Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Thoughts on Hand tools and Tractors.

It's been hedge laying time here and our hedges are a bit grown out. Too much to do mechanically so I've got out the bill hook and hand saw, sharpened them up and got stuck in. Working with hand tools, for me, is a time for contemplation. My bill hook is ancient, it has outlasted many users and will outlast me. But it takes an edge that you could shave with! High quality tools are such a pleasure to work with whilst poor quality tools make any job difficult. It was this that I was thinking about whilst working.

What am I going to do about my tractor? It is a 50 year old Massey Ferguson 35. Being the 4cylinder diesel it's a bad starter and really I fancy something new, or do I? I've been looking at the selection of compact tractors available now and am amazed how many there are. A quick google of 'compact tractor' throws up Jinma, Siromer, Shire, Iseki and others all at affordable prices. So why haven't I rushed out and bought one then? Well part of the problem is being spoilt for choice, there are so many available, which one is best? Buying a tractor is a big investment, even a compact tractor is a considerable investment. At least that is what I tell myself is the reason for not buying one. Actually I think my real problem lies with my love of old equipment. When I use the tractor I wonder what work it has done in the past, just like the bill hook. In the MF35s 50 years it certainly has had a hard life as most parts are worn. I guess it has character (which may just mean it's difficult to start when you really need it), but using it in its present condition is really is like using the bill hook with out sharpening it. So maybe the answer is to spend a bit of time and money restoring my Massey Ferguson and see how I feel about buying a new compact tractor then. I just need a few extra hours in the day and days in the week!
If I do restore this tractor you will hear all about it.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed about the tractor, my good old David Brown 1390 is the same age as me and should have at least another 20 years left in it. Everything's mechanical, so easy to fix and whilst it might be heavy, the steel is solid and will rust much slower than any Siromer, Jinma, Shire, etc.

    You tend to get what you pay for and there's a reason MF135 was the most popular tractor ever made.

    Here's a link to my blog - look at the snow! http://scillyorganics.blogspot.com/

    Keep the bill hook sharp...