Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

'Gator Season Is Coming To An End

Just a couple days remain to shoot your September Mr. Completely e-Postal target.  Go to THIS LINK to print your targets and to read the rules.  I will post the scores sometime this week, and will add any late entries as they come in.

Do You Care...

If Jimmy cracks corn?  Back To The Old Grind!

Photo Credit: Gary Bahre

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Steam: Smoke Through The Water

You all might find this interesting if you have never seen it done.  Flues wear out in steam engines, and here you will see a couple of leaky flues removed and replaced.  Out on the farm in days gone by, a hammer and cold chisel would have been used to unseat both ends.  The smoke wrench is much faster and easier, but you don't want a novice burning metal around your flue sheets. 

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Hiram Perkins got tired of workin'
On the farm each day...

November 1920

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Can You Stand More Chainsaw Safety?

This is a classic barber chair, caused by a too-thick hinge when the tree began to move.  Barber chairs have killed wood cutters since people began dropping trees to utilize.  The easiest way to avoid a barber chair is to bore cut the tree behind the front face of the hinge, so the hinge is the proper thickness before the tree is turned loose to rotate down.  (They can bust your head, break your neck, chase you as you run, or fall and crush you!)

The bore cut is the first new chainsaw skill you will learn if you go to the training session coming up at Dixon Springs Ag Center on October 4.  You will be Barber-Chair-Proof for the rest of your life, and you will learn many other useful skills, too.  Click Here to find the contact info, and head to Dixon Springs, Illinois, early on October 4, 2014.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chainsaw Safety Reminder

Our friend Russell, in Washington, Iowa shot some video of a neighbor cutting a tree and gave the raw footage to me. There are numerous safety problems evident, without even getting close to the action. If you use a saw, please find some safety training. This fellow was lucky and came away uninjured. I doubt he even realized the risks he was making for himself. Many Thanks, Russell!

Using a chainsaw means that you need two dozen safety rules in your head before you crank that beast. A good friend of mine is out of commission right now, and is lucky to be alive because he was cutting alone. A limb nailed him on the head, shattering his hard hat, and it nearly scalped him. He was working in the most remote part of the largest county in Illinois. He was able to call his wife, who was out of state on business. She called a neighbor who knew the location, and he retrieved my friend, and met up with an ambulance. Be safe out there! Chainsaws are the most dangerous tool we use.

 If you live within driving distance of Dixon Springs, Illinois, sign up for the training session on October 4, 2014.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chainsaw Training Opportunity In Southern Illinois!!!!

It's time to work up firewood, and if you have never had real chainsaw safety and use training, this is your chance.  It's a one day session near Dixon Springs, Illinois, on Saturday, October 4, 2014.  After you have had this training you will know how to operate your saw safely, how to make your five step plan to drop a tree, and you will have real hands-on training while you learn your new skills.  Dropping a tree will become child's play to you when you learn the modern way to make your cuts.

 Put that tree where you want it.

Spot problems and learn how to fix them.

 Grade your stumps to improve your skills.

Registration is required!  Cost is $70.  Contact Jim Kirkland at: jakirk (at) illinois (dot) edu, or call 618 695-3383  Jim will send more information to you.

Location: Dixon Springs Ag Center at 7:30 A, 354 State Highway 145N, Simpson, IL
GPS 37.434829,-88.669049.
Field training location:  1275 Carr Road, Vienna IL  GPS 37.438407, -88.801634.

Mr. Kirkland will need your name, address, phone number and e-mail address.  He will also want to know your experience level with a chainsaw.

This is too good to pass up if you will ever use a chainsaw, and the price can't be beat.  Call or e-mail Jim Kirkland right away.  

Photo Credit: J Kirk, Univ. of IL

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

This week Ruger is offering a pistol that is no longer listed in their catalog; a Stainless P85 Decocker made in 1990.  This is a new gun, never fired beyond testing in the Prescott, Arizona factory.  Click Over to read all about it and to place your bid.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, September 24, 2014.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014


...the joy of shipwrecked men With hands and knees upon the shore... ...the man who has tripped Between death's legs and then Recovers himself and breathes again, Can only laugh or only weep... Charles Vildrac, translated by Christopher Middleton

Weekend Steam: An American Crawler In Action!

Holt crawlers were made in California, and were the predecessor of Caterpillar.  Here is a real beauty that demonstrates the capabilities of crawlers.  It was revolutionary, and people of that day would have stood in awe the first time they saw one of these machines running.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Save Your Back While Chainsawing

Don't use brute strength from your arms and back if it's not necessary; that will wear you down. Use your knees to push that saw and save your back!  I didn't realize how much I used my legs until I shot video of myself.  Your legs have a lot of power, and you can use it without straining your back.  Use your legs for pushing the saw when bore-cutting, and for rotating the saw on the dogs when you are making horizontal cuts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

FFA Forestry Contest At Sam Dale Lake!

Thursday, September 18 is the eleventh year that the FFA chapters around my little part of the world all get together for an afternoon of Tree ID, Timber Measuring, Compass and Pacing, and More!  The ag teachers are a dedicated lot, and most of the kids are well prepared.  It will be a large time.  Many Thanks to Wade and Susan for helping this year!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ruger's Audtion To Benefit The Light Foundation

This week you have the opportunity to bid on one of the last Ruger Mk I Standard pistols produced, way back in 1982.  Interest is good on this one, but it's not out of sight yet if you really want one of these pistols.  It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, September 17, 2014.  Click here to read all about it and to place your bid.  100 % of the proceeds will go to benefit the Light Foundation.


Summer Engine Shows Are Just About Done...

Autumn starts next week, and the engine show season will be winding down.  This little homemade tractor, reminiscent of the Happy Farmer, was putt-putting around at Pinckneyville in August.

One of the best gas engine shows in the country will be at Paducah, Kentucky this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Click Here for information.
One of the special treats you will see at the Paducah show is the Falk engine that our friend Gary Bahre put back to working condition this year. It's worth the drive just to see this one!

Here's an example of an actual Happy Farmer tractor. The farmer was probably much happier when he traded up from one of these, but it is fun to look at.

Sunday, September 14, 2014