Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boyd's Big List of His Favorite Tools

I thought I would take a break from my rantings about revolution, while I gather my thoughts for the finale - Part 4, and share with you my list of favorite tools. I do not get any kind of payment for these endorsements (not yet anyway).

 10 Bushel Cart bought on sale for $69.99 (regular $119.00) at Tractor Supply Co. We carry everything in this - firewood, leaves, soil, lumber, fence rolls, T-posts, tools, 50lb bags of feed, manure.

 Electrician's Pliers - not sure where they came from but they cut fence, tie wire, cattle panels, and are awesome when doing electrical work.

 These next two are my little babies. Ryobi 18v drill and 5 and 1/4 inch circular saw. I work them to death and have never had a problem. $110.00 for the two (on-sale in one kit) at Home Depot.

 2 and 1/2 ton block and tackle ($75.00 from Sportsman's Guide) is a life saver when lifting air conditioners into the barn loft for the winter and the wood stove for the summer. Also makes butchering larger animals a breeze. I can hang them and raise them to eye-height - no stooping or reaching!
 My fleet of workhorse chainsaws. All Poulan - a 20", one 18", and my favorite of all, the easy starting, 16" friend. Altogether we cut enough firewood for our homestead on less than 2 gallons of mixed gas.

 Fiskars post hole diggers ($29.99 at Lowe's many years ago). All metal and the crossed-spades allow me to dig 4ft deep if I want. No rust no bending or sharpening. Heavy, but its heft helps me drive it into the ground. I always look for Fiskars brands for shovels, picks, etc.

 Garden Spade made by Corona ($5.00 at Tractor Supply). This spade and two others have been lost and found many times, left in the rain and snow, used improperly to dig out all sorts of things- no rust, no bends.

 Broad-fork ($110.00 from Johnny's Seeds)- this tool is a throw back to pre-machine gardens and was designed and endorsed by Elliot Coleman. This tool has allowed us to start planting much earlier as we have not had to till our garden for the first time in 10 years!

 Rabbit Water-er ($7.00 at Tractor Supply) - better than the ones you get from your co-op. Filtered at the nozzle and the easy filling cap make it great. The best thing, though, is the way it mounts to the wire. No hooks/ The easy thumbscrew and plate design will attache to any kind of fencing material from hardware cloth to 2" chicken wire, or field fence if I wanted to.

 Gate latch ($7.00 from Tractor Supply) - easy to install, easy to operated, we use these on every stall we build.
 Little Philips Screwdriver - I learned this trick from my brother, Roland, who is much smarter than I. When clipping fence to T-posts, don't bother with fence pliers to secure the clips. Simply hook the small loop of the clip over the fence, wrap the clip around the Tpost, and then position the large hook of the clip under the fence. Slip the screwdriver through the large loop and then spin the screwdriver away from you and around the strand of fence. Oi-la! The clip is tight and secure.

The Big Blue Nail was a gift from my parents one Christmas - yes it was wrapped - yes I guessed what it was. This tool has been used for everything- rolling logs, digging out big rocks, prying warped boards straight before nailing, stretching field fence, and as a lever to pull the power-steering pump over on its bracket to tighten the alternator belt on my old truck.

The Walking Stick to its right is what I use to herd our geese around. Hold it to the right of the gaggle and they all move left, hold it to the left and they move right. It is also used to bust ice out of water buckets every winter and poking holes in our garden rows for transplants.

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