Marlin Firearms Forum banner

201 - 220 of 1193 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,848 Posts
Discussion Starter #201
In the spring of 1936, my Dad (Bill) bought a 1935 Baldwin Model R combine. It had steel wheels and a 12 foot header and was the biggest combine made at that time. Dad cut wheat with it for the first time in the summer of 1936 and it was in continuous use from then until 1959 (the year I graduated from HS). He first pulled it with a late 1920s International 15-30 (15 drawbar horsepower/30 PTO horsepower). He later traded for a 1937 JD Model D and finally was pulling the old warhorse combine with a 1947 JD Model A.
While the combine originally came with steel wheels, Dad got a set of tires from a B-24 at the Pratt Army Air Base in KS – obviously war surplus. We put those tires on in about 1947 and they were still on the combine when we retired it. Don’t make ‘em like that any more for sure. I seem to remember Dad paid $50 for the pair.
Originally there had to be a man on the combine to control the height of the header and obviously a man driving the tractor and as money got tight, that had to change. Dad rewound some old starters (6v) so they would run either direction as a motor and hooked those to the lift mechanism on the header. That way with two instant switches on the seat of the model A, Dad could control the header while driving the tractor and occasionally looking back over his shoulder. The motors went bad quickly and we had about 6 to make it thru harvest and then we’d rewind them again.
Remember (I doubt anybody does), the old Baldwin combines had heavy steel frames but the sheet metal was all galvanized (that stuff lasts forever). When Dad retired the combine, he sold it to a neighbor who needed a bigger combine (he was using an Allis Chalmers with a 6 ft header). Years later, when the neighbor junked the old combine for scrap metal, he brought the top rear right side panel to my Mom (Dad had passed about 3 years earlier) and said, ”Anne, I think John would want this” Why, you ask? Well tomorrow or the next day, you’ll get the rest of the story!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,536 Posts
Even though I don't know the first thing about farming or farm machinery I love hearing these stories! It was a great time to be alive because everything was so hands on! Will be waiting for the next installment! :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,848 Posts
Discussion Starter #203 (Edited)
There were a couple of things I forgot to mention. My Dad was the type of guy who could build anything of anything (except he never learned to weld very well) — he would always trade something he could do for something the neighbor could do (he welded a bunch of stuff for us). Dad also tinkered with wood though he didn’t have any fancy tools until later in life. In about 1948, Dad built me and two younger cousins models of the old Baldwin combine — I’m still not sure how he cut some of the pieces but I do know the wheels were ¾ inch sections of an old softball bat — This pic gives you some idea of the intricacy of the project.
P1260371.JPG
Dad kept immaculate records of everything — he could tell you exactly how much he paid for each piece of equipment he owned (or he knew where to find the info in his file drawer). Probably about 1988 or so I went home and told Dad I’d sure like to get some pics of the old combine before it was scrapped as our neighbor had stopped using it. We went down to our neighbor’s place and I took a picture of Dad looking at the old combine (and I sure remembering many harvests). It still amazes me that the motor on that machine (it was a Model A Ford 4 cyl engine would last 50 years with only on rebuild that I remember). Anyway, a pic of Dad looking at the old combine — I took a couple of other pics too, but this one is special.
scan0104.jpg
I told you Dad kept great records — the harvests were quite a story in themselves. Each year at the end of harvest, Dad would write (in lead pencil) who helped with harvest that year on the side of the combine and then circle each year. The most telling one of what farming is like was the one for 1943 — circled with the year were the disappointing words “Hailed out complete”. Anyway, that piece of the combine that our neighbor brought to Mom was the section of the combine side where Dad had written names all those many years. That section now hangs over the big door in the barn/shop that we built down here at the place.
P1260370.JPG
By the way, all the names (written in lead pencil) are still readable — I have copied them and will put them on a brass plate beside the big panel so that the story of the old combine will long be told. NOW you know the rest of the story. Thanks for reading it, John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
John,

Who made the Baldwin Combine? I never heard of one by that name. My old farm machinery knowledge is limited. I know steam engines and a few combines.

Reason I'm asking is my father-in-law had a steam locomotive made by Baldwin Locomotive Works. And a Nichols & Shepard steam traction engine.

John
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,848 Posts
Discussion Starter #205

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
Hey thanks for the info. I should have known that, as we had our N&S in Bird City, KS for several decades, at the steam threshermans fair grounds there. :-[

They had a Catapiller combine there with tracks with a, I believe, 36 ft. header. Made in 1928 , I think. It was mostly wood and big.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,329 Posts
Thanks for the story. Respect for the land and the equipment is a theme many of us learned young. Only older do we really appreciate what it took to teach us, and what our responsibilities are to pass it on. Always good to hear the stories of like minded souls. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,536 Posts
I second that, thanks for the story and the reminder of where we came from in this 21 century madhouse...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,848 Posts
Discussion Starter #209 (Edited)
OK, PapaJohn said I should get back to building, so this was this week's project (along with a couple of drawers to go under the computer desk). We laughed that to build this doofus little shelf to hold the VCR/DVD player under the TV (we can't get TV out here unless we do Direct TV and that isn't in my plans, so we'll do old movies -- and we have tons) as it did to floor the entire house. This was built from the same cedar that's on all walls (leftover pieces no doubt) and I kept having to reglue the joints until I got what I wanted. My wife says "PJ (the duck man) should love this because it has a lot of quacks in it! ;D ;D Oh, well, she's a bit warped (she's been married to me for nearly 50 years). It still turned out OK

P1290372.JPG

You all stay well -- hopefully my son and I are going hog hunting tomorrow afternoon and evening! Later, John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,500 Posts
You definitely are a craftsman John.

Shoot straight tomorrow Mate,
Mark. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,803 Posts
One heck of a album and slide show. I enjoy seeing and tryin to guess whats coming next ;D And it gives me Ideas for my little old house. Its a hundred years old this year. Got to get some cedar to the saw mill one day.But only wished I had half the talent you have..Great Job,Gunrunner,,
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,848 Posts
Discussion Starter #212
Thanks gunrunner -- still look to hear from you on one of your trips into Central Texas! And Oz, heck I always shoot straight -- it depends how effective I am on whether something is standing in front of my straight line ;D Thanks for looking folks! John

PS Gonna try the 1894c on hogs tonight maybe ::)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,003 Posts
papajohnabi said:
I kept having to reglue the joints until I got what I wanted.
Now you sound like me. Do you know why they make wood glue so easy to clean up? Because they heard I was gonna be using it. ::)

John, I took a page out of your play book and built a couple of small drawers to go under my worksurfaces, and I learned quite a bit.........especially about re-gluing things, and what NOT to use for drawers. I finally got them done, but it's a good thing I work for free or the labor costs would have bankrupted me! ::)

Good luck hunting tonight.........I sure wish I could bring home the bacon.

And don't worry about not having "Live TV". You're sure not missing much. The only stuff I ever watch is Nova, Natl Geo, and football. 8)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,536 Posts
Yep, live TV, something to shoot at IMHO! ;D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,848 Posts
Discussion Starter #215 (Edited)
Well, didn't get in the hog hunt as son had to drive to Houston early Mon morning so he and I spent a couple of hours at Cabela's in Buda TX and had a great time -- more on that later. We went back to Abilene on Monday and planned to come back to the cabin on Wed! WROOONGG!! Monday nite got 6 1/2 inches of snow and it was less than 22 from about 2 AM Tues Morning until after noon on Thursday (and yes I meant 22 not 32) Bitter cold for our part of TX -- all schools in Abilene were closed Tue-Fri. Nighttime lows were in low single digits with wind chills close to -15. Of course we didn't even try to get out until Wed morning because couldn't get out of drive (or back in if we got out). FH000004.jpg

Same kind of weather here at the cabin tho not as much snow. When we came in this afternoon, input water line to water heater froze and burst so my work for the next couple of days is set for sure. Will talk more later! John
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,803 Posts
Yall boys got it rough.And when your not use to it,its worse.We dodged the bullet down here.mid 50s here today. Wish ya luck BrotherMan.If I was out there Id help ya. Setting here bored this weekend but did make a set of steps so my Dog could get up on the bed. Tired of her waking me, to pick her up.I know youll have it fixed in no time.Randy,,
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,536 Posts
Here in Juneau and Haines Alaska for the past week it has been in the mid 40's and nothing but rain. Last night it cooled off just enough to get an inch of the white stuff!
Hang in there fellow lower 48ers, and if it gets too rough you can always come to AK to get warm! ;D
 
  • Like
Reactions: Survivor99

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
John,

I know it is rough when you aren't use to weather like that but I wish I could see a ruler sticking out the snow at my place! :)
Keep the pictures coming I love this thread. I love hearing about your progress. Of course get your fixing problems done first. ;)

John
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,536 Posts
Yeah John, I worry about you Texans in the snow! :D ;D ;D ;D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,848 Posts
Discussion Starter #220
Thanks for the encouragement guys! Mission accomplished -- the water line is fixed so we now have hot running water. More later! John
 
201 - 220 of 1193 Posts
Top