Friday, March 25, 2011

Shop activities

My dad and brother spend a lot of time in their shop during the winter months, working on any number of ranch, and personal, projects.
Some ranchers are very mechanical, and some aren't. These two are both super mechanical, and have built everything from most of our house to several engines to a loader.

I always get the eye for taking pictures.

While maintaining my supervisory position (staying out of the way, with my feet propped up, in a comfy chair in front of the space heater). The dogs enjoy the warmer temps found in the shop too, and are typically sacked out all over the place.

There is a lot of serious discussion that occurs. They talk about angles, diameters, materials, and all sorts of other technical math and design stuff that bores me to a near sleeping state.
The machine you see above is a lathe, and is used to fabricate all sorts of great parts and tools and pieces to build things. Kyle has his machining degree, and has wanted one of these ever since college.

While discussing they look over their projects, consider options, take measurements and make decisions.
They are also perpetual "modifiers." By this I mean they will modify just above everything they buy, nothing is fine as purchased - oh no, there is always the need for a different handle, additional power, more strength reinforcement, etc...

And they measure a lot. By this time I am wondering if I can use my dad's distracted state to get an increase in my bull budget by next year, and from there my mind wanders off to contemplate genetic combinations, EPD's, and other cattle stuff.
I am not the mechanical child of the family, in case you weren't catching the drift.

You will also see any number of current projects in the shop. This "bathtub" water tank is being repaired. Apparently my dad had the idea of fixing it, partially burying it, and doing all sorts of other things that will increase insulation and prevent it from freezing in the winter.
I didn't pay attention long enough to get the whole story....but I am confident it will work, whatever the plan is. I have complete faith in the abilities of the mechanics in the family.

Another project. As a machinist, Kyle is a perfectionist. If a gun isn't perfect, or needs a little grinding a specific spot, or if the manufacturer did a "crappy job" on something, he will fix it.
Like I said, practically anything imaginable can be found in the shop, as a project, at some point.

Here are a couple more examples of shop projects. They turned this old chute to a hydraulic chute, and made that loader from scratch. The entire loader is run on hydraulics too, including how you steer it.


  1. Wow--could I borrow your dad and brother for a year?? No mechanical folks here at all :( LOL

  2. Every farm needs a great mechanic, your lucky enough to have two! It all looks too technical for me, I'd be getting sleepy along with the dogs! Ha! Love your photography. Found you through FFFriday. Looks like we might have some things in common, I'll be your next follower!!