Athens, OH 7 February 2016 –
As I’m sitting in my apartment trying not to think of the cold outside, my mind wanders to summers past and the prospects of summers future. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, in my free time, I enjoy restoring antique trucks and farm equipment. This past summer I restored a John Deere manure spreader for a client. Below is a before picture. At that point, most of the wood had significant rot and a significant amount of the metal had rust holes.
As the restoration process went on, replacement parts became a necessity and the search for 65 year old parts began. I was able to find a majority of the needed replacement parts from a salvage yard in South Dakota but one part eluded my search. The part was a sheet metal shield meant to prevent hands from being caught in the drive chains. These are often discarded to make maintenance easier. In the end, I was able to find a shield in a swamp in Illinois but it was in very poor shape:
Through my experience in design, I was able draft a replacement in SolidWorks and send the file to a local fabricator to be CNC plasma cut and bent to shape.
In the end, this fabricated part brought the restoration together and was the crowning touch: