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Gene's Shop

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About this blog

For years I've admired and wanted a Simplicity Carry-all like this one. Maynard had 2  and when he passed I made a mistake not requesting one when sold. We just don't see 'em in  Missouri as it seem the farmers who bought garden tractors were fiscally conservative and they just didn't splurge for equipment. Heck, you don't even see many hydro garden tractors around here from the 1960's as farmers opted for "the poor man's hydro" variable speed units because of their familiarity with similar drive units on harvester/combines. But I digress..

 

 ACken fabricated the top link for me. I cut, drilled, and welded the rest of the skeleton from new bar stock purchased locally. Again, the skeleton is similar but different than the original (we can say to protect infringement on patents but in reality I'm no engineer so it is what it is). 

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I decided to weld instead of bolt together the frame. Besides, my drill bit collection is junk. And, I bought a Hobart 125EZ welder on closeout at TSC so this was an opportunity to get familiar with wire welding. Was I going to take this apart later anyway? No 

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You can see I also used some angles cut from a Cub Cadet frame I had from a part out.

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I may fab up a set of longer lower arms. I think this would make carry-all have a steeper incline when dumping a load of whatever. I have the tailgate too. I'll post a picture mounted in a few days.  How about my climbing wall? More on that sometime later but you can't get to it w/o climbing over my garden tractors & equipment.

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Entries in this blog

gwiseman

Parade

6 years ago I had a construction friend dig a diversion ditch above our house to take excess runoff rain water a different direction. That worked well until the last 3 years when our spring rains come anywhere from 2.5-5 inches at a time. There is a rock layer not far below the surface so water also percolates out as well as runs off the hill.  I had failed to maintain the ditch so it had pretty well filled in at the breaking point so water just pooled and overflowed appearing like a pond dam overflow during rains this spring.  I hauled out the long handled shovel, tiling spade, Allis Bumblebee 10 plus Agri-Fab cart, Simplicity 3012 and Agri-Fab Utility 10 carry-all. Had my own little parade. I haven't taken the carry-all off the Simplicity 3012 this spring; it is so handy and about the correct size to allow more frequent water and shade breaks. Also, the 3012 hydro lift has no problem lifting and holding a full load of dirt (even for long periods it doesn't leak down). 

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I started digging on the downhill grade side of the ditch clearing the channel so the water that pools on the upper side can have route of escape. I really don't work in a very systematic manner though as you'll see that I still need to dig on the downhill side in the next picture in order to make the grade work for me. Silt from the wooded hill above mixed with red clay dug pretty well after recent rains. I moved the soil from the ditch to areas of need in our backyard.  

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The Agri-fab cart is an older unit, solid metal floor & built pretty darn tough. I filled it full several times and found right away the break-over-center point was not engineered correct for manual lift/dump by a short guy over 60. I needed some real umph to lift the loaded bed unless the rear of the cart was on a downhill slope. Probably loaded it a little too heavy (I'd bet 500+ lbs) bc I noticed the spot welds on the under gird popped in a few places after this use. Wasn't built to haul and dump full dirt loads. The Agri-fab 10 carry-all tailgate is very light constructed and bends too easily. I am going to structurally strengthen it later with angle some light angle iron. That'll give me a chance to use my Hobart 125EZ wire welder I got at TSC on clearance last year. Wire welding is different for me. I learned to weld on Forney and Lincoln 240 stick welders using mostly 6011 and 6013 rods. I must say, this little 110 wire feed welder is so much easier to start and hold a bead; and so darn versatile.  

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Another shot of my parade.  I really like and have found so many uses for the carry-all. I do need to lengthen the 2 arms that pin to the lower hitch to give it more travel, but it works really well as it is. And thriller: fill it with dirt as below, drive up a small grade and you start wishin you had individual brakes to steer. The front tires just float or ride a couple of inches off the ground and steering with them is by chance. All in all I am just mystified by how these small garden tractors were engineered utility, strength, and reliability.  

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And finally, our street is an older small community that has organized activities on holidays including Independence Day. At 10am kids games are held in various yards and, at noon there is a pot luck lunch.  Immediately after lunch we hold a pet and wheels parade. This year I opened festivities driving an American flag bearing Allis B210 to the beginning of the street and back to our drive at the end. Then, as families began leaving the gathering, I drove the flag tractor up the street and back to close. I know, I need a new flag! 

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Happy 4th of July SimpletrACtors. 

gwiseman

Shop Build

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).

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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.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.e753e23685023ad0e12af3695ab58bed.jpegTopography 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.

 

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Nosey neighbors.

 

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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. 

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A tree beside our house was removed to make room for a drive. 

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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.  

 

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August September 13, 2017 my concrete contractor, Greg Rackers and his crew (Greystone Concrete) dig and pour foundation.

 

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And the foundation pour complete.

 

 

gwiseman

Sickle mowing & repair

We have about 1 acre at the far end of our town property that is rough and I don't mow it often. But, when I do mow I use one of the foot draggers because they are just so tough. I decided to give the sickle mower a try this time as the growth was a little out of hand.  I knew to use the small mid pto pulley and 1/2 throttle or less. My Allis-Chalmers Early B-10 will throttle way down and I enjoy listening to the 23d engine operate as slow revolutions. I should have taken a picture of the 12" growth but, if you look closely you can see the thick cutting on the ground.  The Simplicity cable lift sickle operated flawlessly at 1/3 throttle in both 1st gear when I needed extra caution, and 2nd gear in the open areas. This is an after picture 

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As I finished I felt extra vibration and found one of the heim joints on the pitman to be really worn. When you consider the revolutions and speed these machines operate, there is no doubt there will be wear points.  

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Not sure how it held together till I finished actually.

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McMaster Carr to the rescue! I measured and ordered the part one day and took delivery the next day. That is service! 

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Heim joint installed and ready for the next mow. 

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gwiseman

Stumping for progress

Received a call from the cement contractor; coming next week to form new shop foundation. Last minute prep: had to move a stump from removed tree to an area out of the traffic way. Simplicity 3012 hydrolift strained a little but lifted high enough to transport. Individual brakes would have been nice option to steerIMG_0798.thumb.JPG.de9d2adb4c86600a7e28114a2b36fe3d.JPG

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gwiseman

FDT weekend rodeo

We're experiencing a beautiful June 24-25 weekend in Missouri with mild ('70's) high temps and low humidity.  I'm batching it right now so I planned to get the foot draggers out for a little work and repair. First, my B210 shucked the starter/generator belt last week while I was retrieving a neighbor's wood splitter from behind couple of houses and a swimming pool. Got to use my repop front/rear hitch for that job. Luckily I didn't kill the engine till the move was finished.  So, after work on Friday I started the replacement job with a belt I had removed from a parts tractor last year. Thought I'd just remove the bolts and spacers from the drive shaft, and the hydrolift belt, and slip the replacement belt over the pulleys. WRONG. After skinning my fingers, dropping the spacers in the frame, and finding I just didn't have enough room for my club hands, I decided it would be easier to remove the grill frame and pull the engine.  Not sure this is the preferred  but it worked for me as those 4 engine bolts come out pretty easy and I could move the engine enough to get the room I needed to work. Finished in time for bed so I felt I had accomplished my mission. 

After the dew dried on Saturday I pulled the early B10 out for it's first work of '17. I'd mounted and used a Simplicity cable lift sickle on it last fall and, I had some tall grass and weeds growing along a diversion ditch that runs along the hill above our house. The old 23d Briggs started right up and the sickle ran smooth as silk; well it ran as smooth as a sickle should run. I operate at less than 1/2 throttle on the small mid pto pulley and it'll still shake the tractor a little. I'm trying to post a picture from a frame of the action video I shot but for now here is a picture of when I replaced the fronts with tri-ribs I'd taken in on a trade. 

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Next I needed to try to outsmart a squirrel. For 6 years now I've one upped the squirrels with my pvc pipe atop the bird feeder pole. I simply capped a length of 4" pvc, drilled a hole in the cap, slipped it over the pole, and drilled holes for the tarp strap that hold it up there. Squirrels have climbed that pole and gone under the pvc pipe but not on it. This has been a successful deterrent until this year. We have a grey squirrel population mostly and the go up and inside the pvc but not on the outside. I think the smarty may be a red variety. So, a little grease rubbed on the bottom of the pvc and we'll see if the little bugger can climb this. 

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Later I took the Bumblebee 10 w/42" deck to the north end of our property to mow an acre open field. Although this property is contiguous our home property I have to load the tractor and travel about 8 blocks to get there. I don't mow this as often as I should and these old one cylinder tractors and deep decks really make me look good. Now I've had a gas leak on this tractor of late so it's been parked under our deck rather than in the basement. I thought I'd repaired it by replacing the shutoff valve with a NOS I had on the shelf.  Here I am showing a very small set of channel locks my brother in law gave to me one Christmas. Some of the family laughed at the small pliers so, every time I use them I take a photo and send to the laughing family members showing them who gets the last laugh...

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Actually, this was a fun day mowing. A cool breeze, plenty of shade, I only used about 1 1/2 tanks of gasoline, and all belts held. I filled the gas tank, loaded up the trailer, admired my work, and headed home.

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Pulled in the drive and I noticed gasoline spill on the side panels and frame. I wiped it off and started searching, hoping to find only expansion from the lid. No such luck.  Gasoline was leaking into the battery area as fast as I could wipe it up. The tank was nearly full so I had to drain it back into the can. Gasoline never runs out of those 1/4" lines as fast when you're on a planned drain as it does if an accident or an incident. This tank was repaired and lined about 10 years ago. This is what I found.

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I got a repaired tank along with the 3012 deal so I checked and installed it. No leaks! Another unexpected but successful repair. Now, what to do with the yellow leaker tank? 

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Sunday I wanted to remove the Rube Goldberg stack muffler that was on the 3012 when I got it from Swede. Great weekend to do that outside using my "gas wrench" acetylene torch outfit.  Was pretty darn stubborn so I had to get a spare piece of heavy sheet aluminum  (no parking sign) out to shield the heat from the carb, wires, etc. 

So I went from this

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to this

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And I finished up Sunday moving some of the wood awaiting the wood splitter to a spot out of the way in case the concrete crew shows this week. I've found a lot of use for the utility carryall box I made earlier this year. Hitched to the 3012 w hydrolift, I found I could roll the large pieces into the box, lift it high enough to keep them from rolling out, and move to the spot away from the planned construction site. 

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I also used the Agri-fab utility carryall to move the smaller and split wood from to an area out of the way.  This is a pretty good start on my winter shop heating. 

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We will always have to make unexpected repairs to ~50 year old machines but that is part of the hobby. Collecting and operating them, listening to the engines lug, experiencing what they can accomplish, and using various pieces of equipment gets my adrenaline running full bore. Hope your weekend was as fun and fulfilling as mine has been.    

gwiseman

Carburetor Overhaul

When I picked up the Simplicity 3012 from SimplicitySwede earlier this spring, he told me it leaked gasoline from the carburetor. He controlled the leaking while parked by shutting off the valve under the gas tank, however there was a constant drip while operating the tractor as well. My shop is in the basement of our house and, any slight smell of gasoline permeates the Linda's house. So, I either have to keep these things under control or move the culprit tractor out under the deck (for now). So last weekend I decided to overhaul the Briggs updraft carburetor on the 3012 to keep peace and harmony in the family. Had an overhaul kit on the shelf that I'd bought from Al Eden some time ago (old part number displayed) and I've done this several times so I set about the task to rebuild. This is going to be a piece of cake ;). Just to be sure I stay on task I pull out the Briggs carb adjustment cheat sheet.

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No job is routine! After overhaul the tractor ran rougher than before, wouldn't throttle up or down evenly, and leaked from this hole even more than before my overhaul.

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I have a back stock (Linda's term for my inventory) so I pulled the carburetor box off the shelf, got out the trusty Dremel, and cleaned up a different lower body determining this must be my problem along with maybe a float adjustment. 

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After wire brushing, polishing, and compressed air, the replacement lower body was ready for service. 

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Still leaked!  Back to the bench. I'd recently read an article in Lawn & Garden Tractor Magazine by Norman Ng, owner of iSaveTractors who talked about this very problem with Briggs updraft carbs. I determined the gasoline was likely leaking past the surfaces where the emulsion tube is supposed to seal against the carb lower body. In the past I've used a Q-tip and toothpaste to smooth up surfaces but I decided to follow Norman's advice placing an o-ring on the emulsion tube. Norman's article is also on his website http://isavetractors.com/articles-1/ 

Again, back stock time. I bought an o-ring kit from my local Carquest auto parts store (no longer in business) a few years ago that's come in handy to rebuild fdt hydrolifts among other things. The smallest 006 fit the tube nicely. 

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I reassembled the carb adjusting per Briggs instructions with the cleaned up 2nd lower body. No leaks while setting or running!! Not only that but, after idling for a full 5 minutes and readjusting the needle valve, the old Briggs 12hp runs like a Singer sewing machine while idling, throttles up nicely and gives off only a light puff of smoke on quick throttle up. Not bad for a 50yr old motor. 

 

The 3012 is now parked back in our basement out of the elements. No gasoline aroma from her now however I think I will call the concrete guy this week to see what his schedule is. Maybe its time to accelerate the shop build...

 

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gwiseman

Soggy Weekend Repair Job

The heavens opened on Central Missouri this week making it a soggy one. I emptied 1.6" from a Wednesday rain, 5.5" from Saturday rains, and .6" today. I forgot to take a picture of my rain gauge so this from Paul Jeffery, a college fraternity brother and buddy of mine.

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No mowing grass or any other tractor work much this week. So I pulled the steering wheel (much easier than I expected), removed the bolts connecting the steering shaft to the steering gear, and pulled the steering shaft up to examine.  As you can see the OEM rubber bushing is toast and, there are some extra bushings between it and the retaining clip??? 

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Look what I found.  The added bushings were 3-rubber washers, maybe garden hose washers, and a short piece of threaded pipe. Guess someone didn't realize the retainer clip could be removed and placed in a higher position? A close-up of the homemade bushings.

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And another of the worn out OEM Simplicity bushing. 

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Luckily I have a supply of NOS OEM rubber steering bushings I got a few years ago from Ed England and I have a couple of usable used ones too. Turned out to be a quick fix; at least I think its fixed anyho). I reset the retainer clip, drove a good used OEM rubber bushing in place and I took the opportunity to adjust the steering gear set screw. When back together sitting still on cement there seemed to be no steering shaft wobble or steering gear slip. Due to the weather I was damp and cold by the time I finished this project so I packed the tools back into the shop, cleaned up and called it a day. The test will come in action next week. 

gwiseman

Patience + Variable Speed

I'm generally a patient guy, especially when it comes to spending cash. Wasn't always that way but age, raising 2 daughters, and a divorce have contributed to that characteristic. Couple of things I discuss in this entry hinge on my patience. First, I've been looking for a decent 12hp briggs powered fdt since selling my last one, a 3112H, to member ronhruska about 2 yrs ago. On March 1 I decided to contact Jared Olsen aka SimplicitySwede regarding a 3012V package deal he was wanting to sell. We continued communicating and came to agreement April 7 so I made the trip the next day. The pkg included an armstrong lift sickle bar mower that needs work, new pr mounted 23x8.50-15 Carlisle Tru Powers, new pr mounted 4.00-8 Deestone tri-ribs, 2-moldboard plows (1-orig AC & repainted Simplicity), pull behind cultivator, & center mounted scratcher along w/misc parts.  

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The 3012 as she arrived. 

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And now, a little cleaner & a doner seat from an AC. Side panel off to inspect the steering for excessive play. The upright pipe is going to come off soon too. 

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Swede has moved on to collecting and refurbishing Farmall tractors now so his Sovereign has set in the barn for awhile. She started quickly and ran nice as well but after a 3.5 hr trip home the sediment in the gas tank all came loose and I've battled that until today replacing fuel filters and draining out gunk. Today I think I drained the last of the gunk for awhile. As with most used nearly 50 yr old tractors there are issues that need attention so I've prioritized and will get to them as I can. However, in the meantime this old girl is going to have to earn her keep. As many of you know the variable speed units are contrary. This one was way out of adjustment so I tackled that first.

I busted out one of my Large Frame Repair Manuals and copied off the step-by-step instructions for adjustment. Been through them exactly as printed twice now and it's close but I cannot get the clutch/brake just where I want it yet. I've done this several times over the years and each tractor is a little unique, has its own quirks. If anyone has a good idea I'll try it. Until then I'll go through the adjustments and measurements again to make sure I'm not missing something. I think it is the part where you're supposed to adjust so the drive belt has just a little travel when the clutch/brake is depressed and then back off the brake adjustment nut a little...

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And 2nd: I'm going to start a series of entries soon on a shop build behind our house.  Linda has given her approval to my build, motivated I think because our basement is overflowing w/my ST collection or hoard and she's ready to get it back into her possession. See the climbing wall? Haven't been able to get to it for 5 yrs w/o moving a lot of stuff.

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Had a tree cut that was too close to the house for me to tackle. You can see the tree behind those beautiful dogwood trees, and to the left of the garage. Linda loves those 2 dogwoods and that subject will also be discussed later in the shop build.

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I started on clearing the limbs and small stuff this weekend. I hate stumbling over those things when I am operating my vintage Stihl 1989 024AV.

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This afternoon I pulled out the last load of limbs, taking them over the hill out of sight. You can see the cut where the proposed building will be erected. We cleared the area and made the cut last fall and I bid out the concrete work earlier this year. I'm in no particular hurry as my calendar is crammed full till end of June. So I'm shooting for a fall build. We shall see... 

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Limbs cleared and ready to cut up the log for firewood to heat the shop. 

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gwiseman

Worked after work so I can work

Well, nothing went right yesterday, Monday April 17. Our day was crazy at the office, phone calls from the wild side, etc. I checked but I already knew the full moon occurred last week, not this week! Over the years I've seen the pattern and I am a believer that a full moon brings out the wild side. When I got home the day didn't get any better. I enjoy mowing with a 42" deck fdt; especially the longer frame models, so last week I readied the B210 for mowing duties with my rough deck so I can justify mowing w/out picking up sticks, clearing roots, whatever. Linda and I ate a quick Easter leftovers dinner and I was off to mow I thought. About 100' into the mow the B210 died as if I had picked up a root or something in the deck. Drove back to just outside my basement shop and found the mid pto seized; that's right it was seized!  Never heard of that. So, I unhooked the deck (in the grass), pulled it from under the tractor, positioned the Bumblebee 10, and slid, tugged, lifted, cussed, got blocks and pry bar, and after a lot of sweat and rolling around remounted it. It musta taken an hour. Of course, I in the grass nothing seemed to align correctly. Finally after I got the pins secured I tried every belt I had on the rack but I have 2 for longer fdt frame to 42" deck drive belts and 1 that must have worked on some short frame (B10) sometime but it had to have shrunk or something. Well, its dark-thirty and I'll have to run get a deck drive belt today so that I can again start to mow tonight. So, I conclude that after work last night I worked so that I can work tonight. Its like I spun my wheels but didn't get anywhere. Oh yes, I haven't removed the blade and chains from the Conquest yet which is my go-to mower tractor. The fdt are for fun. Ugh  

gwiseman

IMG_0284.thumb.JPG.63a4fe5cc41097f87f0d7c78912960c9.JPGIts been wet most of the spring and when it wasn't Linda and/or I were traveling. Had a load of mulch delivered in early March. Have the Swisher bucket mounted on the B210 but it doesn't really work well to dump a bucket of mulch on top of the already growing hosta plants. And it takes several trips over the yard and my grass, as you can see, has its challenges anyway. So I decided what the heck, let's put the Agri-Fab Utility 10 Carry-all to use.  Here I am backed up to the wet double ground mulch pile in our drive. The silage fork fits easily as pictured so I can scoop from the sides and grab a large scoop full. IMG_0284.thumb.JPG.63a4fe5cc41097f87f0d7c78912960c9.JPG 

 

I'd used a larger Agri-fab Utility trailer to haul mulch this week but it holds about 2.5 times more, takes longer to load and unload (not enough built-in breaks), and you have to back it up. I am pretty good at backing 2 and 4 wheel trailers but I have earned the right to make it a little easier on myself when I want. No backing and more breaks it is. Here you see the loaded cart. I backed right over hosta plants and into the bed to. Nearly as handy as a shirt pocket. 

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Cooper photobombed me. This mulch was wet/heavy but the box full wasn't hard to lift. Actually it seemed to break over center quickly making the armstrong lift easier than I expected. I'll post a picture of the hosta garden fully mulched later today. Love these warm, spring days.

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As promised, Miss Linda's hosta garden

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gwiseman

Agri-Fab Utility 10 Carry-all

I am getting a handle on blogging (late is better than never, right?) so bare with me as I cut from the original, paste in new entries, and add more. 

As I stated, I sought advice from everyone I could think of about measurements, metal dimensions, maybe even buying a well worn Simplicity cart to use. Chris727 shuttered in his shoes when I mentioned I was thinking of "destroying a Simplicity dump cart for the cause. That caused me to rethink and remember a project build I'd followed on SimpletrACtors by snohiker  https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/37363-carryall-update-5-26-11/#comment-413033  Take a look at it and you will no doubt see similarities. 

 

Next up I contacted ZippoVarga for metal measurements. Zippo had bought an old, rough carry-all box  that needed a total undercarriage rebuild.IMG_1544.thumb.JPG.418d10671bdcfe34a831f8dc01651d16.JPG

 

Again, you will see the similarity. If that furrow has already been plowed, and its working, all I really need to do is fall in line.

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The run-down garden cart I bought from a CL ad was perfect. 2 flat tires and looked terrible but the bed was in nice, shape. 

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In reality, I am not sure how much use this will get but I can pick it up and throw it in the corner or on a shelf to get it out of the way much easier than moving my Allis dump cart that is in too nice shape to use anyway. And, I just like tinkering in the shop, now in our basement) as it takes my mind off work and other stressful stuff. AND - If I remember correctly former Club Secretaries have had a carry-all or a version of one anyway. As it warms and I use it this spring I am sure there will be a modification or two in the works. gw

gwiseman

The product

I've thought about starting this on a FB post, saying something like: I've ended my life-long search for an Agri-Fab Utility 10 prototype carryall. I read about these "prototype" garden tractors found, one of a kind stuff, modifications like my dad and I would make to farm tractors and equipment to make them work better for us in our particular situation. Also, if we didn't have what we needed, and/or couldn't afford it, then we built it. I made this carry-all box to satisfy my want and save myself some cash. Thought also occurred to me the grandchildren might get a kick out of riding in it later. 

Note-that's Cooper, our English Cream Golden Retriever, watching the doors. He's my partner on all projects

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