Thursday, November 16, 2017

Patio roof fix

The years have not been kind to the patio roof.  This year's strong winds broke a few pieces of the fiberglass sheets and the early snow made those broken sections larger.  I already have replacement sheets for the roof but when I do replace all the sheets that make up the roof I want to fix the supporting frame.  And I want to trim some of the tree branches above the roof, which if they fall wrong after being cut would go right through the roof.  So I have put the project off until I have more time.

Since the snow earlier this month we have been slightly warmer so some of the 8.3 inches of snow had melted, making a further mess in the patio.  Today I got some extra metal sheets and placed them over the three large holes in the roof.  That should keep snow and rain (mostly) out until next year when I need to make time to redo the roof.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Loafing shed rebuild

I completed most of the loafing shed rebuild before snow and Winter came the beginning of this month.

In case you forgot, here are a few photos of the damage.

The roof

I had to focus and concentrate on the rebuild as the weather forecast didn't give me much time.  I was able to get the roof back on a day before the snow came on November 1.   I have some finish work left on the roof but it can wait until Spring.

I had to replace the three tree trunk posts.  Once I did, and before I attached the roof to the new posts, I pushed the back wall back to stand straight again.

To replace the tree trunk posts I lifted the roof and placed temporary posts to hold the roof upright.

The calves checking out the hole I dug for the first post.

Here is one of the tree trunk posts.  As you can see it had rotted away a few inches below ground level.  While I don't know the entire history of the ranch and loafing shed, I suspect the tree trunk posts were used starting back in 1941 or 1942 when I believe the loafing shed was built.

Here are all the remains I dug out of one of the tree trunk posts.  I found that two posts went 36 inches deep and the other post was 40 inches deep.  As you can see I do not have 36 to 40 inches of rotted post.  I found what remained of the posts usually were at the bottom and that is why I know how deep the posts originally were dug.  The first foot or two usually had completely decayed or was in such bad shape the form did not hold when I dug it up.

I had three 10 foot railroad ties and they were perfect to use as new posts.  They should last my lifetime. The posts only needed to be about 7 1/2 feet tall and therefore I could bury the post 2 1/2 feet deep which is deep enough to be solid.  Solid is important as the cattle like to rub against the edge of the posts.   The tree trunk posts were pretty smooth from decades of rubbing.

I took the roof apart rather than try to attempt to lift it back into place.  I was able to use almost all of the boards, only needing a few to replace or buttress the ones that split or broke.   While the supporting boards were 2x6s, as you can see, the frame to attach the metal sheets were rough cut lumber.

The next day it snowed.  Part of why this post about the rebuild is 'late' is that I was waiting for a sunny day to take a good photo of the rebuilt shed.

We finally had a little sun and I got a better photo showing the rebuilt shed.

The following photos show the remaining work.  While I placed the railroad ties in the same place the old tree trunks were located, I found I must have rebuilt some of the roof just a touch longer.  The metal formerly overhung the frame just a touch and I now found part of the new frame was just a touch longer than the metal sheets.  So the remaining work is to use some odds and ends of metal sheets I have laying around and eliminate the small opening at the back end.  Not so good to have the water run off the metal onto the wooden frame.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hay feeder for the corral

If you remember to back when I bought my current bull, I also bought a used - and slightly damaged - metal feeder.  The feeder was missing two of the uprights that prevent the cattle from climbing into the hay.  I still have pieces of an old broken feeder, and while they are of different styles, I was able to use two of the uprights on my newer feeder.

I screwed the pieces together then I had Curtis do some welds to strengthen their connection.  When I got the feeder back yesterday I also added bolts as the bottom to further strengthen the connection.

Today I brought a large hay bale into the corral for the three heifers and cow and the put the three feeder sections together around the bale.

To distract the heifers and cow I gave them a large bucket of apples in the wooden feeder next to the barn.    They were all over to the hay bale before I got all of the twine off the bale.  They dodged around the bale eating as I finished the work.

With the large bale I no longer have to put hay from the small bales out for the heifers and cow twice a day.  The cattle have already eaten up all the loose hay from this past Summer.  And with the above freezing temperatures the past few days and partial snow melt it got really muddy mucky next to the wooden feeder.

One section with a missing piece.

Replacement piece

Section with replacement piece screwed on.

After final weld and bolting.

After final weld and bolting.

All put together.

The cow likes to burrow her head into the bale to eat.

Tonight Kelly shot the buck he wounded last weekend.  This was the first time Kelly seen the buck come out of the trees since he first shot him.   The buck had a slight limp as the earlier wound was through the leg.  This time Kelly shot the buck through the heart.  When cleaning out the organs Kelly found the heart in two pieces.  Even though my help this time was only to help lift the buck into his pickup (Kelly's wife was with him during the hunt and helped clean out the buck), I still got a little blood on me.  It never fails.   I washed the blood off the coat but left the little bit of blood on my patched pants.  It just adds more 'flavor and style' to my pants. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Thousand dollar pants

Another pair of pants came to an end the other day.  It had gotten to the point where I had to patch the pants multiple times after wearing them.  Then I had to patch them after washing them.  It got too much - even for me.   The pants became a pair of pants trying to get out of another pair.

This Summer at the Murdoch's store a woman told me that if I went to New York City I could sell my pants for a thousand dollars.   Well... the pants were one of a kind.   But I removed the patches that are still good to use on other pants and burnt the little of the pants that remained.   Maybe I should have sold the pants on Ebay?

Don't worry... I still have more patched pants. I can create them as fast as I wear them around the ranch.