LumberJocks

My other John Deere - woodworking project

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by richgreer posted 832 days ago 1506 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


832 days ago

Some of you may recall that I recently purchased a ‘49 John Deere A. I really like that tractor. In addition, I have another John Deere that I have owned for about 12 years. My research indicates that it was probably built around 1900. Here are pictures -

You can see that the wooden handles are in very bad shape. When I first acquired it, I could lift it by the handles. The handles would definitely break if I tried to lift it now.

I’ve decided to make new handles. I realize that will make it less authentic, but those are probably not the original handles anyway. It was common to replace handles after they had deteriorated too much.

I really want to salvage the original hardware, and that may be tricky. Note that all the nuts are square.

I will use the existing handles as a pattern for making new. I know that farm machinery in that era was made, almost exclusively, with with white oak and that is what I will use.

Does anyone have any experience with a project like this and/or does anyone have any advice. I’m particularly interested in any advice on how to salvage the hardware.

As an FYI, I hope to rig up a way to pull this plow with my tractor in the spring. I want to experience what it was like for my Dad and Grandfather to walk behind and manage a plow like this. Of course, I will not do that until the spring and I will need someone to drive the tractor for me.

Thanks in advance.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


36 replies so far

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1193 posts in 1337 days


#1 posted 832 days ago

Very cool project, keep us updated. Sorry, I am of no technical help here.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1489 posts in 1488 days


#2 posted 832 days ago

Not sure how well it will work, but have you considered electrolysis?
http://lumberjocks.com/Bertha/blog/23687

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1569 days


#3 posted 832 days ago

For the bolts and nuts, WD-40, penetrating oil, and/or heat should loosen them so they can be removed. Unless they’re in really bad shape, some wire brushing and a pass thru a tap or die should clean up the threads for reuse.

If you want to go whole hog, the rest of the metal can be sandblasted and repainted (Green, of course).

I’ve never done a plow, but I’ve replaced several sets of wheelbarrow handles. When they were finished, I drowned them in BLO and they held up for years.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1616 days


#4 posted 832 days ago

as the last thing to go to if all the oil penetrating fail
its time to be nasty and find the flamethrower and chockheat the bolt and screws
and while they still are very hot use the wrnches on them

good luck with the plough

Dennis

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


#5 posted 832 days ago

I saw Dennis’s reference to “plough” and said to myself, “He must be from Europe”. I checked and saw that he is from Denmark and, as expected, he has learned the British version of English. In the US, we spell it “plow”. May I say that I think it is great that this has become an international website. I appreciate hearing comments from all over the world.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

2983 posts in 1176 days


#6 posted 832 days ago

Rich, I was going to say you don’t want to paint this green because they were black then I got to thinking and I realized that all the plows I have ever seen were covered in rust. Never any paint. Do you suppose they shipped them raw? I guess JD might know how they were shipped out. I think the holes should be burned like they did on wagons. The wood on wagons was not drilled for the bolts. They heated a rod and pushed it through the wood. This leaves a charcoal barrier around the hold and it will not rot. I am in favor of the 50/50 mix of power steering fluid and acetone. As a last resort I would apply heat because it softens the metal. All early equipment used square nuts as you have noted. These are available and can be bought with no plating on them if you need them. Of course, you don’t want to twist the round rod into two pieces.

http://sterkel.com/papers/vintage/Testing_Penetrating_Oils.pdf

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1616 days


#7 posted 832 days ago

thanks for checking Rich :-)
here with spell it plov and 60 years back or so our biggest moneynote was the 500 Kr.
and was used more than 37 years
on one site of it there was a picture of a farmer going with his horse and ploughing
with one simular to yours :-) and the popular name among the comon foks was and still is plovmand

and here is a try out on a new version :-) made by a private person

have a great day
Dennis

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

353 posts in 977 days


#8 posted 832 days ago

rich,
If you go the penetrating oil route, and there are some good ones out there, it might not give immediate results. That plov has been around a long time, you might have to sneak up on that hardware. Give it a dose of penetrating oil, try the threads, go build something, spray it again, try again, until it works or you have had enough and get the grinder out and cut them. Penetrating oil does wonderful things with time and light shocks sometimes. Might want to check any exposed threads clean and dress them with brush and file or light touch with a hack saw blade. Go for quick, go for torque, and you might be going to the hardware store.

Also, you might consider if the hardware can be saved, to save those handles. What comes off can always go back on. Those square nuts, you have a lot of wrench face for an open end wrench, a socket or box wrench will only have the 4 points.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1826 posts in 2062 days


#9 posted 832 days ago

LOL, Rich. Your “A” will be totally embarrassed pulling a single bottom plow!

-- Joe

View andysden's profile

andysden

45 posts in 919 days


#10 posted 832 days ago

My brother belongs to a local antique farmers club in soothern ontario andthey have lots of these single furrow ploughs [english] plows and coluld help you with the painting and the peoper kind of wood his email address isiw736cjude@mail.com I think he will help you with it Andy

View cloakie1's profile

cloakie1

204 posts in 1056 days


#11 posted 831 days ago

i think that electrolysis would be the way to go…as long as you can find a tank big enough and a suitable power source…battery chargers will do it but you really need about 20 amps
sodium carbonate is added to the water.
the nuts will pretty much undo by hand when it’s done

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1586 days


#12 posted 830 days ago

If you are going to put that behind a tractor, be sure the tractor operator is very experienced and has a
quick reaction time. Do not ask how I know this is necessary.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


#13 posted 830 days ago

Bluepine – That is a very good point. People who are experienced driving this type of tractor are pretty hard to find.

For those who don’t know, my tractor has a hand clutch and a few other oddities. Driving it is quite different than driving anything else. It would take quite a bit of time before pulling the clutch and applying brakes (one break petal on each side of the tractor for the wheel on that side.) would be natural and intuitive.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1826 posts in 2062 days


#14 posted 830 days ago

Some John Deere trivia for Rich.

Rich, Do you know how to crank your “A” if it has a dead battery?

-- Joe

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


#15 posted 830 days ago

My A does not have an open flywheel so I cannot hand “crank” it. On our farm we would pull it with another tractor. Sometimes, if we knew we may have a problem starting it, we would park it on the barn hill and start it by rolling down the hill and engaging the clutch.

I’m reluctant to jump or charge this tractor because it has a 6 volt electrical system. I worry about damaging the electrical system by hooking it up to 12 volts.

FYI – I am always amazed at how quickly and easily these tractors usually start. It seems like the starter only needs to turn the engine over for one revolution and it fires up.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

showing 1 through 15 of 36 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase