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.
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...
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
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!
Good to see the concrete being completed . Then the framing and roof before christmas????
Thanks Ken in Mi
I'm not saying "THE" previous owner, but certainly "A" previous owner took a lot of shortcuts. Besides the peened over parts and wobbled out bolt holes here are some shots of other things I found. In both pictures, the item on the left is incorrect and the one on the right is, well, right. In the picture of the sickle head, not only were the bolts too long, but they were the wrong thread. So even when I re-tapped the threads correctly, they stripped out completely when I tried to install the correct bolt.
If you look at the right side of the sickle head, you can see that there is not much material left. So I bought a reproduction part (Thank you rokon2813) and drilled the three bolt holes out to 3/8; drilled the blade bolt holes to 21/64 and tapped them to 3/8-24.
She is almost back together. I'll borrow my grand daughter's helmet cam and take a video (if it works).
I've heard great things about the foam, more expensive but is a better job. I know my insurance allows wood heat if installed by a set of rules they have.
On 7/5/2017 at 9:46 PM, Chris727 said:
Sounds like you need to put your front counterweight on the 3012......
Was hauling more wood yeasterday and yep, I need to install that counterweight.
1 hour ago, B-16_IC said:
Plans look great, should be a nice setup! Have you consulted the insurance company about the wood stove? Some won't cover them.
Thanks Rich. I haven’t talked to the insurance company; probably should do that bf installation. Was also thinking of installing a split heat/air unit but not definite. Will need some sort of backup for cold nights & when away. If I foam it won’t need much heat.