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Title: Farm Mechanics - Machinery and its Use to Save Hand Labor on the Farm.
Author: Shearer, Herbert A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Farm Mechanics - Machinery and its Use to Save Hand Labor on the Farm." ***

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  |                      TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES                           |
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  | Words printed in italics in the original work are represented here |
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  Tools, Shop Work, Driving and Driven
  Machines, Farm Waterworks, Care
  and Repair of Farm Implements




  Author of "Farm Buildings with Plans and Descriptions"



  Copyright 1918
  By Frederick J. Drake & Co.


More mechanical knowledge is required on the farm than in any other line
of business. If a farmer is not mechanically inclined, he is under the
necessity of employing someone who is.

Some farms are supplied with a great many handy contrivances to save
labor. Farmers differ a great deal in this respect. Some are natural
mechanics, some learn how to buy and how to operate the best farm
machinery, while others are still living in the past.

Some farmers who make the least pretensions have the best machinery and
implements. They may not be good mechanics, but they have an eye to the
value of labor saving tools.

The object of this book is to emphasize the importance of mechanics in
modern farming; to fit scores of quick-acting machines into the daily
routine of farm work and thereby lift heavy loads from the shoulders of
men and women; to increase the output at less cost of hand labor and to
improve the soil while producing more abundantly than ever before; to
suggest the use of suitable machines to manufacture high-priced
nutritious human foods from cheap farm by-products.

Illustrations are used to explain principles rather than to recommend
any particular type or pattern of machine.

The old is contrasted with the new and the merits of both are expressed.




  FARM SHOP WORK                                                 50


  DRIVEN MACHINES                                               100

  WORKING THE SOIL                                              137

  HANDLING THE HAY CROP                                         163

  FARM CONVEYANCES                                              179

  MISCELLANEOUS FARM CONVENIENCES                               197

  INDEX                                                         241





The workshop and shed to hold farm implements should look as neat and
attractive as the larger buildings. Farm implements are expensive. Farm
machinery is even more so. When such machinery is all properly housed
and kept in repair the depreciation is estimated at ten per cent a year.
When the machines are left to rust and weather in the rain and wind the
loss is simply ruinous.

More machinery is required on farms than formerly and it costs more.
Still it is not a question whether a farmer can afford a machine. If he
has sufficient work for it he knows he cannot afford to get along
without it and he must have a shed to protect it from the weather when
not in use.

In the first place the implement shed should be large enough to
accommodate all of the farm implements and machinery without crowding
and it should be well built and tight enough to keep out the wind and
small animals, including chickens and sparrows.

The perspective and plan shown herewith is twenty-four feet in width and
sixty feet in length.

[Illustration: Figure 1.--Perspective View of the Farm Shop, Garage and
Implement Shed. The doors to the right are nearly 12 feet high to let in
a grain separator over night, or during the winter, or a load of hay in
case of a sudden storm.]

[Illustration: Figure 2.--Floor Plan of Shop, Garage and Storage. The
building is 60 feet wide and 24 feet from front to back. The doors of
the garage and tool shed are made to open full width, but 8 feet is wide
enough for the shop door. All doors open out against posts and are
fastened to prevent blowing shut. The work shop is well lighted and the
stationary tools are carefully placed for convenience in doing repair
work of all kinds. The pipe vise is at the doorway between the shop and
garage so the handles of the pipe tools may swing through the doorway
and the pipe may lie full length along the narrow pipe bench.]

The doorways provide headroom sufficient for the highest machines, and
the width when the double doors are opened and the center post removed
is nearly twenty feet, which is sufficient for a binder in field
condition or a two-horse spring-tooth rake.

One end of the building looking toward the house is intended for a
machine shop to be partitioned off by enclosing the first bent. This
gives a room twenty feet wide by twenty-four feet deep for a blacksmith
shop and general repair work. The next twenty feet is the garage. The
machine shop part of the building will be arranged according to the
mechanical inclination of the farmer.

[Illustration: Figure 3.--Perspective View of Farm Implement Shed and

A real farm repair shop is a rather elaborate mechanical proposition.
There is a good brick chimney with a hood to carry off the smoke and
gases from the blacksmith fire and the chimney should have a separate
flue for a heating stove. Farm repair work is done mostly during the
winter months when a fire in the shop is necessary for comfort and
efficiency. A person cannot work to advantage with cold fingers. Paint
requires moderate heat to work to advantage. Painting farm implements
is a very important part of repair work.

A good shop arrangement is to have an iron workbench across the shop
window in the front or entrance end of the building. In the far corner
against the back wall is a good place for a woodworking bench. It is too
mussy to have the blacksmith work and the carpenter work mixed up.

[Illustration: Figure 4.--Floor Plan of Farm Implement Shed, showing the
workshop in one end of the building, handy to the implement storage

Sometimes it is necessary to bring in a pair of horses for shoeing, or
to pull the shoes off. For this reason, a tie rail bolted to the
studding on the side of the shop near the entrance is an extra

In a hot climate a sliding door is preferable because the wind will not
slam it shut. In cold climates, hinge doors are better with a good sill
and threshold to shut against to keep out the cold. Sometimes the large
door contains a small door big enough to step through, but not large
enough to admit much cold, when it is being opened and shut. Likewise a
ceiling is needed in a cold country, while in warmer sections, a roof is
sufficient. Farm shops, like other farm buildings, should conform to
the climate, as well as convenience in doing the work. A solid concrete
floor is a great comfort. And it is easily kept clean.

The perspective and floor plan show the arrangement of the doors,
windows and chimney and the placing of the work benches, forge, anvil,
toolbench and drill press.

Figures 3 and 4 show the perspective and floor plan of a farm shop and
implement house 40 x 16 feet in size, which is large enough for some


Good tools are more important on a farm than in a city workshop for the
reason that a greater variety of work is required.

_Measuring Mechanical Work._--In using tools on the farm the first rule
should be accuracy. It is just as easy to work to one-sixteenth of an
inch as to carelessly lay off a piece of work so that the pieces won't
go together right.

[Illustration: Figure 5.--Caliper Rule. A handy slide caliper shop rule
is made with a slide marked in fractions of inches as shown in the
drawing. The diameter of a rivet, bolt or other round object may be
taken instantly. It is not so accurate as calipers for close
measurements, but it is a practical tool for farm use.]

The handiest measuring tool ever invented is the old-fashioned two-foot
rule that folds up to six inches in length to be carried in the pocket.
Such rules to be serviceable should be brass bound. The interior marking
should be notched to sixteenths. The outside marking may be laid out in
eighths. The finer marking on the inside is protected by keeping the
rule folded together when not in use. The coarser marking outside does
not suffer so much from wear. Figure 5 shows a 12-inch rule with a slide
caliper jaw.

[Illustration: Figure 6.--Small Pocket Oilstone. Shop oilstone in a box.
100-foot measuring tapeline marked in inches, feet and rods.]

In using a two-foot rule to lay off work the forward end should contain
the small figures so that the workman is counting back on the rule but
forward on the work, and he has the end of the rule to scribe from. In
laying off a 16-foot pole the stick is first marked with a knife point,
or sharp scratchawl, and try square to square one end. The work is then
laid off from left to right, starting from the left hand edge of the
square mark or first mark. The two-foot rule is laid flat on top of the
piece of wood. At the front end of the rule the wood is marked with a
sharp scratchawl or the point of a knife blade by pressing the point
against the end of the rule at the time of marking. In moving the rule
forward the left end is placed exactly over the left edge of the mark,
so the new measurement begins at the exact point where the other left
off, and so on the whole length of the stick. The final mark is then
made exactly sixteen feet from the first mark.

In sawing the ends the saw kerf is cut from the waste ends of the stick.
The saw cuts to the mark but does not cut it out.

In using a rule carelessly a workman may gain one-sixteenth of an inch
every time he moves the rule, which would mean half of an inch in laying
off a 16-foot pole, which would ruin it for carpenter work. If the pole
is afterwards used for staking fence posts, he would gain one-half inch
at each post, or a foot for every twenty-four posts, a distance to
bother considerably in estimating acres. It is just as easy to measure
exactly as it is to measure a little more or a little less, and it marks
the difference between right and wrong.


In a farm workshop it is better to separate the woodworking department
as far as possible from the blacksmith shop. Working wood accumulates a
great deal of litter, shavings, blocks, and kindling wood, which are in
the way in the blacksmith shop, and a spark from the anvil might set the
shavings afire.

A woodworking bench, Figure 7, carpenter's bench, it is usually called,
needs a short leg vise with wide jaws. The top of the vise should be
flush with the top of the bench, so the boards may be worked when lying
flat on the top of the bench. For the same reason the bench dog should
lower down flush when not needed to hold the end of the board.

It is customary to make carpenter's benches separate from the shop, and
large enough to stand alone, so they may be moved out doors or into
other buildings.

[Illustration: Figure 7.--Carpenter's Bench. A woodworking bench is 16'
long, 3' 6" wide and 32" high. The height, to be particular, should be
the length of the leg of the man who uses it. Lincoln, when joking with
Stanton, gave it as his opinion that "a man's legs should be just long
enough to reach the ground." But that rule is not sufficiently definite
to satisfy carpenters, so they adopted the inside leg measurement. They
claim that the average carpenter is 5' 10" tall and he wears a 32" leg.]

[Illustration: Figure 8.--Carpenter's Trestle, or Saw-Bench. The top
piece is 4 x 6 and the legs are 2 x 4. There is sufficient spread of leg
to prevent it from toppling over, but the legs are not greatly in the
way. It is heavy enough to stand still while you slide a board along. It
is 2 feet high.]

[Illustration: Figure 9.--Shave Horse. For shaping pieces of hardwood
for repair work. A good shave horse is about 8' long and the seat end is
the height of a chair. The head is carved on a hardwood stick with three
projections to grip different sized pieces to be worked.]

[Illustration: Figure 10.--Compasses, Wooden Clamp and Cutting Pliers.]

Carpenter benches may be well made, or they may be constructed in a
hurry. So long as the top is true it makes but little difference how the
legs are attached, so long as they are strong and enough of them. A
carpenter bench that is used for all kinds of work must be solid enough
to permit hammering, driving nails, etc. Usually the top of the bench is
straight, true and level and it should be kept free from litter and
extra tools.

Good carpenters prefer a tool rack separate from the bench. It may stand
on the floor or be attached to the wall. Carpenter tools on a farm are
not numerous, but they should have a regular place, and laborers on the
farms should be encouraged to keep the tools where they belong.

[Illustration: Figure 11.--Monkey-Wrenches are the handiest of all farm
wrenches, but they were never intended to hammer with. Two sizes are
needed--an eight-inch for small nuts and a much larger wrench, to open
two inches or more, to use when taking the disks off the shafts of a
disk harrow. A large pipe-wrench to hold the round shaft makes a good
companion tool for this work.]


Every farmer has an axe or two, some sort of a handsaw and a nail
hammer. It is astonishing what jobs of repair work a handy farmer will
do with such a dearth of tools. But it is not necessary to worry along
without a good repair kit. Tools are cheap enough.

Such woodworking tools as coarse and fine toothed hand saws, a good
square, a splendid assortment of hammers and the different kinds of
wrenches, screw clamps, boring tools--in fact a complete assortment of
handy woodworking tools is an absolute necessity on a well-managed

The farm kit should contain two sizes of nail hammers, see Figure 15,
one suitable to drive small nails, say up to eight penny, and the other
for large nails and spikes; a long thin-bladed handsaw, having nine
teeth to the inch, for sawing boards and planks; a shorter handsaw,
having ten teeth to the inch, for small work and for pruning trees. A
pruning saw should cut a fine, smooth kerf, so the wound will not
collect and hold moisture.

[Illustration: Figure 12.--Hand Saw. This pattern, both for cross cut
and rip saw, has been adopted by all makers of fine saws. Nine teeth to
the inch is fine enough for most jobs on the farm.]

[Illustration: Figure 13.--Keyhole Saw with point slim enough to start
the cut from a half-inch auger hole.]

[Illustration: Figure 14.--Bramble Hook for trimming berry bushes and
cleaning out fence corners. It has a knife-edge with hooked sawteeth.]

Farmers' handsaws are required to do a great many different kinds of
work. For this reason, it is difficult to keep them in good working
condition, but if both saws are jointed, set and filed by a good
mechanic once or twice a year, they may be kept in usable condition the
rest of the time by a handy farm workman, unless extra building or
special work is required.

[Illustration: Figure 15.--Nail Hammers. Two styles. The upper hammer is
made with a ball peen and a round face. It is tempered to drive small
nails without slipping and shaped to avoid dinging the wood. This hammer
should weigh 18 or 19 ounces, including the handle. The lower hammer is
heavier, has a flat face and is intended for heavy work such as driving
spikes and fence staples.]

A long-bladed ripsaw is also very useful, and what is commonly termed a
keyhole saw finds more use on the farm than in a carpenter's shop in
town. It is necessary frequently to cut holes through partitions,
floors, etc., and at such times a keyhole saw works in just right.

Handaxes are necessary for roughing certain pieces of wood for repair
jobs. Two sizes of handaxes for different kinds of work are very useful,
also a wide blade draw shave, Figure 16, and shave horse, Figure 9. A
steel square having one 24-inch blade and one 18-inch is the best size.
Such squares usually are heavy enough to remain square after falling off
the bench forty or fifty times. A good deal depends upon the quality of
the steel.

[Illustration: Figure 16.--Drawing-Knife with wide blade for finishing
straight surfaces.]

[Illustration: Figure 17.--Try-Square With Six-Inch Blade. Wood, brass
and steel are the proper materials for a try-square. A double marking
gauge for scribing mortises is also shown.]

Steel squares differ in the measuring marks, but the kind to buy has one
side spaced to sixteenths and the other side to tenths or twelfths. The
sixteenth interest farmers generally, so that special attention should
be given this side of the square. The lumber rule on some squares is
useful, but the brace rules and mitre calculations are not likely to
interest farmers.

Screw-drivers should be mostly strong and heavy for farm work. Three
sizes of handled screw-drivers of different lengths and sizes, also two
or three brace bit screw-drivers are needed. One or two bits may be
broken or twisted so the assortment is sometimes exhausted before the
screw is started.

[Illustration: Figure 18.--Heavy Hand Axe for Use on the Shop Chopping
Block. A beet topping knife is shown also.]

[Illustration: Figure 19.--Heavy Screwdriver. The strongest and cheapest
screw-driver is made from a single bar of steel. The wooden handle is
made in two parts and riveted as shown.]

Pinch bars and claw bars are very useful in a farm tool kit. Farm
mechanical work consists principally in repairing implements, machinery,
fences and buildings. Always a worn or broken part must be removed
before the repair can be made. A pinch bar twenty-four inches long,
Figure 21, with a cold chisel end, and another bar eighteen inches long
with a crooked claw end, Figure 22, for pulling nails and spikes comes
in very handy. These two bars should be made of the best octagon steel,
seven-eighths of an inch in diameter.

[Illustration: Figure 20.--(1) Ratchet Screwdriver. It does rapid work
and will last a generation if carefully used. (2) Auger-Bit of the Side
Cutter Type. A full set is needed. They are not for boring into old
wood. Running once against a nail ruins one of these bits.]

[Illustration: Figure 21.--Handspike. A wooden handspike or pry is about
seven feet long by 3 inches thick at the prying end. In the North it is
usually made from a hickory or an ironwood or a dogwood sapling. The
bark is removed and the handle is worked round and smooth on the shave
horse. It is better to cut the poles in the winter when the sap is in
the roots. After the handspikes are finished they should be covered deep
with straw so they will season slowly to prevent checking.]

[Illustration: Figure 22.--Wrecking Bar for pulling nails and to pry
broken parts from other wreckage.]

[Illustration: Figure 23.--Carpenter's Level. For practical farm work
the level should be 24" or 30" long. Wood is the most satisfactory
material. The best levels are made up of different layers of wood glued
together to prevent warping or twisting. For this reason a good level
should be carefully laid away in a dry place immediately after using.]

[Illustration: Figure 24.--(1) Snips for cutting sheet metal. (2)
Carpenter's Level, iron stock.]

[Illustration: Figure 25.--Wood-Boring Twist Drill Bit. Twist drills for
wood have longer points than drills for boring iron.]

[Illustration: Figure 26.--Pod-Bit. The fastest boring gimlet bits are
of this pattern. They are made in sizes from to 1/8" to 3/8" and are
intended for boring softwood.]

[Illustration: Figure 27.--Auger-Bits. For smooth boring the lip bits
are best. The side cutters project beyond the cutting lips to cut the
circle ahead of the chips. For boring green wood the single-worm clears
better than the double-worm bit.]

[Illustration: Figure 28.--Extension Boring Bits. The cutting lips may
be set to bore holes from 1/2" to 3" in diameter. They are used mostly
in softwood.]

[Illustration: Figure 29.--Ship Auger. This shape auger is made with or
without a screw point. It will bore straighter in cross-grained wood
without a point.]

[Illustration: Figure 30.--Long Ship Auger.]

[Illustration: Figure 31.--Bridge Auger. The long handle permits the
workman to stand erect while boring. The home made handle is welded onto
the shank of a ship auger.]

A wooden carpenter's level, Figure 23, two feet long, with a plumb glass
near one end, is the most satisfactory farm level, an instrument that is
needed a great many times during the year.

Good brace bits are scarce on farms. They are not expensive, but farmers
are careless about bits and braces. Two sizes of braces are needed, a
small brace for small pod bits and twist drills, and a large ratchet
brace with a 6-inch crank radius for turning larger bits.

[Illustration: Figure 32.--Carpenter's Jointer.]

[Illustration: Figure 33.--Fore-Plane. This style plane is preferred to
a regular jointer for most farm work.]

Twist drill bits will bore both wood and iron, and they are not
expensive up to three-eighths inch or one-half inch. But for larger
sizes from one-half inch to one inch the finest lip wood boring bits
will give the best satisfaction. Extension bits are used for boring
holes larger than one inch. Two extension bits are better than one bit
with two lip cutters. They will bore holes in soft wood in sizes from
one inch to three inches.

Other cutting tools such as jack plane jointer and smoothing plane, also
an assortment of chisels, belong to the farm equipment.

[Illustration: Figure 34.--Tool Box of Socket Chisels and Gouges. The
chisels are sized from 1/2" to 2" in width. The two chisels to the right
show different patterns.]

All cutting tools should be of the best design and the best steel. If
they are properly used and taken care of, the different jobs of repair
work can be handled quickly and to great advantage.


A grindstone may be gritty without being coarse so it will bite the
steel easily and cut it away quickly. A good stone is a very
satisfactory farm implement, but a greasy stone is a perpetual nuisance.

There are grindstones with frames too light. The competition to
manufacture and sell a grindstone for farm use at the cheapest possible
price has resulted in turning out thousands of grindstone frames that
possess very little stability.

[Illustration: Figure 35.--Grindstone. The speed of a grindstone varies
with the diameter of the stone. It should turn just fast enough to keep
a flow of water on the upper face surface. If the stone turns too slow
the water will run down; if too fast, it will fly off.]

Grindstones should be kept under cover; the best stone will be injured
by leaving it in the hot sun. The sun draws the moisture out of the
upper side and leaves the lower side damp and soft so that in use the
stone soon becomes flat sided. The wet side freezes in winter, which is
a disintegrating process.

The best stones, with good care, will become uneven in time. The remedy
is to true them with a quarter-inch soft iron round rod used like a
lathe tool over an iron rest placed close to the stone on a level with
the center of the stone. The rod is held against the stone in such a way
as to cut away the high bumps and make the stone truly round. The stone
cuts away best when it is dry. A small rod is better than a large rod.
It digs into the stone better and takes out a deeper bite. Large power
stones in machine shops are trued up in this way frequently. Farm stones
often are neglected until they wabble so badly that it is difficult to
grind any tool to an edge. If the grindstone is turned by a belt from an
engine the work of truing may be done in a few minutes. If the stone is
turned by hand the work of making it round takes longer and requires
some muscle, but it pays.

The face of a grindstone should be rounded slightly, and it should be
kept so by grinding the tools first on one side of edge of the stone,
then on the other, with the cutting edge of the tool crosswise to the
face of the stone.

For safety and to prevent a sloppy waste of water the stone should turn
away from the operator.

The best way to keep a stone moist is by a trickle of water from an
overhead supply. Troughs of water suspended under the stone are
unsatisfactory, because the water soon gets thick and unfit for use.
Such troughs are forgotten when the job is done, so that one side of the
stone hangs in the water. An overhead supply of water leaks away and no
damage is done.

Grindstone frames are best made of wood 3" x 4" thoroughly mortised
together and well braced with wooden braces and tied across with plenty
of iron rods. A good grindstone frame could be made of angle iron, but
manufacturers generally fail in the attempt.

There are good ball-bearing grindstone hangers on the market, both for
hand crank stones and for belt use.

The belt is less in the way if it is brought up from below. This is not
difficult to do. A grindstone turns slower than any other farm machine
so a speed reducing jack may be bolted to the floor at the back of the
grindstone a little to one side to escape the drip. This arrangement
requires a short belt but it may have the full face width of the pulley
as the tight and loose pulleys are on the jack shaft.

_Emery Grinders._--There are small emery wheels made for grinding disks
that work quickly and cut an even bevel all around. They are made in
pairs and are attached to the ends of a mandrel supported by a metal
stand which is bolted to a bench. The same rig is used for sickle
grinding and other farm jobs.

[Illustration: Figure 36.--Emery Grinder. The illustrations show two
kinds of grinding that double emery wheels are especially adapted to. To
grind a mowing-machine knife it is necessary to reverse. By placing the
rest opposite the center between the two wheels the bevel will be the
same on both sides, or edges, of the section.]


The furniture in a blacksmith shop consists of forge, anvil, half
barrel, vise bench, drill press and tool rack. A farm shop also has a
heating stove, shave horse, a woodworking bench, a good power driven
grindstone and a double emery grinder.

_Forge._--The old-fashioned forge laid up with brick in connection with
an old-fashioned chimney is just as popular as ever. The same old tuyer
iron receives the air blast from the same old style leather bellows, and
there is nothing more satisfactory. But there are modern portable
forges, Figure 37, made of iron, that are less artistic, cheaper, take
up less room and answer the purpose just about as well. The portable
iron forge has a small blower attached to the frame which feeds oxygen
into the fire. There are a good many different sizes of portable forges.
Most of them work well up to their advertised capacity.

[Illustration: Figure 37.--Portable Forges. The smaller forge is for
light work such as heating rivets for iron bridge construction. The
larger forge to the right is meant for blacksmith work.]

Generally, farm forges are not required to develop a great amount of
heat. Farmers do but little welding, most of the forge work on the farm
being confined to repair work such as heating brace irons, so they may
be easily bent into the proper shape, or to soften metal so that holes
may be punched through it easily.

Sharpening harrow teeth, drawing out plow points and horseshoeing are
about the heaviest forge jobs required in a farm blacksmith shop, so
that a medium size forge will answer the purpose.

[Illustration: Figure 38.--Anvil. The only satisfactory anvil is forged
out of ingot steel with a power trip-hammer. It should weigh 140

_Anvil._--An anvil should weigh at least 120 pounds; 140 is better. It
should be set six feet from the center of the fire to the center of the
anvil. It should be placed on a timber the size of the base of the anvil
set three feet in the ground. The top of the anvil should be about
thirty inches high. Holmstrom's rule is: "Close the fist, stand erect
with the arm hanging down. The knuckles should just clear the face of
the anvil."

_Bench and Vise._--The vise bench should be made solid and it should
face a good light. The bench window should look to the east or north if
possible. It should be about four feet high and eight feet long, with
the window sill about six inches above the bench.

[Illustration: Figure 39.--(1) Shoeing Tool Box. The four small
compartments are for horseshoe nails of different sizes. There may be a
leather loop for the paring knife. The low box end is for the shoeing
hammer, rasp, nippers and hoof knife. (2) Blacksmith Tool Rack. Tongs,
handled punches and cutters are hung on the iron rails. Hammers are
thrown on top. The lower platform is the shop catch-all.]

[Illustration: Figure 40.--Shoeing Knife. Good temper is the main
qualification. All shoeing knives are practically the same shape,
although they may vary in size.]

Two and one-half feet is the usual height for a workbench above the
floor. The best workbench tops are made by bolting together 2 x 4s with
the edges up. Hardwood makes the best bench, but good pine will last for
years. The top surface should be planed true and smooth after the nuts
are drawn tight.

[Illustration: Figure 41.--Horseshoeing Rasp and Wood Rasp. These are
necessary tools in the farm shop.]

[Illustration: Figure 42.--Iron Work Bench. Solid is the first
specification for an iron shop bench. It should be three feet wide, not
less than eight feet long and about 32 inches high. The top is made of 2
x 4s placed on edge and bolted together. The supports are 2 x 6 bolted
to the shop studding and braced back to the studding at the sill. The
front part of the bench is supported by iron legs made of gas-pipe with
threaded flanges at top and bottom. Heavy right angle wrought iron lugs
are used to fasten the top of the bench to the studding. The foot of the
vise leg is let into the floor of the shop or into a solid wooden block
sunk in the ground.]

[Illustration: Figure 43.--Assortment of Files and Rasps needed in a
farm shop. (1) Slim three-cornered handsaw-file. (2) Common
three-cornered file suitable for filing a buck-saw. (3) Double-cut, or
bastard, 10-inch flat file. (4) Single-cut, or mill file, either 10 or
12 inches. (5) Half-round 10-inch wood rasp. (6) Horseshoer's rasp.]

[Illustration: Figure 44.--File Handle. Basswood makes the most
satisfactory file handles. They are fitted by carefully turning them
onto the file shank to take the right taper. There should be a handle
for each file. The handle should be the right size and fitted straight
with the file so the file will take the same angle to the work when
turned over.]

[Illustration: Figure 45.--Nail Set. On all wooden surfaces to be
painted nails should be carefully driven with a round peen nail hammer
and the heads sunk about one-eighth of an inch deep with a nail set. The
holes may then be filled with putty and covered smoothly with paint.]

[Illustration: Figure 46.--Cold-Chisel. There are more flat cold-chisels
than all other shapes. They are easily made in the farm shop and it is
good practice. They are usually made from octagon steel. Different sizes
are needed according to the work in hand. A piece of 5/8" steel 6" long
makes a handy cold-chisel for repair work.]

[Illustration: Figure 47.--Cape Cold-Chisel. It may be tapered both ways
or one way to a cutting edge, or one edge may be rounded.]

[Illustration: Figure 48.--(1) Tinner's Punch. Made of octagon steel in
sizes to fit the rivets. The cutting end is flat and has sharp edges
made by roll filing. It should be about 7" long and from 3/8" to 1/2" in
diameter, according to the size of rivet and thickness of sheet metal to
be punched. (2) Prick Punch. Usually made rather short and stocky. It
may be 1/2" or 5/8" diameter and 4-1/2" to 5" long. (3) Hot-iron Punch.
Made in many sizes and lengths. The taper should be the same as the

[Illustration: Figure 49.--(1) Blacksmith Vise. The old-fashioned leg
vise is the most satisfactory for the blacksmith shop. It should have 5"
jaws. (2) Power Post Drill. Belt power is practical for the post drill
in a farm shop. The hand crank may be easily attached when needed.]

The bench vise should be heavy. A vise is used for bending iron hot from
the forge. Unless the jaws are large, the hot iron is likely to heat the
vise sufficiently to draw the temper. Heavy jaws are solid enough to
support the iron when it is being hammered. Often heavy hammers are used
for this purpose. A heavy vise holds the work solid, because it may be
screwed so much tighter than a light vise. A heavy vise will hold light
work, but a light vise will not hold heavy work. Heavy vises cost more,
but they are cheaper in the end and more satisfactory at all times. A
leg vise with five-inch jaws weighs about sixty pounds; five and
one-half-inch jaws, eighty pounds. A machinist's vise is made to bolt
on top of the bench. It will answer for blacksmith work on the farm, but
is not as good as the old-fashioned leg vise. A machinist's vise is very
useful in the garage, but it would hardly be necessary to have two heavy
vises. The pipe vise belongs on a separate bench, which may be a plank
bracketed against the side of the room.

_Drill-Press._--The most satisfactory drill-press for use on a farm is
the upright drill that bolts to a post. There is usually a self feed
which may be regulated according to the work. The heavy flywheel keeps
the motion steady, and because there is no bench in the way, wagon tires
may be suspended from the drill block, so they will hang free and true
for drilling. Often long pieces of straight iron are drilled with holes
spaced certain distances apart. It is easier to pass them along when
they lie flat side down on the drill block. To use a drill properly and
safely, the chuck must run true. It is easy to break a drill when it

Most drills are made on the twist pattern, and it is something of a
trick to grind a twist drill, but anyone can do it if he tackles the job
with a determination to do it right. In grinding a twist drill, use a
new drill for pattern. Grind the angles the same as the new drill, and
be careful to have the point in the center. A little practice will make

Mechanics will say that no one except an expert should attempt to grind
a twist drill, but farmers who are mechanically inclined are the best
experts within reach. It is up to a farmer to grind his own drills or
use them dull.

In drilling wrought iron either water or oil is required to cool the
drill, but cast iron and brass are drilled dry. Light work such as
hoop-iron may be drilled dry, but the cutting edge of the drill will
last longer even in light work if the drill is fed with oil or water.

[Illustration: Figure 50.--(1) Electric Drill-Press. A small electric
motor is attached to the drill spindle. (2) Tram Points. Two steel
points are fitted with thumbscrew clamps to fasten them to a long wooden
bar. They are used to scribe circles too large for the compasses. (3)
Ratchet-Brace. Two braces, or bitstocks, are needed. A large brace with
a 6" radius for large bits and a small brace with a 3" or 3-1/2" radius
for small bits.]

In using drill-presses, some extra attachments come in very handy, such
as a screw clamp to hold short pieces of metal. Before starting the
drill, a center punch is used to mark the center of the hole to be
bored and to start the drill in the right spot.

[Illustration: Figure 51.--Twist-Drills. Round shank for the post drill
and square taper shank for brace work. Brace drills are small, 1/4" or

[Illustration: Figure 52.--Taper Reamer. Used to enlarge, or true, or
taper a hole that has been drilled or punched.]

[Illustration: Figure 53.--Another style of Reamer.]

[Illustration: Figure 54.--Countersink. This is the old style,
blacksmith-made, flat countersink. It will do quick work but not so
smooth as the fluted kind.]

In doing particular work, the drill may be re-centered when it starts
wrong. This is done with a small round-nosed cold chisel. If the work
is not very particular, the drill may be turned a little to one side by
slanting the piece to be drilled. This plan is only a makeshift,
however, the proper way being to block the work level, so that the drill
will meet it perpendicularly. However, by starting carefully, the hole
may be bored exactly as required.

_Iron Working Tools._--Forge tools for a farm shop need not be numerous.
Several pairs of tongs, one blacksmith hammer, one sledge, one hardy,
one wooden-handled cold chisel, one pair pincers, one paring knife, one
shoeing rasp, and one shoeing hammer will do to begin with.

[Illustration: Figure 55.--Machinist's Hammers. A medium weight should
be selected for farm repair work. It should be hung so the end of the
handle clears half an inch when the face rests flat on the bench.]

Monkey-wrenches come first in the wrench department. The farmer needs
three sizes, one may be quite small, say six inches in length, one ten
inches, and the other large enough to span a two-inch nut. And there
should be an ironclad rule, never use a monkey-wrench for a hammer. For
work around plows, cultivators, harvesters, and other farm machines, a
case of S wrenches will be greatly appreciated. Manufacturers include
wrenches with almost all farm machines, but such wrenches are too cheap
to be of much use.

[Illustration: Figure 56.--(1) Hardy. The anvil hardy is used more than
any other anvil tool except the blacksmith's hammer and tongs. (2) A
Cold-Shut Link that may be welded, riveted or simply pounded shut.]

[Illustration: Figure 57.--Calipers: (1) A pair of tight-joint inside
calipers. (2) Its mate for taking outside dimensions. (3) A pair of
spring-jointed, screw-adjustment inside calipers for machinists' use.]

[Illustration: Figure 58.--Blacksmith Tongs. Straight tongs made to hold
3/8" iron is the handiest size. Two or three pairs for larger sizes of
iron and one pair smaller come in handy.]

[Illustration: Figure 59.--(1) Wire Splicer. The oval openings in the
tool are of different sizes. They are made to hold two wires, close
together, with ends projecting in opposite directions. Each end is wound
around the other wire. The ends are then notched with a three-cornered
file and broken off short and filed smooth. The splicing tool should be
thin, about 1/8" or 3/16", to bring the two twists close together. This
is especially necessary in making hoops for wooden pails. (2) Blacksmith
Shoeing Pincers, used to pull horseshoes. They should close together to
catch a nail by the head.]

For heavier work pipe-wrenches are absolutely necessary. The reason for
having so many wrenches is to save time when in the field. It often
happens that men and horses stand idle waiting for what should be a
quick repair job.

[Illustration: Figure 60.--(1) Cotter Pin Tool. Handy for inserting or
removing all sorts of cotter keys. (2) Nest of S Wrenches of different
sizes. Farmers have never appreciated the value of light, handy wrenches
to fit all sorts of nuts and bolt heads closely.]

For bench work a riveting hammer and a ball peen machinist's hammer are
needed. A nest of S wrenches, two rivet sets, cold chisels, round
punches and several files also are required.

The same twist drills up to three-eighths-inch will do for iron as well
as wood. However, if much drilling is done, then round shank twist
drills to fit the drill chuck will work better. Farmers seldom drill
holes in iron larger than one-half inch. For particular work, to get the
exact size, reamers are used to finish the holes after drilling. Screw
holes in iron are countersunk in the drill-press.

[Illustration: Figure 61.--Hack Saw. One handle and a dozen blades. The
frame should be stiff enough either to push or pull the saw without
binding. The teeth may point either way to suit the work in hand.]

[Illustration: Figure 62.--Powerful Bolt Cutter. It is intended for
factory use.]

For small work, twist drills with square shanks for brace use should
range in sizes from one thirty-second of an inch up to one-quarter inch,
then every one-sixteenth inch up to one-half inch.

For boring screw holes in wood the quickest work is done with pod bits.
Not many sizes are needed, but they are cheap, so that a half dozen,
ranging from one-sixteenth to one-quarter inch or thereabouts, will be
found very useful. Pod bits belong to the wood department, but on
account of being used principally for screw sinking, they are just as
useful in the iron working department as in the carpenter shop.

Sheet metal snips for cutting sheet metal properly belong with the iron
working tools. Snips are from ten to fourteen inches in length. A medium
size is best for miscellaneous work. If kept in good working order
twelve-inch snips will cut 18-gauge galvanized or black iron. But a man
would not care to do a great deal of such heavy cutting.

[Illustration: Figure 63.--Cutting Nippers. For cutting the points from
horseshoe nails after they are driven through the hoof to hold the shoe
in place. These nippers are hard tempered and should not be used for any
other purpose.]

[Illustration: Figure 64.--Two Shapes of Steel Crowbars.]

_Pipe-Fitting Tools._--Recent farm improvements require a few tools that
rightfully belong to plumbers. Every farm has some kind of water supply
for domestic use and for live-stock. A great many farm machines require
pipe tools for repair work. Every year more plumbing reaches the farm.

Plumbing work is no more difficult than other mechanical work, if the
tools are at hand to meet the different requirements. One job of
plumbing that used to stand out as an impossibility was the soldering
together of lead pipes, technically termed "wiping a joint." This
operation has been discontinued. Every possible connection required in
farm plumbing is now provided for in standardized fittings. Every
pipe-fitting or connection that conducts supply water or waste water
nowadays screws together. Sizes are all made to certain standards and
the couplings are almost perfect, so that work formerly shrouded in
mystery or hidden under trade secrets is now open to every schoolboy who
has learned to read.

[Illustration: Figure 65.--(1) Pipe Vise. Hinged to open for long pipes.
(2) Machinist's Vise. Made with a turntable to take any horizontal
angle. The pipe jaws are removable.]

The necessary outfit to handle all the piping and plumbing on the farm
is not very expensive, probably $25.00 will include every tool and all
other appliances necessary to put in all the piping needed to carry
water to the watering troughs and to supply hot and cold water to the
kitchen and the bathroom, together with the waste pipes, ventilators and
the sewer to the septic tank. The same outfit of tools will answer for
repair work for a lifetime.

Farm water pipes usually are small. There may be a two-inch suction pipe
to the force pump, and the discharge may be one and a half inch. But
these pipes are not likely to make trouble.

[Illustration: Figure 66.--Pipe Cutter. The most satisfactory pipe
cutter has three knife-edge roller cutters which follow each other
around the pipe. Some of these cutters have two flat face rollers and
one cutter roller to prevent raising a burr on the end of the pipe. The
flat face rollers iron out the burr and leave the freshly cut pipe the
same size clear to the end.]

[Illustration: Figure 67.--Pipe-Wrench. This type of wrench is valuable
for working with the heavier farm implements. It is intended more for
holding than for turning. It is rather rough on nuts. Damaged nuts show
signs of careless work.]

There should be a good pipe vise that will hold any size pipe up to
three inches. At least two pipe wrenches are needed and they should be
adjustable from one-quarter-inch up to two-inch pipe.

We must remember that water pipe sizes mean inside measurements.
One-inch pipe is about one and one-quarter inches outside diameter.
Three-quarter-inch pipe is about one inch outside. Two-inch pipe will
carry four times as much water as one-inch pipe, under the rule
"doubling the diameter increases the capacity four times."

[Illustration: Figure 68.--A smaller sized wrench with wooden handle.]

The three-wheel pipe cutter works quickly and is satisfactory for most
jobs. Sometimes two of the knife wheels are removed and rollers
substituted to prevent raising a burr on the end of the pipe.

Threading dies are made in standard sizes. A good farm set consists of
stock and dies to thread all the different sizes of pipe from
one-quarter inch to one inch, inclusive. Not many pipes larger than inch
are threaded on the farm. They are cut to the proper lengths in the farm
shop and the threads are cut in town.




Each farmer must be the judge in regard to the kind of mechanical repair
work that should be done at home and the kind and amount of repair work
that should go to the shop in town. A great deal depends on the
mechanical ability of the farmer or his helpers. However, the poorest
farm mechanic can do "first aid" service to farm implements and
machinery in the nick of time, if he is so disposed. A great many
farmers are helpless in this respect because they want to be helpless.
It is so much easier to let it go than to go right at it with a
determination to fix it, and fix it right.

[Illustration: Figure 69.--Logging Chain. One of the cleverest farm
inventions of any age is the logging chain. It is universally used in
all lumber camps and on every farm. It usually is from 16 to 20 feet in
length, with a round hook on one end for the slip hitch and a grab hook
on the other end that makes fast between any two links.]

[Illustration: Figure 70.--Neckyoke and Whiffletree Irons. Farmers can
make better neckyokes and whiffletrees than they can buy ready-made. The
irons may be bought separately and the wood selected piece by piece.]

[Illustration: Figure 71.--Measuring a Worn Skein for a New Boxing. The
pasteboard calipers are cut to fit the old skein sideways because it is
probably flattened on the bottom from wear.]

On general principles, however, farm repair work should not occupy a
farmer's time to the detriment of growing crops or the proper care of
live-stock. Farming is the business; mechanical work is a side issue. At
the same time, a farmer so inclined can find time during the year to
look over every farm machine, every implement and every hand tool on the
farm. The stupidest farm helper can clean the rust off of a spade and
rub the surface with an oily cloth, in which some fine emery has been
dusted. The emery will remove the rust and the oil will prevent it from
further rusting. Every laborer knows better than to use a spade or
shovel after a rivet head has given way so the handle is not properly
supported by the plate extensions. There really is no excuse for using
tools or machinery that are out of repair, but the extent to which
a farmer can profitably do his own repairing depends on many
contingencies. In every case he must decide according to circumstances,
always, however, with a desire and determination to run his farm on
business principles.

[Illustration: Figure 72.--Wooden Wagon Axles. Axle timber may be bought
in the rough or partly fitted to the skeins.]

[Illustration: Figure 73.--Showing how to fit the irons on the forward
end of a wagon reach.]

[Illustration: Figure 74.--Wire Splice. With a little practice wire may
be wound close enough to prevent slipping.]

_Home-made Bolts._--The easiest way to make a bolt is to cut a rod of
round iron the proper length and run a thread on each end. On one end
the thread may be just long enough to rivet the head, while the thread
on the other end is made longer to accommodate the nut and to take up
slack. A farmer needs round iron in sizes from one-fourth inch to
five-eighths inch. He will use more three-eighths and one-half inch than
any other sizes. Blank nuts are made in standard sizes to fit any size
of round iron. Have an assortment, in different sizes, of both the
square and the hexagon nuts.

[Illustration: Figure 75.--Emergency Bolts. A bolt may be made quickly
without a forge fire by cutting a short thread on one end for the head
and a longer thread on the other end for the nut.]

[Illustration: Figure 76.--Rivets. A stock of soft iron rivets of
different sizes and lengths should be always kept on hand ready for
immediate use.]

To make a bolt in the ordinary way requires welding, but for repair work
in a hurry it is better to select the proper iron and cut it to the
required length either with a cold chisel in the vise, or with a hardy
and a handled cold chisel over an anvil. The quickest way of cutting
that mashes the rod the least is to be preferred. The size of the rod
will determine the manner of cutting in most instances.

[Illustration: Figure 77.--Rivets.]

[Illustration: Figure 78.--Rivet Set. This style of set is used for
small rivets. The size should be selected to fit the rivets closely.
Larger rivets are made to hug the work by means of a flat piece of steel
with a hole through it.]

[Illustration: Figure 79.--Rivet Set.]

[Illustration: Figure 80.--(1) Coulter Clamp. Plow-beam clamps should be
made in the farm shop to fit each plow. (2) Garden Weeder. The quickest
hand killer of young weeds in the garden is a flat steel blade that
works horizontally half an inch below the surface of the ground.]

[Illustration: Figure 81.--Stock and Dies. Taps and dies and stocks are
best kept in compartments in a case made for the purpose.]

[Illustration: Figure 82.--Stock for Round Dies. The opening is turned
true and sized accurately to fit. The screw applies pressure to hold the
die by friction.]

[Illustration: Figure 83.--Taps and Dies. Standard threads are tapped
into blank nuts and corresponding threads are cut onto bolts with
accuracy and rapidity by using this style taps and dies. They may be had
in all sizes. The range for farm work should cut from 1/4" to 5/8",

[Illustration: Figure 84.--Taper Tap for Blacksmith's Use.]

[Illustration: Figure 85.--Machine Bolt and Carriage Bolt. The first is
used against iron and the second against wood, but this rule is not
arbitrary. The rounded side of the nuts are turned in against wood; the
flat side against washers or heavier iron. Use square head bolts if you
expect to take them out after the nuts have rusted on.]

[Illustration: Figure 86.--Plow bolts and sickle bar bolts should be
kept in stock. Standard sizes and shapes are made for several different
makes of plows and machines.]

Taps and dies are made to fit each size of rod. If the thread on the
bolt is cut with a solid, or round, plate die, the corresponding tap is
run clear through the nut. In that case the nut will screw on the bolt
easily, possibly a little loose for some purposes. It is so intended by
the manufacturers to give the workman a little leeway. If it is
desirable to have the nut screw on the bolt very tight, then the tap is
stopped before the last thread enters the nut. A little practice soon
qualifies a workman to fit a nut according to the place the bolt is to

[Illustration: Figure 87.--Lag Screw. To set a lag screw in hardwood,
bore a hole the size of the screw shank as calipered between the

[Illustration: Figure 88.--(1) Wagon-Box Irons, showing how to attach
the box and the rave to the cross-piece and to brace the side of the box
to hold it upright. There may be several of these braces on each side of
the wagon box. (2) U Bolt in Cement. A solid staple to be embedded in
concrete for a horse ring, door hinge, cow stanchion, etc.]

Generally it is desirable to have nuts fit very snug on parts of
machines that shake a good deal, and this applies to almost all farm
machinery and implements.

[Illustration: Figure 89.--Wagon-Box Brace. It is offset to hold the
rave and to brace the sideboard at the rear and the front ends and
sometimes in the middle of light wagon beds.]

[Illustration: Figure 90.--Two Plow Clevises and a Plow Link.]

Ordinarily a horse rake is supposed to travel steadily along like a
cart, but the ground is rough and in practical use the nuts loosen
almost as soon as haying commences.

Some farmers make a practice of riveting bolt ends to prevent nuts from
working loose. When the bolts have square heads, this practice is not
objectionable, because with two wrenches a nut can be twisted off over
the riveting, but a great many bolts have round heads and very short,
square shanks. Theoretically, the shanks are driven into the wood firm
enough to prevent the bolts from turning. Practically this theory is a
delusion and a snare, as every farm boy can testify.

Bolts are not manufactured in quantities in the farm blacksmith shop.
They can be made by machinery cheaper, but so many times a bolt is
needed on short notice that the farm shop should have the necessary
tools and materials to supply the need quickly.

_Forging Iron and Steel._--Iron and steel are composed of the same
properties, but differ chemically. Steel also is finer grained than iron
and it requires different treatment. Iron should be forged at a
light-red or white heat. If forged at a dark-red heat the iron generally
will granulate or crack open and weaken the metal. For a smooth finish
the last forging may be done at a dark-red heat, but the hammer must be
used lightly. The weight of the hammer as well as the blows also must
differ with the different size of iron under heat. Small sizes should be
treated with hammer blows that are rather light, while for large sizes
the blows should be correspondingly heavy. If light blows be given with
a light hammer in forging heavy iron the outside alone will be affected,
thus causing uneven tension and contrarywise strain in the iron.

Steel should never be heated above a yellow heat. If heated to a white
heat the steel will be burned. Steel should never be forged at a
dark-red heat. If this is done it will cause considerable strain between
the inner and outer portions, which may cause it to crack while forging.
The weight of the hammer and the hammer blows in forging of steel is
vastly of more importance than in forging iron. If the blow or the
hammer is not heavy enough to exert its force throughout the thickness
of the steel it will probably crack in the process of hardening or
tempering. If steel be properly forged it will harden easily and
naturally, but if improperly forged the tempering will be very
difficult--probably a failure. The quality of a finished tool depends
greatly upon the correct heat and proper method used in forging and
hardening it.

_Making Steel Tools._--Steel for tools should first be annealed to even
the density and prevent warping. This is done by heating it to a dull
cherry red in a slow fire. A charcoal fire for this purpose is best
because it contains no sulphur or other injurious impurities. After
heating the piece of new steel all over as evenly as possible it should
be buried several inches deep in powdered charcoal and left to cool.
This completes the annealing process. While working steel into proper
shape for tools, great care is required to prevent burning. It should be
worked quickly and the process repeated as often as necessary. Practice
is the only recipe for speed.

When the tool is shaped as well as possible on the anvil it is then
finished with a file by clamping the new tool in the vise, using single
cut files. Bastard files are too rough for tool steel. After the tool is
shaped by cross-filing and draw-filing to make it smooth it is sometimes
polished by wrapping fine emery cloth around the file. Oil is used with
emery cloth to give the steel a luster finish. Tempering is the last
process in the making of such tools as cold chisels, drills, dies,
punches, scratchawls, etc.

_Tempering Steel Tools._--Good judgment is required to get the right
temper. Good eyesight is needed to catch the color at the exact instant,
and quick action to plunge it into the water before it cools too much.
Dies are made very hard. The color of the steel at dipping time should
be a bright straw color. Cold chisels will break when being used if
tempered too hard. If cold chisels are to be used for cutting iron, the
color should be violet; if the chisels are for cutting stone, purple is
the color. Drills for boring iron are tempered a dark straw color at the
cutting edge merging back into blue. The water in the dipping tub should
be warm, as steel is likely to check or crack when it is tempered in
cold water.

[Illustration: Figure 91.--Blacksmith Hammers. Some smiths use a heavy
machinist's hammer. But the flat peen is more useful when working around
the anvil and the leg vise.]

Tool steel should be held in a perpendicular position when it enters the
water to cool all sides alike. Otherwise the new tool might warp. It is
better to dip slowly, sometimes holding the point, or cutting edge, in
the water while permitting the shank to cool slowly enough to remain
soft. Some sizes of steel may be tempered too hard at first and the
temper immediately drawn by permitting the heat of the shank to follow
down almost to the edge, then dip. This is done quickly while watching
the colors as they move towards the point or edge.

_Draw-filing._--Making six-sided and eight-sided punches and scratchawls
out of hexagon and octagon tool steel is interesting work. The steel is
cut to length by filing a crease all around with a three-cornered file.
When it is sufficiently notched, the steel will break straight across.
To shape the tool and to draw out the point the steel is heated in the
forge to a dull cherry red and hammered carefully to preserve the shape
along the taper. Special attention must be given to the numerous
corners. A scratchawl or small punch, must be heated many times and
hammered quickly before cooling. An old English shop adage reads: "Only
one blacksmith ever went to the devil and that was for pounding cold

After the punch or scratchawl is roughed out on the anvil, it is
fastened in the vise and finished by cross-filing and draw-filing.
Copper caps on the vise jaws will prevent indentations.

[Illustration: Figure 92.--Vise Jaw Guards. Soft auxiliary vise jaws are
made of sheet copper or galvanized iron.]

[Illustration: Figure 93.--Roll Filing. To file a piece of steel round
it is rolled by one hand while the file is used by the other hand.]

Draw-filing means grasping each end of the file and moving it back and
forth sidewise along the work. For this purpose single-cut files are
used. The smoothing is done with a very fine single-cut file, or if very
particular, a float file is used. Then the polish is rubbed on with fine
emery cloth and oil. The emery cloth is wrapped around the file and the
same motion is continued. With some little practice a very creditable
piece of work may be turned out. Such work is valuable because of the
instruction. A good test of skill at blacksmithing is making an octagon
punch that tapers true to the eye when finished.

_Set-Screws._--It is customary to fasten a good many gear wheels, cranks
and pulleys to machinery shafts by set-screws. There are two kinds of
set-screws; one has a cone point, the other a cup end. Both screws are
hardened to sink into the shaft. A cup is supposed to cut a ring and the
point is supposed to sink into the shaft to make a small hole sufficient
to keep the wheel from slipping. However, unless the cone-pointed screw
is countersunk into the shaft, it will not hold much of a strain. The
point is so small it will slip and cut a groove around the shaft. To
prevent this, the set-screw may be countersunk by first marking the
shaft with an indentation of the point of the screw. Then the wheel or
crank or collar may be removed and a hole drilled into the shaft with a
twist-drill the same size, or a sixty-fourth smaller, than the
set-screw. Then by forcing the end of the set-screw into the drill hole,
the wheel is held solid.

[Illustration: Figure 94.--Machine-Bolt and Set-Screw. The bolt to the
left is used to clamp cylinder heads in place. The set-screw to the
right is the cup variety. The end is countersunk to form a cup with a
sharp rim.]

The principal objection to set-screws is that they are dangerous. The
heads always project and are ready to catch a coat sleeve when the shaft
is revolving. In all cases, set-screws should be as large as the hub
will allow, and it is better to have them protected so it is impossible
to catch anything to wind around the shaft. Cup set-screws are not
satisfactory except for very light work. If necessary to use them, the
ends may be firmly fixed by cutting a ring with a sharp, diamond-point
cold chisel.

_Setting the Handsaw._--Nine teeth to the inch is the most satisfactory
handsaw for all kinds of lumber. Setting the teeth of this kind of saw
is best done with a hand lever set. The plunger pin should be carefully
adjusted to bend the teeth just far enough to give the necessary set.
For general work a saw needs more set than is needed for kiln-dried
stuff. The teeth should cut a kerf just wide enough to clear the blade.
Anything more is a waste of time and muscle. It is better to work from
both sides of the saw by first setting one side the whole length of the
blade. Then reverse the saw in the clamp and set the alternate teeth in
the same manner. There should be a good solid stop between the handles
of the set to insure equal pressure against each sawtooth. The pin
should be carefully placed against each tooth at exactly the same spot
every time and the pressure should be the same for each tooth.

The best saw-sets for fine tooth saws are automatic so far as it is
possible to make them so, but the skill of the operator determines the
quality of the work. The reason for setting a saw before jointing is to
leave the flattened ends of the teeth square with the blade after the
jointing and filing is completed.

_Jointing a Handsaw._--After the saw has been set it must be jointed to
square the teeth and to even them to equal length, and to keep the saw
straight on the cutting edge. Some woodworkers give their saws a slight
camber, or belly, to correspond with the sway-back. The camber
facilitates cutting to the bottom in mitre-box work without sawing into
the bed piece of the box. It also throws the greatest weight of the
thrust upon the middle teeth. A saw with even teeth cuts smoother, runs
truer and works faster than a saw filed by guess. It is easy to file a
saw when all of the teeth are the same length and all have the same set.
Anyone can do a good job of filing if the saw is made right to begin
with, but no one can put a saw in good working order with a
three-cornered file as his only tool.

[Illustration: Figure 95.--Saw Jointer. The wooden block is about two
inches square by 12" or 14" in length. The block is made true and
scribed carefully to have the ripsaw slot square, straight and true. The
file is set into a mortise square with the block.]

_Filing the Handsaw._--First comes the three-cornered file. It should be
just large enough to do the work. There is no economy in buying larger
files thinking that each of the three corners will answer the same
purpose as a whole file of smaller size. In the first place the small
file is better controlled and will do better work. In the second place
the three corners are needed to gum the bottoms of the divisions
between the teeth. There is much more wear on the corners than on the
sides of a saw-file. Also the corners of a small file are more acute,
which means a good deal in the shape of the finished teeth.

After the saw is carefully set and jointed, clamp it in the saw vise and
file one side of the saw from heel to point. Then reverse the saw in the
saw clamp and file the other side, being careful to keep the bevel of
each tooth the same. It is better to stop filing just before the tooth
comes to a point. A triangular or diamond shaped point will cut faster
and leave a smoother saw kerf and last longer than a needle point.

As the tooth of a crosscut saw is filed away from both edges, it is
necessary to make allowances when filing the first side, otherwise some
of the teeth will come to a sharp point before the gumming is deep

_Using a Handsaw._--Anyone can saw a board square both up and down and
crossways by following a few simple rules. Have the board supported on
the level by two well made saw-benches 24" high. Stand up straight as
possible and look down on both sides of the saw blade. Use long even
strokes and let the saw play lightly and evenly through the saw cut.

Do not cut the mark out; cut to it on the waste end, or further end, if
there are more pieces to be cut from the board. The saw kerf is about
3/32" wide for a nine-tooth saw set for unkilned lumber or dimension
stuff. If both saw kerfs are taken from one piece and none from the next
then one length will be 3/16" shorter than the other.

For practice it is a good plan to make two marks 3/32" apart and cut
between them. Use a sharp-pointed scratchawl to make the marks. A
penknife blade is next best, but it must be held flat against the blade
of the square, otherwise it will crowd in or run off at a tangent.

_Setting a Circular Saw._--A good saw-set for a circular saw may be made
out of an old worn-out flat file. Heat the file in the forge fire to
draw the temper and anneal it by covering it with ashes. Smooth it on
the grindstone. Put it in the vise and file a notch in one edge. The
notch should be just wide enough to fit loosely over the point of a
sawtooth. The notch should be just deep enough to reach down one-quarter
of the length of the tooth.

Make a saw-set gauge out of a piece of flat iron or steel one inch wide
and about four inches long. File a notch into and parallel to one edge
at one corner, about one-sixteenth of an inch deep from the edge and
about half an inch long measuring from the end. With the home-made
saw-set bend the saw teeth outward until the points just miss the iron
gauge in the corner notch. The edges of the gauge should be straight and
parallel and the notch should be parallel with the edge. In use the edge
of the gauge is laid against the side of the saw so the projecting tooth
reaches into the notch. One-sixteenth of an inch may be too much set for
a small saw but it won't be too much for a 24-inch wood saw working in
green cord wood.

_Jointing a Circular Saw._--Run the saw at full speed. Lay a 14-inch
file flat on the top of the saw table at right angles to the saw. Move
the file slowly and carefully towards the saw until it ticks against the
teeth. Hold the file firmly by both ends until each sawtooth ticks
lightly against the file. A saw in good working order needs very little
jointing, but it should have attention every time the saw is set and it
should be done after setting and before filing.

_Filing a Circular Saw._--The teeth of a crosscut circular saw point a
little ahead. Sometimes they point so nearly straight out from the
center that you have to look twice to determine which way the saw should
run. There are plenty of rules for the pitch of sawteeth, but they are
subject to many qualifications. What interests a farmer is a saw that
will cut green poles and crooked limbs into stove lengths with the least
possible delay. A saw 20 inches in diameter will cut a stick eight
inches through without turning it to finish the cut. The front or
cutting edges of the teeth of a 24-inch crosscut circular saw for wood
sawing should line to a point a little back from the center. This may
not sound definite enough for best results, so the more particular
farmers may use a straight edge. Select a straight stick about half an
inch square. Rest it on top of or against the back of the saw mandrel
and shape the forward edges of the teeth on a line with the upper side
or rear side of the straight edge. The teeth will stand at the proper
pitch when the saw is new, if it was designed for sawing green wood. If
it works right before being filed, then the width of the straight edge
may be made to conform to the original pitch and kept for future use.

The gumming is done with the edge of the file while filing the front
edges of the teeth. It is finished with the flat side of the file while
filing the rear edges of the teeth. The depth, or length, of the teeth
should be kept the same as the manufacturer designed them. A wood saw
works best when the front edges of the teeth have but little bevel. The
back edges should have more slant. The teeth should have three-cornered
or diamond-shaped points. Needle points break off when they come against
knots or cross-grained hardwood. Short teeth do no cutting. Single cut
flat files are used for circular saws. The file should fit the saw. It
should be about 1/8" wider than the length of the front side of the
teeth. The back edges require that the file shall have some play to show
part of the tooth while the file is in motion. Large files are clumsy.
The file should be carefully selected.

[Illustration: Figure 96.--How to Sharpen a Hoe. Grinding a hoe is
difficult, but filing it sharp and straight at the cutting edge is easy.
If the hoe chatters when held in the vise, spring a wooden block under
the blade. Use false vise jaws to prevent dinging the shank.]

_How to Sharpen a Hoe._--It is quicker and more satisfactory to file a
hoe sharp than to grind it on the grindstone. The shank of the hoe must
be held firmly in the vise and there should be a solid block of wood
under the blade of the hoe, a little back from the edge; to keep the
file from chattering. A single cut flat file is the best to use. It
should be long enough to be easily held in one position to make a
smooth, even bevel at the same angle to the face of the blade all the
way across. To make sure not to file a feather edge it is better to
joint the hoe to begin with, then to stop filing just before reaching
the edge. If the edge be left 1/64" thick it will wear longer and work
more easily after having been used an hour or two than it will if the
edge be filed thin. This is especially noticeable when the ground
contains small stones. Hoes are sharpened from the under side only. The
inside of a hoe blade should be straight clear to the edge. Hoes should
always have sharp corners. When working around valuable plants you want
to know exactly where the corner of the hoe is when the blade is buried
out of sight in the ground.

_Shoeing Farm Horses._--Farmers have no time or inclination to make a
business of shoeing horses, but there are occasions when it is necessary
to pull a shoe or set a shoe and to do it quickly. Shoeing tools are not
numerous or expensive. They consist first of a tool box, with a stiff
iron handle made in the shape of a bale. The box contains a shoeing
hammer, hoof rasp, hoof knife, or paring-knife, as it is usually called,
and two sizes of horseshoe-nails. Sometimes a foot pedestal is used to
set the horse's front foot on when the horse wants to bear down too
hard, but this pedestal is not necessary in the farm shop.

There are flat-footed horses that cannot work even in summer without
shoes. Common sense and shoeing tools are the only requirements
necessary to tack on a plate without calks. Shoes to fit any foot may be
purchased at so much a pound.

A paring-knife is used to level the bottom of the hoof so that it will
have an even bearing on the shoe all the way round. It is not desirable
to pare the frog or the braces in the bottom of a horse's foot. If the
foot is well cupped, a little of the horny rim may be taken off near the
edges. Generally it is necessary to shorten the toe. This is done partly
with the hoof chisel and rasp after the shoe is nailed fast. Sometimes
one-fourth of an inch is sufficient; at other times a horse's hoof is
very much improved by taking off one-half inch or more of the toe growth
either from the bottom or the front or both.

Like all other mechanical work the shoeing of a horse's foot should be
studied and planned before starting. A long toe is a bad leverage to
overcome when pulling a heavy load. At the same time, nature intended
that a horse should have considerable toe length as a protection to the
more tender parts of the foot. And the pastern bone should play at the
proper angle.

[Illustration: Figure 97.--Tool Box for Field Use. The long open side is
for tools. On the other side of the center partition bolts, keys,
screws, nails, bits of wire, leather, tin, etc., are kept in the
different divisions.]

_Handy Tool Box._--A tool box with a high lengthwise partition in the
middle and a handle in the middle of the top of the partition is the
handiest tool box ever used on a farm. At haying and harvest time it
should be fitted with the common tools required about haying and harvest
machinery. One side is partitioned into square boxes to hold split wire
keys, washers, bolts, rivets, and a collection of wire nails, bits of
copper wire, a leather punch, etc. On the other side of the box is an
assortment of wrenches, cold chisels, punches, pliers and hammers. This
tool box belongs in the wagon that accompanies the outfit to the field.

[Illustration: Figure 98.--Melting Ladle. Babbitting shaft boxing
requires a melting ladle. It should be about five inches across the bowl
and about three inches deep. That is a good size to heat in a forge

_Babbitting Boxings._--Babbitting boxings is one of the repair jobs on
the farm. Some men are careless about oiling; sometimes sand cuts them
out. Every year some boxings need rebabbitting. The melting ladle should
be large enough to pour the largest box. Usually a 5-inch bowl is about
right. A large ladle will pour a small box but a small ladle won't pour
a large one. In cold weather the shaft and box should be warmed to
insure an even flow of metal. Pasteboard is fitted against the shaft
when pouring the cap or top half of the box. Pasteboard is fitted around
the shaft at the ends of the box to keep the melted metal from running
out. Never use clay or putty, it is too mussy and the babbitt is made
rough and uneven at the edges. Some skill is required to fit either wood
or metal close enough to prevent leaks and to do a neat job.

If the boxing is small, both top and bottom may be poured at once by
making holes through the dividing pasteboard. The holes must be large
enough to let the melted metal through and small enough to break apart
easily when cold.



At one time ninety-seven per cent of the population of the United States
got their living directly from tilling the soil, and the power used was
oxen and manual labor. At the present time probably not more than
thirty-five per cent of our people are actively engaged in agricultural
pursuits. And the power problem has been transferred to horses, steam,
gasoline, kerosene and water power, with electricity as a power

Fifty years ago a farmer was lucky if he owned a single moldboard
cast-iron plow that he could follow all day on foot and turn over one,
or at most, two acres. The new traction engines are so powerful that it
is possible to plow sixty feet in width, and other machines have been
invented to follow the tractor throughout the planting and growing
seasons to the end of the harvest. The tractor is supplemented by
numerous smaller powers. All of which combine to make it possible for
one-third of the people to grow enough to feed the whole American family
and to export a surplus to Europe.

At the same time, the standard of living is very much higher than it was
when practically everyone worked in the fields to grow and to harvest
the food necessary to live.

Farm machinery is expensive, but it is more expensive to do without.
Farmers who make the most money are the ones who use the greatest power
and the best machinery. Farmers who have a hard time of it are the ones
who use the old wheezy hand pump, the eight-foot harrow and the walking
plow. The few horses they keep are small and the work worries them. The
owner sympathizes with his team and that worries him. Worry is the
commonest form of insanity.

[Illustration: Figure 99.--Flail, the oldest threshing machine, still
used for threshing pedigreed seeds to prevent mixing. The staff is seven
or eight feet long and the swiple is about three feet long by two and
one-half inches thick in the middle, tapering to one and one-half inches
at the ends. The staff and swiple are fastened together by rawhide

[Illustration: Figure 100.--Bucket Yoke. It fits around the neck and
over the shoulders. Such human yokes have been used for ages to carry
two buckets of water, milk or other liquids. The buckets or pails should
nearly balance each other. They are steadied by hand to prevent

At a famous plowing match held at Wheatland, Illinois, two interesting
facts were brought out. Boys are not competing for furrow prizes and the
walking plow has gone out of fashion. The plowing at the Wheatland
plowing match was done by men with riding plows. Only one boy under
eighteen years was ready to measure his ability against competition. The
attendance of farmers and visitors numbered about three thousand, which
shows that general interest in the old-fashioned plowing match is as
keen as ever. A jumbo tractor on the grounds proved its ability to draw
a big crowd and eighteen plows at the same time. It did its work well
and without vulgar ostentation. Lack of sufficient land to keep it busy
was the tractor's only disappointment, but it reached out a strong
right arm and harrowed the furrows down fine, just to show that it
"wasn't mad at nobody."

[Illustration: Figure 101.--Well Sweep. The length of the sweep is
sufficient to lower the bucket into the water and to raise it to the
coping at the top of the brickwork. The rock on the short end of the
sweep is just heavy enough to balance the bucket full of water.]

Modern farm methods are continually demanding more power. Larger
implements are being used and heavier horses are required to pull them.
A great deal of farm work is done by engine power. Farm power is
profitable when it is employed to its full capacity in manufacturing
high-priced products. It may be profitable also in preventing waste by
working up cheap materials into valuable by-products. The modern,
well-managed farm is a factory and it should be managed along
progressive factory methods. In a good dairy stable hay, straw, grains
and other feeds are manufactured into high-priced cream and butter.

[Illustration: Figure 102.--Wire Stretcher. A small block and tackle
will stretch a single barb-wire tight enough for a fence. By using two
wire snatches the ends of two wires may be strained together for

[Illustration: Figure 103.--Block and Tackle. The rope is threaded into
two double blocks. There is a safety stop that holds the load at any

Farming pays in proportion to the amount of work intelligently applied
to this manner of increasing values. It is difficult to make a profit
growing and selling grain. Grain may sell for more than the labor and
seed, but it takes so much vitality from the land that depreciation of
capital often is greater than the margin of apparent profit. When grains
are grown and fed to live-stock on the farm, business methods demand
better buildings and more power, which means that the farmer is
employing auxiliary machinery and other modern methods to enhance

In other manufacturing establishments raw material is worked over into
commercial products which bring several times the amount of money paid
for the raw material.

[Illustration: Figure 104.--Farm Hoists. Two styles of farm elevating
hoists are shown in this illustration. Two very different lifting jobs
are also shown.]

The principle is the same on the farm except that when a farmer raises
the raw material he sells it to himself at a profit. When he feeds it to
live-stock and sells the live-stock he makes another profit. When the
manure is properly handled and returned to the soil he is making another
profit on a by-product.

Farming carried on in this way is a complicated business which requires
superior knowledge of business methods and principles. In order to
conduct the business of farming profitably the labor problem has to be
met. Good farm help is expensive. Poor farm help is more expensive.
While farm machinery also is expensive, it is cheaper than hand labor
when the farmer has sufficient work to justify the outlay. It is
tiresome to have agricultural writers ding at us about the superior acre
returns of German farms. German hand-made returns may be greater per
acre, but one American farmhand, by the use of proper machinery, will
produce more food than a whole German family.

[Illustration: Figure 105.--Two Powerful Winches. The one to the left is
used for pulling small stumps or roots in the process of clearing land.
The rope runs on and off the drum to maintain three or four laps or
turns. The winch to the right is used for hoisting well drilling tools
or to hang a beef animal. The rope winds on the drum in two layers if


Even the dog works on some farms. A dog is a nuisance among dairy
cattle, but he can be made to earn his salt at churning time. All
mechanism in connection with dog power must be light. It also is
necessary to eliminate the friction as much as possible.

[Illustration: Figure 106.--Dog Churn Power. A wheel keyed to an iron
shaft is placed at an angle as shown. The weight of the dog turns the
wheel and power is conveyed to the churn by a light rope belt. It is
necessary to confine the dog between stationary partitions built like a
stall over the wheel.]

The best way to make a dog power is to use a light wooden sulky wheel
for the revolving turn table. Next best to the sulky wheel is a light
buggy wheel. The wheel is made fast to an upright iron shaft that is
stepped into an iron oil well at the bottom and inclined at an angle of
about fifteen degrees to give the necessary power. To steady the top of
the shaft a light boxing is used, preferably a ball-bearing bicycle race
to reduce friction. Power is conveyed to the churn by means of a grooved
pulley on the top of the shaft. A small, soft rope or heavy string belt
runs from this pulley to a similar pulley connected with the churn.

Dogs learn to like the work when fed immediately after the churning is
finished. Dogs have been known to get on to the power wheel to call
attention to their hungry condition. This calls to mind the necessity
of arranging a brake to stop the wheel to let the dog off. When the
wheel is running light, the dog cannot let go.

A spring brake to wear against the iron tire of the wheel is the most
satisfactory. The brake may be tripped and set against the tire
automatically by a small lever and weight attached to the underside of
the wheel. When the speed is too fast the weight swings out and sets the
brake. When the speed slackens the weight drops back towards the center
and releases the brake. When the speed is about right the weight swings
between the two spring catches.


On dairy farms it is common to see a valuable pure bred bull working a
treadmill for exercise and to pump water. Sometimes he turns the
cream-separator, but the motion is too unsteady for good results.
Treadmills for this purpose are very simple. The mechanism turns a
grooved pulley which propels a rope power conveyor. The rope belt may be
carried across the yards in any direction and to almost any distance.
Bull treadmills consist of a framework of wood which carries an endless
apron supported on rollers. The apron link chains pass around and turn
two drumhead sprocket-wheels at the upper end and an idler drum at the
lower end. The sprocket-wheel drum shaft is geared to an auxiliary shaft
which carries a grooved pulley. A rope belt power conveyor runs in this
groove and carries power from the bull pen to the pump.

Bull tread powers usually have smooth inclined lags, because a bull's
steps on the tread power are naturally uneven and irregular. This
construction gives an even straight tread to the travel surface. To
prevent slipping, soft wooden strips are nailed onto the lags at the
lower edges. Even incline tread blocks or lags are also recommended for
horses that are not shod and for all animals with split hoofs. The
traveling apron of the power is placed on an incline and the treads are
carried around the two drums at the upper and lower ends of the frame by
means of endless chains. There is a governor attachment which regulates
the speed and prevents the machinery from "running away."

[Illustration: Figure 107.--Bull Tread Power. Treadmills have gone out
of fashion. Too much friction was the cause, but a mill like this is
valuable to exercise a pure bred bull. Some dairymen make him pump

The simplest governor is made on the two-ball governor principle with
weights on opposite levers. The governor is attached to two opposite
spokes in the flywheel. As the speed increases the weights move outward
because of their centrifugal force. This motion operates a brake lever
to retard or stop the flywheel. When the machine stops an opposite
weight rests against the flywheel until it starts in motion again, so
the apron cannot be moved until the brake is released. This is necessary
to get the animal on or off of the platform while it is at rest to avoid
accidents. The usual incline is a rise of two feet in eight when power
is wanted. This pitch compels the bull to lift one-quarter of his own
weight and it may be too severe for a heavy animal. The endless apron is
an endless hill climb to the bull. Treadmills are not economical of
power because there are so many bearings to generate friction.


Wind power is the cheapest power we have. A windmill properly
proportioned to its work is a great help, especially when it is attached
to a good pump for the purpose of lifting water into an elevated tank
from which it is piped under pressure for domestic purposes and for
watering live-stock.

You can have considerable patience with a windmill if you only depend
upon it for pumping water, provided you have a tank that will hold a
week's supply to be drawn during a dry, hot time when every animal on
the farm demands a double allowance of water. That is the time when a
farmer hates to attach himself to the pump handle for the purpose of
working up a hickory breeze. That also is the time when the wind
neglects a fellow.

A good windmill is useful up to about one-third of its rated capacity,
which is the strongest argument for buying a mill larger than at first
seems necessary. Some men have suffered at some time in their lives with
the delusion that they could tinker with a poorly constructed windmill
and make it earn its oil. They have never waked up to a full
realization of their early delusion. It is a positive fact that all
windmills are not lazy, deceitful nor wholly unreliable. When properly
constructed, rightly mounted and kept in good repair, they are not prone
to work in a crazy fashion when the tank is full and loaf when it is
empty. There are thousands of windmills that have faithfully staid on
the job continuously twenty-four hours per day for five or ten years at
a stretch, all the time working for nothing year after year without
grumbling, except when compelled to run without oil. At such times the
protest is loud and nerve racking.

A good windmill with suitable derrick, pump and piping may cost $150.
The yearly expense figures something like this:

  Interest on investment at 6% per annum   $ 9.00
  Depreciation 10%                          15.00
  Oil                                        1.00
  Repairs                                    3.00

making a total of $28, which is less than $2.50 per month for the work
of elevating a constant supply of water for the house, stable and


A home-made device that is much used on live-stock ranches in California
is shown in the illustration. This simple mechanism is a practical means
for converting circular mule motion into vertical reciprocating pump
action. A solid post is set rather deep in the ground about twelve feet
from the well. This post is the fulcrum support of the walking-beam. One
end of the walking-beam reaches to the center line of the well, where it
connects with the pump shaft. The other end of the walking-beam is
operated by a pitman shaft connecting with a crank wrist pin near the
ground. A round iron shaft similar to a horsepower tumbling rod about
ten or twelve feet in length and one and a half inches in diameter is
used to convey power and motion to the pitman shaft.

[Illustration: Figure 108.--Mule Pump. A practical home-made power to
pump water for live-stock. It is used where the water-table is within 20
feet of the surface of the ground. The drawing shows a post in the
center which supports the walking-beam and acts as a fulcrum. A
mowing-machine wheel is keyed to one end of a round iron shaft. The
other end of this shaft turns in a boxing which is swiveled to a short
post as shown at _B_. See also detail "_B_.". The two plunger shafts are
shown at _A_ _A_. The mule is hitched to the round iron shaft near the
traveling wheel by means of a round hook. As the mule walks around in a
circle the shaft revolves and operates the crank _B_. There are side
guys not shown in the drawing to keep the walking-beam in position.]

A mowing-machine wheel is keyed to the outer end of the tumbling rod. At
the crank end is a babbitted boxing with a bolt attachment reaching down
into the top of a short post set solidly into the ground, directly under
the inner end of the walking-beam. This bolt permits the boxing to
revolve with a swivel motion. Another swivel connects the upper end of
the pitman shaft with the walking-beam. The whiffletree is attached to
the tumbling rod by an iron hook. This hook is held in place by two iron
collars fastened to the tumbling rod by means of keys or set-screws.
The mowing-machine drive wheel travels around in a circle behind the
mule turning the shaft which works the walking-beam and operates the
pump. It would be difficult to design another horse or mule power so
cheap and simple and effective. The mule grows wise after a while, so it
is necessary to use a blindfold, or he will soldier on the job. With a
little encouragement from a whip occasionally a mule will walk around
and around for hours pulling the mowing-machine wheel after him.


One horsepower is a force sufficient to lift 33,000 pounds one foot high
in one minute.

The term "horsepower" in popular use years ago meant a collection of
gear-wheels and long levers with eight or ten horses solemnly marching
around in a circle with a man perched on a platform in the center in the
capacity of umpire.

This was the old threshing-machine horsepower. It was the first real
success in pooling many different farm power units to concentrate the
combined effort upon one important operation.

Not many horses are capable of raising 33,000 pounds one foot in one
minute every minute for an hour or a day. Some horses are natural-born
slackers with sufficient acumen to beat the umpire at his own game. Some
horses walk faster than others, also horses vary in size and capacity
for work. But during a busy time each horse was counted as one
horsepower, and they were only eight or ten in number. And it so
developed that the threshing horsepower had limitations which the
separator outgrew.

The old threshing horsepower has been superseded by steam engines and
gasoline and kerosene power, but horses are more important than ever.

[Illustration: Figure 109.--Horse Power, showing the manner of attaching
the braced lever to the bull wheel.]

Farm horses are larger and more powerful; they are better kept, better
trained, and hitched to better machinery, because it pays. One man
drives three 1,600-pound draft horses as fast as he used to drive two
1,000-pound general-purpose horses. The three drafters make play of a
heavy load, while the two light horses worry themselves poor and
accomplish little. Modern farm machinery is heavier, it cuts wider and
digs deeper and does more thorough work. Modern farm requirements go
scientifically into the proper cultivation and preparation of soil to
increase fertility. Old methods used up fertility until the land refused
to produce profitably.

Although the old familiar horsepower has been greatly outclassed, it has
not been discarded. There are many small horsepowers in use for
elevating grain, baling hay, cutting straw for feed and bedding,
grinding feed and other light work where engine power is not available.


Water-power is the most satisfactory of all kinds of stationary farm
power, when a steady stream of water may be harnessed to a good
water-wheel. It is not a difficult engineering feat to throw a dam
across a small stream and take the water out into a penstock to supply
water to a turbine water-wheel. In the first place it is necessary to
measure the flow of water to determine the size of water-wheel which may
be used to advantage. In connection with the flow of water it is also
important to know the fall. Water is measured by what is termed a
"weir." It is easily made by cutting an oblong notch in a plank placed
across the stream, as a temporary dam which raises the water a few
inches to get a steady, even flow of water through the notch so that
calculations may be made in miner's inches. The term "miner's inch" is
not accurate, but it comes near enough for practical purposes. Measuring
the volume of water should be done during a dry time in summer.

The fall of the stream is easily measured by means of a carpenter's
level and a stake. The stake is driven into the ground at a point
downstream where water may be delivered to the wheel and a tailrace
established to the best advantage. Sighting over the level to a mark on
the stake will show the amount of fall. When a manufacturer of
water-wheels has the amount of water and the fall, he can estimate the
size and character of wheel to supply. The penstock may be vertical or
placed on a slant. A galvanized pipe sufficient to carry the necessary
amount of water may be laid along the bank, but it should be thoroughly
well supported because a pipe full of water is heavy, and settling is
likely to break a joint.

Galvanized piping for a farm penstock is not necessarily expensive. It
may be made at any tin shop and put together on the ground in sections.
The only difficult part about it is soldering the under side of the
joints, but generally it may be rolled a little to one side until the
bottom of the seam is reached.

The most satisfactory way to carry power from the water-wheel to the
farm buildings is by means of electricity. The dynamo may be coupled to
the water-wheel and wires carried any required distance.

The work of installing electric power machinery is more a question of
detail than mechanics or electrical engineering. The different
appliances are bought from the manufacturer and placed where they are
needed. It is principally a question of expense and quantity of
electricity needed or developed. If the current is used for power, then
a motor is connected with the dynamo and current from the dynamo drives
the motor. A dynamo may be connected with the water-wheel shaft at the
source of power and the motor may be placed in the power-house or any of
the other buildings.

The cost of farm waterworks depends principally on the amount of power
developed. Small machinery may be had for a few hundred dollars, but
large, powerful machinery is expensive. If the stream is large and
considerable power is going to waste it might pay to put in a larger
plant and sell current to the neighbors for electric lighting and for
power purposes. Standard machinery is manufactured for just such plants.

The question of harnessing a stream on your own land when you control
both banks is a simple business proposition. If anyone else can set up a
plausible plea of riparian rights, flood damage, interstate
complications or interference with navigation, it then becomes a
question of litigation to be decided by some succeeding generation.


Farm engines usually are of two different types, steam engines and
gasoline or oil engines. Steam stationary engines are used on dairy
farms because steam is the best known means of keeping a dairy clean and
sanitary. The boiler that furnishes power to run the engine also
supplies steam to heat water and steam for sterilizing bottles, cans and
other utensils.

For some unaccountable reason steam engines are more reliable than
gasoline engines. At the same time they require more attention, that is,
the boilers do. Steam engines have been known to perform their tasks
year after year without balking and without repairs or attention of any
kind except to feed steam and oil into the necessary parts, and
occasionally repack the stuffing boxes.

On the other hand, boilers require superintendence to feed them with
both fuel and water. The amount of time varies greatly. If the boiler is
very much larger than the engine, that is, if the boiler is big enough
to furnish steam for two such engines, it will furnish steam for one
engine and only half try. This means that the fireman can raise 40 or 60
pounds of steam and attend to his other work around the dairy or barn.

Where steam boilers are required for heating water and furnishing steam
to scald cans and wash bottles, the boiler should be several horsepower
larger than the engine requirements. There is no objection to this
except that a large boiler costs more than a smaller one, and that more
steam is generated than is actually required to run the engine. The kind
of work required of a boiler and engine must determine the size and
general character of the installation.

Portable boilers and engines are not quite so satisfactory as
stationary, but there are a great many portable outfits that give good
satisfaction, and there is the advantage of moving them to the different
parts of the farm when power is required for certain purposes.


A gasoline engine of 2-1/2 horsepower is the most useful size for a
general purpose farm engine. It is convenient to run the pump,
washing-machine, fanning-mill, cream-separator, grindstone, and other
similar farm chores that have heretofore always been done by human
muscle. A small engine may be placed on a low-down truck and moved from
one building to another by hand. One drive belt 20 or 30 feet long,
making a double belt reach of 12 or 15 feet, will answer for each

The engine once lined up to hitch onto the pulley of any stationary
machine is all that is necessary. When the truck is once placed in
proper position the wheels may be blocked by a casting of concrete
molded into a depression in the ground in front and behind each wheel.
These blocks are permanent so that the truck may be pulled to the same
spot each time.

[Illustration: Figure 110.--Kerosene Farm Engine. This is a very compact
type of engine with heavy flywheels. A longer base might sit steadier on
a wagon, but for stationary use on a solid concrete pier it gives good

A gasoline engine for farm use is expected to run by the hour without
attention. For this reason it should have a good, reliable hit and miss
governor to regulate the speed, as this type is the most economical in
fuel. It should have a magneto in addition to a six-cell dry battery. It
should be equipped with an impulse starter, a device that eliminates all
starting troubles. The engine should be perfectly balanced so as to
insure smooth running, which adds materially to the life of the engine.
With a good, solid pump jack, a 2-1/2 horsepower engine will pump water
until the tank is full, whether it requires one hour or half a day.

It is easily moved to the dairy house to run the separator. As the
cream-separator chore comes along regularly every night and every
morning, the engine and truck would naturally remain inside of the dairy
house more than any other place. If the dairy house is too small to let
the engine in, then an addition is necessary, for the engine must be
kept under cover. The engine house should have some artistic pretensions
and a coat of paint.


The kerosene engine is necessarily of the throttle governor type in
order to maintain approximately uniform high temperature at all times,
so essential to the proper combustion of kerosene fuel. Therefore, a
kerosene engine of the hit-and-miss type should be avoided. However,
there are certain classes of work where a throttle governor engine is at
a decided disadvantage, such as sawing wood, because a throttle governor
engine will not go from light load to full load as quickly as will a
hit-and-miss type, and consequently chokes down much easier, causing
considerable loss of time.

A general purpose portable kerosene engine is admirably suited to all
work requiring considerable horsepower and long hours of service with a
fairly steady load, such as tractor work, threshing, custom feed
grinding, irrigating and silo filling. There will be a considerable
saving in fuel bill over a gasoline engine if the engine will really run
with kerosene, or other low-priced fuel, without being mixed with

In choosing a kerosene engine, particular attention should be paid to
whether or not the engine can be run on all loads without smoking.
Unless this can be done, liquid fuel is entering the cylinder which will
cause excessive wear on the piston and rings. A good kerosene engine
should show as clean an exhaust as when operating on gasoline and
should develop approximately as much horsepower. Another feature is
harmonizing the fuel oil and the lubricating oil so that one will not
counteract the effects of the other.


[Illustration: Figure 111.--Portable Farm Engine. This engine is
permanently mounted on a low wheel truck wagon. The saw frame is
detachable and the same truck is used for spraying and other work.]

A convenient arrangement for truck and portable power for spraying,
sawing wood and irrigation pumping, is shown in the accompanying
illustration. The truck is low down, which keeps the machinery within
reach. The wheels are well braced, which tends to hold the outfit steady
when the engine is running. The saw table is detachable. When removed,
the spraying tank bolts on to the same truck frame; also the elevated
table with the railing around it, where the men stand to spray large
apple trees, is bolted onto the wagon bed.

Spraying never was properly done until the powerful engine and high
pressure tanks were invented. Spraying to be effective, should be fine
as mist, which requires a pressure of 150 pounds. There may be a number
of attachments to a spraying outfit of this kind. A pipe suspended under
the frame with a nozzle for each row is used to spray potatoes,
strawberry vines and other low down crops that are grown in rows. When
not in use as a portable engine it is blocked firmly into place to run
the regular stationary farm machinery.


The hydraulic ram is a machine that gets its power from the momentum of
running water. A ram consists of a pipe of large diameter, an air
chamber and another pipe of small diameter, all connected by means of
valves to encourage the flow of water in two different directions. A
supply of running water with a fall of at least two feet is run through
a pipe several inches in diameter reaching from above the dam to the
hydraulic ram, where part of the flow enters the air chamber of the ram.
Near the foot of the large pipe, or at what might be called the
tailrace, is a peculiarly constructed valve that closes when running
water starts to pass through it. When the large valve closes the water
stops suddenly, which causes a back-pressure sufficient to lift a
check-valve to admit a certain amount of water from the large supply
pipe into the air-chamber of the ram.

After the flow of water is checked, the foot-valve drops of its own
weight, which again starts the flow of water through the large pipe, and
the process is repeated a thousand or a million times, each time forcing
a little water through the check-valve into the air chamber of the ram.
The water is continually being forced out into the small delivery pipe
in a constant stream because of the steady pressure of the imprisoned
air in the air-chamber which acts as a cushion. This imprisoned air
compresses after each kick and expands between kicks in a manner
intended to force a more or less steady flow of water through the small
pipe. The air pressure is maintained by means of a small valve that
permits a little air to suck in with the supply of water.

[Illustration: Figure 112.--Hydraulic Ram. The upper drawing shows how
to install the ram. The lower drawing is a detail section through the
center of the ram. Water flows downhill through the supply pipe. The
intermittent action of the valve forces a portion of the water through
another valve into the air-chamber. Air pressure forces this water out
through delivery pipe. Another valve spills the waste water over into
the tailrace. An automatic air-valve intermittently admits air into the

Water may be conveyed uphill to the house by this means, sometimes to
considerable distance. The size of the ram and its power to lift water
depends upon the amount of water at the spring and the number of feet of
fall. In laying the small pipe, it should be placed well down under
ground to keep it cool in summer and to bury it beyond the reach of
winter frost. At the upper end where the water is delivered a storage
tank with an overflow is necessary, so the water can run away when not
being drawn for use. A constant supply through a ram demands a constant
delivery. It is necessary to guard the water intake at the dam. A fence
protection around the supply pool to keep live-stock or wild animals out
is the first measure of precaution. A fine screen surrounding the upper
end of the pipe that supplies water to the ram is necessary to keep
small trash from interfering with the valves.


Farm tractors are becoming practical. Most theories have had a try out,
the junk pile has received many failures and the fittest are about to
survive. Now, if the manufacturers will standardize the rating and the
important parts and improve their selling organizations the whole nation
will profit. The successful tractors usually have vertical engines with
four cylinders. They are likely to have straight spur transmission
gears, and a straight spur or chain drive, all carefully protected from
dust. And they will have considerable surface bearing to avoid packing
the soil. Some tractors carry their weight mostly upon the drive
wheels--a principle that utilizes weight to increase traction. Other
tractors exert a great deal of energy in forcing a small, narrow front
steering-wheel through the soft ground. Any farmer who has pushed a
loaded wheelbarrow knows what that means. Some kerosene tractors require
a large percentage of gasoline. The driver may be as much to blame as
the engine. But it should be corrected.

[Illustration: Figure 113.--Tractor Transmission Gear. Spur gears are
the most satisfactory for heavy work.]

Manufacturers should do more educational work and talk less about the
wonderfully marvelous and marvelously wonderful. Salesmen should study
mechanics instead of oratory. Tractor efficiency should be rated
practically instead of theoretically. The few actual reports of
performance have emanated from tests with new machines in the hands of
trained demonstrators. Manufacturers include belt power work among the
virtues of farm tractors, and they enumerate many light jobs, such as
running a cream-separator, sawing wood, pumping water and turning the
fanning-mill. Well, a farm tractor can do such work--yes. So can an
elephant push a baby carriage. If manufacturers would devise a practical
means of using electricity as an intermediary, and explain to farmers
how a day's energy may be stored in practical working batteries to be
paid out in a week, then we could understand why we should run a 20
horsepower engine to operate a cream-separator one hour at night and
another hour in the morning.

[Illustration: Figure 114.--Straight Transmission Gear, forward and
chain drive reverse, for traction engine.]




Every farm has its own water supply. Some are very simple, others are
quite elaborate. It is both possible and practical for a farmer to have
his own tap water under pressure on the same plan as the city. When good
water is abundant within 75 feet of the surface of the ground the farm
supply may be had cheaper and better than the city. Even deep well
pumping is practical with good machinery rightly installed. Farm
waterworks should serve the house and the watering troughs under a
pressure of at least 40 pounds at the ground level. The system should
also include water for sprinkling the lawn and for irrigating the
garden. If strawberries or other intensive money crops are grown for
market there should be sufficient water in the pipes to save the crop in
time of drouth. These different uses should all be credited to the farm
waterworks system pro rata, according to the amounts used by the
different departments of the farm. The books would then prove that the
luxury of hot and cold running water in the farmhouse costs less than
the average city family pays.

_Three Systems of Water Storage._--The first plan adopted for supplying
water under pressure on farms was the overhead tank. The water was
lifted up into the tank by a windmill and force pump. Because wind
power proved rather uncertain farmers adopted the gasoline engine,
usually a two horsepower engine.

The second water storage plan was the air-tight steel water-tank to be
placed in the cellar or in a pit underground. The same pump and power
supplies the water for this system, but it also requires an air-pump to
supply pressure to force the water out of the tank.

The third plan forces the water out of the well by air pressure, as it
is needed for use. No water pump is required in this system; the
air-compressor takes its place.

[Illustration: Figure 115.--The Farm Pump. It superseded the iron-bound
bucket, the slimy old bucket, the malaria-lined bucket that hung in the
well, but it wore out the women. Oil was never wasted on its creaking
joints. Later it was fitted with a stuffing-box and an air-chamber, and
the plunger was hitched to the windmill.

To the right are shown two kinds of post-hole diggers. The upper digger
is sometimes used to clear the fine earth out of the bottom of a hole
dug by the lower digger.]

_Suction-Pumps._--The word suction, when applied to pumps, is a
misnomer. The principle upon which such pumps work is this: The pump
piston drives the air out of the pump cylinder which produces a vacuum.
The pressure of the atmosphere is about fifteen pounds per square inch
of surface. This pressure forces sufficient water up through the
so-called suction pipe to fill the vacuum in the cylinder. The water is
held in the cylinder by foot-valves or clack-valves. As the piston again
descends into the cylinder it plunges into water instead of air. A
foot-valve in the bottom end of the hollow piston opens while going down
and closes to hold and lift the water as the piston rises. Water from
the well is forced by atmospheric pressure to follow the piston and the
pump continues to lift water so long as the joints remain air-tight. The
size of piston and length of stroke depend on the volume of water
required, the height to which it must be lifted and the power available.
A small power and a small cylinder will lift a small quantity of water
to a considerable height. But increasing the volume of water requires a
larger pump and a great increase in the power to operate it. The size of
the delivery pipe has a good deal to do with the flow of water. When
water is forced through a small pipe at considerable velocity, there is
a good deal of friction. Often the amount of water delivered is reduced
because the discharge pipe is too small. Doubling the diameter of a pipe
increases its capacity four times. Square turns in the discharge pipe
are obstructions; either the pipe must be larger or there will be a
diminished flow of water. Some pump makers are particular to furnish
easy round bends instead of the ordinary right-angled elbows. A great
many pumps are working under unnecessary handicaps, simply because
either the supply pipe or discharge pipe is not in proportion to the
capacity of the pump, or the arrangement of the pipes is faulty.

[Illustration: Figure 116.--Hand Force-Pump. Showing two ways of
attaching wooden handles to hand force-pumps.]

[Illustration: Figure 117.--Rotary Pump. Twin water-chamber rotary pumps
take water through the bottom and divide the supply, carrying half of
the stream around to the left and the other half to the right. The two
streams meet and are discharged at the top.]

[Illustration: Figure 118.--Section of Rotary Pump.]

_Rotary Pumps._--A twin-chamber rotary pump admits water at the bottom
of the chamber and forces it out through the top. Intermeshing cogs and
rotary cams revolve outward from the center at the bottom, as shown by
the arrows in Figure 118. The stream of water is divided by the cams, as
it enters the supply pipe at the bottom, and half of the water is
carried each way around the outsides of the double chamber. These
streams of water meet at the top of the chamber, where they unite to
fill the discharge pipe. These pumps operate without air-chambers and
supply water in a continuous stream. They may be speeded up to throw
water under high pressure for fire fighting, but for economy in ordinary
use the speed is kept down to 200 revolutions, or thereabout. Rotary
pumps are also made with one single water chamber cylinder. The pump
head, or shaft, is placed a little off center. A double end cam moves
the water. Both ends of the cam fit against the bore of the cylinder. It
works loosely back and forth through a slotted opening in the pump head.
As the shaft revolves the eccentric motion of the double cam changes the
sizes of the water-pockets. The pockets are largest at the intake and
smallest at the discharge. Rotary pumps are comparatively cheap, as
regards first cost, but they are not economical of power. In places
where the water-table is near the surface of the ground they will throw
water in a very satisfactory manner. But they are more used in
refineries and factories for special work, such as pumping oil and other
heavy liquids.

_Centrifugal Pumps._--The invention and improvement of modern
centrifugal pumps has made the lifting of water in large quantities
possible. These pumps are constructed on the turbine principle. Water is
lifted in a continuous stream by a turbine wheel revolving under high
speed. Water is admitted at the center and discharged at the outside of
the casing. Centrifugal pumps work best at depths ranging from twenty to
sixty feet. Manufacturers claim that farmers can afford to lift
irrigation water sixty feet with a centrifugal pump driven by a kerosene

The illustrations show the principle upon which the pump works and the
most approved way of setting pumps and engines. Centrifugal pumps
usually are set in dry wells a few feet above the water-table. While
these pumps have a certain amount of suction, it is found that short
supply pipes are much more efficient. Where water is found in abundance
within from 15 to 30 feet of the surface, and the wells may be so
constructed that the pull-down, or the lowering of the water while
pumping is not excessive, then it is possible to lift water profitably
to irrigate crops in the humid sections. Irrigation in such cases, in
the East, is more in the nature of insurance against drouth. Valuable
crops, such as potatoes and strawberries, may be made to yield double,
or better, by supplying plenty of moisture at the critical time in crop
development. It is a new proposition in eastern farming that is likely
to develop in the near future.

[Illustration: Figure 119.--Centrifugal Pump. This style of pump is used
in many places for irrigation. It runs at high speed, which varies
according to the size of the pump. It takes water at the center and
discharges it at the outside of the casing.]

[Illustration: Figure 120.--Air Pressure Pump. Pumping water by air
pressure requires a large air container capable of resisting a pressure
of 100 pounds per square inch. This illustration shows the pressure
tank, engine, air-compressor, well and submerged pump.]

_Air Pressure Pump._--Instead of pumping water out of the well some
farmers pump air into the well to force the water out. A double
compartment cylindrical tank is placed in the water in the well. These
tanks are connected with the farm water distributing system to be
carried in pipes to the house and to the stock stables. Air under a
pressure of from 50 to 100 pounds per square inch is stored in a steel
tank above ground. Small gas-pipes connect this air pressure tank with
the air-chamber of the air-water tank in the well. A peculiar automatic
valve regulates the air so that it enters the compartment that is
filled, or partly filled, with water, and escapes from the empty one so
the two compartments work together alternately. That is, the second
chamber fills with water, while the first chamber is being drawn upon.
Then the first chamber fills while the second is being emptied. This
system will work in a well as small as eight inches in diameter, and to
a depth of 140 feet. It might be made to work at a greater depth, but it
seems hardly practical to do so for the reason that, after allowing for
friction in the pipes, 100 pounds of air pressure is necessary to lift
water 150 feet. An air tank of considerable size is needed to provide
storage for sufficient air to operate the system without attention for
several days. Careful engineering figures are necessary to account for
the different depths of farm wells, and the various amounts of water and
power required. For instance: The air tank already contains 1,000
gallons of air at atmospheric pressure--then: Forcing 1,000 gallons of
atmospheric air into a 1,000-gallon tank will give a working pressure of
15 pounds per square inch; 2,000 gallons, 30 pounds; 3,000 gallons, 45
pounds, and so on. Therefore, a pressure of 100 pounds in a 1,000-gallon
tank (42 inches by 14 feet) would require 6,600 gallons of free
atmosphere, in addition to the original 1,000 gallons, and the tank
would then contain 1,000 gallons of compressed air under a working
pressure of 100 pounds per square inch. A one cylinder compressor 6
inches by 6 inches, operating at a speed of 200 R.P.M. would fill this
tank to a working pressure of 100 pounds in about 50 minutes. One gallon
of air will deliver one gallon of water at the faucet. But the air must
have the same pressure as the water, and there must be no friction.
Thus, one gallon of air under a working pressure of forty-five pounds,
will, theoretically, deliver one gallon of water to a height of 100
feet. But it takes three gallons of free air to make one gallon of
compressed air at forty-five pounds pressure. If the lift is 100 feet,
then 1,000 gallons of air under a pressure of forty-five pounds will
theoretically deliver 1,000 gallons of water. Practically, the air tank
would have to be loaded to a very much greater pressure to secure the
1,000 gallons of water before losing the elasticity of the compressed
air. If one thousand gallons of water is needed on the farm every day,
then the air pump would have to work about one hour each morning. This
may not be less expensive than pumping the water directly, but it offers
the advantage of water fresh from the well. Pure air pumped into the
well tends to keep the water from becoming stale.

[Illustration: Figure 121.--(1) Single-Gear Pump Jack. This type of jack
is used for wells from 20 to 40 feet deep. (2) Double-Gear, or
Multiple-Gear Pump Jack. This is a rather powerful jack designed for
deep wells or for elevating water into a high water-tank.]

[Illustration: Figure 122.--Post Pump Jack. This arrangement is used in
factories when floor space is valuable. The wide-face driving-pulley is
shown to the left.]

[Illustration: Figure 123.--Three Jacks for Different Purposes. At the
left is a reverse motion jack having the same speed turning either right
or left. The little jack in the center is for light work at high belt
speed. To the right is a powerful jack intended for slow speeds such as
hoisting or elevating grain.]

[Illustration: Figure 124.--Speed Jack, for reducing speed between
engine and tumbling rod or to increase speed between tumbling rod and
the driven machine.]

[Illustration: Figure 125.--The Speed Jack on the left is used either to
reduce or increase tumbling rod speed and to reverse the motion. The
Speed Jack on the right transfers power either from belt to tumbling rod
or reverse. It transforms high belt speed to low tumbling rod speed, or
vice versa.]

_Pump Jacks and Speed Jacks._--Farm pumps and speed-reducing jacks are
partners in farm pumping. Force-pumps should not run faster than forty
strokes per minute. Considerable power is required to move the piston
when the water is drawn from a deep well and forced into an overhead
tank. Jacks are manufactured which bolt directly to the pump, and there
are pumps and jacks built together. A pump jack should have good, solid
gearing to reduce the speed. Spur-gearing is the most satisfactory.
Bevel-gears are wasteful of power when worked under heavy loads. Power
to drive a pump jack is applied to a pulley at least twelve inches in
diameter with a four-inch face when belting is used. If a rope power
conveyor is used, then pulleys of larger diameters are required to
convey the same amount of power.

Only general terms may be used in describing the farm pump, because the
conditions differ in each case. Generally speaking, farmers fail to
appreciate the amount of power used, and they are more than likely to
buy a jack that is too light. Light machinery may do the work, but it
goes to pieces quicker, while a heavy jack with solid connections will
operate the pump year in and year out without making trouble. For
increasing or reducing either speed or power some kind of jack is
needed. All farm machines have their best speed. A certain number of
revolutions per minute will accomplish more and do better work than any
other speed. To apply power to advantage speed jacks have been invented
to adjust the inaccuracies between driver and driven.


The annual rainfall in the United States varies in different parts of
the country from a few inches to a few feet. Under natural conditions
some soils get too much moisture and some too little. Irrigation is
employed to supply the deficiency and drainage, either natural or
artificial, carries off the excess. Irrigation and drainage belong
together. Irrigation fills the soil with moisture and drainage empties
it. Thus, a condition is established that supplies valuable farm plants
with both air and moisture. In the drier portions of the United States,
nothing of value will grow without irrigation. In the so-called humid
districts deficiency of moisture at the critical time reduces the yield
and destroys the profit. The value of irrigation has been demonstrated
in the West, and the practice is working eastward.

[Illustration: Figure 126.--Centrifugal Pump Setting. When used for
irrigation, centrifugal pumps are set as close to the ground water as

Irrigation is the new handmaiden of prosperity. A rainy season is a
bountiful one. Irrigation supplies the bounty without encouraging
destructive fungus diseases. Where water is abundant within easy reach,
pumping irrigation water is thoroughly practical. Improvements in pumps
in recent years have increased their capacity and insured much greater
reliability. A centrifugal pump is recommended for depths down to 75
feet; beyond this depth the necessity of installing more expensive
machinery places the business of pumping for irrigation on a different
plane. A centrifugal pump will throw more water with less machinery than
any other device, but like all other mechanical inventions, it has its
limitations. In figuring economical pumping, the minimum quantity should
be at least 100 gallons per minute, because time is an object, and
irrigation, if done at all, should cover an area sufficient to bring
substantial returns. Centrifugal pumps should be placed near the surface
of the water in the well. For this reason, a large, dry well is dug down
to the level of the water-table and the pump is solidly bolted to a
concrete foundation built on the bottom of this well. A supply pipe may
be extended any depth below the pump, but the standing water surface in
the well should reach within a few feet of the pump. The pump and supply
must be so well balanced against each other that the pull-down from
pumping will not lower the water-level in the well more than twenty feet
below the pump. The nearer the ground water is to the pump the better.

The water well below the pump may be bored, or a perforated well pipe
may be driven; or several well points may be connected. The kind of well
must depend upon the condition of the earth and the nature of the water
supply. Driven wells are more successful when water is found in a
stratum of coarse gravel.

Before buying irrigation machinery, it is a good plan to test the water
supply by temporary means. Any good farm pump may be hitched to a
gasoline engine to determine if the water supply is lasting or not.
Permanent pumping machinery should deliver the water on high ground. A
main irrigation ditch may be run across the upper end of the field. This
ditch should hold the water high enough so it may be tapped at
convenient places to run through the corrugations to reach the roots of
the plants to be benefited. There are different systems of irrigation
designed to fit different soils. Corrugations are the cheapest and the
most satisfactory when soils are loose enough to permit the water to
soak into the soil sideways, as well as to sink down. The water should
penetrate the soil on both sides of the corrugations for distances of
several inches. Corrugations should be straight and true and just far
enough apart so the irrigation water will soak across and meet between.
Some soils will wash or gully out if the fall is too rapid. In such
cases it may be necessary to terrace the land by following the natural
contour around the ridges so the water may flow gently. Where the fall
is very slight, that is, where the ground is so nearly level that it
slopes away less than six inches in a hundred feet, it becomes necessary
to prepare the land by building checks and borders to confine the water
for a certain length of time. Then it is let out into the next check. In
the check and border system the check bank on the lower side has an
opening which is closed during the soaking period with a canvas dam.
When the canvas is lifted the water flows through and fills the next
check. This system is more expensive, and it requires more knowledge of
irrigation to get it started, and it is not likely to prove
satisfactory in the East.

For fruits and vegetables, what is known as the furrow system of
irrigation is the most practical. An orchard is irrigated by plowing
furrows on each side of each row of trees. The water is turned into
these furrows and it runs across the orchard like so many little
rivulets. Potatoes are irrigated on the same plan by running water
through between the rows after the potatoes have been ridged by a double
shovel-plow. This plan also works well with strawberries. After the land
is prepared for irrigation, the expense of supplying water to a fruit
orchard, strawberry patch or potato field is very little compared with
the increase in yield. In fact, there are seasons when one irrigation
will save the crop and produce an abundant yield, when otherwise it
would have been almost a total loss.

_Overhead Spray Irrigation._--The most satisfactory garden irrigation is
the overhead spray system. Posts are set ten feet apart in rows 50 feet
apart. Water pipes are laid on the tops of the posts and held loosely in
position by large staples. These water pipes are perforated by drilling
a line of small holes about three feet apart in a straight line along
one side of the pipe. The holes are tapped and small brass nozzles are
screwed in. The overhead pipes are connected with standpipes at the
highest place, generally at the ends of the rows. The pipe-lines are
loosely coupled to the standpipes to permit them to roll partly around
to direct the hundreds of spray nozzles as needed.

[Illustration: Figure 127.--Overhead Irrigation. Diagram showing the
arrangement of pipes for irrigating one acre of land. The pipes are
supported on posts six feet high.]

Six feet high is sufficient to throw a fine mist or spray twenty-five
feet, which is far enough to meet the spray from the next row, so the
ground will be completely covered. To do this the pipes are rolled from
one side to the other, through a 90 degree arc to throw the spray on
both sides. The pipes usually are laid with a grade which follows down
the slope of the land. A fall of one foot in fifty is sufficient. Water
is always admitted at the upper end of each pipe-line to flow down by
gravity, assisted by tank pressure. A pressure of about forty pounds is
needed to produce a fine spray, and to send it across to meet the
opposite jets. The little brass nozzles are drilled with about a
one-eighth inch hollow. But the jet opening is small, about No. 20 W. G.
This gives a wire-drawn stream that quickly vaporizes when it meets the
resistance of the atmosphere. When properly installed a fine misty rain
is created, which quickly takes the same temperature as the air, and
settles so gently that the most delicate plants are not injured.

_Quantity of Water to Use._--Good judgment is necessary in applying
water to crops in regard to quantity, as well as the time of making
application. Generally speaking, it is better to wait until the crop
really needs moisture. When the pump is started give the crop plenty
with the expectation that one irrigation will be sufficient. Much
depends upon the amount of moisture in the soil; also the kind of crop
and weather conditions enter into the problem. On sandy land that is
very dry where drainage is good, water may be permitted to run in the
corrugations for several days until the ground is thoroughly soaked.
When potatoes are forming, or clover is putting down its big root
system, a great deal of water is needed. Irrigation sufficient to make
two inches of rainfall may be used to advantage for such crops under
ordinary farming conditions. It is necessary after each irrigation to
break the soil crust by cultivation to prevent evaporation. This is just
as important after irrigation as it is after a rain shower. Also any
little pockets that hold water must be carefully drained out, otherwise
the crop will be injured by standing water. We are not supposed to have
such pockets on land that has been prepared for irrigation.

_Kind of Crops to Irrigate._--Wheat, oats, barley, etc., may be helped
with one irrigation from imminent failure to a wealth of production. But
these rainfall grain crops do not come under the general classification
that interests the regular irrigation farmer beyond his diversity plans
for producing considerable variety. Fruits, roots, clover, alfalfa,
vegetables and Indian corn are money crops under irrigation. Certain
seed crops yield splendidly when watered. An apple orchard properly
cared for and irrigated just at the right time will pay from five
hundred to a thousand dollars per acre. Small fruits are just as
valuable. These successes account for the high prices of irrigated land.
In the East and in the great Middle West, valuable crops are cut short
or ruined by drouth when the fruit or corn is forming. It makes no
difference how much rain comes along at other times in the year, if the
roots cannot find moisture at the critical time, the yield is reduced
often below the profit of raising and harvesting the crop. Strawberry
blossoms shrivel and die in the blooming when rain fails. Irrigation is
better than rain for strawberries. Strawberries under irrigation may be
made to yield more bushels than potatoes under humid conditions. One
hundred bushels of strawberries per acre sounds like a fairy tale, but
it is possible on rich land under irrigation.

The cost of pumping for irrigation, where the well and machinery is used
for no other purpose, must be charged up to the crop. The items of
expense are interest on the first cost of the pumping machinery,
depreciation, upkeep and running expenses. On Eastern farms, however,
where diversified farming is the business, this expense may be divided
among the different lines of work. Where live-stock is kept, it is
necessary to have a good, reliable water supply for the animals. A
reservoir on high ground so water may be piped to the watering troughs
and to the house is a great convenience. Also the same engine that does
the pumping may be used for other work in connection with the farm, so
that the irrigation pump engine, instead of lying idle ten or eleven
months in the year, may be utilized to advantage and made to earn its
keep. Well-water contains many impurities. For this reason, it is
likely to be valuable for crop growing purposes in a wider sense than
merely to supply moisture. Well-water contains lime, and lime is
beneficial to most soils. It has been noticed that crops grow especially
well when irrigated from wells.

[Illustration: Figure 128.--Power Transmission. Circular motion is
converted into reciprocating motion by the different lengths of the two
pitman cranks which cause the upper wheel to oscillate. Power is carried
to a distance by wires. To reduce friction the wires are supported by
swinging hangers. Sometimes wooden rods are used instead of wires to
lessen expansion and contraction.]

_House and Barns Supplied from a Reservoir._--A farm reservoir may
sometimes be built very cheaply by throwing a dam across a narrow hollow
between two hills, or ridges. On other farms, it is necessary to scrape
out a hole on the highest ground within reach. For easy irrigation a
reservoir is necessary, and it is economical because the pump may work
overtime and supply enough water so the irrigation may be done quickly
and with sufficient water to make it effective. When the cost of the
reservoir can be charged up to the different departments of the
business, such as irrigation, live-stock and house use, the cost is
divided and the profits are multiplied.

_Power Conveyor._--Circular motion is converted into reciprocal motion
to operate a pump at a distance from the engine. The short jack crank
oscillates the driving pulley to move the conveyor wires back and forth.
The distance to which power may be carried is limited by the expansion
and contraction of the conveying wires. Wooden rods are better under
extremes of temperature. Where an engine is used night and morning in
the dairy house to run a cream separator, this kind of power
transmission may be worked to operate the pump at the house. Light wire
hangers will support the line wires or rods. They should be about three
feet in length, made fast at top and bottom to prevent wear. The spring
of a No. 10 wire three feet long is sufficient to swing the length of a
pump stroke and the friction is practically nothing.


Electric current in some sections may be purchased from electric
railways or city lighting plants. But the great majority of farms are
beyond the reach of high tension transmission cables. In some places
three or four farmers may club together and buy a small lighting plant
to supply their own premises with both light and power. Unless an
engineer is employed to run it trouble is sure to follow, because one
family does all of the work and others share equally in the benefits.
The solution is for each farmer to install a small plant of his own.
The proposition is not so difficult as it sounds. Two-horsepower plants
are manufactured for this very purpose. But there is more to it than
buying a dynamo and a few lamp bulbs. A farm electric system should
supply power to run all of the light stationary machinery about the
farm, and that means storage batteries, and the use of one or more small
electric motors. There are several ways to arrange the plant, but to
save confusion it is better to study first the storage battery plan and
to start with an engine large enough to pump water and run the dynamo at
the same time. It is a good way to do two jobs at once--you store water
enough in the supply tank to last twenty-four or forty-eight hours, and
at the same time you store up sufficient electricity to run the
cream-separator for a week. Electric power is the only power that is
steady enough to get all of the cream.

[Illustration: Figure 129.--Electric Power Plant. A practical farm
generator and storage battery, making a complete farm electric plant
that will develop and store electricity for instant use in any or all of
the farm buildings.]

Refrigeration is a profitable way to use electric power. There are small
automatic refrigerator machines that maintain low temperatures to
preserve food products. This branch of the work may be made profitable.
Laundry work on the farm was principally hand labor until the small
power washers and wringers were invented. Now a small electric motor
takes the blue out of Monday, and the women wear smiles. Electric
flatirons afford the greatest comfort on Tuesday. The proper heat is
maintained continually until the last piece is ironed. Cooking by
electricity is another great success. Some women buy separate cooking
utensils, such as toasters, chafing dishes and coffee percolators.
Others invest in a regular electric cooking range at a cost of fifty
dollars and feel that the money was well spent. It takes about 100
K.W.H. per month in hot weather to cook by electricity for a family of
four. In winter, when heat is more of a luxury, the coal or wood range
will save half of the electric current. Dishwashing by electricity is
another labor-saver three times a day. Vacuum cleaners run by
electricity take the dust and microbes out of floor rugs with less hand
labor than pushing a carpet sweeper. Incubators are better heated by
electricity than any other way. Brooders come under the same class.
Sewing-machines were operated by electricity in sweatshops years
ago--because it paid. Farm women are now enjoying the same privilege.

Electric lighting on the farm is the most spectacular, if not the most
interesting result of electric generation in the country. This feature
of the subject was somewhat overtaxed by talkative salesmen
representing some of the pioneer manufacturers of electric lighting
plants, but the business has steadied down. Real electric generating
machinery is being manufactured and sold on its merits in small units.

Not many miles from Chicago there is an electric lighting plant on a
dairy farm that is giving satisfaction. The stables are large and they
are managed on the plan of milking early in the morning and again in the
middle of the afternoon. The morning work requires a great deal of light
in the different stables, more light than ordinary, because the milking
is done by machinery. The milking machine air-pump is driven by
electricity generated on the farm, the power being supplied by a
kerosene engine.

Electricity on this farm is used in units, separate lines extending to
the different buildings. The lighting plant is operated on what is known
as the 32-volt system; the rating costs less to install than some others
and the maintenance is less than when a higher voltage is used. I
noticed also that there are fewer parts in connection with the plant
than in other electric light works that I have examined.

Technical knowledge of electricity and its behavior under different
circumstances is hardly necessary to a farmer, because the manufacturers
have simplified the mechanics of electric power and lighting to such an
extent that it is only necessary to use ordinary precaution to run the
plant to its capacity.

At the same time it is just as well to know something about generators,
switchboards and the meanings of such terms and names as volt, ampere,
battery poles, voltmeter, ammeter, rheostat, discharge switch,
underload circuit breaker, false fuse blocks, etc., because familiarity
with these names, and the parts they represent gives the person
confidence in charging the batteries. Such knowledge also supplies a
reason for the one principal battery precaution, which is not to use out
all of the electricity the batteries contain.

Those who have electric lighting plants on the farm do not seem to feel
the cost of running the plants, because they use the engine for other
purposes. Generally manufacturers figure about 1 H.P. extra to run a
dynamo to supply from 25 to 50 lights. My experience with farm engines
is that for ordinary farm work such as driving the cream separator,
working the pump and grinding feed, a two-horse power engine is more
useful than any other size. Farmers who conduct business in the usual
way will need a three-horsepower engine if they contemplate adding an
electric lighting system to the farm equipment.

Among the advantages of an electric lighting system is the freedom from
care on the part of the women. There are no lamps to clean or broken
chimneys to cut a finger, so that when the system is properly installed
the only work the women have to do is to turn the switches to throw the
lights on or off as needed.

The expense in starting a farm electric light plant may be a little more
than some other installations, but it seems to be more economical in
service when figured from a farmer's standpoint, taking into
consideration the fact that he is using power for generating electricity
that under ordinary farm management goes to waste.

A three-horsepower engine will do the same amount of work with the same
amount of gasoline that a two-horsepower engine will do. This statement
may not hold good when figured in fractions, but it will in farm
practice. Also when running a pump or cream separator the engine is
capable of doing a little extra work so that the storage batteries may
be charged with very little extra expense.

On one dairy farm a five-horsepower kerosene engine is used to
furnish power for various farm purposes. The engine is belted to a
direct-current generator of the shunt-wound type. The generator is wired
to an electric storage battery of 88 ampere hour capacity. The battery
is composed of a number of separate cells. The cells are grouped
together in jars. These jars contain the working parts of the batteries.
As each jar of the battery is complete in itself, any one jar may be cut
out or another added without affecting the other units. The switchboard
receives current either from the battery or from the engine and
generator direct. There are a number of switches attached to the
switchboard, which may be manipulated to turn the current in any
direction desired.

Some provision should be made for the renewal of electric lamps. Old
lamps give less light than new ones, and the manufacturers should meet
customers on some kind of a fair exchange basis. Tungsten lamps are
giving good satisfaction for farm use. These lamps are economical of
current, which means a reduction of power to supply the same amount of
light. The Mazda lamp is another valuable addition to the list of
electric lamps.

The Wisconsin _Agriculturist_ publishes a list of 104 different uses for
electricity on farms. Many of the electrical machines are used for
special detail work in dairies where cheese or butter is made in
quantity. Sugar plantations also require small units of power that
would not apply to ordinary farming. Some of the work mentioned is extra
heavy, such as threshing and cutting ensilage. Other jobs sound trivial,
but they are all possible labor-savers. Here is the list:

"Oat crushers, alfalfa mills, horse groomers, horse clippers, hay
cutters, clover cutters, corn shellers, ensilage cutters, corn crackers,
branding irons, currying machines, feed grinders, flailing machines,
live stock food warmers, sheep shears, threshers, grain graders, root
cutters, bone grinders, hay hoists, clover hullers, rice threshers, pea
and bean hullers, gas-electric harvesters, hay balers, portable motors
for running threshers, fanning-mills, grain elevators, huskers and
shredders, grain drying machines, binder motors, wheat and corn
grinders, milking machines, sterilizing milk, refrigeration, churns,
cream-separators, butter workers, butter cutting-printing, milk cooling
and circulating pumps, milk clarifiers, cream ripeners, milk mixers,
butter tampers, milk shakers, curd grinders, pasteurizers, bottle
cleaners, bottle fillers, concrete mixers, cider mills, cider presses,
spraying machines, wood splitters, auto trucks, incubators, hovers,
telephones, electric bells, ice cutters, fire alarms, electric vehicles,
electro cultures, water supply, pumping, water sterilizers, fruit
presses, blasting magnetos, lighting, interior telephones, vulcanizers,
pocket flash lights, ice breakers, grindstones, emery wheels, wood saws,
drop hammers, soldering irons, glue pots, cord wood saws, egg testers,
burglar alarms, bell ringing transformers, devices for killing insects
and pests, machine tools, molasses heaters, vacuum cleaners, portable
lamps to attract insects, toasters, hot plates, grills, percolators,
flatirons, ranges, toilette articles, water heaters, fans, egg boilers,
heating pads, dishwashers, washing machines, curling irons, forge


Gasoline gas for house lighting is manufactured in a small generator by
evaporating gasoline into gas and mixing it with air, about 5 per cent
gas and 95 per cent air. We are all familiar with the little brass
gasoline torch heater that tinners and plumbers use to heat their
soldering irons. The principle is the same.

There are three systems of using gasoline gas for farmhouse lighting
purposes, the hollow wire, tube system, and single lamp system.

The hollow wire system carries the liquid gasoline through the circuit
in a small pipe called a hollow wire. Each lamp on the circuit takes a
few drops of gasoline as needed, converts it into gas, mixes the gas
with the proper amount of air and produces a fine brilliant light. Each
lamp has its own little generator and is independent of all other lamps
on the line.

The tube system of gasoline gas lighting is similar in appearance, but
the tubes are larger and look more like regular gas pipes. In the tube
system the gas is generated and mixed with air before it gets into the
distribution tube, so that lamps do not require separate generators.

In the separate lamp system each lamp is separate and independent. Each
lamp has a small supply of gasoline in the base of the lamp and has a
gas generator attached to the burner, which converts the gasoline into
gas, mixes it with the proper amount of air and feeds it into the burner
as required. Farm lanterns are manufactured that work on this principle.
They produce a brilliant light.

By investigating the different systems of gasoline gas lighting in use
in village stores and country homes any farmer can select the system
that fits into his home conditions to the best advantage. In one
farmhouse the owner wanted gasoline gas street lamps on top of his big
concrete gateposts, and this was one reason why he decided to adopt
gasoline gas lighting and to use the separate lamp system.


Acetylene lighting plants are intended for country use beyond the reach
of city gas mains or electric cables. Carbide comes in lump form in
steel drums. It is converted into gas by a generator that is fitted with
clock work to drop one or more lumps into water as gas is needed to keep
up the pressure. Acetylene gas is said to be the purest of all
illuminating gases. Experiments in growing delicate plants in
greenhouses lighted with acetylene seem to prove this claim to be

The light also is bright, clear and powerful. The gas is explosive when
mixed with air and confined, so that precautions are necessary in regard
to using lanterns or matches near the generators. The expense of
installing an acetylene plant in a farm home has prevented its general


There are a number of makes of saw frames for use on farms, some of
which are very simple, while others are quite elaborate. Provision
usually is made for dropping the end of the stick as it is cut.
Sometimes carriers are provided to elevate the blocks onto a pile.
Extension frames to hold both ends of the stick give more or less
trouble, because when the stick to be sawed is crooked, it is almost
impossible to prevent binding. If a saw binds in the kerf, very often
the uniform set is pinched out of alignment, and there is some danger of
buckling the saw, so that for ordinary wood sawing it is better to have
the end of the stick project beyond the jig. If the saw is sharp and has
the right set and the right motion, it will cut the stick off quickly
and run free while the end is dropping to the ground.

The quickest saw frames oscillate, being supported on legs that are
hinged to the bottom of the frame. Oscillating frames work easier than
sliding frames. Sliding frames are sometimes provided with rollers, but
roller frames are not steady enough. For cross sawing lumber V-shaped
grooves are best. No matter what the feeding device is, it should always
be protected by a hood over the saw. The frame should fall back of its
own weight, bringing the hood with it, so that the saw is always covered
except when actually engaged with the stick. Saw-mandrels vary in
diameter and length, but in construction they are much alike. For wood
sawing the shaft should be 1-3/8" or 1-1/2" in diameter. The shaft runs
in two babbitted boxes firmly bolted to the saw frame. The frame itself
should be well made and well braced.


There are root pulpers with concave knives which slice roots in such a
way as to bend the slices and break them into thousands of leafy shreds.
The principle is similar to bending a number of sheets of paper so that
each sheet will slide past the next one. Animals do not chew roots when
fed in large solid pieces. Cattle choke trying to swallow them whole,
but they will munch shredded roots with apparent patience and evident
satisfaction. American farmers are shy on roots. They do not raise roots
in quantities because it requires a good deal of hand labor, but roots
make a juicy laxative and they are valuable as an appetizer and they
carry mineral. Pulped roots are safe to feed and they offer the best
mixing medium for crushed grains and other concentrated foods.


Instead of grinding grain for feeding, we have what is known as a
crusher which operates on the roller-mill principle. It breaks the
grains into flour by crushing instead of grinding. It has the advantage
of doing good work quickly. Our feed grinding is done in the two-story
corncrib and granary. It is one of the odd jobs on the farm that every
man likes. The grain is fed automatically into the machine by means of
the grain spouts which lead the different kinds of grain down from the
overhead bins. The elevator buckets carry the crushed feed back to one
of the bins or into the bagger. In either case it is not necessary to do
any lifting for the sacks are carried away on a bag truck. We have no
use for a scoop shovel except as a sort of big dustpan to use with the
barn broom.


Pulling stumps by machinery is a quick operation compared with the old
time methods of grubbing, chopping, prying and burning that our
forefathers had on their hands. Modern stump pulling machines are small
affairs compared with the heavy, clumsy things that were used a few
years ago. Some of the new stump pullers are guaranteed to clear an acre
a day of ordinary stumpage. This, of course, must be a rough estimate,
because stumps, like other things, vary in numbers, size and condition
of soundness. Some old stumps may be removed easily while others hang to
the ground with wonderful tenacity.

There are two profits to follow the removal of stumps from a partially
cleared field. The work already put on the land has in every case cost
considerable labor to get the trees and brush out of the way. The land
is partially unproductive so long as stumps remain. For this reason, it
is impossible to figure on the first cost until the stumps are removed
to complete the work and to put the land in condition to raise machine
made crops. When the stumps are removed, the value of the land either
for selling or for farming purposes is increased at once. Whether sold
or farmed, the increasing value is maintained by cropping the land and
securing additional revenue.

There are different ways of removing stumps, some of which are easy
while others are difficult and expensive. One of the easiest ways is to
bore a two-inch auger hole diagonally down into the stump; then fill the
auger hole with coal-oil and let it remain for some weeks to soak into
the wood. Large stumps may be bored in different directions so the
coal-oil will find its way not only through the main part of the stumps
but down into the roots. This treatment requires that the stumps should
be somewhat dry. A stump that is full of sap has no room for coal-oil,
but after the sap partially dries out, then coal oil will fill the pores
of the wood. After the stump is thoroughly saturated with coal-oil, it
will burn down to the ground, so that the different large roots will be
separated. Sometimes the roots will burn below plow depth, but a good
heavy pair of horses with a grappling hook will remove the separated

[Illustration: Figure 130.--The Oldest Farm Hoist. The first invention
for elevating a heavy object was a tripod made of three poles tied
together at the top with thongs of bark or rawhide. When hunters were
lucky enough to kill a bear, the tripod elevator was erected over the
carcass with the lower ends of the poles spread well apart to lower the
apex. The gambrel was inserted under the hamstrings and attached to the
top of the tripod. As the skinning of the animal proceeded the feet of
the tripod were moved closer together. By the time the head was cut off
the carcass would swing clear.]

Dynamite often is used to blow stumps to pieces, and the work is not
considered dangerous since the invention of safety devices. In some
sections of the country where firewood is valuable, dynamite has the
advantage of saving the wood. An expert with dynamite will blow a stump
to pieces so thoroughly that the different parts are easily worked into
stove lengths. Pitch-pine stumps have a chemical value that was not
suspected until some fellows got rich by operating a retort.


Many handy and a few heavy elevators are being manufactured to replace
human muscle. The simple tripod beef gin was familiar to the early
settlers and it is still in use. When a heavy animal was killed for
butchering, the small ends of three poles were tied together to form a
tripod over the carcass. The feet of the tripod were placed wide apart
to raise the apex only a few feet above the animal. After the gambrel
was inserted and attached the feet of the tripod were moved gradually
closer together as the skinning proceeded, thus elevating the carcass to
swing clear of the ground.

_Grain Elevators._--As a farm labor-saver, machinery to elevate corn
into the two-story corncrib and grain into the upper bins is one of the
newer and more important farming inventions. With a modern two-story
corncrib having a driveway through the center, a concrete floor and a
pit, it is easy to dump a load of grain or ear corn by raising the front
end of the wagon box without using a shovel or corn fork. After the load
is dumped into the pit a boy can drive a horse around in a circle while
the buckets carry the corn or small grain and deliver it by spout into
the different corncribs or grain bins. There are several makes of
powerful grain elevating machines that will do the work easily and

The first requisite is a building with storage overhead, and a
convenient place to work the machinery. Some of the elevating machines
are made portable and some are stationary. Some of the portable machines
will work both ways. Usually stationary elevators are placed in vertical
position. Some portable elevators may be operated either vertically or
on an incline. Such machines are adaptable to different situations, so
the corn may be carried up into the top story of a farm grain warehouse
or the apparatus may be hauled to the railway station for chuting the
grain or ear corn into a car. It depends upon the use to be made of the
machinery whether the strictly stationary or portable elevator is
required. To unload usually some kind of pit or incline is needed with
any kind of an elevator, so the load may be dumped automatically quickly
from the wagon box to be distributed by carrying buckets at leisure.

[Illustration: Figure 131.--Portable Grain Elevator Filling a Corncrib.
The same rig is taken to the railway to load box cars. The wagon is
unloaded by a lifting jack. It costs from 1c to 1-1/2c per bushel to
shovel corn by hand, but the greatest saving is in time.]

Some elevators are arranged to take grain slowly from under the
tailboard of a wagon box. The tailrod is removed and the tailboard
raised half an inch or an inch, according to the capacity of the
machinery. The load pays out through the opening as the front of the
wagon is gradually raised, so the last grain will discharge into the pit
or elevator hopper of its own weight. Technical building knowledge and
skill is required to properly connect the building and elevating
machinery so that the two will work smoothly together. There are certain
features about the building that must conform to the requirements and
peculiarities of the elevating machinery. The grain and ear corn are
both carried up to a point from which they will travel by gravity to any
part of the building. The building requires great structural strength in
some places, but the material may be very light in others. Hence, the
necessity of understanding both building and machinery in order to meet
all of the necessary technical requirements.




[Illustration: Figure 132.--Heavy Disk Plow. A strong four-horse disk
implement for breaking stumpy ground or to tear tough sod into bits
before turning under with a moldboard.]

Plowing is a mechanical operation that deals with physics, chemistry,
bacteriology and entomology. The soil is the farmer's laboratory; his
soil working implements are his mechanical laboratory appliances. A high
order of intelligence is required to merge one operation into the next
to take full advantage of the assistance offered by nature. The object
of plowing and cultivation is to improve the mechanical condition of the
soil, to retain moisture, to kill insects and to provide a suitable home
for the different kinds of soil bacteria.

There are aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, also nitrogen-gathering
bacteria and nitrifying bacteria which are often loosely referred to as
azotobacter species. Few of us are on intimate terms with any of them,
but some of us have had formal introductions through experiments and

[Illustration: Figure 133.--Sulky Plow. This is a popular type of riding
plow. It is fitted with a rolling coulter.]


_Walking Plow._--The draft of a walking plow may be increased or
diminished by the manner of hitch. It is necessary to find the direct
line of draft between the work performed and the propelling force. The
clevis in the two-horse doubletree, or the three-horse evener and the
adjusting clevis in the end of the plow-beam with the connecting link
will permit a limited adjustment. The exact direction that this line
takes will prove out in question. The walking plow should not have a
tendency to run either in or out, neither too deep nor too shallow. For
the proper adjustment as to width and depth of furrow, the plow should
follow the line of draft in strict obedience to the pull so that it
will keep to the furrow on level ground a distance of several feet
without guidance from the handles. In making the adjustment it is first
necessary to see that the plow itself is in good working order. All
cutting edges such as share, coulter or jointer must be reasonably sharp
and the land slip in condition as the makers intended.

[Illustration: Figure 134.--Disk Plow. Less power is required to plow
with a disk, but it is a sort of cut and cover process. The disk digs
trenches narrow at the bottom. There are ridges between the little
trenches that are not worked.]

[Illustration: Figure 135.--Three-Horse and Four-Horse Eveners. This
kind of evener hitches the horses closer to the load than some others
and they are easier to handle than the spread out kinds. The four-horse
rig requires the best horses in the middle.]

All plows should have a leather pocket on the side of the beam to carry
a file. A 12-inch bastard file with a good handle is the most
satisfactory implement for sharpening the cutting edges of a plow in the
fields. A good deal depends on the character of the soil and its
condition of dryness, but generally speaking, it pays to do a little
filing after plowing a half mile of furrow. If the horses are doing
their duty, a little rest at the end of the half mile is well earned.
The plowman can put in the time to advantage with the file and the next
half mile will go along merrily in consequence. No farmer would continue
to chop wood all day without whetting his axe, but, unfortunately,
plowmen often work from morning till night without any attempt to keep
the cutting edges of their plows in good working order.

_Riding Plow._--The riding plow in lifting and turning the furrow slice
depends a good deal on the wheels. The action of the plow is that of a
wedge with the power pushing the point, the share and the moldboard
between the furrow slices and the land side and the furrow bottom. There
is the same friction between the moldboard and the furrow slice as in
the case of the walking plow, but the wheels are intended to materially
reduce the pressure on the furrow bottom and against the land side. Plow
wheels are intended to relieve the draft in this respect because wheels
roll much easier than the plow bottom can slide with the weight of the
work on top. The track made in the bottom of the furrow with the walking
plow shows plainly the heavy pressure of the furrow slice on the
moldboard by the mark of the slip. To appreciate the weight the slip
carries, an interesting experiment may be performed by loading the
walking plow with weights sufficient to make the same kind of a mark
when the plow is not turning a furrow.

One advantage in riding plows in addition to the relief of such a load
is less packing of the furrow bottom. On certain soils when the moisture
is just sufficient to make the subsoil sticky, a certain portion of the
furrow bottom is cemented by plow pressure so that it becomes impervious
to the passage of moisture either up or down. The track of a plow wheel
is less injurious.

[Illustration: Figure 136.--Three-Section, Spike-Tooth Harrow. The
harrow is made straight, but the hitch is placed over to one side to
give each tooth a separate line of travel.]

[Illustration: Figure 137.--Harrow Sled Long Enough to Hold a
Four-Section Harrow.]

Plow wheels should stand at the proper angle to the pressure with
especial reference to the work performed. Wheels should be adjusted with
an eye single to the conditions existing in the furrow. Some wheel plows
apparently are especially built to run light like a wagon above ground
regardless of the underground work required of them.

[Illustration: Figure 138.--Corn Cultivator. A one-row, riding-disk
cultivator. The ridges are smoothed by the spring scrapers to leave an
even surface to prevent evaporation.]

Axles should hang at right angles to the line of lift so accurately as
to cause the wheels to wear but lightly on the ends of the hubs.
Mistakes in adjustment show in the necessity of keeping a supply of
washers on hand to replace the ones that quickly wear thin.

In this respect a good deal depends on the sand-bands at the ends of the
hubs. Plow wheels are constantly lifting gritty earth and dropping it on
the hubs. There is only one successful way to keep sand out of the
journals and that is by having the hubs, or hub ferrules, extend well
beyond the bearings. Plow wheel hub extensions should reach two inches
beyond the journal both at the large end of the hub and at the nut or
linchpin end. Some plow wheels cut so badly that farmers consider oil a
damage and they are permitted to run dry. This is not only very wasteful
of expensive iron but the wheels soon wabble to such an extent that they
no longer guide the plow, in which case the draft may be increased

[Illustration: Figure 139.--A Combination Riding and Walking Cultivator,
showing fenders attached to protect young plants the first time through.
The two bull tongues shown are for use in heavy soils or when deeper
digging is necessary.]

_Scotch Plows._--When the long, narrow Scotch sod plows are exhibited at
American agricultural fairs they attract a good deal of attention and no
small amount of ridicule from American farmers because of the six or
seven inch furrows they are intended to turn. In this country we are in
too much of a hurry to spend all day plowing three-fourths of an acre of
ground. Intensive farming is not so much of an object with us as the
quantity of land put under cultivation.

Those old-fashioned Scotch plows turn a furrow about two-thirds of the
way over, laying the sod surface at an angle of about 45° to the bottom
of the furrow. The sharp comb cut by the coulter and share stands
upright so that a sod field when plowed is marked in sharp ridges six or
seven inches apart, according to the width of the furrow. Edges of sod
show in the bottoms of the corrugations between these little furrow

When the rains come the water is held in these grooves and it finds its
way down the whole depth of the furrow slice carrying air with it and
moistening every particle of trash clear to the bottom of the furrow.
Such conditions are ideal for the work of the different forms of
bacteria to break down plant fibre contained in the roots and trash and
work it into humus, which is in turn manipulated by other forms of soil
bacteria to produce soil water which is the only food of growing plants.

_Jointer Plows._--American plow makers also have recognized the
necessity of mixing humus with soil in the act of plowing. To facilitate
the process and at the same time turn a wide furrow, the jointer does
fairly good work when soil conditions are suitable. The jointer is a
little plow which takes the place of the coulter and is attached to the
plow-beam in the same manner. The jointer turns a little furrow one inch
or two inches deep and the large plow following after turns a
twelve-inch or fourteen-inch furrow slice flat over, throwing the little
jointer furrow in the middle of the furrow bottom in such a way that the
big furrow breaks over the smaller furrow.

If the work is well done, cracks as wide as a man's hand and from three
to five inches deep are left all over the field. These cracks lead air
and moisture to rot the trash below. This is a much quicker way of
doing a fairly good job of plowing. Such plows loosen the soil and
furnish the conditions required by nature; and they may be operated with
much less skill than the old-fashioned narrow-furrowed Scotch plows.

Good plowing requires first that the soil be in proper condition to
plow, neither too dry nor too wet, but no man can do good plowing
without the proper kind of plow to fit the soil he is working with.


Under present conditions farm tractors are not intended to replace horse
power entirely but to precede horses to smooth the rough places that
horses may follow with the lighter machines to add the finishing
touches. Light tractors are being made, and they are growing in
popularity, but the real business of the farm tractor is to do the heavy
lugging--the work that kills horses and delays seeding until the growing
season has passed. The actual power best suited to the individual farm
can only be determined by the nature of the land and the kind of

In the Middle West where diversified farming is practiced, the 8-16 and
the 10-20 sizes seem to be the most satisfactory, and this is without
regard to the size of the farm. The preponderance of heavy work will
naturally dictate the buying of a tractor heavier than a 10-20. The
amount of stationary work is a factor. In certain communities heavy farm
tractors are made to earn dividends by running threshing machines after
harvest, silo fillers in the fall and limestone crushers in the winter.

Here is a classified list of jobs the medium size farm tractor is good

Clearing the Land--pulling up bushes by the roots, tearing out hedges,
pulling stumps, grubbing, pulling stones.

Preparing Seed Bed and Seeding--plowing, disking, crushing clods,
pulling a land plane, rolling, packing, drilling, harrowing.

Harvesting--mowing, pulling grain binders, pulling potato digger.

Belt Work--hay baling, corn shelling, heavy pumping for irrigation,
grinding feed, threshing, clover hulling, husking and shredding, silo
filling, stone crushing.

Road Work--grading, dragging, leveling, ditching, hauling crops.

Miscellaneous--running portable sawmill, stretching wire fencing, ditch
digging, manure spreading.

Generally speaking, however, the most important farm tractor work is
preparing the seed-bed thoroughly and quickly while the soil and weather
conditions are the best. And the tractor's ability to work all day and
all night at such times is one of its best qualifications.

To plow one square mile, or 640 acres, with a walking plow turning a
twelve-inch furrow, a man and team must walk 5,280 miles. The gang-plow
has always been considered a horse killer, and, when farmers discovered
that they could use oil power to save their horses, many were quick to
make the change.

It requires approximately 10 horsepower hours to turn an acre of land
with horses. At a speed of two miles, a team with one plow in ten hours
will turn two acres. To deliver the two horsepower required to do this
work, they must travel 176 feet per minute and exert a continuous pull
of 375 pounds or 187.5 pounds per horse.

One horsepower equals a pull of 33,000 pounds, moved one foot per
minute. Two-mile speed equals two times 5,280 or 10,560 feet per hour,
or 176 feet per minute. Sixty-six thousand divided by 176 equals 375
foot pounds pull per minute. One horsepower is absorbed in 88 feet of

Horse labor costs, according to Government figures, 12-1/2 cents per
hour per horse. On this basis ten hours' work will be $1.25, which is
the average daily cost of each horse. An average Illinois diversified
farm of 160 acres would be approximately as follows: Fifty acres of
corn, 30 acres of oats and wheat, 20 acres of hay, 60 acres of rough
land, pasture, orchard, building and feed lots.

This average farm supports six work horses or mules and one colt.
According to figures taken from farm work reports submitted by many
different corn belt farmers, the amount of horse-work necessary to do
this cropping would figure out as follows:

Fifty acres of corn land for plowing, disking, harrowing, planting,
cultivating and harvesting would amount to a total of 1,450 horsepower
hours. Thirty acres of wheat would require a total of 330 horsepower
hours. Twenty acres of hay would require 110 horsepower hours. In round
figures, 1,900 horsepower hours at 12-1/2 cents would amount to $237.50.

Elaborate figures have been worked out theoretically to show that this
work can be done by an 8-16 farm tractor in 27-3/4 days at a cost for
kerosene fuel and lubricating oil of $1.89 per day. Adding interest,
repairs and depreciation, brings this figure up to about $4.00 per day,
or a total of $111.00 for the job. No account is kept of man power in
caring for either the horses or the tractor. The actual man labor on the
job, however, figures 12-1/3 days less for the tractor than for horses.
We should remember that actual farm figures are used for the cost of
horse work. Such figures are not available for tractor work.

The cost of plowing with a traction engine depends upon so many factors
that it is difficult to make any definite statement. It depends upon the
condition of the ground, size of the tractor, the number of plows
pulled, and the amount of fuel used. An 8-16 horsepower tractor, for
instance, burning from 15 to 20 gallons of low grade kerosene per ten
hour day and using one gallon of lubricating oil, costs about $1.90 per
ten hours work. Pulling two 14-inch plows and traveling 20 miles per
day, the tractor will plow 5.6 acres at a fuel and an oil cost of about
30 cents per acre. Pulling three 14-inch plows, it will turn 8.4 acres
at a cost for fuel and oil of about 20 cents an acre.

The kind and condition of soil is an important factor in determining the
tractor cost of plowing. Comparison between the average horse cost and
the average tractor cost suggests very interesting possibilities in
favor of tractor plowing under good management.

Aside from the actual cost in dollars we should also remember that no
horse gang can possibly do the quality of work that can be accomplished
by an engine gang. Anxiety to spare the team has cut a big slice off the
profits of many a farmer. He has often plowed late on account of hard
ground, and he has many times allowed a field to remain unplowed on
account of worn-out teams. Under normal conditions, late plowing never
produces as good results as early plowing. Many a farmer has fed and
harnessed by the light of the lantern, gone to the field and worked his
team hard to take advantage of the cool of the morning. With the
approach of the hot hours of midday, the vicious flies sapping the
vitality from his faithful team, he has eased up on the work or quit the

In using the tractor for plowing, there are none of these distressing
conditions to be taken into consideration, nothing to think of but the
quality of work done. It is possible to plow deep without thought of the
added burden. Deep plowing may or may not be advisable. But where the
soil will stand it, deep plowing at the proper time of year, and when
done with judgment, holds moisture better and provides more plant food.

The pull power required to plow different soils varies from about three
pounds per square inch of furrow for light sand up to twenty pounds per
square inch of furrow for gumbo. The draft of a plow is generally
figured from clover sod, which averages about seven pounds per square
inch. Suppose a plow rig has two 14-inch bottoms, and the depth to be
plowed is six inches. A cross section of each plow is therefore 14 by 6
inches, or 84 square inches. Twice this for two bottoms is 168 square
inches. Since, in sandy soil, the pressure per square inch is three
pounds, therefore 168 times 3 pounds equals 504 pounds, the draft in
sandy soil. 168 times 7 pounds equals 1,176 pounds, the draft in clover
sod. 168 times 8 pounds equals 1,344 pounds, the draft in clay sod.

The success of crop growing depends upon the way the seed-bed is
prepared. The final preparation of the seed-bed can never be thoroughly
well done unless the ground is properly plowed to begin with. It is not
sufficient to root the ground over or to crowd it to one side but the
plow must really turn the furrow slice in a uniform, systematic manner
and lay it bottom side uppermost to receive the beneficial action of
the air, rain and sunshine.

The moldboard of a plow must be smooth in order to properly shed the
earth freely to make an easy turn-over. The shape of the shear and the
forward part of the moldboard is primarily that of a wedge, but the roll
or upper curve of the moldboard changes according to soil texture and
the width and depth of furrow to be turned. Moldboards also differ in
size and shape, according to the kind of furrow to be turned. Sometimes
in certain soils a narrow solid furrow with a comb on the upper edge is
preferable. In other soils a cracked or broken furrow slice works the
best. When working our lighter soils a wide furrow turned flat over on
top of a jointer furrow breaks the ground into fragments with wide
cracks or openings reaching several inches down. Between these extremes
there are many modifications made for the particular type or texture of
the soil to be plowed. We can observe the effect that a rough, or badly
scratched, or poorly shaped moldboard has on any kind of soil,
especially when passing from gravelly soils to clay. In soil that
contains the right amount of moisture, when a plow scours all the time,
the top of the furrow slice always has a glazed or shiny appearance.
This shows that the soil is slipping off the moldboard easily. In places
where the plow does not scour the ground is pushed to one side and
packed or puddled on the underside instead of being lifted and turned as
it should be. A field plowed with a defective moldboard will be full of
these places. Such ground cannot have the life to bring about a
satisfactory bacteria condition necessary to promote the rapid plant
growth that proper plowing gives it.

Cultivated sandy soils are becoming more acid year after year. We are
using lime to correct the acidity, but the use of lime requires better
plowing and better after cultivation to thoroughly mix the trash with
the earth to make soil conditions favorable to the different kinds of
soil bacteria. Unless we pay special attention to the humus content of
the soil we are likely to use lime to dissolve out plant foods that are
not needed by the present crop, and, therefore, cannot be utilized. This
is what the old adage means which reads: "Lime enricheth the father but
impoverisheth the son." When that was written the world had no proper
tillage tools and the importance of humus was not even dreamed of.

Not so many years ago farm plows were made of cast iron. Then came the
steel moldboard, which was supposed to be the acme of perfection in plow
making. Steel would scour and turn the furrow in fluffy soils where cast
iron would just root along without turning the ground at all. Later the
art of molding steel was studied and perfected until many grades and
degrees of hardness were produced and the shape of the moldboard passed
through a thousand changes. The idea all the time was to make plows that
would not only scour but polish in all kinds of soil. At the same time
they must turn under all of the vegetable growth to make humus, to kill
weeds and to destroy troublesome insects. Besides these requirements the
soil must be pulverized and laid loose to admit both air and moisture.
These experiments gradually led up to our present high grade plows of
hardened steel and what is known as chilled steel.

Besides the hardness there are different shapes designed for different
soils so that a plow to work well on one farm may need to be quite
different from a plow to do the best work in another neighborhood. The
furrow slice sliding over a perfect moldboard leaves the surface of the
upturned ground as even as the bottom of the furrow. By using a modern
plow carefully selected to fit the soil, gravel, sandy, stony or muck
soils, or silt loams that contain silica, lime, iron and aluminum oxide
can be worked with the right plow to do the best work possible if we use
the necessary care and judgment in making the selection.

One object of good plowing is to retain moisture in the soil until the
growing crop can make good use of it.

The ease with which soils absorb, retain or lose moisture, depends
mostly on their texture, humus content, physical condition, and surface
slope or artificial drainage. It is to the extent that cultivation can
modify these factors that more soil water can be made available to the
growing crop. There are loose, open soils through which water percolates
as through a sieve, and there are tight, gumbo soils which swell when
the surface is moistened and become practically waterproof. Sandy soils
take in water more readily than heavier soils, hence less precaution is
necessary to prevent run-off.

Among the thousands of plows of many different makes there are plenty of
good ones. The first consideration in making a selection is a reliable
home dealer who has a good business reputation and a thorough knowledge
of local soil from a mechanical standpoint. The next consideration is
the service the plow will give in proportion to the price.


For preparing land to receive the seed no other implement will equal a
double disk. These implements are made in various sizes and weights of
frame. For heavy land, where it is necessary to weight the disk down, an
extra heavy frame is necessary. It would probably be advisable to get
the extra strong frame for any kind of land, because even in light sand
there are times when a disk may be used to advantage to kill quackgrass
or to chew up sod before plowing. In such cases it is customary to load
on a couple of sacks of sand in addition to the weight of the driver.
When a disk is carrying 300 or 400 pounds besides its own weight the
racking strains which pull from different directions have a tendency to
warp or twist a light frame out of shape. To keep a disk cultivator in
good working order it is necessary to go over it thoroughly before doing
heavy work. Bolts must be kept tight, all braces examined occasionally,
and the heavy nuts at the ends of the disk shafts watched. They
sometimes loosen and give trouble. The greatest difficulty in running a
disk harrow or cultivator is to keep the boxings in good trim. Wooden
boxes are provided with the implement. It is a good plan to insist on
having a full set of eight extra boxes. These wooden boxes may be made
on the farm, but it sometimes is difficult to get the right kind of
wood. They should be made of hard maple, bored according to size of
shaft, and boiled in a good quality of linseed oil. Iron boxings have
never been satisfactory on a disk implement. Wooden ones make enough
trouble, but wood has proved better than iron. On most disk cultivators
there are oil channels leading to the boxings. These channels are large
enough to carry heavy oil. The lighter grades of cylinder oil work the
best. It is difficult to cork these oil channels tight enough to keep
the sand out. Oil and sand do not work well together in a bearing. The
manufacturers of these implements could improve the oiling device by
shortening the channel and building a better housing for the oil
entrance. It is quite a job to take a disk apart to put in new boxings,
but, like all other repair work, the disk should be taken into the shop,
thoroughly cleaned, repaired, painted and oiled in the winter time.

Some double disk cultivators have tongues and some are made without.
Whether the farmer wants a tongue or not depends a good deal on the
land. The only advantage is that a tongue will hold the disk from
crowding onto the horses when it is running light along the farm lanes
or the sides of the fields with the disks set straight. Horses have been
ruined by having the sharp disks run against them when going down hill.
Such accidents always are avoidable if a man realizes the danger.
Unfortunately, farm implements are often used by men who do very little
thinking. A spring disk scraper got twisted on a root and was thrown
over the top of one of the disks so it scraped against the back of the
disk and continued to make a harsh, scraping noise until the proprietor
went to see what was wrong. The man driving the disk said he thought
something must be the matter with the cultivator, but he couldn't tell
for the life of him what it was. When farmers are up against such
difficulties it is safer to buy a disk with a tongue.

_Harrow Cart._--A small two-wheel cart with a spring seat overshadowed
with a big umbrella is sometimes called a "dude sulky." Many sensitive
farmers trudge along in the soft ground and dust behind their harrows
afraid of such old fogy ridicule. The hardest and most tiresome and
disagreeable job at seeding time is following a harrow on foot. Riding a
harrow cart in the field is conserving energy that may be applied to
better purposes after the day's work in the field is finished.


A knife-edge weeder makes the best dust mulch pulverizer for orchard
work or when preparing a seed-bed for grain. These implements are sold
under different names. It requires a stretch of imagination to attach
the word "harrow" to these knife-edge weeders. There is a central bar
which is usually a hardwood plank. The knives are bolted to the
underside of the plank and sloped backward and outward from the center
to the right and left, so that the knife-edges stand at an angle of
about 45° to the line of draught. This angle is just about sufficient to
let tough weeds slip off the edges instead of dragging along. If the
knives are sharp, they will cut tender weeds, but the tough ones must be
disposed of to prevent choking. The proper use of the knife-edge weeder
prevents weeds from growing, but in farm practice, sometimes rainy
weather prevents the use of such a tool until the weeds are well
established. As a moisture retainer, these knife-edge weeders are
superior to almost any other implement. They are made in widths of from
eight to twenty feet. The wide ones are jointed in the middle to fit
uneven ground.


The farm land drag, float, or clod crusher is useful under certain
conditions on low spots that do not drain properly. Such land must be
plowed when the main portion of the field is in proper condition, and
the result often is that the low spots are so wet that the ground packs
into lumps that an ordinary harrow will not break to pieces. Such lumps
roll out between the harrow teeth and remain on top of the ground to
interfere with cultivation. The clod crusher then rides over the lumps
and grinds them into powder. Unfortunately, clod crushers often are
depended on to remedy faulty work on ordinary land that should receive
better treatment. Many times the clod crusher is a poor remedy for poor
tillage on naturally good land that lacks humus.

[Illustration: Figure 140.--Land Float. Clod crushers and land floats
belong to the same tribe. Theoretically they are all outlaws, but some
practical farmers harbor one or more of them. Wet land, containing
considerable clay, sometimes forms into lumps which should be crushed.]

As ordinarily made, the land float or clod crusher consists of from five
to eight planks, two inches thick and ten or twelve inches wide, spiked
together in sawtooth position, the edges of the planks being lapped over
each other like clapboards in house siding. The planks are held in place
with spikes driven through into the crosspieces.


Farm rollers are used to firm the soil. Sometimes a seed-bed is worked
up so thoroughly that the ground is made too loose so the soil is too
open and porous. Seeds to germinate require that the soil grains shall
fit up closely against them. Good soil is impregnated with soil
moisture, or film moisture as it is often called, because the moisture
forms in a film around each little soil grain. In properly prepared
soil this film moisture comes in contact with the freshly sown seed. If
the temperature is right the seed swells and germination starts. The
swelling of the seed brings it in contact with more film moisture
attached to other grains of soil so the rootlet grows and pushes out
into the soil in search of moisture on its own account. A roller is
valuable to press the particles of soil together to bring the freshly
sown seeds in direct contact with as many particles of soil as possible.
Rolling land is a peculiar operation, the value of which is not always
understood. The original idea was to benefit the soil by breaking the
lumps. It may be of some benefit on certain soils for this purpose, but
the land should always be harrowed after rolling to form a dust mulch to
prevent the evaporation of moisture. Land that has been rolled and left
overnight shows damp the next morning, which is sufficient proof that
moisture is coming to the surface and is being dissipated into the
atmosphere. In the so-called humid sections of the country the great
problem is to retain moisture. Any farm implement that has a tendency to
dissipate soil moisture is a damage to the farmer. Probably nine times
out of ten a farm roller is a damage to the crop it is intended to
benefit because of the manner in which it is used. It is the abuse, not
the proper use of a roller, that injures the crop.

[Illustration: Figure 141.--Iron Land Roller Made of Boiler Plate.]

[Illustration: Figure 142.--Wooden Land Roller.]


Corn-planters are designed to plant two rows at once. The width of rows
may be adjusted from about 32 to 44 inches apart. When seed-corn is
carefully graded to size the dropping mechanism will feed out the grains
of corn regularly with very few skips. This is one reason why most
farmers plant corn in drills. There are other cultural reasons which do
not properly belong to this mechanical article. Hill dropping is
considerably more complicated and difficult. After the feeding mechanism
has been adjusted to the size of seed kernels to be planted so it will
drop four kernels in a hill then the trip chain is tried out to see if
it is right at every joint. Dropping in hills is a very careful
mechanical proposition. An inch or two out of line either way means a
loss of corn in cultivating.

In setting the stakes to go and come by, a careful measurement of the
field is necessary in order to get the stake lines on both sides of the
field parallel. If the ring stakes are driven accurately on the line,
then the first hill of corn must come at the same distance from the line
in each row. Likewise in starting back from the far side of the field
the first hill should measure exactly the same distance from the stake
line as the first hills on the opposite side of the field. This is
easily managed by counting the number of trips between the stake line
and the first row of corn hills. If the two lines of stakes on the
opposite sides of the field are exactly parallel it is not necessary to
move either line in order to get the proper distance to start dropping,
but it must be adjusted by measurement, otherwise the corn hills will be
dodged. If the corn hills are to space three feet apart then the first
row of hills should come nine or twelve feet from the stake line. Stakes
may be measured and set a certain number of inches from the line to make
the distance come right. This careful adjustment brings the hills in
line in the rows.

When the field is level or gently sloping there is no difficulty in
making straight rows so far as check rowing is concerned. When the field
is hilly another problem crops up. It is almost impossible to run corn
rows along the side of a hill and keep them straight. The planter has a
tendency to slide downhill. Also the distance across a field is greater
where the rows pass over a hill. To keep the rows straight under such
conditions allowance must be made for the stretch over the hill as well
as for the side thrust of the planter. Where a chain marker is used it
hangs downhill and a further allowance must be made for that. A good
driver will skip an inch or so above the mark so that the rows will be
planted fairly straight. This means a good deal more in check rowing
than when the corn is planted in drills. The greatest objection to hill
planting is the crowding of four corn plants into a space that should be
occupied by one plant.

A great many experiments have been tried to scatter the seeds in the
hill, so far without definite results, except when considerable
additional expense is incurred. However, a cone suspended below the end
of the dropping tube usually will scatter the seeds so that no two seeds
will touch each other. They may not drop and scatter four or five inches
apart, but these little cones will help a good deal. They must be
accurately adjusted so the point of the cone will center in the middle
of the vertical delivery tube, and there must be plenty of room all
around the cone so the corn seed kernels won't stick. The braces that
hold the cones in place for the same reason must be turned edge up and
supported in such a way as to leave plenty of clearance. The idea is
that four kernels of corn drop together. They strike the cone and are
scattered in different directions. They naturally fly to the outsides of
the drill mark which scatters them as wide apart as the width of the
shoe that opens the drill. The advantage of scattering seed grains in
the hill has been shown by accurate experiments conducted at different
times by agricultural colleges.


To know exactly how much seed the grain drill is using it is necessary
to know how many acres are contained in the field. Most drills have an
attachment that is supposed to measure how many acres and fractions of
acres the drill covers. Farmers know how much grain each sack contains,
so they can estimate as they go along, provided the drill register is
correct. It is better to provide a check on the drill indicator. Have
the field measured, then drive stakes along one side, indicating one
acre, five acres and ten acres. When the one-acre stake is reached the
operator can estimate very closely whether the drill is using more or
less seed than the indicator registers. When the five-acre stake is
reached another proof is available, and so on across the field. Next in
importance to the proper working of the drill is straight rows. The only
way to avoid gaps is to drive straight. The only way to drive straight
is to sight over the wheel that follows the last drill mark. Farmers
sometimes like to ride on the grain drill, which places the wheel
sighting proposition out of the question. A harrow cart may be hitched
behind the wheel of the grain drill, but it gives a side draft. The only
way to have straight rows and thorough work is to walk behind the end of
the drill. This is the proper way to use a drill, anyway, because a
tooth may clog up any minute. Unless the operator is walking behind the
drill he is not in position to see quickly whether every tooth is
working properly or not. It is hard work to follow a drill all day long,
but it pays at harvest time. It costs just as much to raise a crop of
grain that only covers part of the ground, and it seems too bad to miss
the highest possible percentage to save a little hard work at planting


Special crops require special implements. After they are provided, the
equipment must be kept busy in order to make it pay. If a farmer
produces five acres of potatoes he needs a potato cutter, a planter, a
riding cultivator, a sprayer that works under high pressure, a digger
and a sorter. The same outfit will answer for forty acres, which would
reduce the per acre cost considerably. No farmer can afford to grow five
acres of potatoes without the necessary machinery, because hand labor is
out of the question for work of that kind.

On the right kind of soil, and within reach of the right market,
potatoes are money-makers. But they must be grown every year because the
price of potatoes fluctuates more than any other farm crop. Under the
right conditions potatoes grown for five years with proper care and good
management are sure to make money. One year out of five will break even,
two years will make a little money and the other two years will make big
money. At the end of five years, with good business management, the
potato machinery will be all paid for, and there will be a substantial


In growing onions and other truck crops, where the rows are too close
together for horse cultivation, the wheel hoe is valuable. In fact, it
is almost indispensable when such crops are grown extensively. The best
wheel hoes have a number of attachments. When the seed-bed has been
carefully prepared, and the soil is fine and loose, the wheel hoe may be
used as soon as the young plants show above ground. Men who are
accustomed to operating a wheel hoe become expert. They can work almost
as close to the growing plants with an implement of this kind as they
can with an ordinary hand hoe. The wheel hoe, or hand cultivator, works
the ground on both sides of the row at once, and it does it quickly, so
that very little hand weeding is necessary.




About the first contrivance for raking hay by horse power consisted of a
stick eight or ten feet long with double-end teeth running through it,
and pointing in two directions. These rakes were improved from time to
time, until they reached perfection for this kind of tool. They have
since been superseded by spring-tooth horse rakes, except for certain
purposes. For pulling field peas, and some kinds of beans, the old style
revolving horse rake is still in use.

[Illustration: Figure 143.--Grass Hook, for working around borders where
the lawn-mower is too clumsy.]

[Illustration: Figure 144.--Revolving Hayrake. The center piece is 4" x
6" x 12' long. The teeth are double enders 1-3/8" square and 4' 6" long,
which allows 24" of rake tooth clear of the center timber. Every stick
in the rake is carefully selected. It is drawn by one horse. If the
center teeth stick into the ground either the horse must stop instantly,
or the rake must flop over, or there will be a repair job. This
invention has never been improved upon for pulling Canada peas.]

Improved revolving horse rakes have a center timber of hardwood about 4
x 6 inches in diameter. The corners are rounded to facilitate sliding
over the ground. A rake twelve feet long will have about eighteen
double-end teeth. The teeth project about two and one-half feet each way
from the center timber. Each tooth is rounded up, sled-runner fashion,
at each end so it will point forward and slide along over and close to
the ground without catching fast. There is an iron pull rod, or long
hook, attached to each end of the center bar by means of a bolt that
screws into the center of the end of the wooden center shaft, thus
forming a gudgeon pin so the shaft can revolve. Two handles are fastened
by band iron straps to rounded recesses or girdles cut around the center
bar. These girdles are just far enough apart for a man to walk between
and to operate the handles. Wooden, or iron lugs, reach down from the
handles with pins projecting from their sides to engage the rake teeth.
Two pins project from the left lug and three from the right. Sometimes
notches are made in the lugs instead of pins. Notches are better; they
may be rounded up to prevent catching when the rake revolves. As the
rake slides along, the driver holds the rake teeth in the proper
position by means of the handles. When sufficient load has been gathered
he engages the upper notch in the right hand lug, releases the left and
raises the other sufficient to point the teeth into the ground. The pull
of the horse turns the rake over and the man grasps the teeth again with
the handle lugs as before. Unless the driver is careful the teeth may
stick in the ground and turn over before he is ready for it. It requires
a little experience to use such a rake to advantage. No better or
cheaper way has ever been invented for harvesting Canada peas. The only
objections are that it shells some of the riper pods and it gathers up a
certain amount of earth with the vines which makes dusty threshing.

[Illustration: Figure 145.--Buck Rake. When hay is stacked in the field
a four-horse buck rake is the quickest way to bring the hay to the
stack. The buck rake shown is 16 feet wide and the 2 x 4 teeth are 11
feet long. Two horses are hitched to each end and two drivers stand on
the ends of the buck rake to operate it. The load is pushed under the
horse fork, the horses are swung outward and the buck rake is dragged


The hay-tedder is an English invention, which has been adopted by
farmers in rainy sections of the United States. It is an energetic
kicker that scatters the hay swaths and drops the hay loosely to dry
between showers. Hay may be made quickly by starting the tedder an hour
behind the mowing machine.

It is quite possible to cut timothy hay in the morning and put it in the
mow in the afternoon, by shaking it up thoroughly once or twice with the
hay-tedder. When clover is mixed with the timothy, it is necessary to
leave it in the field until the next day, but the time between cutting
and mowing is shortened materially by the use of the tedder.

Grass cut for hay may be kicked apart in the field early during the
wilting process without shattering the leaves. If left too long, then
the hay-tedder is a damage because it kicks the leaves loose from the
stems and the most valuable feeding material is wasted. But it is a good
implement if rightly used. In catchy weather it often means the
difference between bright, valuable hay and black, musty stuff, that is
hardly fit to feed.

Hay-tedders are expensive. Where two farmers neighbor together the
expense may be shared, because the tedder does its work in two or three
hours' time. Careful farmers do not cut down much grass at one time. The
tedder scatters two mowing swaths at once. In fact the mowing machine,
hay-tedder and horserake should all fit together for team work so they
will follow each other without skips or unnecessary laps. The dividing
board of the mowing-machine marks a path for one of the horses to follow
and it is difficult to keep him out of it. But two horses pulling a
hay-tedder will straddle the open strip between the swaths when the
tedder is twice the width of the cut.


[Illustration: Figure 146.--Hay Skid. This hay skid is 8 feet wide and
16 feet long. It is made of 7/8" lumber put together with 2" carriage
bolts--plenty of them. The round boltheads are countersunk into the
bottom of the skid and the nuts are drawn down tight on the cleats. It
makes a low-down, easy-pitching, hay-hauling device.]

[Illustration: Figure 147.--Hay Sling. It takes no longer to hoist 500
pounds of hay than 100 pounds if the rig is large and strong enough.
Four feet wide by ten feet in length is about right for handling hay
quickly. But the toggle must reach to the ends of the rack if used on a

[Illustration: Figure 148.--(1) Four-Tined Derrick Fork. (2) Pea Guard.
An extension guard to lift pea-vines high enough for the sickle is the
cleanest way to harvest Canada peas. The old-fashioned way of pulling
peas with a dull scythe has gone into oblivion. But the heavy bearing
varieties still persist in crawling on the ground. If the vines are
lifted and cut clean they can be raked into windrows with a spring tooth
hayrake. (3) Haystack Knife. This style of hay-cutting knife is used
almost universally on stacks and in hay-mows. There is less use for
hay-knives since farmers adopted power hayforks to lift hay out of a mow
as well as to put it in.]

Hay slips, or hay skids, are used on the old smooth fields in the
eastern states. They are usually made of seven-eighths-inch boards
dressed preferably on one side only. They are used smooth side to the
ground to slip along easily. Rough side is up to better hold the hay
from slipping. The long runner boards are held together by cross pieces
made of inch boards twelve inches wide and well nailed at each
intersection with nails well clinched. Small carriage bolts are better
than nails but the heads should be countersunk into the bottom with the
points up. They should be used without washers and the ends of the
bolts cut close to the sunken nuts. The front end of the skid is rounded
up slightly, sled runner fashion, as much as the boards will bear, to
avoid digging into the sod to destroy either the grass roots or crowns
of the plants. Hay usually is forked by hand from the windrows on to the
skids. Sometimes hay slings are placed on the skids and the hay is
forked on to the slings carefully in layers lapped over each other in
such a way as to hoist on to the stack without spilling out at the
sides. Four hundred to eight hundred pounds makes a good load for one
of these skids, according to horse power and unevenness of the ground.
They save labor, as compared to wagons, because there is no pitching up.
All hoisting is supposed to be done by horse power with the aid of a hay

[Illustration: Figure 149.--Double Harpoon Hayfork. This is a large size
fork with extra long legs. For handling long hay that hangs together
well this fork is a great success. It may be handled as quickly as a
smaller fork and it carries a heavy load.]

[Illustration: Figure 150.--Six-Tined Grapple Hayfork. It is balanced to
hang as shown in the drawing when empty. It sinks into the hay easily
and dumps quickly when the clutch is released.]


Two derricks for stacking hay, that are used extensively in the alfalfa
districts of Idaho, are shown in the illustration, Figure 151. The
derrick to the left is made with a square base of timbers which
supports an upright mast and a horizontal boom. The timber base is
sixteen feet square, made of five sticks of timber, each piece being 8 x
8 inches square by 16 feet in length. Two of the timbers rest flat on
the ground and are rounded up at the ends to facilitate moving the
derrick across the stubble ground or along the road to the next
hayfield. These sleigh runner timbers are notched on the upper side near
each end and at the middle to receive the three cross timbers. The cross
timbers also are notched or recessed about a half inch deep to make a
sort of double mortise. The timbers are bound together at the
intersections by iron U-clamps that pass around both timbers and fasten
through a flat iron plate on top of the upper timbers. These flat plates
or bars have holes near the ends and the threaded ends of the U-irons
pass through these holes and the nuts are screwed down tight. The
sleigh runner timbers are recessed diagonally across the bottom to fit
the round U-irons which are let into the bottoms of the timbers just
enough to prevent scraping the earth when the derrick is being moved.
These iron U-clamp fasteners are much stronger and better than bolts
through the timbers.

[Illustration: Figure 151.--Idaho Hay Derricks. Two styles of hay
derricks are used to stack alfalfa hay in Idaho. The drawing to the left
shows the one most in use because it is easier made and easier to move.
The derrick to the right usually is made larger and more powerful. Wire
cable is generally used with both derricks because rope wears out
quickly. They are similar in operation but different in construction.
The base of each is 16 feet square and the high ends of the booms reach
up nearly 40 feet. A single hayfork rope, or wire cable, is used; it is
about 65 feet long. The reach is sufficient to drop the hay in the
center of a stack 24 feet wide.]

[Illustration: Figure 152.--Hay Carrier Carriage. Powerful carriers are
part of the new barn. The track is double and the wheels run on both
tracks to stand a side pull and to start quickly and run steadily when
the clutch is released.]

[Illustration: Figure 153.--(1) Hayfork Hitch. A whiffletree pulley
doubles the speed of the fork. The knot in the rope gives double power
to start the load. (2) Rafter Grapple, for attaching an extra pulley to
any part of the barn roof.]

There are timber braces fitted across the corners which are bolted
through the outside timbers to brace the frame against a diamond
tendency when moving the derrick. There is considerable strain when
passing over uneven ground. It is better to make the frame so solid that
it cannot get out of square. The mast is a stick of timber 8 inches
square and 20 or 24 feet long. This mast is securely fastened solid to
the center of the frame by having the bottom end mortised into the
center cross timber at the middle and it is braced solid and held
perpendicular to the framework by 4" x 4" wooden braces at the corners.
These braces are notched at the top ends to fit the corners of the mast
and are beveled at the bottom ends to fit flat on top of the timbers.
They are held in place by bolts and by strap iron or band iron bands.
These bands are drilled with holes and are spiked through into the
timbers with four-inch or five-inch wire nails. Holes are drilled
through the band iron the right size and at the proper places for the
nails. The mast is made round at the top and is fitted with a heavy
welded iron ring or band to prevent splitting. The boom is usually about
30 feet long. Farmers prefer a round pole when they can get it. It is
attached to the top of the mast by an iron stirrup made by a blacksmith.
This stirrup is made to fit loosely half way around the boom one-third
of the way up from the big end, which makes the small end of the boom
project 20 feet out from the upper end of the mast. The iron stirrup is
made heavy and strong. It has a round iron gudgeon 1-1/2" in diameter
that reaches down into the top of the mast about 18 inches. The shoulder
of the stirrup is supported by a square, flat iron plate which rests on
and covers the top of the mast and has the corners turned down. It is
made large to shed water and protect the top of the mast. This plate has
a hole one and a half inches in diameter in the center through which the
stirrup gudgeon passes as it enters the top of the mast. A farm chain,
or logging chain, is fastened to the large end of the boom by passing
the chain around the boom and engaging the round hook. The grab hook end
of the chain is passed around the timber below and is hooked back to
give it the right length, which doubles the part of the chain within
reach of the man in charge. This double end of the chain is lengthened
or shortened to elevate the outer end of the boom to fit the stack. The
small outer end of the boom is thus raised as the stack goes up.

[Illustration: Figure 154.--Hay Rope Pulleys. The housing of the pulley
to the left prevents the rope from running off the sheaves.]

An ordinary horse fork and tackle is used to hoist the hay. Three single
pulleys are attached, one to the outer end of the boom, one near the top
of the mast, and the other at the bottom of the mast so that the rope
passes easily and freely through the three pulleys and at the same time
permits the boom to swing around as the fork goes up from the wagon rack
over the stack. This swinging movement is regulated by tilting the
derrick towards the stack so that the boom swings over the stack by its
own weight or by the weight of the hay on the horse fork. Usually a wire
truss is rigged over the boom to stiffen it. The wire is attached to the
boom at both ends and the middle of the wire is sprung up to rest on a
bridge placed over the stirrup.

[Illustration: Figure 155.--Gambrel Whiffletree, for use in hoisting hay
to prevent entanglements. It is also handy when cultivating around

Farmers like this simple form of hay derrick because it is cheaply made
and it may be easily moved because it is not heavy. It is automatic and
it is about as cheap as any good derrick and it is the most satisfactory
for ordinary use. The base is large enough to make it solid and steady
when in use. Before moving the point of the boom is lowered to a level
position so that the derrick is not top-heavy. There is little danger
of upsetting upon ordinary farm lands. Also the width of 16 feet will
pass along country roads without meeting serious obstacles. Hay slings
usually are made too narrow and too short. The ordinary little hay sling
is prone to tip sideways and spill the hay. It is responsible for a
great deal of profanity. The hay derrick shown to the right is somewhat
different in construction, but is quite similar in action. The base is
the same but the mast turns on a gudgeon stepped into an iron socket
mortised into the center timber.

[Illustration: Figure 156.--Cable Hay Stacker. The wire cable is
supported by the two bipods and is secured at each end by snubbing
stakes. Two single-cable collars are clamped to the cable to prevent the
bipods from slipping in at the top. Two double-cable clamps hold the
ends of the cables to form stake loops.]

The wire hoisting cable is threaded differently, as shown in the
drawing. This style of derrick is made larger, sometimes the peak
reaches up 40' above the base. The extra large ones are awkward to move
but they build fine big stacks.

[Illustration: Figure 157.--California Hay Ricker, for putting either
wild hay or alfalfa quickly in ricks. It is used in connection with
home-made buck rakes. This ricker works against the end of the rick and
is backed away each time to start a new bench. The upright is made of
light poles or 2 x 4s braced as shown. It should be 28 or 30 feet high.
Iron stakes hold the bottom, while guy wires steady the top.]


In the West hay is often put up in long ricks instead of stacks. One of
my jobs in California was to put up 2,700 acres of wild hay in the
Sacramento Valley. I made four rickers and eight buck rakes similar to
the ones shown in the illustrations. Each ricker was operated by a crew
of eight men. Four men drove two buck rakes. There were two on the rick,
one at the fork and one to drive the hoisting rig. Ten mowing machines
did most of the cutting but I hired eight more machines towards the
last, as the latest grass was getting too ripe. The crop measured more
than 2,100 tons and it was all put in ricks, stacks and barns without a
drop of rain on it. I should add that rain seldom falls in the lower
Sacramento Valley during the haying season in the months of May and
June. This refers to wild hay, which is made up of burr clover, wild
oats and volunteer wheat and barley.

Alfalfa is cut from five to seven times in the hot interior valleys, so
that if a farmer is rash enough to plant alfalfa under irrigation his
haying thereafter will reach from one rainy season to the next.




One of the most useful and one of the least ornamental conveyances on a
farm is the stone-boat. It is a low-down handy rig for moving heavy
commodities in summer as well as in winter. No other sleigh or wagon
will equal a stone-boat for carrying plows or harrows from one field to
another. It is handy to tote bags of seed to supply the grain drill, to
haul a barrel of water, feed for the hogs, and a great many other

[Illustration: Figure 158.--Stone-Boat. Stump logs are selected for the
planks. The bend of the planks is the natural curve of the large roots.
The sawing is done by band saw cutting from two directions.]

When the country was new, sawmills made a business of sawing stone-boat
plank. Trees for stone-boat staves were cut close to the ground and the
natural crooks of the roots were used for the noses of sleigh runners
and for stone-boats. But cast-iron noses are now manufactured with
recesses to receive the ends of straight ordinary hardwood planks. These
cast-iron ends are rounded up in front to make the necessary nose
crook. The front plank cross piece is bolted well towards the front ends
of the runner planks. Usually there are two other hardwood plank cross
pieces, one near the rear end and the other about one-third of the way
back from the front. Placing the cross pieces in this way gives room
between to stand a barrel.

[Illustration: Figure 159.--Wheelbarrow. This factory-made wheelbarrow
is the only pattern worth bothering with. It is cheap and answers the
purpose better than the heavier ones with removable side wings.]

The cross pieces are bolted through from the bottom up. Round-headed
bolts are used and they are countersunk, to come flush with the bottom
of the sliding planks. The nuts are countersunk into the cross pieces by
boring holes about one-quarter inch deep. The holes are a little larger
than the cornerwise diameter of the nuts. No washers are used, and the
nuts are screwed down tight into the plank. The ends of the bolts are
cut off even and filed smooth. The nuts are placed sharp corner side
down and are left nearly flush on top or even with the surface of the
cross pieces. In using a stone-boat, nobody wants a projection to catch
any part of the load.

Regular doubletree clevises are attached to the corners of the
old-fashioned stone-boat and the side chains are brought together to a
ring and are just about long enough to form an equilateral triangle with
the front end of the stone-boat. Cast-iron fronts usually have a
projection in the center for the clevis hitch.


One of the most interesting experiences on a New England farm is to get
acquainted with the manner in which oxen are pressed into farm service.
One reason why oxen have never gone out of fashion in New England is the
fact that they are patient enough to plow stony ground without smashing
the plow.

A great deal of New England farm land has been reclaimed by removing a
portion of the surface stone. In the processes of freezing and thawing
and cultivation, stones from underneath keep working up to the surface
so that it requires considerable skill to do the necessary plowing and
cultivating. Oxen ease the plowpoint over or around a rock so it can
immediately dip in again to the full depth of the furrow. A good yoke of
cattle well trained are gentle as well as strong and powerful.

Oxen are cheaper than horses to begin with and they are valuable for
beef when they are not needed any longer as work animals. The Holstein
breed seems to have the preference for oxen with New England farmers.
The necessary harness for a pair of cattle consists of an ox yoke with a
ringbolt through the center of the yoke, midway between the two oxen. A
heavy iron ring about five inches in diameter, made of round iron, hangs
from the ringbolt. There are two oxbows to hold the yoke in place on the
necks of the cattle. A logging chain with a round hook on one end and a
grab hook on the other end completes the yoking outfit.

The round hook of the chain is hitched into the ring in the plow clevis.
The chain is passed through the large iron ring in the oxbow and is
doubled back to get the right length. The grab hook is so constructed
that it fits over one link of the chain flatwise so that the next link
standing crosswise prevents it from slipping.

The mechanism of a logging chain is extremely simple, positive in action
and especially well adapted to the use for which it is intended. The
best mechanical inventions often pass without notice because of their
simplicity. Farmers have used logging chains for generations with hooks
made on this plan without realizing that they were profiting by a high
grade invention that embodies superior merit.

In yoking oxen to a wagon the hitch is equally simple. The end of the
wagon tongue is placed in the ring in the ox yoke, the round hook
engages with a drawbolt under the hammer strap bar. The small grab hook
is passed through the large yoke ring and is brought back and engaged
with a chain link at the proper distance to stretch the chain taut.

The process of yoking oxen and hitching them to a wagon is one of the
most interesting performances on a farm. The off ox works on the off
side, or far side from the driver. He usually is the larger of the two
and the more intelligent. The near (pronounced n-i-g-h) ox is nearest to
the driver who walks to the left. Old plows turned the furrow to the
right so the driver could walk on hard ground. In this way the
awkwardness and ignorance of the near ox is played against the docility
and superior intelligence of the off ox. In yoking the two together the
yoke is first placed on the neck of the off ox and the near ox is
invited to come under. This expression is so apt that a great many years
ago it became a classic in the hands of able writers to suggest
submission or slavery termed "coming under the yoke." Coming under the
yoke, however, for the New England ox, in these days of abundant
feeding, is no hardship. The oxen are large and powerful and the work
they have to do is just about sufficient to give them the needed
exercise to enjoy their alfalfa hay and feed of oats or corn.


One of the first implements used by farm settlers in the timbered
sections of the United States and Canada, was a three-cornered sled made
from the fork of a tree. This rough sled, in the French speaking
settlements, was called a "travoy." Whether it was of Indian or French
invention is not known; probably both Indians and French settlers used
travoys for moving logs in the woods before American history was much
written. The legs or runners of a travoy are about five feet long. There
is a bunk which extends crossways from one runner to the other, about
half or two-thirds of the way back from the turned-up nose. This bunk is
fastened to the runners by means of wooden pins and U-shaped bows fitted
into grooves cut around the upper half of the bunk near the ends. Just
back of the turned up nose is another cross piece in the shape of a
stout wooden pin or iron bolt that is passed through an auger hole
extending through both legs from side to side of the travoy. The
underside of the crotch is hollowed out in front of the bolt to make
room to pass the logging chain through so it comes out in front under
the turned up nose.

[Illustration: Figure 160.--Travoy. A log-hauling sled made from the
fork of a tree.]

The front of the travoy is turned up, sled runner fashion, by hewing the
wood with an axe to give it the proper shape. Travoys are used to haul
logs from a thick woods to the skidways. The manner of using a travoy is
interesting. It is hauled by a yoke of cattle or a team of horses to the
place where the log lies in the woods. The round hook end of the logging
chain is thrown over the butt end of the log and pulled back under the
log then around the bunk just inside of the runner and hooked fast upon
itself. The travoy is then leaned over against the log, the grab hook
end of the chain is brought over the log and over the travoy and
straightened out at right angles to the log. The cattle are hitched to
the end of the logging chain and started. This kind of a hitch rolls the
log over on top of the bunk on the travoy. The cattle are then
unhitched. The grab hook end of the chain thus released is passed down
and around under the other end of the bunk from behind. The chain is
then passed over the bolt near the nose of the travoy and pulled down
through the opening and out in front from under the nose. The small
grab hook of the logging chain is then passed through the clevis, in the
doubletree, if horses are used, or the ring in the yoke if cattle are
used, and hitched back to the proper length. A little experience is
necessary to regulate the length of the chain to give the proper pull.
The chain should be short enough so the pull lifts a little. It is
generally conceded by woodsmen that a short hitch moves a log easier
than a long hitch. However, there is a medium. There are limitations
which experience only can determine. A travoy is useful in dense woods
where there is a good deal of undergrowth or where there are places so
rough that bobsleighs cannot be used to advantage.


[Illustration: Figure 161.--Cross Reach Wagon. This wagon is coupled for
a trailer, but it works just as well when used with a tongue and horses
as a handy farm wagon. The bunks are made rigid and parallel by means of
a double reach. There are two king bolts to permit both axles to turn.
Either end is front.]

[Illustration: Figure 162.--Wagon Brake. The hounds are tilted up to
show the brake beam and the manner of attaching it. The brake lever is
fastened to the forward side of the rear bolster and turns up alongside
of the bolster stake. The brake rod reaches from the upper end of the
lever elbow to the foot ratchet at the front end of the wagon box.]

[Illustration: Figure 163.--Bolster Spring.]

In some parts of the country the wheels of handy wagons about the farm
are held on axle journals by means of linchpins in the old-fashioned
manner. There are iron hub-bands on both ends of the hubs which project
several inches beyond the wood. This is the best protection against sand
to prevent it from working into the wheel boxing that has ever been
invented. Sand from the felloes scatters down onto these iron bands and
rolls off to the ground. There is a hole through each band on the outer
ends of the hubs to pass the linchpin through so that before taking off
a wheel to oil the journal it must first be turned so the hole comes
directly over the linchpin. To pry out the linchpin the drawbolt is
used. Old-fashioned drawbolts were made with a chisel shaped end tapered
from both sides to a thickness of about an eighth of an inch. This thin
wedge end of the drawbolt is placed under the end of the linchpin. The
lower side of the hub-band forms a fulcrum to pry the pin up through the
hole in the upper side of the sand-band projection. The linchpin has a
hook on the outer side of the upper end so the lever is transferred to
the top of the sand-band when another pry lifts the pin clear out of the
hole in the end of the axle so the wheel may be removed and grease
applied to the axle. The drawbolt on a linchpin wagon usually has a
head made in the form of the jaws of a wrench. The wrench is the right
size to fit the nuts on the wagon brace irons so that the drawbolt
answers three purposes.

[Illustration: Figure 164.--Wagon Seat Spring. The metal block fits over
the top of the bolster stake.]

[Illustration: Figure 165.--Hollow Malleable Iron Bolster Stake to hold
a higher wooden stake when necessary.]


Many parts of farm machinery require projecting sand-bands to protect
the journals from sand and dust. Most farms have some sandy fields or
ridges. Some farms are all sand or sandy loam. Even dust from clay is
injurious to machinery. There is more or less grit in the finest clay.
The most important parts of farm machinery are supposed to be protected
by oil-cups containing cotton waste to strain the oil, together with
covers in the shape of metal caps. These are necessary protections and
they help, but they are not adequate for all conditions. It is not easy
to keep sand out of bearings on machinery that shakes a good deal.
Wooden plugs gather sand and dust. When a plug is pulled the sand drops
into the oil hole. Farm machinery that is properly designed protects
itself from sand and dust. In buying a machine this particular feature
should appeal to the farmers more than it does. Leather caps are a
nuisance. They are a sort of patchwork to finish the job that the
manufacturer commences. A man who is provident enough to supply himself
with good working tools and is sufficiently careful to take care of
them, usually is particular about the appearance as well as the
usefulness of his tools, machinery and implements.

[Illustration: Figure 166.--Sand Caps. Not one manufacturer in a hundred
knows how to keep sand out of an axle bearing. Still it is one of the
simplest tricks in mechanics. The only protection an axle needs is long
ferrules that reach out three or four inches beyond the hub at both
ends. Old-fashioned Linchpin farm wagons were built on this principle.
The hubs held narrow rings instead of skeins, but they wore for years.]


On Northern farms bobsleighs are as important in the winter time as a
farm wagon in summer. There are different ways of putting bobsleighs
together according to the use required of them. When using heavy
bobsleighs for road work, farmers favor the bolster reach to connect the
front and rear sleighs. With this attachment the horses may be turned
around against the rear sled. The front bolster fits into a recessed
plate bolted to the bench plank of the front sleigh. This plate is a
combination of wearing plate and circle and must be kept oiled to turn
easily under a heavy load. It not only facilitates turning, but it
prevents the bolster from catching on the raves or on the upturned nose
of the front bob when turning short.

The heavy hardwood plank reach that connects the two bolsters is put
through a mortise through the front bolster and is fastened rigidly by
an extra large king-bolt. The reach plays back and forth rather loosely
through a similar mortise in the other bolster on the rear sleigh. The
rear hounds connect with the reach by means of a link and pin. This link
pushes up through mortise holes in the reach and is fastened with a
wooden pin or key on top of the reach. Sometimes the hounds are taken
away and the reach is fastened with pins before and behind the rear
bolster. This reach hitch is not recommended except for light road work.
These two ways of attaching the rear sled necessitate different ways of
fastening the rear bolster to the sled. When the rear bolster is
required to do the pulling, it is attached to the sled by double
eyebolts which permit the necessary rocking motion and allows the nose
of the rear sled to bob up and down freely. This is an advantage when a
long box bed is used, because the bolster is made to fit the box closely
and is not continually oscillating and wearing. Eye-bolts provide for
this natural movement of the sled. Light pleasure bobs are attached to
the box with eyebolts without bolster stakes. The light passenger riding
seat box is bound together with iron braces and side irons so it does
not need bolsters to hold the sides together.

[Illustration: Figure 167.--Bobsleighs, Showing Three Kinds of Coupling.
The upper sleighs are coupled on the old-fashioned short reach plan
except that the reach is not mortised into the roller. It is gained in a
quarter of an inch and fastened by an iron strap with a plate and nuts
on the under side. The bobs in the center show the bolster reach,
principally used for road work. The bottom pair are coupled by cross
chains for short turning around trees and stumps in the woods.]

Bobsleighs for use in the woods are hitched together quite differently.
The old-fashioned reach with a staple in the rear bench of the first
sled and a clevis in the end of the reach is the old-fashioned rig for
rough roads in the woods. Such sleighs are fitted with bunks instead of
bolsters. Bunks are usually cut from good hardwood trees, hewed out with
an axe and bored for round stakes. Log bunks for easy loading do not
project beyond the raves. With this kind of a rig, a farmer can fasten
two logging chains to the reach, carry the grab hook ends out and under
and around the log and back again over the sleighs, and then hitch the
horses to the two chains and roll the log up over a couple of skids and
on to the bunks without doing any damage to the bobsleighs. Bobsleighs
hitched together with an old-fashioned reach and provided with wide
heavy raves will climb over logs, pitch down into root holes, and weave
their way in and out among trees better than any other sled contrivance,
and they turn short enough for such roads. The shortest turning rig,
however, is the cross chain reach shown in Figure 167.


A two-wheeled cart large enough to carry a barrel of cider is a great
convenience on a farm. The front wheels of a buggy are about the right
size and usually are strong enough for cart purposes. A one-inch iron
axle will be stiff enough if it is reinforced at the square bends. The
axle is bent down near the hubs at right angles and carried across to
support the floor of the cart box about one foot from the ground. The
distance from the ground should be just sufficient so that when the cart
is tipped back the hind end will rest on the ground with the bottom
boards at an easy slant to roll a barrel or milk can into the bottom of
the box. Under the back end of the cart platform is a good stout bar of
hardwood framed into the sidepieces. All of the woodwork about the cart
is well braced with iron. The floor of the cart is better when made of
narrow matched hardwood flooring about seven-eighths of an inch thick
fastened with bolts. It should be well supported by cross pieces
underneath. In fact the principal part of the box is the underneath part
of the frame.

Sidepieces of the box are wide and are bolted to the vertical parts of
the axle and braced in different directions to keep the frame solid,
square and firm. The sides of the box are permanently fastened but both
tailboard and front board are held in place by cleats and rods and are
removable so that long scantling or lumber may be carried on the cart
bottom. The ends of the box may be quickly put in place again when it is
necessary to use them.

To hold a cart box together, four rods are necessary, two across the
front and two behind. They are made like tailboard rods in wagon boxes.
There is always some kind of tongue or handle bar in front of the farm
cart conveniently arranged for either pulling or pushing. If a breast
bar is used it handles better when supported by two curved projecting
shafts or pieces of bent wood, preferably the bent up extended ends of
the bedpieces. The handle bar should be about three feet from the

[Illustration: Figure 168.--Farm Cart. The axle need not be heavier than
7/8". The hind axle of a light buggy works the best. It is bent down and
spliced and welded under the box. The cart should be made narrow to
prevent overloading. The box should be low enough to rest the back end
on the ground at an angle of about 35° for easy loading.]


A pair of shafts that look a good deal too long, an axle, two wheels and
a whiffletree are the principal parts of a colt-breaking sulky. The
shafts are so long that a colt can kick his best without reaching
anything behind. The principal danger is that he may come down with one
hind leg over the shaft. It is a question with horsemen whether it is
better to first start a colt alongside of an old, steady horse. But it
is generally conceded that in no case should a colt be made fast in such
a way that he could kick himself loose. Different farmers have different
ideas in regard to training colts, but these breaking carts with extra
long shafts are very much used in some parts of the country. The shafts
are heavy enough so that the colts may be tied down to make kicking
impossible. A rope or heavy strap reaching from one shaft to the other
over the colt's hips will keep its hind feet pretty close to the ground.
Any rig used in connection with a colt should be strong enough to
withstand any strain that the colt may decide to put upon it. If the
colt breaks something or breaks loose, it takes him a long time to
forget the scare. Farm boys make these breaking carts by using wheels
and hind axles of a worn-out buggy. This is well enough if the wheels
are strong and shafts thoroughly bolted and braced. It is easy to make a
mistake with a colt. To prevent accidents it is much better to have the
harness and wagon amply strong.

[Illustration: Figure 169.--Colt-Breaking Sulky. The axle and hind
wheels of a light wagon, two strong straight-grained shafts about 4 feet
too long, a whiffletree and a spring seat are the principal parts of a
colt-breaking sulky. The shafts and seat are thoroughly well bolted and
clipped to the axle and braced against all possible maneuvers of the
colt. The traces are made so long that the colt cannot reach anything to
kick, and he is prevented from kicking by a strap reaching from one
shaft up over his hips and down to the other shaft. In this rig the colt
is compelled to go ahead because he cannot turn around. The axle should
be longer than standard to prevent upsetting when the colt turns a
corner at high speed.]




[Illustration: Figure 170.--Perspective View of Two-Story Corn Crib. The
side of the building is cut away to show the elevating machinery.]

Business farming requires an office. Business callers feel sensitive
about talking farm or live-stock affairs before several members of the
family. But they are quite at ease when alone with the farmer in his
office. A farm office may be small but it should contain a desk or
table, two or three chairs, book shelves for books, drawers for
government bulletins and a cabinet to hold glassware and chemicals for
making soil tests and a good magnifying glass for examining seeds before
planting. A good glass is also valuable in tracing the destructive work
of many kinds of insect pests.

[Illustration: Figure 171.--Floor Plans of Two-Story Corn Crib. The
first floor shows the driveway with corn cribs at the sides and the
second floor plan shows the grain bins over the center driveway, with
location of the downspouts, stairway, etc.]

The office is the proper place for making germination tests of various
farm seeds. Seventy degrees of heat is necessary for the best results in
seed testing. For this reason, as well as for comfort while working, the
heating problem should receive its share of attention. Many times it so
happens that a farmer has a few minutes just before mealtime that he
could devote to office work if the room be warm enough.

[Illustration: Figure 172.--Economy of Round Barn. The diagrams show
that the popular 36' x 80' cow stable and the commonest size of round
barn have about the same capacity. Each barn will stable forty cows, but
the round barn has room for a silo in the center. Both barns have feed
overhead in the shape of hay and straw, but the round feed room saves

[Illustration: Figure 173.--Concrete Farm Scale Base and Pit.]

Neatly printed letter-heads and envelopes are important. The sheets of
paper should be eight and a half by eleven inches in size, pure white
and of good quality. The printing should be plain black and of round
medium-sized letters that may be easily read. Fancy lettering and
flourishes are out of place on business stationery.

[Illustration: Figure 174.--Top View of the Hay-Track Roof Extension,
showing the ridgeboard and supporting jack-rafters.]

[Illustration: Figure 175.--Side view showing plan for building a
Hayfork Hood to project from peak of a storage barn. The jack-rafters
form a brace to support the end of the hay-track beam.]

[Illustration: Figure 176.--Slaughter House. The house should be twelve
feet wide. It may be any length to provide storage, but 12 x 12 makes a
good beef skinning floor. The windlass shaft should be ten feet above
the floor, which requires twelve-foot studding. The wheel is eight feet
in diameter and the winding drum is about ten inches. The animal is
killed on the incline outside of the building and it lies limp against
the revolving door. The door catch is sprung back and the carcass rolls
down onto the concrete skinning floor.]

Halftone illustration of farm animals or buildings are better used on
separate advertising sheets that may be folded in with the letters when

[Illustration: Figure 177.--Rule of Six, Eight and Ten. Diagram showing
how to stake the foundation of a farm building so the excavation can be
made clear out to the corners without undermining the stakes.]

[Illustration: Figure 178.--Roof Truss built strong enough to support
the roof of a farm garage without center posts.]

[Illustration: Figure 179.--Design of Roof Truss Intended to Span a Farm

[Illustration: Figure 180.--Roof Pitches. Mow capacity of the different
roof pitches is given above the plates in figures.]

Typewriters are so common that a hand-written letter is seldom seen
among business correspondence. A busy farmer is not likely to acquire
much speed with a typewriter, but his son or daughter may. One great
advantage is the making of carbon copies. Every letter received is then
filed in a letter case in alphabetical order and a carbon copy of each
answer is pinned to it for future reference.

[Illustration: Figure 181.--Double Corn Crib. Two cribs may be roofed
this way as cheaply as to roof the two cribs separately. A storeroom is
provided overhead and the bracing prevents the cribs from sagging.]

The cost of furnishing a farm office will depend upon the inclinations
of the man. A cheap kitchen table may be used instead of an expensive
mahogany desk. A new typewriter costs from fifty to ninety dollars, but
a rebuilt machine that will do good work may be obtained for twenty.

A useful magnifying glass with legs may be bought for a dollar or two.
Or considerable money may be invested in a high-powered microscope.


The speed requirements of machines are given by the manufacturers. It is
up to the farmer to determine the size of pulleys and the speed of
intermediate shafts between his engine and the machine to be driven. A
speed indicator is held against the end of a shaft at the center. The
indicator pin then revolves with the shaft and the number of revolutions
per minute are counted by timing the pointer on the dial with the second
hand of a watch.

[Illustration: Figure 182.--Speed Timers. Two styles. The point is held
against the center of the shaft to be tested. The number of revolutions
per minute is shown in figures on the face of the dial. The indicator is
timed to the second hand of a watch.]

[Illustration: Figure 183.--Building Bracket. Made of 2 x 4 pieces put
together at right angles with diagonal braces. The supporting leg fits
between the four diagonal braces.]


Soil moisture often is the limiting factor in crop raising. Soil
moisture may be measured by analysis. The first step is to obtain
samples at different depths. This is done accurately and quickly with a
good soil auger. Other paraphernalia is required to make a careful
analysis of the sample, but a farmer of experience will make a mud ball
and form a very good estimate of the amount of water in it.

[Illustration: Figure 184.--Diagram showing how to cut a plank on a
band-saw to form a curved rafter. The two pieces of the plank are spiked
together as shown in the lower drawing. This makes a curved rafter
without waste of material.]

[Illustration: Figure 185.--Breeding Crate for Hogs. The illustration
shows the manner of construction.]

[Illustration: Figure 186.--Soil Auger. Scientific farming demands that
soils shall be tested for moisture. A long handled auger is used to
bring samples of soil to the surface. The samples are weighed, the water
evaporated and the soil reweighed to determine the amount of moisture.]

[Illustration: Figure 187.--Post Hole Diggers. Two patterns of the same
kind of digger are shown. The first has iron handles, the lower has
wooden handles.]

[Illustration: Figure 188.--Hoes and Weeders. The hang of a hoe affects
its working. The upper hoe shows about the easiest working angle between
the blade and the handle. The difference between a hoe and a weeder is
that the hoe is intended to strike into the ground to loosen the soil,
while the blade of the weeder is intended to work parallel with the
surface of the soil to cut young weeds.]

[Illustration: Figure 189.--Manure Hook and Potato Diggers.]

[Illustration: Figure 190.--Spud. Certain vegetables are grown for crop
and for seed. The green plants are thinned with a spud for sale, leaving
the best to ripen for seed. It is also used to dig tough weeds,
especially those having tap roots.]

[Illustration: Figure 191.--(1) Corn Cutting Knife. (2) Asparagus


_Sliding Field Gate._--Each farm field should have a gate, not
necessarily expensive, but it should be reasonably convenient. Farm
field gates should be made sixteen feet long, which will allow for a
clear opening about fourteen feet wide. The cheapest way to make a good
farm gate is to use a 10-inch board for the bottom, 8-inch for the board
next to the bottom and three 6-inch boards above that. The space between
the bottom board and next board is two inches. This narrow space
prevents hogs from lifting the gate with their noses. The spaces widen
toward the top, so that the gate when finished is five feet high. If
colts run the fields then a bar is needed along the top of the gate. Six
cross pieces 1 inch by 6 inches are used to hold the gate together.
These cross pieces are bolted through at each intersection. Also a
slanting brace is used on the front half of the gate to keep it from
racking and this brace is put on with bolts. Two posts are set at each
end of the gate. The front posts hold the front end of the gate between
them, and the rear posts the same. There is a cross piece which reaches
from one of the rear posts to the other to slide the gate and hold it
off the ground. A similar cross piece holds the front end of the gate up
from the ground. Sometimes a swivel roller is attached to the rear cross
piece to roll the gate if it is to be used a good deal. A plain, simple
sliding gate is all that is necessary for fields some distance from the

[Illustration: Figure 192.--(1) Plumb-Bob and Plumb-Line. The line is
paid out about 6 feet from the spool and given a half hitch. It may then
be hung over the wire and the spool will balance the bob. (2) Bipod. The
legs of a fence bipod are cut 6 feet long. The bolt is put through 6
inches from the top ends. By the aid of the plummet the upper wire is
strung plumb over the barb-wire in the furrow and 4' 6" above grade. The
lower parts of the posts are set against the barb-wire and the upper
faces of the posts at the top are set even with the upper wire. This
plan not only places the posts in line, both at the top and bottom, but
it regulates the height.]

[Illustration: Figure 193.--Fence Tools. The upper tool is a round steel
pin to twist heavy brace wires. The scoop is for working stones out of
post-holes. The steel crowbar is for working around the stones to loosen

[Illustration: Figure 194.--Fence Pliers. This is a heavy fence tool
made to pull fence staples and to stretch, cut and splice wire.]


[Illustration: Figure 195.--Corn Horse. When corn is cut by hand there
is no better shocking device than the old-style corn horse. It is almost
as handy when setting up the corn sheaves from the corn binder.]

A convenient corn shocking horse is made with a pole cut from a straight
tree. The pole is about six inches through at the butt and tapers to a
small end. About twenty feet is a good length. There are two legs which
hold the large end of the pole up about 40" from the ground. These legs
are well spread apart at the bottom. Two feet back from the legs is a
horizontal hole about one and one-quarter inches in diameter to hold the
crossbar. This crossbar may be an old broom handle. The pole and the
crossbar mark the four divisions of a corn shock. Corn is cut and stood
up in each corner, usually nine hills in a corner, giving thirty-six
hills to a shock. Corn planted in rows is counted up to make about the
same amount of corn to the shock. Of course a heavy or light crop must
determine the number of rows or hills. When enough corn is cut for a
shock it is tied with two bands, the crossbar is pulled out and the corn
horse is dragged along to the next stand.


Hand huskers for dividing the cornhusks at the tips of the ears are made
of wood, bone or steel. Wooden husking-pins are made of ironwood,
eucalyptus, second growth hickory, or some other tough hardwood. The
pin is about four inches long, five-eighths of an inch thick and it is
shaped like a lead-pencil with a rather long point. A recessed girdle is
cut around the barrel of the pin and a leather finger ring fits into and
around this girdle. Generally the leather ring fits the larger finger to
hold the pin in the right position while permitting it to turn to wear
the point all around alike. Bone husking-pins are generally flat with a
hole through the center to hold the leather finger ring. Steel
husking-pins are shaped differently and have teeth to catch and tear the
husks apart.

[Illustration: Figure 196.--Brick Trowel.]

[Illustration: Figure 197.--Plastering Trowel.]

[Illustration: Figure 198.--Concrete Hog Wallow, showing drain pipe.]

[Illustration: Figure 199.--Concrete Center Alley for Hog House. The
upper illustration represents the wooden template used to form the
center of the hog house floor.]

[Illustration: Figure 200.--Sanitary Pig-Pen. One of the most
satisfactory farrowing houses is constructed of concrete posts 6" square
and 6" square mesh hog fencing and straw. The posts are set to make
farrowing pens 8' wide and 16' deep from front to back. Woven wire is
stretched and fastened to both sides of the posts at the sides and back
of each pen. Straw is stuffed in between the two wire nets, thus making
partitions of straw 6" thick and 42" high. Fence wire is stretched over
the top and straw piled on deep enough to shed rain. The front of the
pens face the south and are closed by wooden gates. In the spring the
pigs are turned out on pasture, the straw roof is hauled to the fields
for manure and the straw partitions burned out. The sun shines into the
skeleton pens all summer so that all mischievous bacteria are killed and
the hog-lice are burned or starved. The next fall concrete floors may be
laid in the pens, the partitions restuffed with straw and covered with
another straw roof. In a colder climate I would cover the whole top with
a straw roof. Sufficient ventilation would work through the straw
partitions and the front gate. In very cold weather add a thin layer of
straw to the gate.]

[Illustration: Figure 201.--Concrete Wall Mold. Wooden molds for shaping
a concrete wall may be made as shown. If the wall is to be low--2' or
less--the mold will stay in place without bolting or wiring the sides
together. The form is made level by first leveling the 2" x 6" stringers
that support the form.]

[Illustration: Figure 202.--Husking-Pin. The leather finger ring is
looped into the recess in the wooden pin.]

[Illustration: Figure 203.--Harness Punch. The hollow punch points are
of different sizes.]

[Illustration: Figure 204.--Belt Punch. Two or three sizes should be
kept in the tool box. Belt holes should be small to hold the lace tight.
The smooth running of belts depends a good deal on the lacing. Holes
punch better against the end of a hickory block or other fine grained


Paint brushes may be left in the paint for a year without apparent
injury. The paint should be deep enough to nearly bury the bristles.
Pour a little boiled linseed oil over the top to form a skin to keep the
air out. It is cheaper to buy a new brush than to clean the paint out of
one that has been used.

[Illustration: Figure 205.--Knots. The simple principles of knot tying
as practiced on farms are here represented.]

[Illustration: Figure 206.--Sheepshank, two half hitches in a rope to
take up slack. The rope may be folded upon itself as many times as

[Illustration: Figure 207.--Marline Spike. Used for splicing ropes,
tying rose knots, etc.]


[Illustration: Figure 208.--Fruit-Picking Tray. It is used for picking
grapes and other fruits. The California lug box has vertical sides and
is the same size top and bottom. Otherwise the construction is similar.]

Apples are handled as carefully as eggs by men who understand the
business of getting high prices. Picking boxes for apples have bothered
orchard men more than any other part of the business. It is so difficult
to get help to handle apples without bruising that many inventions have
been tried to lessen the damage. In western New York a tray with
vertical ends and slanting sides has been adopted by grape growers as
the most convenient tray for grapes. Apple growers are adopting the same
tray. It is made of three-eighths-inch lumber cut 30 inches long for the
sides, using two strips for each side. The bottom is 30 inches long and
three-eighths of an inch thick, made in one piece. The ends are
seven-eighths of an inch thick cut to a bevel so the top edge of the end
piece is fourteen inches long and the bottom edge is ten inches long.
The depth of the end piece is eight inches. Hand cleats are nailed on
the outsides of the end pieces so as to project one-half inch above the
top. These cleats not only serve to lift and carry the trays, but when
they are loaded on a wagon the bottoms fit in between the cleats to hold
them from slipping endways. In piling these picking boxes empty, one
end is slipped outward over the cleat until the other end drops down.
This permits half nesting when the boxes are piled up for storage or
when loaded on wagons to move to the orchard.

[Illustration: Figure 209.--Fruit Thinning Nippers. Three styles of
apple-stem cutters are shown. They are also used for picking grapes and
other fruits.]

Apples are picked into the trays from the trees. The trays are loaded on
to wagons or stone-boats and hauled to the packing shed, where the
apples are rolled out gently over the sloping sides of the crates on to
the cushioned bottom of the sorting table. Orchard men should have
crates enough to keep the pickers busy without emptying until they are
hauled to the packing shed. The use of such trays or crates save
handling the apples over several times. The less apples are handled the
fewer bruises are made.

[Illustration: Figure 210.--Apple Picking Ladder. When apples are picked
and placed in bushel trays a ladder on wheels with shelves is convenient
for holding the trays.]

In California similar trays are used, but they have straight sides and
are called lug boxes. Eastern fruit men prefer the sloping sides because
they may be emptied easily, quickly and gently.


Commercial orchards are pruned to keep the bearing fruit spurs as near
the ground as possible, so that ladders used at picking time are not so
long as they used to be.

[Illustration: Figure 211.--Stepladder and Apple-Picking Bag. This
ladder has only three feet, but the bottom of the ladder is made wide to
prevent upsetting. This bag is useful when picking scattering apples on
the outer or upper branches. Picking bags carelessly used are the cause
of many bruised apples.]

[Illustration: Figure 212.--Tree Pruners. The best made pruners are the
cheapest. This long handled pruner is made of fine tool steel from the
cutting parts clear to the outer ends of the wooden handles. A positive
stop prevents the handles from coming together. Small one-hand pruning
nippers are made for clean cutting. The blades of both pruners should
work towards the tree trunk so the hook will mash the bark on the
discarded portion of the limb.]

The illustration shows one of the most convenient picking ladders. It is
a double ladder with shelves to hold picking trays supported by two
wheels and two legs. The wheels which are used to support one side of
the frame are usually old buggy wheels. A hind axle together with the
wheels works about right. The ladder frame is about eight feet high with
ladder steps going up from each side. These steps also form the support
for the shelves. Picking trays or boxes are placed on the shelves, so
the latter will hold eight or ten bushels of apples, and may be wheeled
directly to the packing shed if the distance is not too great.

[Illustration: Figure 213.--Shears. The first pair is used for sheep
shearing. The second is intended for cutting grass around the edges of
walks and flower beds.]

Step-ladders from six to ten feet long are more convenient to get up
into the middle of the tree than almost any other kind of ladder.
Commercial apple trees have open tops to admit sunshine. For this
reason, straight ladders are not much used. It is necessary to have
ladders built so they will support themselves. Sometimes only one leg is
used in front of a step-ladder and sometimes ladders are wide at the
bottom and taper to a point at the top. The kind of ladder to use
depends upon the size of the trees and the manner in which they have
been pruned. Usually it is better to have several kinds of ladders of
different sizes and lengths. Pickers then have no occasion to wait for
each other.


Special racks for the feeding of alfalfa hay to hogs are built with
slatted sides hinged at the top so they will swing in when the hogs
crowd their noses through to get the hay. This movement drops the hay
down within reach. Alfalfa hay is especially valuable as a winter feed
for breeding stock. Sows may be wintered on alfalfa with one ear of
corn a day and come out in the spring in fit condition to suckle a fine
litter of pigs. Alfalfa is a strong protein feed. It furnishes the
muscle-forming substances necessary for the young litter by causing a
copious flow of milk. One ear of corn a day is sufficient to keep the
sow in good condition without laying on too much fat. When shoats are
fed in the winter for fattening, alfalfa hay helps them to grow. In
connection with grain it increases the weight rapidly without adding a
great deal of expense to the ration. Alfalfa in every instance is
intended as a roughage, as an appetizer and as a protein feed. Fat must
be added by the use of corn, kaffir corn, Canada peas, barley or other
grains. Alfalfa hay is intended to take the place of summer pasture in
winter more than as a fattening ration.

[Illustration: Figure 214.--Horse Feeding Rack. This is a barnyard hay
feeder for horses and colts. The diagonal boarding braces each corner
post and leaves large openings at the sides. Horses shy at small hay
holes. The top boards and the top rail are 2 x 4s for strength. The
bottom is floored to save the chaff.]

[Illustration: Figure 215.--Corner Post Detail of Horse Feeding Rack. A
2 x 6 is spiked into the edge of a 2 x 4, making a corner post 6"
across. The side boarding is cut even with the corner of the post and
the open corner is filled with a two-inch quarter-round as shown.]

[Illustration: Figure 216.--Automatic Hog Feeder. The little building is
8' x 12' on the ground and it is 10' high to the plates. The crushed
grain is shoveled in from behind and it feeds down hopper fashion as
fast as the hogs eat it. The floor is made of matched lumber. It should
stand on a dry concrete floor.]

[Illustration: Figure 217.--Sheep Feeding Rack. The hay bottom and grain
trough sides slope together at 45° angles. The boarding is made tight to
hold chaff and grain from wasting.]

[Illustration: Figure 218.--Rack Base and Sides. The 2 x 4s are halved
at the ends and put together at right angles. These frames are placed 3'
apart and covered with matched flooring. Light braces should be nailed
across these frames a few inches up from the ground. The 1 x 4 pickets
are placed 7" apart in the clear, so the sheep can get their heads
through to feed. These picketed frames are bolted to the base and framed
around the top. If the rack is more than 9' long there should be a
center tie or partition. Twelve feet is a good length to make the


The only low cost road grader of value is the split-log road drag. It
should be exactly what the name implies. It should be made from a light
log about eight inches in diameter split through the middle with a saw.
Plenty of road drags are made of timbers instead of split logs, but the
real principle is lost because such drags are too heavy and clumsy.
They cannot be quickly adjusted to the varying road conditions met with
while in use.

[Illustration: Figure 219.--Hog Trough. In a winter hog house the feed
trough is placed next to the alley or passageway. A cement trough is
best. A drop gate is hinged over the trough so it can be swung in while
putting feed in the trough. The same gate is opened up level to admit
hogs to the pen.]

[Illustration: Figure 220.--Reinforced Hog Trough. The section of hog
trough to the left is reinforced with chicken wire, one-inch mesh. The
trough to the right is reinforced with seven 1/4" rods--three in the
bottom and two in each side.]

[Illustration: Figure 221.--Double Poultry Feeding Trough with Partition
in the Center.]

[Illustration: Figure 222.--Poultry Feeder with Metal or Crockery

The illustration shows the right way of making a road drag, and the
manner in which it is drawn along at an angle to the roadway so as to
move the earth from the sides towards the center, but illustrations
are useless for showing how to operate them to do good work. The
eccentricities of a split-log road drag may be learned in one lesson by
riding it over a mile or two of country road shortly after the frost has
left the ground in the spring of the year. It will be noticed that the
front half of the road drag presents the flat side of the split log to
the work of shaving off the lumps while the other half log levels and
smooths and puddles the loosened moist earth by means of the rounded
side. Puddling makes earth waterproof. The front, or cutting edge, is
faced with steel. The ridges and humps are cut and shoved straight ahead
or to one side to fill holes and ruts. This is done by the driver, who
shifts his weight from one end to the other, and from front to back of
his standing platform to distribute the earth to the best advantage. The
rounded side of the rear half log presses the soft earth into place and
leaves the surface smooth.

[Illustration: Figure 223.--Split-Log Road Drag. The front edge is shod
with a steel plate to do the cutting and the round side of the rear log
grinds the loosened earth fine and presses it into the wagon tracks and
water holes.]

[Illustration: Figure 224.--Heavy Breaking Plow, used for road work and
other tough jobs.]

Unfortunately, the habit of using narrow tired wagons on country roads
has become almost universal in the United States. To add to their
destructive propensities, all wagons in some parts of the country have
the same width of tread so that each wheel follows in paths made by
other wheels, until they cut ruts of considerable depth. These little
narrow ditches hold water so that it cannot run off into the drains at
the sides of the roadway. When a rut gets started, each passing wheel
squeezes out the muddy water, or if the wheel be revolving at a speed
faster than a walk it throws the water, and the water carries part of
the roadway with it so that small ruts are made large and deep ruts are
made deeper. In some limited sections road rules demand that wagons
shall have wide tires and have shorter front axles, so that with the
wide tires and the uneven treads the wheels act as rollers instead of
rut makers. It is difficult to introduce such requirements into every
farm section. In the meantime the evils of narrow tires may be overcome
to a certain extent by the persistent and proper use of the split-log
road drag. These drags are most effectual in the springtime when the
frost is coming out of the ground. During the muddy season the roads get
worked up into ruts and mire holes, which, if taken in time, may be
filled by running lengthwise of the road with the drag when the earth is
still soft. When the ground shows dry on top and is still soft and wet
underneath is the time the drags do the best work by scraping the drier
hummocks into the low places where the earth settles hard as it dries.

A well rounded, smooth road does not get muddy in the summer time.
Summer rains usually come with a dash. Considerable water falls in a
short time, and the very act of falling with force first lays the dust,
then packs the surface. The smooth packed surface acts like a roof, and
almost before the rain stops falling all surface water is drained off to
the sides so that an inch down under the surface the roadbed is as hard
as it was before the rain. That is the reason why split log road drags
used persistently in the spring and occasionally later in the season
will preserve good roads all summer. It is very much better to follow
each summer rain with the road drag, but it is not so necessary as
immediate attention at the proper time in spring. Besides, farmers are
so busy during the summer months that they find it difficult to spend
the time. In some sections of the middle West one man is hired to do the
dragging at so much per trip over the road. He makes his calculations
accordingly and is prepared to do the dragging at all seasons when
needed. This plan usually works out the best because one man then makes
it his business and he gets paid for the amount of work performed. This
man should live at the far end of the road division so that he can
smooth his own pathway leading to town.


Manufacturers are making road drags of steel with tempered blades
adjustable to any angle by simply moving the lever until the dog engages
in the proper notch. Some of these machines are made with blades
reversible, so that the other side can be used for cutting when the
first edge is worn. For summer use the steel drag works very well, but
it lacks the smoothing action of a well balanced log drag.


[Illustration: Figure 225.--Barn Trucks. The platform truck is made to
move boxed apples and other fruit. The bag truck is well proportioned
and strong, but is not full ironed.]

Bag trucks for handling bags of grain and seeds should be heavy. Bag
truck wheels should be eight inches in diameter with a three-inch face.
The steel bar or shoe that lifts and carries the bag should be
twenty-two inches in length. That means that the bottom of the truck in
front is twenty-two inches wide. The wheels run behind this bar so the
hubs do not project to catch against standing bags or door frames. The
length of truck handles from the steel lift bar to the top end of the
hand crook is four feet, six inches. In buying bag trucks it is better
to get the heavy solid kind that will not upset. The light ones are a
great nuisance when running them over uneven floors. The wheels are too
narrow and too close together and the trucks tip over under slight
provocation. Platform trucks for use in moving boxes of apples or crates
of potatoes or bags of seed in the seed house or warehouse also should
be heavy. The most approved platform truck, the kind that market men
use, is made with a frame four feet in length by two feet in width. The
frame is made of good solid hardwood put together with mortise and
tenon. The cross pieces or stiles are three-quarters of an inch lower
than the side pieces or rails, which space is filled with hardwood
flooring boards firmly bolted to the cross pieces so they come up flush
with the side timbers. The top of the platform should be sixteen inches
up from the floor. There are two standards in front which carry a
wooden crossbar over the front end of the truck. This crossbar is used
for a handle to push or pull the truck. The height of the handle-bar
from the floor is three feet. Rear wheels are five inches in diameter
and work on a swivel so they turn in any direction like a castor. The
two front wheels carry the main weight. They are twelve inches in
diameter with a three-inch face. The wheels are bored to fit a one-inch
steel axle and have wide boxings bolted to the main timbers of the truck
frame. Like the two-wheel bag truck, the wheels of the platform truck
are under the frame so they do not project out in the way, which is a
great advantage when the truck is being used in a crowded place.

[Illustration: Figure 226.--Farm Gate Post with Copper Mail Box.]

[Illustration: Figure 227.--Concrete Post Supporting a Waterproof
Clothes Line Reel Box.]

[Illustration: Figure 228.--Dumb Waiter. The cage is poised by a
counterweight. It is guided by a rope belt which runs on grooved pulleys
at the top and bottom.]


There are small canning outfits manufactured and sold for farm use that
work on the factory principle. For canning vegetables, the heating is
done under pressure because a great deal of heat is necessary to destroy
the bacteria that spoil vegetables in the cans. Steam under pressure is
a good deal hotter than boiling water. There is considerable work in
using a canning outfit, but it gets the canning out of the way quickly.
Extra help may be employed for a few days to do the canning on the same
principle that farmers employ extra help at threshing time and do it all
up at once. Of course, fruits and vegetables keep coming along at
different times in the summer, but the fall fruit canning may be done at
two or three sittings arranged a week or two apart and enough fruit
packed away in the cellar to last a big family a whole year. Canning
machinery is simple and inexpensive. These outfits may be bought from
$10 up. Probably a $20 or $25 canner would be large enough for a large
family, or a dozen different families if it could be run on a
co-operative plan.

[Illustration: Figure 229.--Clothes Line Tightener. This device is made
of No. 9 wire bent as shown in the illustration.]

[Illustration: Figure 230.--Goat Stall. Milch goats are milked on a
raised platform. Feed is placed in the manger. The opening in the side
of the manger is a stanchion to hold them steady.]

[Illustration: Figure 231.--Horse Clippers. Hand clippers are shown to
the left. The flexible shaft clipper to the right may be turned by hand
for clipping a few horses or shearing a few sheep, but for real business
it should be driven by an electric motor.]


The "air towel" is sanitary, as well as an economical method of drying
the hands. A foot pedal closes a quick-acting switch, thereby putting
into operation a blower that forces air through an electric heating
device so arranged as to distribute the warmed air to all parts of the
hands at the same time. The supply of hot air continues as long as the
foot pedal is depressed. The hands are thoroughly dried in thirty


Milch goats are not fastened with stanchions like cows. The front of the
manger is boarded tight with the exception of a round hole about two
feet high and a slit in the boards reaching from the round opening to
within a few inches of the floor. The round hole is made large enough so
that the goat puts her head through to reach the feed, and the slit is
narrow enough so she cannot back up to pull the feed out into the stall.
This is a device to save fodder.

[Illustration: Figure 232.--Hog Catching Hook. The wooden handle fits
loosely into the iron socket. As soon as the hog's hind leg is engaged
the wooden handle is removed and the rope held taut.]


[Illustration: Figure 233.--Bull Nose-Chain. Cross bulls may be turned
out to pasture with some degree of safety by snapping a chain like this
into the nose-ring. The chain should be just long enough to swing and
wrap around the bull's front legs when he is running. Also the length is
intended to drag the ring where he will step on it with his front feet.
There is some danger of pulling the nose ring out.]

[Illustration: Figure 234.--Manure Carriers. There are two kinds of
manure carriers in general use. The principal difference is the elevator
attachment for hoisting when the spreader stands too high for the usual
level dump.]

Overhead tracks have made feed carriers possible. Litter or feed
carriers and manure carriers run on the same kind of a track, the only
difference is in size and shape of the car and the manner in which the
contents are unloaded. Manure carriers and litter carriers have a
continuous track that runs along over the manure gutters and overhead
lengthwise of the feed alleys. There are a number of different kinds of
carriers manufactured, all of which seem to do good service. The object
is to save labor in doing the necessary work about dairy stables. To get
the greatest possible profit from cows, it is absolutely necessary that
the stable should be kept clean and sanitary, also that the cows shall
be properly fed several times a day. Different kinds of feed are given
at the different feeding periods. It is impossible to have all the
different kinds of food stored in sufficient quantities within easy
reach of the cows. Hence, the necessity of installing some mechanical
arrangement to fetch and carry. The only floor carrier in use in dairy
stables is a truck for silage. Not in every stable is this the case.
Sometimes a feed carrier is run directly to the silo. It depends a good
deal on the floor what kind of a carrier is best for silage. The
advantage of an overhead track is, that it is always free from litter.
Where floor trucks are used, it is necessary to keep the floor bare of
obstruction. This is not considered a disadvantage because the floor
should be kept clean anyway.

[Illustration: Figure 235.--Cow Stanchion. Wooden cow stanchions may be
made as comfortable for the cows as the iron ones.]


When water is pumped by an engine and stored for use in a tank to be
delivered under pressure in the house, then the additional cost of hot
and cold water and the necessary sink and bath room fixtures is
comparatively small. Modern plumbing fixtures fit so perfectly and go
together so easily that the cost of installing house plumbing in the
country has been materially reduced, while the dangers from noxious
gases have been entirely eliminated. Open ventilator pipes carry the
poisonous gases up through the roof of the house to float harmlessly
away in the atmosphere. Septic tanks take care of the sewerage better
than the sewer systems in some towns. Plumbing fixtures may be cheap or
expensive, according to the wishes and pocketbook of the owner. The
cheaper grades are just as useful, but there are expensive outfits that
are very much more ornamental.


[Illustration: Figure 236.--Frame for Holding Record Sheets in a Dairy

[Illustration: Figure 237.--Loading Shute for Hogs. This loading shute
is made portable and may be moved like a wheelbarrow.]

Supplying water under pressure in the farmhouse demands a septic tank to
get rid of the waste. A septic tank is a scientific receptacle to take
the poison out of sewerage. It is a simple affair consisting of two
underground compartments, made water-tight, with a sewer pipe to lead
the waste water from the house into the first compartment and a drain to
carry the denatured sewerage away from the second compartment. The first
compartment is open to the atmosphere, through a ventilator, but the
second compartment is made as nearly air-tight as possible. The
scientific working of a septic tank depends upon the destructive work of
two kinds of microscopic life known as aerobic and anaerobic forms of
bacteria. Sewerage in the first tank is worked over by aerobic bacteria,
the kind that require a small amount of oxygen in order to live and
carry on their work. The second compartment is inhabited by anaerobic
bacteria, or forms of microscopic life that work practically without
air. The principles of construction require that a septic tank shall be
large enough to contain two days' supply of sewerage in each
compartment; thus, requiring four days for the sewerage to enter and
leave the tank.

[Illustration: Figure 238.--Brass Valves. Two kinds of globe valves are
used in farm waterworks. The straight valve shown to the left and the
right angle valve to the right. Either one may be fitted with a long
shank to reach above ground when pipes are laid deep to prevent

Estimating 75 gallons daily of sewerage for each inhabitant of the house
and four persons to a family, the septic tank should be large enough to
hold 600 gallons, three hundred gallons in each compartment, which
would require a tank about four feet in width and six feet in length and
four feet in depth. These figures embrace more cubic feet of tank than
necessary to meet the foregoing requirements. It is a good plan to leave
a margin of safety.

[Illustration: Figure 239.--Septic Tank, a double antiseptic process for
purifying sewerage.]

It is usual to lay a vitrified sewer, four inches in diameter, from
below the bottom of the cellar to the septic tank, giving it a fall of
one-eighth inch in ten feet. The sewer enters the tank at the top of the
standing liquid and delivers the fresh sewerage from the house through
an elbow and a leg of pipe that reaches to within about six inches of
the bottom of the tank. The reason for this is to admit fresh sewerage
without disturbing the scum on the surface of the liquid in the tank.
The scum is a protection for the bacteria. It helps them to carry on
their work of destruction. The same principle applies to the second
compartment. The liquid from the first compartment is carried over into
the second compartment by means of a bent pipe in the form of a siphon
which fills up gradually and empties automatically when the liquid in
the first compartment rises to a certain level. The discharging siphon
leg should be the shortest. The liquid from the second compartment is
discharged into the drain in the same manner. There are special valves
made for the final discharge, but they are not necessary. The bottom of
the tank is dug deep enough to hold sewerage from two to four feet in
depth. The top surface of the liquid in the tank is held down to a level
of at least six inches below the bottom of the cellar. So there is no
possible chance of the house sewer filling and backing up towards the
house. Usually the vitrified sewer pipe is four inches in diameter, the
septic tank siphons for a small tank are three inches in diameter and
the final discharge pipe is three inches in diameter, with a rapid fall
for the first ten feet after leaving the tank.

Septic tanks should be made of concrete, waterproofed on the inside to
prevent the possibility of seepage. Septic tank tops are made of
reinforced concrete with manhole openings. Also the manhole covers are
made of reinforced concrete, either beveled to fit the openings or made
considerably larger than the opening, so that they sit down flat on the
top surface of the tank. These covers are always deep enough down in the
ground so that when covered over the earth holds them in place.

In laying vitrified sewer it is absolutely necessary to calk each joint
with okum or lead, or okum reinforced with cement. It is almost
impossible to make a joint tight with cement alone, although it can be
done by an expert. Each length of the sewer-pipe should be given a
uniform grade. The vitrified sewer is trapped outside of the building
with an ordinary S-trap ventilated, which leaves the sewer open to the
atmosphere and prevents the possibility of back-pressure that might
drive the poisonous gases from the decomposing sewerage through the
sewer back into the house. In this way, the septic tank is made entirely
separate from the house plumbing, except that the two systems are
connected at this outside trap.

It is sometimes recommended that the waste water from the second
compartment shall be distributed through a series of drains made with
three-inch or four-inch drain tile and that the outlet of this set of
drains shall empty into or connect with a regularly organized field
drainage system. Generally speaking, the final discharge of liquid from
a septic tank that is properly constructed is inoffensive and harmless.
However, it is better to use every possible precaution to preserve the
health of the family, and it is better to dispose of the final waste in
such a way as to prevent any farm animal from drinking it.

While manholes are built into septic tanks for the purpose of
examination, in practice they are seldom required. If the tanks are
properly built and rightly proportioned to the sewerage requirements
they will take care of the waste water from the house year after year
without attention. Should any accidents occur, they are more likely to
be caused by a leakage in the vitrified sewer than from any other cause.
Manufacturers of plumbing supplies furnish the siphons together with
instructions for placing them properly in the concrete walls. Some firms
supply advertising matter from which to work out the actual size and
proportions of the different compartments and all connections. The
making of a septic tank is simple when the principle is once



  Acetylene gas                                    129
  Air pressure pump                                107
  Anvil                                             33
  Apple-picking bag                                216
    ladder                                         215
  Asparagus knife                                  205
  Auger, ship                                       26
  Auger-bit                                     24, 25
  Automatic hog feeder                             219
  Axles, wagon                                      52
  Babbitting boxings                                73
  Barn trucks                                      226
  Belt punch                                       211
    work                                           146
  Bench and vise                                    34
  Bench for iron work                               35
    for woodworking                                 16
  Bipod                                            206
  Bits, extension boring                            26
  Bit, twist-drill, for wood-boring                 25
  Blacksmith hammers                                61
    shop                                            31
  Block and tackle                                  77
  Bobsleighs                                       188
  Boiler, steam                                     90
  Bolster spring                                   186
    stake                                          187
  Bolt cutter                                       45
  Bolts, carriage and machine                       56
    emergency                                       53
    home-made                                       52
    plow and sickle bar                             56
  Boxings, babbitting                               73
  Brace, wagon-box                                  58
  Bramble hook                                      20
  Brass valves                                     236
  Breeding crate for hogs                          203
  Brick trowel                                     209
  Bridge auger                                      26
  Bucket yoke                                       75
  Buck rake                                        165
  Building bracket                                 202
  Bull nose-chain                                  233
    treadmill                                       81
  Cable hay stacker                                176
  California hay ricker                            176
  Calipers                                          43
  Caliper rule                                      14
  Canning outfit                                   229
  Carpenter's bench                                 17
    trestle                                         17
  Cart, two-wheel                                  191
  Centrifugal pumps                                105
  Chain, logging                                    50
  Chisels and gouges                                28
  Circular saw, filing                              69
    jointing                                        68
    setting                                         68
  Clearing land by tractor                         146
  Clevises, plow                                    58
  Clod crusher                                     155
  Clothes line reel box, concrete                  228
  Clothes line tightener                           230
  Cold-chisel                                       37
  Colt-breaking sulkey                             192
  Compasses                                         18
  Concrete center alley for hog house              209
    farm scale base and pit                        196
    hog wallow                                     209
    wall mold                                      210
  Conveniences, miscellaneous farm                 194
  Conveyances, farm                                179
  Corn crib, double                                201
    two-story                                      194
  Corn cultivator                                  142
    planter                                        158
    shock horse                                    208
  Cotter pin tool                                   44
  Coulter clamp                                     54
  Countersink                                       41
  Cow stanchion                                    234
  Crop machinery, special                          161
  Crops, kind of, to irrigate                      118
  Crowbars                                          46
  Cultivator, combination                          143
    corn                                           142
  Cutting nippers                                   46
  Derrick fork                                     168
  Dies and taps                                     55
  Diggers, potato                                  205
  Disk harrow                                      152
    plow                                           137
  Dog churn                                         79
    power                                           80
  Draw-filing                                       62
  Drawing-knife                                     22
  Drill, grain                                     160
    power post                                      38
  Drill-press                                       39
    electric                                        40
  Driven machines                                  100
  Dumbwaiter                                       229
  Economy of plowing by tractor                    146
  Electricity on the farm                     121, 127
  Electric lighting                                123
  Electric power plant                             122
    towel                                          231
  Elevating machinery                              133
  Elevator, grain                                  134
  Emery grinders                                    31
  Engine and truck, portable                        94
  Engine, gasoline                                  91
    kerosene                                        92
    steam                                           90
  Eveners for three- and four-horse teams          139
  Extension boring bits                             26
  Farm conveniences                                194
    conveyances                                    179
    office                                         194
    shop and implement house                         9
    shop work                                       50
    tractor                                         97
    waterworks                                 89, 100
  Feed crusher                                     131
  Feeding racks                                    217
  Fence-making tools                          205, 206
  Fence pliers                                     207
  File handle                                       36
  Files and rasps                                   36
  Filing hand saw                                   56
    roll                                            63
  Flail                                             75
  Fore-plane                                        27
  Forge                                             32
  Forges, portable                                  32
  Forging iron and steel                            59
  Fruit picking                                    212
    ladders                                        215
    tray                                           213
  Fruit-thinning nippers                           214
  Gambrel whiffletree                              173
  Garage                                            10
  Garden weeder                                     54
  Gas, acetylene                                   129
  Gasoline engine                                   91
    house lightning                                128
  Gate, sliding field                              205
  Gatepost with copper mailbox                     227
  Gauge, double-marking                             22
  Generating mechanical power                       74
  Goat stall                                       230
  Grain drill                                      160
    elevator                                       134
    elevator, portable                             135
  Grass hook                                       163
  Grindstone                                        28
  Hacksaw                                           45
  Hammers, blacksmith                               61
    machinist's                                     42
  Hand axe                                          23
  Hand saw                                      19, 65
    filing                                          66
    jointing                                        65
    setting                                         65
    using                                           67
  Handspike                                         24
  Hardy                                             43
  Harness punch                                    211
  Harrow cart                                      154
    disk                                           152
    sled                                           141
    spike-tooth                                    141
  Harvesting by tractor                            146
  Hay carrier carriage                             172
  Hay crop, handling                               163
  Hay derricks, Idaho                              171
    Western                                        169
  Hayford, double harpoon                          169
    grapple                                        170
    hitch                                          173
    hood                                           197
  Hayrake, revolving                               163
  Hay ricker, California                           176
  Hay rope pulleys                                 174
  Hay skids                                        167
  Hay sling                                        167
  Hay stacker, cable                               176
  Haystack knife                                   168
  Hay-tedder                                       165
  Hay-track roof extension                         197
  Hoe, how to sharpen                               70
    wheel                                          162
  Hoes and weeders                                 204
  Hog catching hook                                232
  Hog feeder, automatic                            219
    trough                                         221
    trough, reinforced                             222
    wallow, concrete                               209
  Hoist, oldest farm                               133
  Hoists                                            78
  Home repair work, profitable                      50
  Horse clippers                                   231
  Horse feeding rack                               218
  Horsepower                                        86
  House plumbing                                   234
  Husking-pin                                      208
  Hydraulic ram                                     95
  Idaho hay derricks                               171
  Implement shed                                    10
    shed and work shop                              12
  Iron, forging                                     59
  Irons for neckyoke and whiffletree                51
  Iron roller                                      157
  Iron working tools                                42
  Irrigation                                       112
    by pumping                                     112
    overhead spray                                 116
  Jointer, carpenter's                              27
  Jointer plows                                    144
  Jointing hand saw                                 65
  Kerosene engine                                   92
  Keyhole saw                                       20
  Knife, asparagus                                 205
    corn cutting                                   205
    haystack                                       168
  Knots                                            212
  Lag screw                                         57
  Land float                                       156
  Level, carpenter's                                24
    iron stock                                      25
  Lighting, gasoline                               128
  Linchpin farm wagons                             185
  Link, cold-shut                                   43
    plow                                            58
  Loading chute for hogs                           235
  Logging chain                                     50
  Machines, driven                                 100
  Machinist's hammers                               42
    vise                                            47
  Manure carriers                                  233
  Marline spike                                    212
  Measuring mechanical work                         14
  Mechanical power, generating                      74
  Mechanics of plowing                             138
  Melting ladle                                     73
  Monkey-wrench                                     19
  Mule pump                                         84
  Nail hammers                                      21
  Nail set                                          37
  Office, farm                                     194
  Oilstone                                          15
  Overhead spray irrigation                        116
  Oxen                                             181
  Paint brushes                                    212
  Pea guard                                        168
  Picking fruit                                    212
  Pig-pen, sanitary                                210
  Pincers                                           44
  Pipe cutter                                       48
  Pipe-fitting tools                                46
  Pipe vise                                         47
    wrench                                          48
  Plastering trowel                                209
  Pliers                                            18
  Plow, heavy-breaking                             224
    riding                                         140
    walking                                        138
  Plowing by tractor                               145
    importance of                                  137
    mechanics of                                   138
  Plows, jointer                                   144
    Scotch                                         143
  Plumb-bob and plumb-line                         206
  Plumbing, house                                  234
  Pod-bit                                           25
  Portable farm engine                              94
  Post-hole diggers                                204
  Poultry feeding trough                           222
  Power conveyor                                   121
  Power, generating mechanical                      75
  Power post drill                                  38
  Power transmission                               120
  Pulverizers                                      155
  Pump, air pressure                               107
    centrifugal                                    105
    mule                                            84
    jack                                           109
    jacks and speed jacks                          111
    rotary                                         103
    suction                                        101
  Punches                                           37
  Quantity of water to use in irrigation           118
  Racks, feeding                                   217
    sheep feeding                                  219
  Rafter grapple                                   173
  Rasp                                              35
  Rasps and files                                   36
  Ratchet-brace                                     40
  Refrigeration                                    123
  Reservoir for supplying water to farm buildings  120
  Revolving hayrake                                163
  Riding plow                                      140
  Ripsaw                                            21
  Rivets                                            53
  Rivet set                                         54
  Road drag, split-log                             220
    steel                                          225
  Road work                                        146
  Roller                                           156
  Roll filing                                       63
  Roof pitches                                     200
    truss                                          199
  Root pulper                                      130
  Rotary pumps                                     103
  Round barn, economy of                           196
  Rule of six, eight and ten                       199
  Sand bands                                       187
    caps                                           188
  Sanitary pig-pen                                 210
  Saw, hack                                         45
  Scotch plows                                     143
  Screwdriver                                       23
    ratchet                                         24
  Seed house trucks                                226
  Septic tank                                      235
  Set-screws                                        64
  Shave horse                                       18
  Shears                                           217
  Sheep feeding rack                               219
  Sheepshank                                       212
  Ship auger                                        26
  Shoeing horses                                    71
    knife                                           34
    tool box                                        34
  Shop, garage and implement shed                   10
  Shop tools                                        14
  Slaughter house                                  198
  Sliding field gate                               205
  Snips, sheet metal                                25
  Soil auger                                       204
    tools                                          202
  Soil, working the                                137
  Speed indicator                                  201
    jacks                                          111
  Split-log road drag                              220
  Spud                                             205
  Stable helps                                     232
  Stall for milch goats                            232
  Steam boiler and engine                           90
  Steel, forging                                    59
    road drag                                      225
    square                                          22
    tools, making                                   60
  Stepladder                                       216
  Stock for dies                                    55
  Stone-boat                                       179
  Stump puller                                     131
  Suction pumps                                    101
  Sulkey, colt-breaking                            192
  S wrenches                                        44
  Tapeline                                          15
  Taper reamer                                      41
    tap                                             56
  Taps and dies                                     55
  Tempering steel tools                             60
  Tongs                                             43
  Tool box for field use                            72
    handy                                           72
  Tool rack, blacksmith                             34
  Tools for fence-making                           205
    for woodworking                                 19
    for working iron                                42
    pipe-fitting                                    46
    soil                                           202
  Tractor economy                                  146
    farm                                            97
    transmission gear                               98
    used in plowing                                145
    uses for, on farm                              146
  Tram points                                       40
  Travoy                                           183
  Treadmill, bull                                   81
  Tree pruners                                     216
  Trowel, brick                                    209
    plastering                                     209
  Trucks, barn                                     226
  Try-square                                        22
  Twist-drills                                  25, 41
  U bolt in cement                                  57
  Uses of electricity on farm                      126
  Valves, brass                                    236
  Vise                                              38
  Wagon-box irons                                   57
  Wagon brakes                                     186
    seat spring                                    187
  Walking plow                                     138
  Water-power                                       88
  Water storage                                    100
  Waterworks, farm                                 100
  Well sweep                                        76
  Wheelbarrow                                      180
  Wheel hoe                                        162
  Winches                                           79
  Windmills                                         83
  Wire splice                                       52
    splicer                                         44
    stretcher                                       77
  Wooden clamp                                      18
    roller                                         157
  Wood-saw frames                                  129
  Woodworking bench                                 16
    tools                                           19
  Working the soil                                 137
  Wrecking bar                                      24


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  |                      TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES                           |
  |                                                                    |
  | The text of the original work has been maintained, except as       |
  | mentioned below.                                                   |
  |                                                                    |
  | Changed for consistency: screwdriver to screw-driver, pene to peen,|
  | homemade to home-made, ballbearing to ball-bearing, horse-power to |
  | horsepower, double-tree to doubletree, and eye-bolt to eyebolt. In |
  | the Index, the following words have been changed to conform to the |
  | text: sulkey to sulky, and re-inforced to reinforced. All          |
  | dimensions have been standardised to a x b (with a and b           |
  | representing two numbers).                                         |
  |                                                                    |
  | Typographical errors corrected: azotabacter to azotobacter (p.     |
  | 138), devise to device (p. 232), anarobic to anaerobic (p. 236),   |
  | and Hayford to Hayfork (Index). Some minor typographical errors    |
  | have been corrected silently.                                      |
  |                                                                    |
  | Page 158: "the so-called humid sections" should possibly be "the   |
  | so-called arid sections".                                          |
  |                                                                    |
  | The advertisements have been re-arranged to a single list per      |
  | subject.                                                           |

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