I write this sat looking out at the garden during a very dry April, we could desperately do with a drop of rain having had no significant rainfall for some time. Winter seems a distant memory now, however, always looking for an excuse to utilise the Ferguson System my thoughts turned to processing some firewood.
Having been keen to get a Fergie saw bench for some time a chance purchase from eBay re-ignited these thoughts. A very nice leaflet with the Dealer stamp of ‘Boggis of Halesworth’ was purchased depicting an early saw bench and a very jolly looking chap obviously very pleased with his purchase. I realised now how much I needed to own one, however I had the final obstacle to overcome, convincing Mrs S of the virtues of such an addition to the collection. Fortune must have been on my side as she either wasn’t listening or she understood what a wise purchase this was for us to make and seemed fully committed to the project!
With permission sought I trawled the internet and tractor magazines, as luck would have it through a chance conversation, I found exactly what I was looking for not too far away at a reasonable price, once back home I could take stock of what I had bought. It’s a later Massey Ferguson model in nice condition, it came with a belt although this is too long and needs replacing as a farm spec modification has been made to enable adjustment to tighten the belt, the previous owner had fitted some extra guarding which was also a nice touch, so far so good. Everything turned freely by hand, so I decided to fit it up to a tractor and give it a run up, a dig around in the depths of the shed revealed a Ferguson belt pulley so now it was just a case of hitching up. With a little persuasion the saw bench was duly hitched up to my 1948 Fergie TEA20, with the belt tensioned we were in business and it was time for the moment of truth, now I have to admit at this point I was rather nervous of the fearsome spinning wheel of death I had just fitted on to my tractor so it was with some trepidation I slipped the PTO in to gear and gently let out the clutch. With a whirr we were off, leaving the engine ticking over I listened out for any odd noises or grumbles, but all sounded good so now I was feeling rather pleased with myself.
During the storms several hedgerow trees had been damaged and fallen across the fence of a rented paddock, so this was the perfect excuse to tryout my new toy, the chainsaw made light work of the field maple. I trimmed all the smaller branches and brush into a pile and stacked the thicker wood next to the tractor ready for processing. After making sure to clear the work area from trip hazards I ran the saw up and started to make my way through the pile, the blade zipped through the wood with ease. With an explosion of sawdust, the blade ate through the wood and the lengths of timber were soon reduced to a nice pile of logs perfect size for splitting.
So, a success, the blade needs a light sharpen and I need to source a belt of the correct length but otherwise one of my better purchases! Another implement ticked off the list and whilst on a roll perhaps another purchase is in order …. until next time keep on a-trosh’n.
Harry Semmence, 1948 TEA20, Journal 102 Autumn 2022
Ferguson Specification & Uses first published in Journal 72 Winter 2012/13, and Journal 102
Published in Journal 57, Winter 2007
Published in Journal 60, Winter 2008