Now, Don't Laugh!

| December/January 1991

  • An old wheel rim and tire

  • Welding an old wheel

  • A sprinkler

  • An old wheel rim and tire
  • Welding an old wheel
  • A sprinkler

87 Old South Salem Road, Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877.

I fell in love with my first 8N in 1949. As you can see by Picture A, my adoration has not weakened in the last 42 years. Pictures B and C show my 2N, which I converted to a 400 AMP 24 volt D.C. welder with a B17 generator in 1962.

Now, before you 'real' welders laugh too loudly, of Wally Lawrence, my friend, and I welded 200 feet of eight inch and six inch pipe for our main steam line in our greenhouses last year, with 'nary' a leak! Of course, Wally and I had to get our own pipes fixed first-meaning, I had three angioplasties and Wally had a triple bypass! He said the doctors told him he was a special case. I told him he was always a special case!!

I saw the plan for this welder in a Popular Mechanics article, and Johnny Wilkens of Wilken's Fruit Farm in Peekskill, New York, encouraged me to try it. Johnny is one of those special people we all know who is way ahead of his time. He was using a computer in his business before most of us. Give him a couple of wheel rims, an old motor, and a rope, and bingo, he has a dandy rope ski-lift for his kids.

In Picture B I am welding an old wheel rim and tire to a sprinkler we use in our business, to hopefully make the sprinkler more stable and moveable. It is interesting to me how many people became involved with this simple project of mine. Katie Markey gave me the inspiration for the design, Keith McDonald gave me the old wheels; Christopher Pinchbeck took the pictures. Maybe some of you real mechanics can figure out from Picture C why this set-up has been a companion to me on many projects for 30 years. Many setups were tried, but none produced a spark. If you can't figure why this set-up works, I plan to be at the Connecticut Antique Machinery Show in Kent, Connecticut, the last weekend in September, if it's not raining, and I'll tell you then!! Hope to see you later!


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