Handy Devices

Easy-to-build ideas make your work easier.

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Handy Thought, Image by Ralph A. Mark Jr.

HANDY THOUGHT (Editor’s Choice):

Eric Johnson, Geneseo, Illinois, has come up with an idea that, while not really a “Handy Device,” does represent solid mechanical thought. While changing the oil on his machinery, Johnson places the drain plug atop the oil filler cap. That way, he doesn’t forget to replace the drain plug before adding new oil and creating a major mess.


Thomas Waters III, Konnarock, Virginia, has a good supply of old door hinges lying around. He found a new use for one of them. Through the hinge barrels of one-half of one hinge, he slid an “L-shaped” handle made of 1/4-inch steel rod (the barrel is where the hinge pin would normally go). To keep the handle from falling out of the hinge, he welded a “U-shaped” piece of the same-sized rod to the handle. He used the three screw holes in the hinge half to mount the latch assembly to the door. To secure the door, the latch handle slides into a hole Waters drilled into the doorjamb.


Ron Pinnt, North Freedom, Wisconsin, found a way to keep his fence from being washed out. To either side of a stream running through his farm he ran a three-strand fence of barbed wire to wooden posts sunk into the ground near both stream banks. He electrified the middle wire on the fence. Directly next to the “stream side” of wooden posts, he sank two steel T-posts. Pinnt attached insulators to the steel posts and a dog chain to the insulators. Jump wires from the electrified wire to each end of the dog chain electrified the chain. From the dog chain, he hung heavy brace wires every 18 inches. The cattle won’t go near the wire. The fence does ground out when the water rises, but the power flows again as soon as the water recedes.

WINNING IDEAS: Win $400 if your idea is chosen as the month’s “Editor’s Choice” Handy Device. Win $200 for other ideas used on this page. To submit a Handy Device, please send clear photographs, detailed drawings and a complete explanation of your idea. With each entry, include your name, address and telephone number. Send Handy Device entries to Progressive Farmer, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 415, Birmingham, AL 35209. Sorry, but we cannot acknowledge submissions or return photographs, drawings or documentation.


Dan Miller