Sunday, March 30, 2008


Yesterday at the height of the sale at the Jackson County Farm. In the far right distance you can see the large equipment sale in progress; center is the miscellaneous sale (and boy was it miscellaneous!). I took the picture from the Sheep Barn where small tools and other miscellaneous was being sold.

In the sheep barn the auctioneer is surrounded by bidders as his helpers hold up the current item for sale--in this case a set of made-in-China drill bits that ended up selling for around $3. Note the see of Carhartt and jeans. Standard uniform for the day.

Aaron poses with one of the stacking forks I was interested in--an updated American Gothic. I didn't get the forks--the price went well above what I, cheapskate that I am, was willing to pay.

A stacking fork is a pitchfork used for building haystacks. We used to have two or three of these but what became of them I don't know. We built a haystack a couple of times. The technique is surprisingly tricky. I'll have to write a post sometime to explain how to do it, and how it felt to stick one of these forks in your leg.

Larry loading the truck with one of my purchases--a leather collar for a work horse. This one is fairly large and in good shape. A little neatsfoot oil will bring it to life again.

In the back of the truck, some of our other purchases:

The small pitcher pump on the left ($12.50), two one-man crosscut saws ($20) to add to the log cabin building tools we're collecting; the horse collar and hames in the corner behind the tire ($25), a wooden handled scythe ($7) and two boxes of hand tools ($9) for my little house toolbox that mysteriously loses tools and no one knows where they go.

Two other purchases not shown: a stout prybar ($15) and 2 log chains ($10).

One of the best and perhaps most surprising purchases: a string of mine lights. These are what deep mines string back through the tunnels to light them. They're very portable and easily hooked up--just plug them in to an outlet. We plan to use them in the crawlspace under the house. At $30, these were a steal.

Larry's favorite purchase was the small digging hoe ($5). What will he use it for? Digging ramps this spring, of course. It's almost time for that annual ritual. It will work well for digging sassafras roots too--another spring tonic in the mountains. Here the hoe is resting on my Peerless Victor wook cook stove--not currently in use because the insurance company made us disconnect it to get fire insurance. We hope to re-connect it this year. I cooked on this stove in winters when I was home all day, and also whenever the power went off. There are tricks to cooking on a wood stove that I hope I still remember when we get it working again.)

All in all, it was a great day. There is nothing I love more than looking at tools and antiques. I like to think about who might have used them, the palces the items have been and the work that was so necessary to the households of that time. Some items I bring home to use; others are for display, to remember and honor the work of those long past.


Hillbill2 said...

I love tool auctions also. Looks like you found several treasures.


I love auctions and glad to see that you picked up some real great "finds". I ask you - what pray tell is neatsfoot oil? Any kin to WD40. I guess I showing my "city" self. Ellouise

Granny Sue said...

It's a leather treatment made of animal fat. Larry uses it on his work boots.

Wikipedia has a good article on it. And when I read that article, lo and behold it said NOT to use it on antique things because it will break down over time and actually make the leather more brittle. Which is probably why so much old harness is in poor condition--not only from age and weather, but also from the very thing meant to protect it.

Thank you for asking, Ellouise--you sent me to look for the actual source of this oil and in the process I learned not to use it on the horse collar.

Now I'll have to come up with something else--any suggestions? Mink oil, perhaps?

MK Stover said...

I use mink oil for everything; I didn't know that about neatsfoot oil, either, but mink oil seems easier to find and it's not all drippy.

Anyway, I came in to comment on your haystack. I'm fascinated by haystacks, so I'd like it if you get around to posting about it. If you ever find occasion to build another one, I'd LOVE to be invited to help (minus the hole in the leg part).

And, in passing: we used to have a wood stove, too, and it heated the house on chill mornings/evenings too warm for stoking up the big wood burner. In winter, the teapot was constantly ready and the warming bin on top was a great convenience.
As for the insurance company: Bah! If you don't live in a cookie cutter house with a cookie cutter life, they tend to be a pain in the you-know-what.

I'll be at FSU this weekend. Yay!

City Mouse said...

I LOVE this sentence -

"I like to think about who might have used them, the palces the items have been and the work that was so necessary to the households of that time. Some items I bring home to use; others are for display, to remember and honor the work of those long past."

I do exactly the same thing. I like the old stuff around to honor how things used to be, and it's a good reminder for me to keep things simple too. One of my favorite things is an old hand crank meat grinder that I use now and then. I have a few rug beaters I use too.

Awesome post!

Granny Sue said...

A rug beater! I could use one of those. I'll be on the lookout for one--with wood floors I don't own a vacuum (called sweeper in these parts). Most of the rugs can be washed in the machine, but there is one that gives me fits getting it clean. A rug beater is the very thing I need.

Thank you for your comments. It's so rewarding to find like-minded souls out there in the world.

Tiger Lady said...

I found Aaron's pic. That is a good one!

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