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Handy Farm Devices: And How to Make Them Paperback – February 1, 1996

3.6 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Originally published in 1909, "Handy Farm Devices" is more than an engaging trip down memory lane. For any small farmer or homesteader, the techniques and devices described in detail are just as useful, durable, and fully functional today as they were 75 years ago. You will learn to build a portable chicken coop, a stone boat (for moving stone), a lightweight orchard ladder, gates that don't sag, and a handy wood splitter, as well as rudimentary farm structures, well houses, bee hives, a baby's cradle, a cheese press and much more. The charming, turn-of-the-century language and useful and inspirational quotes from Shakespeare, the Bible, Bacon, Longfellow and many others make this book a delight to read. --Mark A. Hetts

Review

A reprint of a 1910 classic, this well-illustrated 288-page paperback is filled with clever ideas and useful information. Even those of us who'd rather pass on making a moveable brooder house for chickens of fashioning a baby cradle from an old barrel will find wisdom in this thrift-conscious and often environmentally wise celebration of self-suffiency. -- Country Living Magazine, April, 1997
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: The Lyons Press; 1st edition (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558214321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558214323
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Lilligren on August 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
This reprint of the 1909 classic should be on the shelf of every serious homesteader. Farming is hard work, and this book will teach you how to save both time and money to get the job done. In this little gem you'll learn how to make your own tools for your workshop, how to build things for around the house, for the barns, and for your livestock, in addition to other devices for your garden and orchard, including a section that discusses fence-making and gate-making. Several pages are devoted to building a farmhouse (including the floor plan for my wife's "dream house"), barns, and other outbuildings. This book also makes for very entertaining reading. Peppered throughout are worthwhile quotes from famous (and not-so-famous) farmers from the past. I'm glad I found this book. I hope you will be, too!
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book on 29-Feb-00 because I am inheriting a farm in West Virginia. I read through it last night and am 110% convinced that the ideas in this book will cut my workload in half and make my life better when I move to the farm. I have placed 27 yellow stickies in this book; one for each idea that I will be able to use in the coming year. If you own a farm, buy this book!
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Handy Farm Devices is a really great book if you'd like to read about early 20th century practical living. There's no fluff here; just practical tips for simple living, and lots of good ideas for fixing/making things around the house.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My interest in this book comes from a growing concern about Peak Oil. When energy is no longer cheap or plentiful, how will we adapt? One way to approach this question is to look ahead and see how technologies such as solar and wind energy can help. Turns out, however, that the feasibility of these technologies is also dependent to a large degree upon plentiful, cheap oil. So, in addition to looking ahead, it's probably a good idea to look to the past. How did people of a few generations back manage such simple tasks as refrigeration (for example), without relying upon constant availability of electricity and fossil fuel?

This book is a good resource for those who want to investigate this question. It offers many examples of very practical implements, most of which can be built with simple tools, some basic skills, and hard work. "Hard work" may be the most operant item in that list, and throughout the book are sprinkled brief aphorisms encouraging one to embrace the work ethic: "the manly part is to do with might and main what you can (Emerson)"; "keep your shop and your shop will keep you"; "Taste the joy that springs from labor (Longfellow)".

Good illustrations; spare, to-the-point writing st
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"Success comes to the man who so works that his efforts will bring the most and the best results-not to the man who simply works hard." Very elequently stated by the author from page three in the introduction of this gem of a little book.

Call me a survivalist, but I feel books such as these are going to become imperative in the future of america for both the suburbanite and country boy alike. Handy Farm Devices by Rolfe Cobleigh is a must own to anyone who owns or is even thinking about owning their own homestead. This book allows you to make just about anything you could possibly need around a private farm/homestead. Just to name a few things that are tucked away in the pages of this litte gem are How To: use a carpenters square, build stairs, temporary animal housing, a cellar, make your own dresser drawers, feeders for your animals, make a chicken coop from a barrel (and other chicken, pig, horse, and cattle housing designs as well), laying cement foundations, simple housing plans, how to build a concrete stone house for $400 dollars, build your own wheelbarrel, plus various orchard and planting ideas as well as other ideas that are so numerous I can't possibly mention them all.

The only thing this book will not do is give you a step by step guide on how to go about doing X,Y, and Z. It gives you pointers and a general push in the right direction, but it doesn't give you in depth direction. I only see this becoming problematic if you were to take on the task of building one of the houses described in this book. However, I don't see in depth directions being an issue for most of the devices mentioned. Even a modest amount of ingenuity should be sufficient in most cases. In the end this book delievers all that it reasonably can in less than 300 pages. A must have for those interested in homesteading, and those who believe that true self-sufficiency will become a necessary skill in the future of this country.
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By A Customer on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is filled with tons of little tricks and devices to make farm life easier. Much of the information is old and so it may not be of as much use to someone with a high tech farm, but if you still do some things the old fashioned way, this book probably has something that can help you. And even if you can't use the stuff, it's interesting to read.
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Not sure what edition I received, but my book didn't have pictures. There were sentences of gibberish on every page. The book lacked close to 150 pages the table of contents said it should have. I returned this book for a refund, and am incredibly dissapointed.
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This would be a useful book to anyone who has lots of old horseshoes, barrel hoops, wooden crates, sewing machine parts, plaster laths and other nineteenth century trash and discards.
I don't find anything in it useful to modern organic gardeners or homesteaders. Don't waste your money.
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