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Silo Gazebo A “Great Place To Relax”
A silo gazebo project took Grant Hanson to new engineering heights last year. Readers may recognize the Glenwood, Minn., inventor, who has been featured in FARM SHOW several times for past inventions.        He removed a silo cap and used it for the roof of the new gazebo, and then lifted the 8,500-lb. building back on top of the 36-ft. tall by 12-ft. dia. silo. He had plenty of details to work out from the moment he agreed to come up with a plan for his friend Marv Jenson near Kensington, Minn. Jenson had already converted an old barn to living space and figured he could turn his idle silo into a relaxing place with a birds-eye view of a lake and surrounding farmland.
    Hanson knew he needed help from a “higher power” to figure out the logistics and wood working help from Allen Braaten, a semi-retired carpenter and good friend since childhood.
    Hanson tackled the first phase by removing the cap with a telehandler stretched to its capacity.
    Braaten spent most of the summer building the 10-sided, 12-ft. wide gazebo with a 4-ft. deck and railing and 6 by 6-ft. floorless entrance for an elevator.
    “It got to be more of a project than I envisioned,” he says. “I overbuilt it because of the elevation, and it had to be strong enough to be lifted into place.”
    With free reign on the design, he used durable building materials that are maintenance-free such as thermal windows and composite siding and decking. He built two trap doors in the deck to access the silo chute and ladder for backup exits. Inside, he built a vaulted ceiling and spent hours cutting the right angles for the pine tongue-and-groove boards to fit on the walls and ceiling.
    At the same time, he worked with Hanson to make sure the building could be safely lifted and placed on the silo.
    “Inside the walls are four 5/8-in. rods that go from the roof through to the floor,” Hanson explains. The top of each rod has an eye bolt large enough to hold a clevis for a crane to evenly and safely lift the building with 4 cables.
    He adds that his biggest concern was how to center it on the silo once it was lifted. After prayer and a dream, he came up with the plan to secure oversized hand cart wheels on floor joist brackets positioned slightly less than 12 ft. apart to fit inside the silo.
    With track already in place, plans are to install the elevator this year. It’s large enough to accommodate a wheelchair, so anyone can go to the top and enjoy the silo gazebo’s 360-degree view.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grant Hanson, 21334 S. Lakeshore Dr., Glenwood, Minn. 56334 (ph 320 760-1485; www.safeloader.com; grant@safeloader.com) or Allen R. Braaten, 26234 245 Ave., Glenwood, Minn. 56344 (ph 320 492-5456).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2