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MunchkinsMom
Oct. 20, 2009, 12:10 AM
Today's farm chore was to fix all the loose fenceboards. This means lugging the heavy electic drill, impact driver, fence screws and hammer all along the fence line that surrounds 9 acres of pasture.

I took a book bag (the kind with two handles, and a rectangular hard bottom) and put both power tools and the hammer in it. Then I put all the fence screws into an old canvas cell phone holder (I think it came with one of my daughter's back packs) that clips onto your belt.

It worked out great, I could put the old nails into the side pouch in the book bag, and didn't have to fumble around to find the fence screws. No loose nails or screws to drop.

Also while I was out there, I checked in on my latest pasture grass experiment. Three weeks ago I decided to take the very wet shavings and pellets from my stalls into the Newer Spreader and spread them on the field. I made stripes, leaving a strip between the spread strips as a comparison. The aim of the experiment was to see if the shavings/sawdust would help or hurt the grass. I am happy to report that the strips that the shavings were spread on are actually thicker and greener than the "untreated" strips.

ReSomething
Oct. 20, 2009, 02:26 AM
There are canvas liners made to fit inside a 5 gallon bucket that have pockets on the outside for tools. My DH got them. They almost hold too much, the bucket can get pretty heavy. Also great for carting fencing supplies, gardening stuff, whatever.

Reusing something you already have is a great idea, however.

chai
Oct. 20, 2009, 08:48 AM
That's a great idea. Last week I was up on the ladder tacking wire mesh over the gutter on our barn to keep leaves and squirrels out. I could have used something so handy because it was really tough to keep digging in my pocket for nails. Thanks.

Zu Zu
Oct. 20, 2009, 08:54 AM
Today's farm chore was to fix all the loose fenceboards. This means lugging the heavy electic drill, impact driver, fence screws and hammer all along the fence line that surrounds 9 acres of pasture.

I took a book bag (the kind with two handles, and a rectangular hard bottom) and put both power tools and the hammer in it. Then I put all the fence screws into an old canvas cell phone holder (I think it came with one of my daughter's back packs) that clips onto your belt.

It worked out great, I could put the old nails into the side pouch in the book bag, and didn't have to fumble around to find the fence screws. No loose nails or screws to drop.

Also while I was out there, I checked in on my latest pasture grass experiment. Three weeks ago I decided to take the very wet shavings and pellets from my stalls into the Newer Spreader and spread them on the field. I made stripes, leaving a strip between the spread strips as a comparison. The aim of the experiment was to see if the shavings/sawdust would help or hurt the grass. I am happy to report that the strips that the shavings were spread on are actually thicker and greener than the "untreated" strips.
Munchkinsmom - I am really impressed with all your farm maintenance tips and ideas you are really sharp ! I really think you should have been a rocket scientist or brain surgeon -- honestly ! I always read your posts as you ALWAYS have something important to offer up. Thank You! !

Bluey
Oct. 20, 2009, 09:17 AM
We hav what we call staple bags, that are a canvas bag with two pockets you lace around your waist.
Lumber yards used to give them out free when you bought nails or fencing staples and they work well to hold all sorts of nails, screws and staples.
They are easy to get your hands in them and pick what you want.

Once you are finished, you take them off, roll them and tie them up so what you have left doesn't fall out.

We have some with old lumber yard names and a few with Home Depot on them.

MistyBlue
Oct. 20, 2009, 09:44 AM
Ooo, I do like the backpack idea for work up on ladders.
Chai...care to share how to tack up mesh on gutters? I always assumed I'd need those gutter guard things and since I HATE heights, am surrounded by huge trees and most of those have freaking nuts...cleaning my house gutters is by far my least fave job.
Usually if I'm up on a ladder I use a hook to hang a bucket off one rung...but then am constantly stepping down a rung or two to reach into the bucket again. I may try the backpack thing...although with my luck it'll throw off my already shaky balance. ;)
I do use the 5 gallon bucket full of tools and parts for walking around repairs though.
I *tried* a tool belt. First, nobody makes them small woman sized. Took me a while to cut the smallest one I could find down to fit me. Then I filled it with tools and stuff, went proudly walking out to get a few things fixed and within 10 minutes was feeling QUITE the breeze. Heavy tool belts tend to make your pants fall off folks. :eek:

shakeytails
Oct. 20, 2009, 10:24 AM
Forget that electric stuff, cordless is where it's at! Paslode nail gun, DeWalt cordless impact gun, circular saw and drill. We use a 5 gallon bucket to carry stuff in. The only time we drag cords is when we're actually building fence- the electric powers the air compressor for the framing nail gun.

Cloverbarley
Oct. 20, 2009, 10:30 AM
Yeah all of our field maintenance tools are cordless. Loving the ideas people are putting forward here :). We have a Jeep Wrangler that we use instead of an ATV and it's usually piled high with buckets filled with staples, screws etc. Jeep has chainsaws, winches, hammers, nail bars ... pretty much everything we ever need to do repairs, so it's always ready to go.

MistyBlue
Oct. 20, 2009, 02:05 PM
LOL...our "Gator" is/was a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee. :D I have to say "was" now because her wiring is shot and the only way to turn it off is to disconnect the battery. Once you connect it again...everything goes on. Wipers, hazards, radio, etc. *sigh* Has too many miles to justify putting any serious money into it. But I sure did LOVE that Jeep for all sorts of farm chores. Used to be able to brag that my gator had leather interior, CD player, AC, etc. :winkgrin:

nadasy
Oct. 20, 2009, 03:07 PM
I have another tip. I have really heavy steel screens on my stalls. They hang from 2 very heavy screw eyes. I took one of the screens off to do some work on a center wall between the stalls, and since the stall doors are 6' x 5' and weigh about 50 lbs, I could only get the bottom pin in or the top pin. I tried putting blocks of wood under the end away from the screw eye, but the screens are so wide, that I could not lift the end with one arm and direct the pin into the eye. :(

So I gathered up all my good bungee straps, put them over the beam over the center wall, hooked them into the screen in 3 different places so that the screen was swinging freely and all I had to do was just position the pins over the screw eyes, press down and with the other hand unloosened the bungee straps and it worked perfectly!!

I was very proud of myself figuring this out. I don't have anyone to call on to help me so I usually eventually figure out a way to do this by myself. :lol:

Tom King
Oct. 20, 2009, 05:28 PM
Tool belts are available from Lowes and Home Depot. They keep everything right at hand, easy to get too, and eliminates all the bending over up and down. If you try different ones on in the store you can find one that doesn't bounce around while you walk. They carry all the weight down on your hips and some you can slide the bags around the back for working off ladders. If your shape doesn't let the belt ride on your hips, some allow or come with suspenders. Some of the specialty ompanies make all sorts and sizes that you can't find in the big box stores......
http://www.bestbelt.com/product/toolbelts/barrel-toolbelt.html

There are plenty of cheap ones that work fine and it's easy enough to cut the belts down smaller if needed and you choose the right type. http://www.constructiongear.com/8-pocket-tool-pouch-with-belt-heavy-duty-i370x3-custom-leather-craft.html

There are even some interesting ones designed for working on stage setup. http://toolsforstagecraft.com/n323.htm
And custom sized ones http://www.toolbelts.ca/item16.htm

A "monster hook" on each side keeps cordless drill and impact driver balanced and right at hand.
http://woodworker.com/monster-hook-mssu-958-392.asp

If I can't carry what I need comfortably for fence work in a tool belt, I use a wheelbarrow.

If you care how you look wearing a toolbelt, you ought to have to carry a bucket.

MistyBlue
Oct. 20, 2009, 07:26 PM
I don't care what I look like carrying a tool belt...but the neighbors might care when the tool belt keeps making my pants fall off. :lol: :eek: :lol:
I'm kinda hip-less. Although the suspenders idea has merit...maybe I can attach a pair to the tool belt I have now.
I've got the tool belt around a 5 gallon bucket now...which is quite handy having an organizer around the bucket. It fits on the bucket well and the grooves near the top keep it in place. :yes:
So far the only things I can wear on my belt/pants seems to be my cell phone when outside working (in case something runs me over or I nail my hand to something) and my Leatherman. Anything heavier...no pants. :no: I could wear smaller pants, but then that kinda defeats the purpose of being comfy and able to move easily.
being on the small side makes a lot of stuff more difficult. They don't make stuff at Home Depot or hardware stores for little females. The grips on many of my power tools are all made for large hands...so far only the DeWalt drill driver fits decently in my hands. Many of the other tools I need to grip with both hands, not always convenient. The Sawzall isn;t too bad, but if I need extra force I do need both hands.
I *wish* they made work stuff for smaller people. Not everyone who uses tool belts, power tools, coveralls, etc is 6' and 200 lbs. And the very few brands that make female versions of stuff make them wimpy and ridiculous. *sigh* I have no need for a 9v pink electric screwdriver or buying Carhartt overalls in childrens or womens means they come with half the insulation as the mens'. :o

Tom King
Oct. 20, 2009, 08:52 PM
Look at this particular drill the next time you are in HD. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=makita+18+volt+drill&cid=14043557956001752564&sa=title#p

The handles are a lot smaller than the Dewalt's. Home Depot maybe still has the set of drill and impact driver for $199. The LI batteries last longer, both in use and over time, than the older NiCad ones ever did-even with the small size of these particular ones.

Pam bought tool belts from http://www.nailerstoolbelts.com/nailers.htm. Just the belt they sell, not the bags. Cordura bags irritate my hands when using one for a long time. She cut hers down and resewed the end to get one small enough. I've been using one of their belts with other pockets for probably 15 years although I did have to replace one of the buckles. I pull my Wranglers up high, put the toolbelt on tight below the waist of the jeans and it all settles down to a comfortable postion. When I'm building something, I may keep it on for 4 or 5 hours.

MistyBlue
Oct. 20, 2009, 10:36 PM
Makitas are nice from what Ive heard. And that handle looks more narrow, lighter weight too. I think mine is a touch under 6 lbs with battery, not sure though. How's the power on the 18v? I have a 24v, is there a huge difference?

JSwan
Oct. 22, 2009, 07:19 AM
We hav what we call staple bags, that are a canvas bag with two pockets you lace around your waist.


Bluey - I use one to hold my braiding supplies. Works great, cheap or free, and lasts forever. I can braid a horse without ever having to step away to grab something.

Our huntsman also uses one for dog biscuits. Wears it when walking hounds.

Mistyblue - you need suspenders!

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 23, 2009, 02:36 PM
Munchkinsmom - I am really impressed with all your farm maintenance tips and ideas you are really sharp ! I really think you should have been a rocket scientist or brain surgeon -- honestly ! I always read your posts as you ALWAYS have something important to offer up. Thank You! !

Thanks! I like to think that farm ownership has a certain element of ingenuity involved, especially if you need to do something alone and not annoy your husband with incessant requests for help, especially in my case, where I am blessed enough that he bought the place mostly for me. He does like it if I ask him to help with a chore that involves a chain saw - and in those cases we jump in his Jeep Wrangler to bounce across the pasture.

One more tip (it helps if you have two men in the house with a garage full of gadgets that you can borrow). If you are mending fence boards with "blowout patches" I found that woodworker clamps (sort of like big potato chip bag clips) are great for holding the patch board to the board you are repairing, leaving both hands free to run the cordless power tools.

Now I need to figure out how to bring home 16 foot fence boards in a truck with a 6 foot bed. . . It is only 5 miles to the feed store to get them, but I have nightmares about how to get them home in one piece.

Jaegermonster
Oct. 23, 2009, 02:40 PM
Tie the boards together in manageable bundles (depending on how many you're getting) and then secure the bundles to the rings in the truck bed with bungees or baling twine.
This holds them and also keeps them from bouncing around as much.
You will, of course, need a flag for the end of the boards

Of course you could always just take your horse trailer to get them

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 23, 2009, 02:44 PM
Tie the boards together in manageable bundles (depending on how many you're getting) and then secure the bundles to the rings in the truck bed with bungees or baling twine.
This holds them and also keeps them from bouncing around as much.
You will, of course, need a flag for the end of the boards

Of course you could always just take your horse trailer to get them

Dopey question, tailgate up or down (on the truck that is)?

Jaegermonster
Oct. 23, 2009, 07:51 PM
I usually have left it down because I'm getting other big things too but you can put it up, it doesn't matter. The tieing is the important part b/c it keeps them from bouncing.