2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
They Come To Your Farm To Sharpen Discs
A good alternative is to sharpen them, and the easiest way to do that is to call Ross or Nathan Blair at Walhalla, North Dakota. They'll sharpen them for you.
Ross' dad started a blade sharpening business in the early 1960's. Ross has been at it for more than 30 years now, and just this past year, Nathan, Ross' oldest son, hit the road with his own rig.
Blair says the tools they use to sharpen discs and coulters make their business different from most others. "We don't grind or shear blades. Instead, we use a cold rolling method to draw the edge of the blade out, giving it a self-sharpening edge.
"Grinding removes metal and shortens the life of the blades. Our cold rolling method doesn't remove any metal. And because we're rolling the edges, we may actually restore some of the diameter that's been lost to wear," he says. "It can make badly worn blades that have lost much of their diameter cut as well as new ones."
He says the sharp, tapered edge created by the cold rolling process can last three times as long as one created by grinding or shearing.
"You can't buy a machine like the ones we use anymore," Blair continues. "Over the years, we've redesigned and modified them so they work better and more quickly."
The Blairs cover the Midwest and Northern Plains. Most of their business is in N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri but they also have customers in Arkansas and Montana.
He normally travels in a bus he converted to a motor home. During the summer, his family travels with him. Son Nathan works out of a pickup camper while he's on the road.
Because they can sharpen most discs and coulters right on the machine, the Blairs can usually sharpen a couple of typical tandem disks in a day. "If I don't have to move from farm to farm, I can sometimes do three disks," he says. "If I'm working for neighboring farmers, I try to get them to bring all their equipment to one location so I don't have to move," he says.
The price charged depends on the number of blades and the difficulty of getting to them. Prices start at around $100 and go up from there. A typical 20-ft. tandem disk usually costs $200 to $250.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ross or Nathan Blair, Box 562, Walhalla, N. Dak. 58282 (ph 701 549-3663).
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