2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4, Page #42[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Screwing Lag Screw Studs Into ATVI've found that I can instantly improve winter time traction and steering control on my ATV by screwing lag screw studs into the tires. The studs can be easily inserted with a cordless drill. I just screw a stud into each lug on the tire. I put them on when winter comes and remove them in early spring. The 3/4-in. lag screws cost 27 cents apiece, and there are about 36 studs per tire.
Designed for putting up steel siding on buildings, the screws come with a rubber washer which I pull off and throw away. You want to get the hardest possible studs so they won't wear out on pavement.
I also put studs on a Bobcat skid loader and could hardly believe the improvement. It's easier to use studs than tire chains, because it's hard to get chains tight and fitted right. One limitation with studs is that you have to drive cautiously on roads to keep from damaging the pavement. Also, I don't recommend allowing kids to drive an ATV fitted with studs because if they peel out, it tends to throw the studs off or wear them out prematurely.
My homemade 21 by 36-in. hydraulic welding table is the "cats meow" for welding or grinding on smaller projects. It's made from a foot-operated transmission jack originally designed to take transmissions out of vehicles. The jack came equipped with a 2-stage hydraulic cylinder on top of a cross frame and rode on four caster wheels. I bolted a pair of telescopic legs to the cross frame, then welded a 1/2-in. thick, solid steel plate table on top of the legs. The telescopic legs can be extended from 34 in. to 7 ft. high and the jack will lift up to 1,100 lbs. A big advantage is that I can weld parts right at waist height, which eliminates bending. Parts can be clamped to the table for welding. The unit weighs about 300 lbs.
My homemade bat houses greatly reduce problems with mosquitoes. They're made from rough cedar and measure 1 ft. high by 10 in. wide and deep. Bats enter through a hole at the bottom. The houses accommodate 15 to 20 bats. I mount them on trees about 12 ft. off the ground.
One bat can consume up to 1,000 mosquitoes in one night. The bats only come out at night when they feed on mosquitoes and bugs. I've found that two houses work best and keep one in my front yard and one in back. I'm willing to build bat houses for $25 apiece plus S&H.
(Dan Jacobson, 8913 Weaver Lake Dr., Pequot Lakes, Minn. 56472 ph 218 543-6623)
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