The Contraption

con·trap·tion [kuh n-trap-shuhn] a mechanical contrivance; gadget; device.

Have you ever built something that turned out not quite as intended?  Well, from time to time I have built some things which cost a lot of time, do actually work, but really need improvement.

For example, consider my recent stab at a “portable fence corner.”  Depending on feedback from this I may or may not enter FarmJournal’s best idea for a $100 contest.

To begin, a portable fence corner is necessary because…..well because I can’t make up my mind and may want to move it.  Or, if there is a will there is a way.  Or, maybe I didn’t want to dig a hole and decided that a more than one ton block of concrete should do the trick.

Let us break down the project.

RealRancher Jim Hellyer uses rancher ingenuity and humor to build a portable fence corner on his cattle ranch and hay operation near Lander, Wyoming.

This is phase one of what some in my family refer to as “another one of your contraptions.”  In this picture I have assembled most of the various parts.  Notice the cleanliness and attention to detail in the workplace.

RealRancher Jim Hellyer uses rancher ingenuity and humor to build a portable fence corner on his cattle ranch and hay operation near Lander, Wyoming.

This is phase two of my shovel ready project.  Notice that the foundation of the future corner was set without the aid of a shovel.  This greatly increases the speed and efficiency of the project.

The three inch circlular hole on the right of the block is designed to accept used oil field pipe.

RealRancher Jim Hellyer uses rancher ingenuity and humor to build a portable fence corner on his cattle ranch and hay operation near Lander, Wyoming.

Phase three brings physical placement.  This requires a vehicle to transport the corner and associated parts and a loader to place the block and raise the steel components.

RealRancher Jim Hellyer uses rancher ingenuity and humor to build a portable fence corner on his cattle ranch and hay operation near Lander, Wyoming.

And now we arrive at the final phase, also known as implementation.  Of course a fence must be attached to truly complete the project, but the corner is placed and should not budge.  This particular corner block sits at a 45 degree angle to the future fence.

It will work.  It may not have been as quick as setting several posts, but it was rewarding to build. Ranching is a rewarding life, not because of the project of the day, but because individuals get to run their own life.  It is self employment to the max.

Perhaps someday I will share some photos of other projects.  Things such as home-built gated pipe trailer for your four-wheeler (weight approximately 600 pounds upon completion), or my favorite: super bungee corral gate latch.

From RealRancher Jim Hellyer – Lander, Wyo.

3 thoughts on “The Contraption

  1. I love it and I will share it with the family. They’re are always looking for “labor savers”, especially when it comes to fences.

  2. Our place is filled with shop projects that keep The Boss entertained during slow winter afternoon. He even “married” the best of 4 dead vehicles to make a handy pasture hauler for lick tubs. His best effort is wire clips for steel posts that allow the fence stretcher to be used. They keep disappearing from his stock supply as the neighbors discovered them. This is OK with him as their tight fence benefits us.

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