Maison et Jardin
The Shed

The Shed No 088 January-February 2020

The Shed is Eclectic, informed and always fascinating, there is something to interest everyone in The Shed. Aimed at those with a few tools and perhaps a few clues, this is the magazine for real sheddies. Packed with ideas, projects, advice and peeks into other people’s sheds.

New Zealand
Parkside Media
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3 min.
fishing in the moonlight

Come on, who doesn’t love a tractor? Especially a classic tractor or one with some 30 or more years of hard graft under its belt. For me, the simpler a tractor is, the more I am drawn to it. There is something honest about a machine, built well and simply, that is as tough as, and does its job day after day. It’s probably the era I grew up in, but I can look at a classic tractor and easily see how it does its tasks. “Oh yeah, that pushes that, so it drives that to spin that, and lifts that arm like that above that thing.” I have only seen contemporary tractors at Fieldays and they are just the opposite of these good old boys featured in our article on Colin Harvey…

7 min.
a tractor tradition

“I bought them with the intention of restoring and selling them on” Sheep have always been an evil necessity and dairy cows are not much better. Just ask former sheep and dairy farmer Colin Harvey — give a man a truck or a tractor any time, he says. So when he and his wife Catherine converted their farm near Papakaio in North Otago’s Waitaki Valley from sheep to dairy in the 1980s, he successfully avoided the milking shed and raised beef cattle; managed the operation, including a run-off block; and did the tractor work. And for some six decades he has been buying, restoring, and selling tractors and farm trucks. Gathering tractors Colin bought his first tractors in partnership with his brother, Neville, in 1964. They were a second-hand Allis-Chalmers (AC) Model B…

3 min.
colin’s farming life

Colin was born in 1940 and raised on the family’s sheep and cropping farm near Duntroon in North Otago. He and his brother Neville bought the neighbouring property in 1964 and farmed it in conjunction with the original property. When Colin married Catherine Peart in 1967 they lived in a house on the partnership farm for three years. “Then, later in 1967, just before the government-backed Lower Waitaki Irrigation Scheme was voted in, we bought a farm at Papakaio, at the Oamaru end of the Waitaki Valley,” says Colin. “Papakaio was a wealthy farming community of long-established families who made us welcome. We raised four children there: Anne; Karen; James; and John, who died at age 16 as a result of a motorbike accident. “The irrigation scheme meant more grass growth and within…

1 min.
the elephant in the 1934 chev

Like nearly every farmer in New Zealand, Colin’s father Hector kept a diary. “He wrote only one line per day in a foolscap page dairy, hence there was not much detail,” says Colin. On 1 November 1938 Hector wrote: Wet night, went to town [Oamaru] and got 3 drums petrol & 4 kerosene, took Sole Bros elephant to town. The story of Dad and the elephant in the Chevy was one that Colin was fascinated by as a child. As he tells the tale: “Dad was driving the green 1934 Chev truck with seven empty 44-gallon drums on when he was stopped by the Sole Bros circus people, somewhere between Georgetown and Peebles. “Their truck, which was carting the elephant, had broken down and they needed to get the elephant to Oamaru, so they asked…

2 min.
tools and equipment

Having a big shed is a start when you want to restore large farm vehicles, says Colin. But being prepared to spend all the time needed to complete the project is essential. Colin estimates that it takes him about two-and-a-half years to complete each tractor restoration and this is usually spread out over five years. His most useful tools are his collection of socket sets. He has several of these, each in a different size. The ones he gets most use out of are Whitworth, Standard American Engineers (SAE), National Course (NC), and National Fine (NF). Each has a standard size, and some refer to the thread sizes and diameter of the nut or bolt it is to be used for. The old ones are referred to in Imperial measures while…

2 min.
a safer bandsaw

Sheddies don’t usually think of bandsaws as being particularly dangerous compared with table saws, or even notice the dust and noise, but in some industries where cutting speed is paramount, such as in freezing works, they have regularly caused serious injuries. Auckland bandsaw manufacturer Guardian Bandsaw’s solution was to make a saw that stops within milliseconds if the operator’s fingers get too close to the blade. The worker wears blue gloves and if the high-speed vision detection system sees blue near the blade, brakes are engaged, and the blade is halted, saving the person’s fingers. Kiwi made Guardian Bandsaw is an offshoot of the privately owned KanDO Innovation, which was established 12 years ago by ex-employees of a government organization researching the manufacture mussel-opening machines. Most parts of the stainless-steel saws are made…