630 Christmas Eve Ride

Enjoying a hobby in old tractors means more than just tinkering and working on them.  It means taking them out for a ride!  Here’s a video I took while on the 1959 John Deere 630 while going over the dry farm.

Update: I also recorded a video that’s similar, but with the A and 630, on New Years Day.

Planting with the John Deere A and LL-A Grain Drill

This year I took the opportunity to have a little fun with planting oats in one of our smaller fields.  I used the 1947 John Deere Model A that I recently restored, as well as our old grain drill (aka planter, late 1950s).  It may not have been the quickest way to plant the oats, but I, and the dogs, had a lot of fun doing it!

The three videos here show us getting the drill ready and making sure everything on it works.  The second video shows the John Deere 4230 disking the field.  Last year we used the Model A as well as the John Deere 2010 to plow the field.  Since it was plowed last fall, you disk it before you plant it to break up the larger chunks into a more fine powder, so the drill can do accurately seed the crop.  The final video shows the actual planting process.

Plowing with the 1947 John Deere A and No 55 H plow

less than 18 months ago this tractor was a ‘fence line tractor’. I dragged it down to the barn and the engine, brakes, and clutch were seized up. The radiator cap was gone and the cooling system was completely full a junk. A mouse nest was in one of the cylinders… I looked it over and almost gave up. I never thought that in this short amount of time not only would I have it running (and well too!), but pulling a plow!

John Deere A Pulling Straw Wagon

This is a video of my restored 1947 John Deere A pulling a wagon loaded with 3×3 straw bales (1/2 ton alfalfa sized).  Although we have newer and more appropriate tractors for such a task, it is fun to see the A that I worked so hard on over the past year doing some real work.  Not to mention that it sounds good too!  I can’t begin to describe how much work, time, and effort has gone into getting it where it is now.  Even though she isn’t painted nor the most pretty tractor, it is much further ahead then I thought it would be at this point.  When I pulled it out from its resting place (where it had been as long as I can remember) a year ago I told myself that I would work on it ‘a little here, and a little there’ and that it would take about ten years to complete.  I never would have imagined that I would have it to the point where it is currently at only a year later.  The list of things that were wrong with it include a locked-up motor, seized up brakes, rotted rims, missing carburator, no front tires, rotted/leaking water return pipe, rotten/gone mag, rusted valves, completely-filled with debris cooling system (hadn’t had a cap on the radiator in years), and on and on!  It also had a mouse nest in one of the cylinders!  It had been sitting out for as long as I can remember–so when I brought it home I looked at it and asked myself, “what have I done getting myself into such a project!”.  Needless to say, now that it is starting to bear some fruit from my labors, it makes it all worth it.  Plus it’s been fun, too!