Our community blogs
Well. I am finally beginning that garage build I've discussed and planned for some time. Linda really wants my shop, tractor, equipment, & parts collection out of the basement. So, with her blessing, I began the process October 2016. I have been intentionally slow to allow myself analysis time to decide what exactly I want and, to allow some adjustment in Linda's expectations (looks, colors, landscape, etc).
October 10, 2016 my friend and contractor Mike Schneiders brought his track loader in to clear and level our an area for a garage behind our house.
Topography here is rough w/steep grades so it was critical to excavate in the location chosen to get the area I wanted (initially 30x30). When finished Mke announced "it looks like you'll be building a 24x40 unless you want a deeper cut. 24x40 it will be. Above is the finished cut viewed from our deck. A neighbor & I groomed, sedrd & mulched quickly to get a grass stand to hold the soil.
This shot is of a diversion ditch I cleaned out that runs along the hill just above the the garage site. Lots of rain water runs off the hill especially in springtime and it'll be helpful to divert from the garage area.
A tree beside our house was removed to make room for a drive.
A shot from the site towards our deck and screened-in porch from where I'll take several pictures. Removing part of the tree w/my newly acquired Sovereign 3012 Hydrolift and Agri-Fab Utility 10 Carry-all.
September 13, 2017 my concrete contractor, Greg Rackers and his crew (Grey Stone Foundations) dig and pour footings.
Cole County Industries, Jefferson City supplied the concrete. These drivers can back a huge concrete truck up, around, down and into some tight places. Kudos to their driving and backing skills!
Greg Rackers, Grey Stone Foundations and his crew hard at work.
The footing pour complete.
On Sunday September 17, 2017 we received the nicest all day .07” rain you could ask for. On Monday, September 18 a 2” downpour came in 40 minutes. Needless to say I’ve been digging off the footings. Will finish shoveling today (Sept 23) then brush and blow dirt off concrete. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again before walls & floor are poured.
I scooped, broomed, and blew off the footing to get as clean as I possible and ready for the concrete retaining walls. It was two hot and humid Indian Summer days in Missouri and I sweat a ton but it was worth it in the long run. Ready for the concrete crew.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017. Our concrete construction crew Grey Stone Foundations arrived and began the process of setting forms.
The 4 man crew worked non-stop through the morning and, just as the last of the forming was complete and inspected by the foreman, concrete trucks arrived (early afternoon).
Forms removed Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Picture taken facing westward from our deck. In the foreground is the retaining wall for the floor that will be under the 8' overhang on the east side of the shop. In the background is the 4' retaining west sidewall of the shop and front wing wall.
Standing on the west side of our house and facing northward, the wing wall and west sidewall of the shop. You can also see the 3'x 4' concrete front corner of the shop (southwest) and 3'x4' concrete rear corner (northwest). And of course, to the right is the retaining wall for the east side "porch".
Friday, September 29, 2017: while I was in Bloomington IN at the Executive Committee meeting with Kent Thomas (Kent), Josh Thornton (Talntedmrgreen), and Carl Harcourt (CarlH), my carpenter Dale Feeler coated the sealed the retaining wall. Pictured looking southward from the rear of the building toward the back (north) and side (west) of our house.
Cooper, our English Cream Golden Retriever surveying the work.
From the back northeast side of the shop building site. The topography of our property is shown better here and we are lucky as most Jefferson City construction jobs encounter bedrock. As you can see we are blessed with soil, heavy clay soil that dries hard as a bulls horn! Dale delivered drainage tile that will be laid on top of the footing and next to the outside of the west sidewall, then covered with aggregate.
So on Saturday, September 30, 2017: I decided to have a little fun and to get an idea of how much floor space these guys will take. I needed to remove the sickle from the Early B-10 anyway and pallet it for shipment, knock down and smooth some of the dirt around the construction, and mow some grass so this was justifiable... A neighbor showed up during the operation and asked if I wanted to borrow a tarp.
Forecast of rain this brought the Raithel Plumbing in ahead of schedule on Monday, October 2, 2017. Tractor is a 29hp New Holland w/loader and backhoe; amazing what this small machine can accomplish.
Jerry Raithel used a tool I'd not seen before: an small electric device that takes the place of a transit. He could readily find the elevation off the floor at any given time by punch of a button. I should've gotten a picture of the $700 piece of technology.
Dale also came to insulate and coat again the outside west concrete wall and install the drainage pipe on the foundation of the west wall. Plumbers used the New Holland loader tractor to cover with aggregate before Dale covered with filtration fabric.
The rains came on Tuesday evening and have not stopped as of Saturday October 7 collecting 4.05" so far.
I guess now is a good time to share my plans as they’ve evolved:
Shop will have a bathroom w/stool and utility sink located next to the stairway to the attic. Wood stove on north wall, 14’ garage door & 2 walk-ins.
Have decided on scissor trusses in front 1/2 to allow more vertical workroom area. 20’ of upstairs storage should be enough and, I’ve found a person fills up whatever storage they have so I decided to limit that for me (and Linda).
A rough idea of the front (south facing) view. Overhead door will be significantly larger than it appears.
October 14, 2017: we've made no progress w/exception of me scooping dirt from the footings that washed in w/the rains. It's been dry this week and warm for October, but not warm enough dry the dirt to get cement trucks into the job site. Today, a cold front is scheduled in that may bring more rain.
October 27, 2017: today is windy, overcast skies temp in the low 40s. Dirt is working nicely for Mike Schneiders. He backfilled w/dirt from excavation and gravel hauled in by his brother Ron. My contractor is on huricane mission work duty in Houston, Texas this week and he will be pleased we've progressed.
October 28, 2017: I finished replacing the starter/generator and hydrolift belts and throttle cable on the 3012. The original pull/twist throttle had been replaced by a simple lever off a lawn mower at some point and earlier this week while bringing in wood the cable broke. I found a throttle lever and cable from a AC 712 on the parts shelf. I like these and have converted several flat hoods, however the 712 cable was too short so I opted for a cheap choke cable from O'Reilley for now. I also replaced the badly worn starter/gen belt and found the O'Reilly cross over to be too short and $2 higher than the correct (2)157524(sm) from the Simplicity dealer. Hitched the Brinly disc I got from Howard Tews (aka HTews) several yrs ago, worked the soil around the building site, and sewed wheat for a cover.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017: concrete floor pour.
Thursday, November 30: Lumber delivered for framing.
Monday, December 4, 2017 While I attended the Missouri Farm Bureau Annual Conference with Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn, look what was happening at home. Linda text these two pictures of the crew framing. You'll probably pick up some revisions made. 6' framed stud wall on top of the 4'concrete (west) wall.
10' east & north stud walls going up. (Construction crew: Dale, Jeff & Nathan)
When I came home from work last night, December 5, 2017 the cement porch had been poured and finished and all walls up. The temperature was to drop to low 30s and the blankets were laying there, so I texted Greg to see if he cared if I covered. I guess the crew was supposed to do that but instead, Linda and I did that at about 7:30p.
The structure looks big right now. Guess it's the 10' walls that make it appear that way.
Trusses arrived a day early on December 20.
And were set on December 21 rather than after Christmas as earlier scheduled. Trusses weighed 300#+ so a boom truck was brought in to do the heavy lifting.
Starting to take shape and I am beginning to get a visual of what it will be. The next 2 pics are from the shop door on the southeast side looking to the northwest corner.
From the walk-in door looking west.
Trusses w/tiptops on and a view of the porch.
Progress is slow. Missouri winter weather has caused some delays. Fully boxed in and 1/2 the roof has decking.
Crew worked to get the roof decking on 1 side and covered w/Titanium before a winter storm is supposed to come through. Prediction of freezing rain and zero temps. Titanium overlay is touted to shed rain for up to 6 months and not curl like felt.
4' steps will allow a wide load to navigate the stairway for those big storage needs.
A look at the upper room. Picture taken from the steps southward toward our house.
Roof sheeted & covered, windows ordered, ready for foam insulation & outside wrap.
March 2 photo below. Windows & walk-in door in about 2 weeks ago.
March 6: electricians began wiring and finished bldg work on March 7, 2018. Dale dug in the water line and electric from the house. And, I contracted to have the roof and 3 sides metal installed late March.
Sometimes communication just doesn't come easy. When I instructed the contractors that I wanted conduit imbedded in cement to bring electricity into the building they heard it. However the conduit was placed on the outside wall and beside the walk-in door. So now I have a box on the outside and this on the inside to get electrical service to my breaker box. All will be hidden inside however a little extra expense.
Although not far from the house I wanted a simple bathroom out here w/a urinal and a utility sink. Linda put the kibosh on a urinal so a stool sits here.
And the utility sink here. Next challenge, no room to swing a door into the bathroom w/o hitting the sink. Solution: we will be modern and have a sliding bathroom door in this shop!
2 electrical outlets on the porch and a frost-free hydrant.
4 canned neon lights out here and a white metal ceiling. The stump is for the anvil (I'll cut it to correct height).
March 21, 2018: foam insulation applied. Picture east corner of shop door toward west wall & rafters
From shop door toward north wall. The foam really brightens it. I had them foam the stairs/risers in the utility room/area behind the bathroom and under stairs where the water heater will be. Will also install a H20 shutoff in our basement.
Foam in the upper room. Picture taken from stairway toward the south wall.
Standing at the south window in the loft facing west and downward.
Caleb Zimmerman (A-1 Construction) and his crew from High Point, MO. 2018 Spring is cold, many days in 30* w/wind, snow and rain. Caught this picture of the crew unloading on the best day they worked. From this day forward they worked in rain, sleet, snow and mud. They had to catch the nicest of part of the days to do the high work.
Frontier Metal, Versailles MO supplied the burnish slate 26ga G-Rib metal roofing
white #2 29ga G rib metal ceiling
Clay 26ga G-rib metal siding
North and west sides show the all metal exterior look. Those side windows are exact mower hight so this may be interesting..
Left the front for Linda. She wants the shop to look good with the house.
Initially the porch was for storage..7' trailer, wood, etc. Now looks like a great place for bbq grills, lawn chairs, and some maybe some dry wood.
City inspectors approved a wall vent for the bathroom drains.
A look into the utility cubby under the stairwell and the bathroom.
This picture taken on April 9, 2018 at noon. It was a partly cloudy day in Central MO but with the white ceiling and white foam brighten the shop.
Late friday April 20 Gerry Lage started Linda's brickwork. Saturday 12:50p picture (he doesn't mind working weekends). The brick used on the house is still available from Midwest Block & Brick here in town; has a few more black bricks than original but Gerry pulled those or placed them low so the house and shop look similar.
Gerry finished around 6p Saturday evening. He enjoyed winding down for a short while over a Sam Adams.
April 30 - May 3 I attended a regional milk regulatory seminar in Reno. Rooms were a bargain at Silver Legacy and look at my view!
May 3 & 4, 2018 Dale & Bob hung drywall. Picture toward the bathroom, stairwell & north wall.
With only natural light it’s not bad in here. From the north wall looking toward the shop door.
Another picture showing the light through the shop door.
Inside the utility cubby under the stairs. Drain is for the water heater.
I bought the 6” insulated flu pipe along with a wood stove from a fellow who inherited a cabin from his in-laws at Lake of the Ozarks. When the guys located the flu holes in the roof and ceiling they didn't have the black flange that was to be boxed between ceiling joists. As you see, we will improvise and run the black stove pipe through the metal ceiling connecting into the flu here. Will need to pull a staple, move the wires, and secure the black flange to the truss. Also buckled the roof boot when we repositioned the flu so will need to get someone on the roof to fix that before long.
Englander wood stove I bought when I first started this idea. It's in excellent condition, firebrick show little use, as does the insulated flu & stovepipe. Looks like I have 2 - 35” joints flu pipe left over if someone has need.
Stairwell is a bit dark but wide steps & risers are a pleasure to navigate. Neon lights will help.
Loft. There was a Carolina Wren nest w/fledglings in the truss so the crew worked around them on Friday. By Saturday May 5 the babies were gone from the nest. I'm told this is a sign of good luck so I'll take it.
May 23, 2018
May 30, 2018 Tuesday following Memorial Day. While I am away on business in St Louis and then in Lake Ozark 3 contractors converged at our shop. Caleb and A-1 crew arrived at 5:45a to install the vinyl siding for front gable and to position the flue. May was the hottest on record for Missouri so crews worked when cooler.
and installed the water heater in the utility cubby. Decided on a 20gal rather than my original planned 6gal. May want to wash something big. And a utility sink and stool in the bathroom too.
Dale mudded and taped before leaving May 31 for a 3week cruise around Alaska w/his wife Dr Lory. While he was gone I cleaned, painted, and did some other small jobs to ready the shop. I've been surprised so far how the foam insulation really keeps the upstairs at a bearable temp during the hot days. I am not installing an air conditioner initially but holding the option for heater/air conditioner wall unit later if needed.
June 14, 2018 I told someone yesterday they have to understand, I am working on a year-long project that's taking 3 to complete. I do have a lot more patience than I did 30yrs ago! Between work and family trips I am starting to cut in the ceiling, corners, windows/doors, etc so I can roll paint on the walls (and ceiling upstairs). Electricians are ready to come back when painting is complete so pressure is on me. Leave Sunday for a week long FDA training in Dallas so hope to get some paint slapped on b/f I leave.
June 22, 2018 I returned from Dallas on a 6a flight to St Louis. Our neighbor Mark Blume has offered to cut, stain, and install window trim made from old ruff sawn oak fence lumber to give the shop a rustic look. I am painting all walls and ceiling upstairs white as well and will summon the electrician as soon as finished painting.
Walls painted, windows trimmed, 10’ tall pallet rack ends & 8’ rack supports ready for assembly. I see one ceiling light will need to be moved from directly over the rack.
July 25, 2018 Trimmed out the garage door with metal. I liked the look and would have stained or painted the wood anyway.
July 30, 2018 Mark Blume is retired, my neighbor, and woodworking is his hobby. He offered to trim the windows in old rough sawn oak and after that he said "why not use some scraps to trim out the wall. Today after church we cut, sanded, stained, sealed and nailed 3/4" trim to the wall where the workbenches and pallet racks will stand.
July 31, 2018 14' overhead door installed. My builder told me the insulation and door would keep the shop cooler in summer and he is right. Working inside on pallet racks, trying out different shelf heights, and its much nicer when the door is closed & fan running.
Stained & polyurethane coated the bathroom door & trim and added a pull handle
Figured and reconfigured the pallet racks. These were used and some a bit abused I think so the erection didn't go as easily as I thought it should. Also, I couldn't set them up exactly as I had planned because you do what you can do with used right? This will work or I'll buy some new parts to make it work later when I determine my needs better.
August 11, 2018
Throughout this project Cooper and our resident deer have been pictured a lot. In August 2018 these two fawns, their mother, couple of doe friends and a buck are frequenting our yard and backyard. Linda sprays the costa every week to keep them from feasting so much. Today as I walked to the shop after work these two fawns were as interested in watching me as I was them. My view from the porch.
I bought my 620 new in Nov. 1974. I used to do a limited amount of custom garden plowing/tilling for fellow Church members, friends, & neighbors. I also mowed 2-3 acres for the 1st 25 years until the mower deck was too rusty to continue. I repowered it in 1999 with a 22 HP Kohler Command, before there were repower kits to my knowledge.
Almost two years ago, after extensive use of the Simplicity 48" tiller, apparently one of the bearings seized so suddenly (after I switched the rear PTO off), that when I tried to switch it back on again a few minutes later, it instantly killed the engine "graveyard dead".
Can I replace the short (rear) shaft, it's two bearings & whatever else is necessary, just by removing the seat, top cover, & transaxle cover? Is it likely that I'll have to also replace the long shaft & it's gears & bearings?
I may have availability for used parts nearby. I haven't called Sandy Lake yet.
Thanks for whatever advice anyone can offer.
Received the new hinge and bracket. The bracket was AC yellow - - -can't have that so after about an hour media-blasting and a day or so waiting for paint to dry, here are the parts, ready to install. But wait! What's that I see on the cutter bar? Is that another wobbled bolt hole? And same thing on the matching hole on the lever assembly. Man. if it isn't one thing it is something else. the fun never ceases. I took the bar and lever to the machine shop where they will drill the holes to a bigger size. I figure all of these wobbles and peened surfaces contributed to the violent shaking, so when this thing is done, you won't even know it is running.
I've been wanting a way to move dirt with my tractors since I got them. Building a loader isn't in the cards...yet. Simplicity however made a grader blade for their tractors that by all accounts works pretty well. I've been meaning to build something for a while anyway and since grader blades are pretty spendy for what they are (300 bucks or so), I decided to build my own!
I had an old plow blade laying around the garage that I decided to cut in half for the grader blade.
I also wanted to add some ripping capability with this thing, so I bought a swisher scarifier from Wal-mart for about 80 bucks.
Here is the frame I built...
And the plow mount...
There are three positions the grader blade can be in, centered, Right and left.
Here it is with the teeth on one side.
And finally, all together, and ready to mount to a tractor.
I used it on a test run over memorial day weekend. I had a nasty patch of my backyard left over from my barn construction project that was starting to be taken over by weeds. I tilled it in, then used the grader blade to level the ground back out. It worked BEAUTIFULLY...
I will get it painted some day...
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I've enjoyed taking some time off and working on the honey-do list and springtime chores, though both are never-ending. But, I thought it time to provide an update, since it is rainy, and I'm procrastinating going to the garage to work. In addition to updating the software with new releases, and monitoring my email for "I can't log in" types of things, I have added a few more things to the site:
1. In addition to the Leaderboard that came with a recent release of the core software, I've implemented a Top Contributors function. It shows the people who've posted the most content in specific areas, by week, month, year, etc. There's been discussions in the Executive Committee about possibly setting up a competition (similar to Tractor of the Month) to reward the top contributors. I also have a programmer looking at taking this module even farther in what it tracks and counts, should we decide to implement a competition.
2. Due to feedback on the member list that I was using, I had a custom one developed and implemented. There's still some issues with missing data, but the function seems to be working well, and the plug-in that catches missing mandatory info seems to be working;
Here's a topic describing it: https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/56722-new-member-list/
Here's a direct link to it, underneath the Membership menu: https://simpletractors.com/mlist/
Note that the amount of information displayed depends upon your access level. Dues-paying members can see more information.
3. Also based upon requests, I implemented a Member Map that allows you to place a pin on a map identifying the city and state where you live. (Smart phones will give you the option of using your Location from the phone.) This could really be helpful in finding people locally who share a similar interest in these old machines. Like most things here, its usefulness depends on the amount of use by others -- and use is optional, since some people are reluctant to share too much information on the web.
Here's a topic describing it: https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/56732-member-map-added/
Here's a direct link to it, also underneath the Membership menu: https://simpletractors.com/membermap/
Note that if there are multiple members in close proximity, it displays them in a round "cluster" with the number of pins within it shown. For example, the pic above shows 3 members located near Indianpolis IN. If you click on that round icon, it will zoom in and show the three individual pins on the map.
Then, if you click on any one of the pins, it will show the info on that member. Here's mine, for example:
Hopefully you can see the value of this, in trying to connect with others in the local area. Now, if only we can encourage more people to add themselves to the map.
4 Continuing on that same subject of connecting with other enthusiasts locally, I want to give a sneak preview of a core capability coming in the next major release of the software, due out sometime mid-late 2017. The new core IPS software will have the capability to create sub-groups and corresponding functions for "Clubs". Since this entire site is already dedicated to a specific club, this new capability will allow us to then create and support "chapters" within the club, and support those chapters with their own functions unique to them. Implementing chapters is totally up to us -- should we choose to do so -- but the core capability will be there. Since this club has always been about encouraging face-to-face meetings with others, there has been discussion of creating chapters since the club was initially formed. This next release of the software will fully support that -- should we choose to do so....
Here's a look at their default view of clubs (i.e. chapters) from their development/testing server:
As shown, each "chapter" could have its own banner for that area. It would also show a list of the subset of members that are in that chapter, and each chapter would have "leaders" that can act as moderators for this subgroup. (Anyone identified as admin or moderator for the entire site would still have their same access levels/capabilities within these subgroups.):
We can set this up to control access to these sub-areas or chapters. See the settings at the top of the list below. We can also set it up so these chapters can have their own content areas/capabilities from the list at the bottom -- each could have its own forum, gallery, downloads, blogs and calendars to handle their local activities. If these are set up as either open or public, all club members can see them.
Here's a glimpse of what those chapter sub-areas could look like:
I'm showing all this to prompt your thinking about the possible creation of club chapters, and to hear your thoughts...
5. Continuing with the sneak previews, the next major release of the software will also include many more small enhancements -- I'm not sure what all yet, since they are slowly providing previews. For example, instead of just the Like button, there will be other Reactions that can be provided for a piece of content, such as a topic or reply
Meanwhile, I need to get back to working on cleaning up the rest of the old Simple trACtors content and republishing it. I just wanted to provide an update on some of the recent changes and a preview of what's coming.
Let me know what you think of creating club chapters, please!
Gidday, this is me testing (myself) to see if I can create a blog!
My tractor came from a massive but neglected collection covering about 20 acres, of all sorts of farm equipment. The Simplicity looked very sorry but seems pretty well complete, except for parts of the engine - a Briggs 23D-FB. I will return to the property now I know what I am missing. I will be looking for a complete air cleaner, the starter motor and voltage regulator and the wiring. I need to find out exactly where the battery fits, and to buy the correct size battery.
I am in the process of dismantling everything, to clean up and to get sandblasted, in readiness for painting. Still to dismantle are: - steering wheel from steering column, grub screw proving difficult to loosen, may need to heat carefully without damaging the hand grips, - lift lever and shaft, will need heat to get apart, - transmission group, not anxious to touch yet, - differential, not anxious to touch yet, - bevel gear assembly, not anxious to touch yet. These latter parts will be considered after seeing how easily they turn etc, without too much slop.
Hood needs piece welded in where previous owner cut a hole for fuel tank lid. Need to find grill and grill side bars. Need to find decals/ornaments. Need cover for front PTO shaft.
Need a complete seat cushion.
Need to replace front wheel bearings etc.
Hello All, just a little announcement here for those of you who don't know that I have a YouTube channel covering Simplicity Garden Tractors be sure to check it out at:
Thanks for all the support! Have a great Day!
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Hurry up and finish as I am itching to move into my new digs! LOOKS AWESOME GENE
Hello, It won't be long now, you will be sitting there among your tractors , sipping a cold lemonade , enjoying the day
and saying " why didn't I get the floor epoxy coated."
Thanks Ken in Mi extremely envious !!
I'm not sure, but I think your sickle bar is part no 1690030. See if this parts list looks familiar: http://www.partstree.com/parts/simplicity/accessories/1690030-simplicity-46-sickle-bar/sickle-group/
Mine is the smaller unit so I have no lift pulley to photograph. Was thinking about adapting it for cable lift but I have had enough problems just getting it this far.
Unless you are going for restoration competition, you could probably come up with a pulley system with parts from Tractor Supply.
Dallas Cizek 0
i have a sickle mower for the large frame tractor but need the lift cable and pulley for side of tractor can i get pic and size of parts so can make one
The hub on the front of the shaft that connects to the magnetic clutch, the mfg used gap filler on the spline end of the shaft.
Also the bolt that secures the hub onto the shaft has used lock tight, Once the hub has been removed you'll find a spacer, behind the spacer an o-ring.
The spacer is machined at one end for the o-ring make sure you reassemble in the same order these parts came off.
Hub removed, next an oil seal can not remember if they used a snap ring in front of the bearing.
I used a peice of wood jammed between the rear inside PTO gears to loosen the hub nut.
After the front bearing has been removed slide the short shaft forward, then lift upwards then draw it back out through the rear of the transmission.
The front bearing is a roller while the rear bearing uses a needle bearing.
If you have to remove the centre idler gear or the bottom PTO gear, be prepared to learn some patience.
Reinstalling those bottom gears along with the thin spacers is a bit tricky, for the bottom gear I used heavy grease to hold the shim in place, then cradled the gear using fishing line to lower the gear into place.