Combine question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kirk, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    I know nothing about combines. Just I've seen a few for sale that seemed cheap. Older small ones for $750 and it got me to wondering what good they are for. Are there multiple implements for them like tractors or are they a single purpose machine?
    Its not like I'm going to rush out and buy one having only 7.5 acres. Although I did see a site about combine demo derbies which sounded right up my alley. So here is an oportunity for those who have knowledge to educate me. Thanks
    Kirk
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Combines harvest grains, dry beans and corn with different heads for each. Only one I can think of is multipurpose and that is a New Idea Uni system that can combine and chop hay or corn, pick cob corn and blow snow. They may have had other attachments as well. Kind of a side show in the farm equipment world though a great concept and well made.
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Combines are really expensive pieces of equipment that get used for about a month each year. I don't know where you can get a combine for $750, but I wouldn't count on it being in working order!

    I would love to do a combine demo derby. Smash those suckers up, get even for all the years of expense in them...

    Jena
     
  4. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    It would seem that someday we would see some combine-like stuff for the homesteader. I keep having this idea of modifying one of those hand cart things to have a sort of grain stripper on the front so that the cart can fill with grain heads as you push it along. And then you take all those grain heads home and there is a machine where you dump grain heads in the top, turn the crank and you can fill a sack with grain while the chaff falls on the ground.
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    See if your local library can find a loaner copy of Tools for Homesteaders, Gardeners, and Small-Scale Farmers: A catalog of hard-to-find implements and equipment by the editors of Organic Gardening, New Farm and Intermediate Technology Publications. Published by Rodale Press in 1978. It included small-scale harvesting equipment, predominately produced in Europe and Asia. May be an idea generator more than an actual source.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  6. I agree that a good working combine could not be had in a lot of states for $750.
    However in other states the older smaller rigs get pushed aside as farm sizes increase, and the old small farm machines can be gotten quite reasonable.

    I bought such a machine for $800. I replaced a wooden reel arm and cut my entire first crop without anything more than setting the machine. The combine was about 35 years old, but kept up in good shape.

    Combines are a fairly complex machine. Depending upon the machine you may want to buy it to use, or play around with the components such as engine, hydraulics, transmission, etc. Expensive as a toy, but you might find several machines could be built out of the one.

    Combine engines are often hooked to generators. The engines and hydraulics are often used in log splitters. If you are handy the sieve and fan could be made into a machine to clean crops. (But of course the entire combine is made to do that.) The grain bin could be put on supports, a cover added, and you could buy bulk feed for your animals. Well, if a local dealer delivers. Put it on wheels to take to the dealer to buy there and save delivery cost. How about using the cleaning fan to blow fresh air into your shop during the hot summer?

    Perhaps you could use the frame, engine, transmission, etc. to build a tractor. The hydraulic lift cylinders, etc. could be used in making a loader. If the combine has a cab you could even have a tractor with a cab on it. Perhaps the hydraulics could power a homemade 3 point lift so that implements could be used. How about cutting down the header and making it into a sicklebar mower to cut your acreage? Perhaps remove the feeder housing so that the header cuts hay and augers it into a windrow to be picked up after drying.

    Lots of possibilities if you are handy, have a shop, welders, etc. Dream and think, then set to work.
     
    LincTex likes this.
  7. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    The combine I saw advertised was in the indiana auto & rv magazine which is a freeby that comes out on thursdays around here. It said "Allis Chalmers C2. 4-38 corn head, 13' grain table, lots of parts, runs good. $750 Osceola, IN (574)XXX-XXXX"
    I have also seem a few simular ones sitting around here but dont know a thing about them.
    I guess if I had one the best use for it I can come up with would be driving it to town just to hold up traffic.
    Kirk
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    New combines run a quarter million dollars but are not much like the older models either. Most will have a built in yeild monitor and make adjustments on the fly based on sensors. Some are hooked to a GPS satelite for feild mapping yeilds as well. You can find a working older combine for very little money, they aren't particularly worn out just they don't have the capacity or reliability needed for modern cash croppers. On big farms a day broken down costs thousands of dollars! I had an IH pull type I let go and will try to pick up a very old AC All crop pull type this winter. I only grow about 15 acres of barley so it should work out cheaper to own an old beast than pay $45/acre and it will get done when I want. If you get Farm Show paper ( BTW neat ideas Ken!!) they have lots of articles of old combines converted to do various jobs.