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Sharpening Cones Back On Market
"Cost of replacement sickle sections is way up. Farmers are starting to look at sharpening their own again, the way everyone used to do," says Don Thorson of A.E. Thorson & Sons Manufacturing which sells hard-tofind high-grade grinding "cones" for do-it-yourself sickle sharpening.
The company makes 31/2, 4 I/2ml 51/ 2 in. dia. cones designed to fit existing sickle sharpening machines or the mandrel of any grinding wheel. Thorson also sells sharpening machines, which it has produced since the 1950's. Although demand fell off to practically zero for many years, it has been picking up recently with the renewed interest in do-it-yourself sharpening.
"It's amazing how many farmers and ranchers have old sickle sharpening ma-chines sitting unused around the farm. It has been difficult to locate grinding cones to fit them, since many of the manufacturers who made them have gone out of business. We were approached by ranchers looking for the cones and were able to contract with a grinding stone manufacturer to produce what we needed. These stones are of much higher quality than other sickle grinding stones which have periodically come on the market over the years," says Thorson.
He says much interest in sharpeners comes from ranchers who cut wild hay or grasses, which require extremely sharp sickles.
The smallest 3 1/2 in. dia. cone fits most sickle sharpener machines. The larger 4 1/ 2 and 5 1/2 in. cones mount on regular grinding wheels. The cones range in price from $15 to $35. The company makes two sickle sharpening machines. One sells for $160 and the other for $400.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, A.E. Thorson & Sons Manufacturing, 1685 East Side Hwy., Corvallis, Mont. 59828 (ph 406 961-3493).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #2