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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 offline
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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 offline
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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 offline
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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 offline
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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
Clayton Clayton is offline
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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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Phil Johnson Phil Johnson is offline
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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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