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Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats

What is this mystery winch thing?


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  #1  
Old 09-01-2017, 07:25:26 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default What is this mystery winch thing?

Hi all,

I have a mystery, figured you might be able to help? There are a LOT of smart people on this site!

In my adventures I have come across this thing. I have no idea what it is, and would like to find out so I can determine if it is something worth saving or not?

I am going to attempt to upload some pics to this website since I can not use Photobucket any more, and have not figured out a replacement yet, so if they don't show up that is why.

So this winch type thing is located in northern North Dakota on an old farm place.
It has had one drive wheel taken from it. The drive wheel is about 4' in diameter. It is chain driven from the sprocket on the hub of the drive wheel to the pulley system on the channel framework. The pulley system would slide back and forth to accommodate engaging the clutch gears driving the pulley in either rotation.
Then this entire thing is mirrored on the other half of the channel framework, which is about 16' long and 16" wide. So this whole thing is the same on both sides. On the far end there are a series of double and single pulleys. And on the bottom end by the drive wheels there are more single pulleys and what appears to be what is left of a wood cross member, so a cable I speculate would somehow thread up and down the length of this thing a couple times? Though the drive wheel is right in line with where it would seem the cables would go?

There is also a single front steering type wheel on a yoke with a steering gear on half of it. I assume this is part of this mystery thing as it was with it, but I really don't know.

There is also a piece of long pipe with two hook shaped brackets on it, and another flat mounting bracket on it that was in the same pile. This may be part of it too?

There is not much else on this property, so I assume that if this stuff is still together after all these years, maybe it should be?

I can find no name or marking on it except for some casting numbers on the cast parts. Like 11, 12, 24, etc.... Just numbers from what I saw.

What really baffles me is that the drive wheels would have to be spinning to drive the pulleys, so that eliminates the possibility of a well type rig doesn't it? Though I have never been around them, so I may be way wrong?

What in the world is this?! And the other question is, should it be saved?

This really has me puzzled....
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:27:09 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

Here are the other 4 pics I have.

Ok, educate me
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:29:14 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

almost certainly the remnants of a very early and very crude tractor of some kind. It's possible someone scavenged it for another project of some kind too.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:40:34 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

I agree - looks like primative tractor, with a lifting capability, perhaps plow lift? The wheel with the gear attached loos like a steering assembly. Definately old! Any signs of an engine?
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:49:52 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

It definitely is old, yes. I think they were all square nuts and bolts, and the drive wheel rim is riveted together at the seam. Spokes threaded into hub on drive wheel. Lugs are angle iron and bolted on wheel.

Also not farmer built, too nice for that.

I'm no expert, but have a hard time believing it is a tractor. No sign of an engine of any kind. But if it is, that would be awesome.

Keep your ideas coming! We'll talk this mystery out if nothing else
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:59:13 PM
Glenn Gieszler Glenn Gieszler is offline
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

My first thought is a combined harvester or early combine with side hill attachment or similarly a pull type header with side hill attachment
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:01:11 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

One other detail that may help. There is a short piece of the same drive type chain (can be seen in pic 2 of post 2) with a rod and spring attached to each end down toward the drive wheel end. Part of it was buried in the ground and stuck under everything. I could not figure what this would be for. Obviously there is more to this that is missing that it must have gone on.

To clarify, yes the SFW steering wheel is that, a steering wheel of some type. The teeth on it are only half way around. There is no steering box or anything that I found though. It has a turning band on it.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:06:18 PM
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

Time for the metal detector. Hope you take it home
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:13:03 PM
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

Jacob, if it's old iron -- it's worth saving!! LOL You sure seem to find some neat stuff!
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:25:33 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

Here, on the stak, I normally don't offer a post if I have nothing viable to contribute, but, I have this time. It cold be part of a portable well drilling apparatus. Drive it to where you wanted it, rig it up and begin drilling. Only a W. A. G. Wild _ Guess
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:39:53 PM
casertractor casertractor is offline
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

Looks to have been a tricycle or row crop tractor
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:51:41 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

yes Phil, cool things have a way of finding me, LOL! And yes I'd LOVE to drag home ALL the cool old junk, er I mean valuable antiques I find, but I have to limit myself to a certain point, ya know?

I very much like a mystery, and this still really has me stumped.
Doing some more Google searches of pull type combines, oil rigs, well rigs, etc... and I find things SIMILAR to this mystery thing, but nothing matches, or makes sense (at least to me).

Pat, the well rig of some sort is what I keep coming back to myself. But the drive wheel chained to the pulleys is what screws that idea up for me. A well rig would be stationary correct? Can anyone confirm or deny that drill rigs would be like this? And if so, PLEEEASE explain it to me

This is driving me nuts, I don't like it when I can't figure something out
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:58:40 PM
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

I am thinking more along the line of a hay or sheaf loader. Do you know if there is an idler gear between the two visible gears. There is a shift mechanism that appears to slide the pulleys into mesh with either the chain or the gear drive. If it has idler gears that would reverse the pulley rotation when shifted.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:46:38 AM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by halcon View Post
I am thinking more along the line of a hay or sheaf loader. Do you know if there is an idler gear between the two visible gears. There is a shift mechanism that appears to slide the pulleys into mesh with either the chain or the gear drive. If it has idler gears that would reverse the pulley rotation when shifted.
Yes, that is how the pulley shift mechanism works. I should have explained it better.
If it is slid one way it rotates clockwise, if slid to the other way it rotates CCW.
Then each pulley is independent of the other, meaning as far as I can see one side of the machine is completely independent of the other side.

A hay or sheaf loader is something I had not considered, and at this point I'll take any suggestion I can get.

I also briefly thought about a steam engine cable plow thing of some sort, but don't really think that is the answer either?

---------- Post added at 11:46:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:18:08 PM ----------

Another thing that keeps throwing me off is the width of this thing. It is super narrow. Most old machinery is super wide. Like hay loaders, pull behind combines, pull road graders, even smaller things have room between the frame rails for "stuff" like in potato diggers, etc... heck even engines need a little room.

The narrowness of this has got to be a clue
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:20:21 AM
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

Maybe a Short Turn tractor or as simple as a tree planter. Never seen a Short Turn in person but small pic shows a lever lift setup and three wheels. Maybe! That's a wide range of thoughts. If it wasn't a tractor would be great start to a well made homemade one if you were to build one.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:14:20 AM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

More good ideas Adam, the bogie wheel is similar to a Square Turn tractor, though not it from the pics I have seen.
And the thought of making a home made tractor out of it HAS crossed my mind through this process, just what I need, another project


Talking it over with a friend this morning, we have a plausible idea. If the whole rig was pivoting around a central pivot point by the rear end, and the bogie wheel was up front, a team of horses could pull this thing in a circle.
Then the drive wheels would be spinning, and the pulleys too, so a well for example could be pulled?
That make sense?
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:38:34 AM
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

I'm thinking thats a push header or push binder. Only thing that makes me hesitate to be sure is the steerable small wheel.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:45:30 AM
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

it is part of an early Fordson tractor early 1900's

see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UWJn2wD9JQ
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Old 09-02-2017, 11:33:53 AM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is online now
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

That Fordson bogie wheel is again similar, but not a dead match, and the rest is different too, but keep the ideas coming, I'm all ears!

If it were some type of binder or whatever, how does that explain all the pulleys And again, I'm thinking it is too narrow for those ideas?

But I don't know what it is, so I can't definitively shoot down what is isn't

hummmm...
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:01:22 PM
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Default Re: What is this mystery winch thing?

How about a pull ripper or subsoiler ? The pulley arrangement would raise and lower
the shank(s).
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