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$100 Ideas

March 23, 2013

You can join our $100 Ideas Club!Share your unpublished ideas and join our $100 Ideas Club. The Double Your Money winner receives $200. Other farmers featured receive $100 each.

David Kehrli

$200 Double Your Money Winner!

In addition to tackling maintenance projects, David Kehrli uses his farm shop to dream up ways to make his life easier. For $150, he was able to fabricate an automatic staircase in five hours using scrap materials he had around the shop. Kehrli raises corn, soybeans, and miniature horses and donkeys on his Iowa farm.

Automatic Stairway to Storage

Automatic Stairway

Like most farm shops, we have a loft-type storage area. While the extra storage space is nice, there was no good way to access it. Using a garage door opener and the remote, I built an automatic staircase. First, I suspended the staircase by attaching the original garage door opener chain and additional chain length to the bottom of the staircase on one side. From a rafter, the chain threads through a pulley system with a cable and old window weights attached to keep the chain tight when the staircase is in motion. On the other side of the staircase toward the bottom, I attached a chain that is threaded through a second pulley system and counterweights hanging from a rafter. To help lift small miscellaneous items up to the storage area, I attached a container box to the outside pulley system.

Hydraulic Plug

Hydraulic Plug

To cover a hydraulic outlet that’s not in use, I built my own plug with items I had on hand. Slip the following items in order on a 3⁄8"x 2½" long bolt: one flat washer, a short section of  ¾" OD rubber hose followed by a piece of 1" OD rubber hose on top, two more flat washers and a 3⁄8" nut. To insert into the hydraulic outlet, push the plug into the line with the nut facing out and tighten until the plug expands and prevents oil from escaping and dirt getting into the line.

Raylen Phelon
Melvern, Kan.

Cut Twine With Twine

Cut Twine with Twine

Did you know you could cut twine strings on a bale with a second piece of twine? No knife is required. Insert a short piece of twine under the twine string on the bale and rapidly slide it back and forth. The friction will cut the string in seconds.

Charlie Moses Jr.
Elmer City, Wash.





To submit your unpublished idea, which must include a description, photo or sketch, address and phone number, write to $100 Ideas, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 1188, Johnston, IA 50131-9421, e-mail $ or fill out the entry form at Winners receive a hat and a check. All published material becomes Farm Journal Media property. 

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - Early Spring 2013
RELATED TOPICS: $100 ideas

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