Monday, June 1, 2015

Pulley Project, Peaches and Bottle Babies

So the guy who bought my dad's old farm turned around and hired my dad as a semi-sorta caretaker for the place and then rented it out. They have had this arrangement for years. Here lately however anytime something needs "caretaken of" it usually means I will be doing the heavy work.

Not that I am complaining since I still cut wood off the place and put up swarm traps and the like so it's a pretty fair trade off as long as the house is rented and the tenants mow the grass.

So the old brush hog down at the place has finally worn itself completely out and the owner asked my dad to buy a new one and he would reimburse him. Of course that meant I was picking up a new brush hog this morning :)

The only reason this is really relevant to the Small-Hold blog is that when we got there to deliver the thing the chain I brought proved to be too short to pick it up off the trailer. I went up into the old barn hayloft looking for more and saw this big piece of chain coming out from under some old hay. Giving it a mighty pull proved very ineffective so I started sifting through the old hay until I uncovered this massive pulley and hook. A little more hay removal and I found the entire thing pictured below.

So I drug the entire thing to the hayloft door and hung one end out and yelled "Hey Dad where did this come from?"

Turns out it was my dad's old pulley he couldn't find when he moved out. So we called the owner and asked if we could have it back. Technically the farm sold with a list of items that came with it and the pulley wasn't on it but better to be polite and make sure there are no misunderstandings. Anyway the owner didn't want the thing, he doesn't even want the barn as it is, so it is now firmly installed in my barn for good.

Getting that 200 pound pulley system up there was fun let me tell you. I attached a rope to it and then climbed up and threw it over the top beam and then would lift it putting some slack in the rope while my mom of all people would hold the rope tight once I let go. It didn't require any strength on her part because the rope held tight to the edge but I needed someone to keep the rope taunt. As it turned out when I let it back down into the chain I had wrapped around the beam to hold it, the pulley managed to trap the last six inches or so of my rope that has now become forever a type of buffer gasket between the chain and the top hook. Less metal on metal wear is what I told myself as I was cutting the rope off :)

Now all I have to do is design some type of canvas sling to put a hay bale in and I can pulley those super heavy Alfalfa bales up there. When they get more than a hundred pounds or so I have a hard time tossing em up there let me tell you.

As it turns out the pulley was one dad used at the shop he managed and I never knew about it because it was always there and not at the farm when I was growing up. It has Wright manufacturing, Lisbon Ohio/ one and one half ton weight, printed on the pulleys and when I googled the company I found out it went out of business in 1928.

That's an old hunk of chain and pulley let me tell ya.

Our peaches are ripening up nicely as you can see and we sold two of our bottle lambs this morning. Both of the whethers believe it or not. Personally I couldn't believe it when they called asking about them last night but apparently the couple who bought them want them as pets to raise along side a Great Pyrenees puppy. All I know is I was happy as a clam to sell them the two boys and would have more than likely given them away if they had even batted an eyelash at the $50.00 asking price. No way these people were anything but what they advertised themselves as and now I won't have to play the bad guy come market day or end up with two more useless sheep in the invalid flock. No way my mother was going to let me market them without a fight after she has been shoving a bottle in to their always hungry maws for over a month.

Hell I would have paid the couple to take them truth be told. They both impressed me as my type of people too. I just dodged a huge bullet with that transaction let me tell you and made a little money besides and won't have to buy any more milk replacer now.

I think the clincher for the entire thing was when I pulled the first lamb out of the paddock and he ran right up to the lady buyer and then just followed her around like a dog. I warned em though that the Whethers will get too comfortable with you as they get older. Nothing like having a 200+ pound sheep headbutt ya playfully because it wants his ears scratched while you walk across a mud pit let me tell you. Or the new little thing they do when they paw at me with their front hoof.

All I know is they are both my heroes today.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. Damn peaches I wonder how my peach experiment is going where I used to live.
    They probably killed em but nevertheless I am completely jealous of your peaches.
    Enough about me congrats Preppy.
    Some peoples commenters huh:)

  2. Awesome about the pulley, though it reminds me of an "educational toy" one I've seen in a catalog; that my wife and I both agree that we would have done truly terrible things to siblings with, as children, if given a 4:1 mechanical advantage to work with.

  3. That was a nice find! I have used the more modern chain pulley systems: which give up speed for ease. But that looks really solid.

  4. That pulley system will provide a nice place for your tractor drivers to do various acrobatics activities on rainy days. It will get those heavy bales up there with out wearing you out. Now you will have to come up with a neat sling or grabber for it.

  5. PP,

    Nice pulley,good thing you found it under the hay and the current owner was good with you taking it. Pulley's make life so much easier when dealing with moving heavy things.

    Your peaches are looking really good. What will you be doing with them? Canning, baking?

    Good bye to 2 of your sheep, less bottles to worry about :P

  6. Nice Find Preppy! And nice piece of personal and American History. My vote for the peaches is lots of peach cobbler.


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