Sunday, May 17, 2015

Quick Crafts

Here is a quick craft I did in about ten minutes. I needed some J-hooks to hang one of my old farm implements, on the rafter beam in my shop, and all I could find, were some very modern looking ones at Home Depot. Since they were only 1.97 a piece, I thought I could take them home, and do something to them, to make them look less modern.

As I was sitting in my shop, trying to think of a way, to improve them, I happened to glance at one of my shelves, and saw an old ball of garden twine sitting there. I always keep some of it on hand, for I never know, when it will come in handy. A idea suddenly sprang into my head, so I set about, putting thought to action. As you can see, this is what the J-hook looked like, before I changed it. I have just removed the end cap, poked a hole in it with a pair of sharp scissors, and threaded a piece of twine through the hole, which I then knotted.

I then slid the cap back on, and am ready to commence my project. You will need a hot glue gun, for what I did next.

Using the hot glue to tack my twine in place, I wrapped the j-hook tightly, putting more glue on as I needed it. Which was easily done, switching dabs of glue, from front to back, to keep my twine wound tight. When I came to the holes, I kept the glue on the sides, to avoid mucking up the holes, and continued wrapping until the entire j-hook was covered.

A quick snip of the scissors, and another dab of glue, and the ends were finished. All that gray paint is covered up, and I now have two rustic looking hooks, to hang my farm implements on. Now to see if I can get the husband, to come help hang them on the beam for me.

Yes, my husband kindly came, and put up my J-hooks, so here is the old family schythe, hanging snugly in place, on one of the rafters in my shop. It actually hangs up above my head, but thanks to the modern invention, of double sided velcro, it isn't going anywhere soon.

I just love that old thing, it always reminds me of the stories, I was told by my step-grandpa, James Dow Thomas. He used one of these, back in 1916-17, when he worked the fields of Kansas, as a traveling grain harvester. He lived in bunk houses, with a group of men, and they moved from farm to farm, as the fields ripened. He along with many young men like him, during that period, did this to support their families. He was single, sending his earnings back to his family, who lived in Ohio. He came home after the harvest, was there all winter, helping his father in his water mill. In the spring he helped his father plant their potato fields, but come summer and fall, would find James, back in the hot fields of Kansas, harvesting grain once more.

After the invention of the mechanical grain harvester, these schythe's were still used, to clean out the corners of grain fields, and wherever the ground was too steep, or uneven for the machine. My own step-dad, James' son, Richard, owned one of these. He used to cut the grass along our driveway with it, and he taught me how to use it too. It really gave me a lot of respect, for both of the men's strength, because it could really made your back and arms ache, in short order.

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