When repairs are necessary, not only are tools needed but so are parts. When repairs are simple, usually the parts are simple, too, so there are basic parts everyone keeps handy.
Those all-purpose parts are nuts, bolts, screws, a roll of wire and maybe a few nails.
However, I have one favorite item I find handy because it is so versatile, I keep a few in my tool box.
When a fastener is needed, I will use a hose clamp to finish the job and you will see hose clamps holding things together in unlikely places around here.
For example, I have a 1990 model pickup that after over 20 years of having the driver’s door slammed shut, has made the door mounted rear view mirror loose on its base. It was so loose it was no longer usable as a mirror.
I used two hose clamps arranged in an X formation, tightened snugly around the mirror head, to hold the mirror in place like it was back in 1990, all for the price of two hose clamps.
I have used hose clamps on braces adding stability on supports used to hold plants, bird feeders, and weather vanes.
I believe hose clamps are a multi-purpose and all-purpose part whose usefulness is only limited by a person’s imagination.
I have found another clamp nearly as useful for those situations when a hose clamp does not provide enough holding power. I have added cable clamps to my supply of parts needed for those impromptu repairs.
I have a favorite chair I sit in several times a day. We bought it used a few years ago and with its location and appearance, it resembles a pale blue throne.
A week ago, I felt something snap underneath the seat cushion and the cushion had obviously lost its support as it sank deeper into the chair.
Turning the chair over, I saw two of the three wire supports were broken in a place where after years of flexing, they decided they had enough and gave up.
So, what do we do? Throw away a still nice looking and very comfortable chair or try to repair two broken supports made of very stiff wire?
I am not a person known for throwing things away. Just look at my desk.
I decided a splice could be used for each support.
There in my parts cabinet were four small cable clamps. I had a roll of wire, but it was not of the strength of the wire used in the chair.
Aha! Every farmer knows if one is good, two are better so I used two strands of my wire with a cable clamp at each end to splice each of the broken ends of the two spring supports together.
There, I had it – four cable clamps with four short strands of wire and my chair was ready for use.
How did it work? It’s been a week and my chair is back to doing what it does best. It’s a place where I listen to markets, look out the window, and take the frequent nap.
Adding to my satisfaction is that not only do I have my chair usable again, but my repairs only cost a few dollars, much cheaper than letting someone else repair it and certainly much cheaper than a new chair.
When I am in a farm store and those newly hatched little balls of yellow fluff under a heat lamp are saying, “cheep, cheep, cheep,” I know they are talking about me.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.