Tag Archive | antiques

Repurposing an Old Wringer Washing Machine

 

These wringer washing machines are old relics – perhaps an eyesore on an old farm. I found this one in a heap of metal and got the idea to turn it into a cool ice-chest! It's on wheels, it has a rubber drain hose to dump the melted ice/water at the end of the day, and it has a lot of space for beverages.

 

The machines were quite heavy, so with my trusty little tractor, I tipped it over and we took the motor out of the underside. The inside of the wash tub itself was aluminum, so I masked it off and prepared to paint.

 

There are lots of great spray paint colors on the market today – I first chose one that had a “pebbly” appearance that I figured would cover up the rust pox marks. Worked like a dream, but it was a brown color and I was not satisfied with the color. So, I followed that with a cranberry color.

We replaced a couple of casters and were good to go! It rolls out on deck for “outside” summer parties, and can stay in the sunroom for “inside” gatherings. I simply roll the washIng machine to the outside door at the end of the party, drop the discharge hose on the ground and drain out the remaining ice water.

Instant Cooler! Most of the washing machines had a cover that came with them – this one had probably been lost years ago. If you have a cover – it'll help to keep your beverages cold!

 

That Contraption is a Hay Sweep?

It was here when we bought the place, just like many other pieces of equipment. It is big….and it wasn't until this last week that I was told what it even was! But today, it paid it's rent out in the hay field !!

 

We were eating breakfast the other morning and Kevin had his attention in a local farming paper that is published weekly. He grabbed the IPad and started searching for something, then he said – “look at this!”

It was almost the same looking contraption that we have – and it was hooked to a skid steer and picking up hay bales. Looked like about twelve at a time. Kevin's eyes twinkled as I could see the wheels turning in his head! Now, he just needed to figure out how to mount our big contraption to the skid steer and maybe put it to work.

Away he went, and later in the day, I walked down to the shop to see what he had accomplished. He had not only been inventing a hay-bale picker-upper thingy, but he had a wheel off one rake, guides off the swather, and a belt to something laying on the cement. Four pieces of equipment backed up to the shop in a pie-shaped fashion so he could reach them all with the air hoses and power tools. He had so much going on that I wasn't sure how he even knew what he was doing – but anyone that knows him would agree that he had it all in order. It was time to cut hay and he was in high gear.

Well, I had brought us each an ice cold drink, so I proceeded to relax against the equipment and enjoy the end of a very productive day. Glancing around, I noticed that this big hay equipment had a faded name on it….Meyer Hay Sweep. It looked old, so I grabbed my iPhone and googled the name. Come to find out, a gentleman by the name of Alvin Meyer invented the sweep way back in 1956. And to think it had been in use for all these years!

Didn't take him but a few hours and a couple of modifications and our Bale Sweep was out in the field. It will pick up 12 bales of hay by simply tilting the forks down and sliding them on the rail. Kev made many, many trips with it – our first cutting of hay in that field was twice – almost three times – more than last year. He could keep the skid steer at full throttle and slide the bales into place.

The previous owners of our old homestead must have had a little smirk on their faces up in heaven….. as they watched their old bale sweep out in their fields. I can guarantee you, I don't think anyone in our neighborhood has one of these contraptions!

 

 

 

That Contraption is a Hay Sweep?

It was here when we bought the place, just like many other pieces of equipment. It is big….and it wasn't until this last week that I was told what it even was! But today, it paid it's rent out in the hay field !!

 

We were eating breakfast the other morning and Kevin had his attention in a local farming paper that is published weekly. He grabbed the IPad and started searching for something, then he said – “look at this!”

It was almost the same looking contraption that we have – and it was hooked to a skid steer and picking up hay bales. Looked like about twelve at a time. Kevin's eyes twinkled as I could see the wheels turning in his head! Now, he just needed to figure out how to mount our big contraption to the skid steer and maybe put it to work.

Away he went, and later in the day, I walked down to the shop to see what he had accomplished. He had not only been inventing a hay-bale picker-upper thingy, but he had a wheel off one rake, guides off the swather, and a belt to something laying on the cement. Four pieces of equipment backed up to the shop in a pie-shaped fashion so he could reach them all with the air hoses and power tools. He had so much going on that I wasn't sure how he even knew what he was doing – but anyone that knows him would agree that he had it all in order. It was time to cut hay and he was in high gear.

Well, I had brought us each an ice cold drink, so I proceeded to relax against the equipment and enjoy the end of a very productive day. Glancing around, I noticed that this big hay equipment had a faded name on it….Meyer Hay Sweep. It looked old, so I grabbed my iPhone and googled the name. Come to find out, a gentleman by the name of Alvin Meyer invented the sweep way back in 1956. And to think it had been in use for all these years!

Didn't take him but a few hours and a couple of modifications and our Bale Sweep was out in the field. It will pick up 12 bales of hay by simply tilting the forks down and sliding them on the rail. Kev made many, many trips with it – our first cutting of hay in that field was twice – almost three times – more than last year. He could keep the skid steer at full throttle and slide the bales into place.

The previous owners of our old homestead must have had a little smirk on their faces up in heaven….. as they watched their old bale sweep out in their fields. I can guarantee you, I don't think anyone in our neighborhood has one of these contraptions!

 

 

 

The Best Weeding Tools

There's surely no doubt that the market is flooded with weeding products. One trip down the aisle of any hardware store will score dozens of products to apply. Here at our house, we try to avoid the “quick fix” of the chemical and rather go by some simpler approaches.

 

Our farmstead came with lots of implements when we bought it. The smaller ones were hanging on this old shed – seriously, all these things were hanging here on the day we came here.

 

The building appeared to be a blacksmithing/tool shed, and evidently – it was easier to find “just the right part” from the walls than rummaging through a bunch of shelves. There was a forge and a can of coal, there were old leather belts fashioned into tool holders. Old sardine cans hung as trays. Traps, pitchforks, and sand points for a water well. More than not, I had no idea what a lot of the things were – but there are a few that have become my favorites in the garden!


This old hoe looks ancient and I don't know that you would readily find another like it. (Believe me, if you do see a hoe for sale like this – buy it!) It has a slightly angled blade at the bottom of it that you can slide under a weed and slice it right off! Normally in my garden, a whole slurry of baby weeds seem to pop up, all at once, a week or so after putting in the corn, for example . This hoe is fantastic for slicing the top off the invaders without having to work up the soil again and I am able to work a section of the garden plot quickly and efficiently. You can also turn it on end and open a new row to plant your seeds in. Because it is not the typical “V” shape, the trench doesn't get too deep for many of the smaller variety of seeds in your garden.

 

I found this next gem at an auction last week. So much of my gardening is in a raised bed where soil compaction is at a minimum. By designing your raised beds to be narrow enough to reach 1/2 way across them, you will never find yourself standing inside the bed reaching for that carrot! Soil prep is a snap with this hoe!

 

So before you reach for a bottle of weed killer, take a look around for some simple tools that will protect our environment, your health, and your children's health. Not only are the best weeding tools in your hands, they are your hands!

 

Flour Bin or Flower Bin?

We purchased our property in late 2004. I say “property” because it was vacant land with what realtors refer to as a pusher-downer house on it. The house was in such bad shape that it was not considered in the asking price of the property.

 

Little did we know, on that first day as we toured the place, the inside of the old house held a vast amount of treasures….even photograph albums of the family as it had grown over the years. We just couldn't push the house down, nor could we stand to throw all the old relics inside.

 

One of the old pieces of furniture was dragged to a storage shed where it stood, patiently waiting, for someone to spend time refinishing it. That time finally came! A couple of weeks ago I donned a respirator and a sander and began to strip the old paint off this beautiful pantry (for lack of a better word). It had stood right inside the entry door as you entered the old home and housed Mrs. Scott's recipes and special articles she had saved from the early 1900s.

 

There were multiple news articles showing how to cure meat inside the pantry. One of the recipes explained how to “put up sausage”. It called for “24 pounds of meat, 9 tablespoons of sage, 7 tablespoons of salt, 4 tablespoons of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Make into cakes, thoroughly cook without browning too much, and put into big-mouthed glass jars and cover with lard. In this way, it will keep indefinitely.” Wow!!! These people did not have access to refrigeration as we do now, so they had to be creative to keep meat year 'round.

 

There were newspapers from The Weekly Kansas City Star dated November 17, 1926 that lined the bottom of the area where flour was kept. I guess it kept the flour from slipping through the cracks in the bottom of the pantry. There was a brochure that touted Iron Day Drudgery is Unknown to the Woman Who Uses a Royal Self Heating Iron. I am sure that it was a great improvement to ironing in the early 1900s.

 

We had found three old kerosene lanterns on the property during those first days. The globes had broken over the years, I had imagined, but the Scott's family had fashioned a screen to protect the flame and make it usable.

 

We have had the lamps on display in our kitchen for years now. I had wondered, many times, what they had looked like when they were new. Lo and behold, inside the pantry came the answer – the lamps were called the New Sunshine Safety Lamps. They had been sold with a 15 day trial and were guaranteed for five years. Check out the beautiful globe the lamps had! May be on the ” look-out” for them in an antique store!

 

We found an interesting trial package of Walko's White Diarrhea Roup and Cholera Tablets for poultry. It had been sent as a trial package to the box holders on the mail route. It was still full of the tablets – never had been used. Full directions included….

 

On to the task at hand! I sanded the paint off the pantry and found it to be as cute as I had hoped it to be. It has a drop-down lid missing, but appears to be otherwise in pretty good shape. Back in the day, there was no such thing as a “finishing nail” as the heads on all the nails are big! I think that's what gives it character!

 

I measured the pantry and then ran around the kitchen to see where it might fit in the house. It will fit pretty well in the hallway where a quilt stand sits now. I am torn between putting the piece back in action as a “flour” bin, or painting it a vivid color and filling the drawers full of beautiful draping flowers….a “flower” bin. I believe Mrs. Scott, who passed decades ago, might be pretty happy to see her pantry back in the kitchen of her home (you got it, we fixed the old house up – just couldn't bear to tear it down!) I have been told that she was also quite a gardener, so either way I think she will be pleased!

What do you think?

 

Mrs. Scott's seeds