since we moved out here but it's good to see my humor continues to hit like pop flies into empty stands, though.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    Haven't been around the forum much since we moved out here but it's good to see my humor continues to hit like pop flies into empty stands, though.
    I enjoyed it, best laugh of the day. Your wit and wisdom has been missed. Please continue.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post

    I have also owned carbon fiber bicycles.

    Haven't been around the forum much since we moved out here but it's good to see my humor continues to hit like pop flies into empty stands, though.
    Oh I got the humor and appreciated it. But I also love my tractor. And you are correct, they do sit unused quite a bit.

    Truth is I responded so I could apply some humor regarding carbon bikes. I mean ahhh...

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by guido View Post
    I enjoyed it, best laugh of the day. Your wit and wisdom has been missed. Please continue.
    Glad to be welcome - as the summer/fall harvest chills out and the rain moves in I'm sure I'll find myself here more and more.
    Quote Originally Posted by crumpton View Post
    Truth is I responded so I could apply some humor regarding carbon bikes. I mean ahhh...
    All of my most humorless buddies are CF enthusiasts, so thanks for bumping the trend in a more positive direction.


    As long as we're in this thread, I might as well contribute something useful. Two of my family members work for tool companies, one for Milwaukee, and the other has been involved in the launch and expansion of the Hart line. As a result we've tested out a huge range of tools. We're partial to battery-powered tools since it's easy to run a couple of simple 50w solar panels on the backside of the barn and keep everything charged without tapping into grid electricity. I could tell you about the whole range of tools but a few I'd point out:

    The Hart brush cutter/pole pruner/string trimmer. It's a single brushless motor unit with interchangeable heads/extensions. Remarkably quiet (e.g. the other day I pruned a tree inside our chicken run and the girls didn't bat an eyelash), solid battery time (1hr+ of brush cutting on the higher setting on a 4mA battery), and pretty trouble free. When our tractor pooped out for a spell in the midst of clearing a pasture to plant oats last month we ended up finishing 1/2 acre of ground clearing with that alone and I was impressed.

    The blower is super nice, too. Oddly, it kicks the Milwaukee equivalent to the curb.

    The Hart chainsaw is hot garbage, though.

    I was skeptical at first but I've become a big fan of the Milwaukee backpack sprayer. I wasn't sure how much I'd use it, especially since we don't spray fungicide/herbicide/pesticide etc. This last couple of weeks it's been put to use spraying the perimeter of our vegetables/fruits with some natural nasties to fend off the deer and a cougar who have been increasingly bold/confused/desparate? amongst the smoke hanging in the air and ate through 1/4 acre of brussels sprouts in two nights, while the cougar scared the shit out of our sheep and had me standing outside with a respirator and a rifle in my underpants at 3am. The sprayer holds 4+gal and a had enough battery to spray a 2-acre perimeter. Again, not a tool I thought I'd use much but it came in handy for this messy moment.

    Not necessarily a "country living" tool per se but the impact wrench and jigsaw from Milwaukee's M18 line are some of the nicest tools I've ever used. No circular saw here but we built a few shelving units and a hand bailer using just the jigsaw and a lot of patience in the last month or so and I remain wholeheartedly impressed by those tools. Flawless and way more powerful than they look.

    The Milwaukee soldering setup is hot garbage on par with the Hart chainsaw, though. No idea how anyone uses that POS.

    Other than that it looks like everything important has been covered, here. A solid bench vise that rotates in all dimensions and a quality two-wheel bench grinder have both come in handy more than I'd ever had imagined. Both were picked up for specific purposes but end up getting used all the time on a variety of projects.

    I also spent the last month or so splitting 4 cords of wood by hand and have many opinions about axes, wedges, and sledges, should you still be in the market for that, @jorn.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

  7. #147
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by nahtnoj View Post
    Are you considering a tractor? Planning on maintaining walking paths and such?
    Path making definitely. We need to connect the front 40 with the back 40. The back 40 has a nice set of farm roads going through it that would make a nice figure 8 cross country ski track - for beginners and if we get snow - so would be nice to link it to the house.

    But I’m not thinking about a tractor really. Too big. Small one seems nice but then that is sort of a novelty and seems better to have a larger beast to actually lift things. Still might be nice to have a quad to drag/haul stuff around with. Someone offered me a John Deere 4x6 Gator and those are great, but seems kind of clumsy for the woods. Better for trail or Jeep roads.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    I bought a Fiskars axe - both a small one and a large one. They work really well but keep a sharpening puck in my pocket to manage the edge. I’m getting reasonably ok using the small axe to clean up limbs on downed trees. Fastest is still the Silky saw I have. Kind of use it like a saw and a hookaroon. Great tool for the backpack.

    I was talking splitting with our friend here who is maybe 90Lbs soaking wet and she says yeah get a maul. She has something old and heavy with an ash handle. She heats with wood and hasn’t bought any in a long while, so I might go looking for a maul.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Jorn- I have several, all purchased at tag sales or farm sales. Some are 100 years old. 6 to 9 pounds. My advice is just go local sales and pick up an old one. Learn how to replace the handle. I have some that take a round shaft, and some that take a axe-like shaft. You will eventually break them all, and that is not a fail- that means the handle is taking a beating rather than your shoulders. Also look for old wedges. The ones I have are not V shaped, but more like a tulip shape: very thin to begin with till halfway up and then flaring, with cross-hatching at the bottom to resist popping out. V shaped wedges will just pop out. You'll need two.

    I did not play baseball, but I've hit in a batting cage a few times and splitting wood is similarly fun. You'll get good enough to drop the head just where you want and the round will pop apart. I use the first piece cut out of the butt log to split on so I am not hitting so far down were I to put the piece on the ground.

    And get soccer shin pads.
    Jay Dwight

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