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Weekend Projects

Neil Messick: Neil from Messick's here today with my son Jack.

Jack: Hi.

Neil: We're going to do a little bit different video here for the Messick's channel today. Usually, we're talking about equipment and attachments and their application and operation, but today we're going to talk about that crossover point where my home life runs into my work life a little bit, and some of the things that maybe you're going to see around some farms that have been floating around my house here recently. We've done some different projects utilizing things likE CropSaver totes, bunker covers, things out of our parts departments in unintended ways, and we're going to talk about three of those projects here today, along with my son Jack.


1. Firewood Store

Neil: Totes like this have become ubiquitous around a lot of farms and businesses. It's become out of this common-size thing that's used for storing all kinds of stuff. You're going to find them around our business when it comes to CropSaver or what's called a buffered acid that allows you to bail at all kinds of moisture levels and periodically for oil, even. These could be repurposed into all kinds of cool things. You're very commonly going to see them used to move firewood around. People will remove the metal grate off the top, take out the plastic container from the inside, and use the metal structure. We've used ours a little differently than most, because it's Jack's store.

Jack: Hi, I'm Jack. This is my store for firewood.

Neil: This is Jack's firewood store. Not only did we remove the top like most people did, we also removed the side and put a shelf into this in order to make four different containers in order to sell firewood off of. How do you take care of this? What's your job here?

Jack: I load up the firewood and sometimes the sales aren't going great. After school, I'll sit here in a lawn chair and point at it and make sales.

Neil: And make sales.

Jack: And make sales.

Neil: I have a wooded property and a lot of trees that I have to take care of down trees, but I don't burn firewood. Our solution has been, we still cut it up, we make firewood, but Jack is in charge of loading his little store here full of wood. Because this has four pockets underneath of it, it's really easy to come over with my tractor, pick it up, and move it around. You're going to find these on farms around the area, all kinds of different businesses. The internet is full of ideas on how to utilize these totes.


2. Bunker Cover Slip 'n Slide

Neil: Jack, our next topic of conversation is our bunker cover slip-and-slide. Silage today is stored in what's called a bunker. Concrete pad with concrete sides where silage is packed into it. The whole thing is covered with a plastic cover. Among other things, we sell the plastic covers to go over top of those silage pits and we had one that was damaged. It received a big cut through it in shipping and we weren't able to sell it. Got really creative with this one with so much plastic. We took the sides of it, rolled over about 5 feet on either side, used a heat gun in order to seam the thing together to make-

Jack: And a roller.

Neil: -and a roller, and make inflatable sides to contain the water and the kids into the middle of the slip-and-slide. It came out awesome. I can't recommend this enough. The process of going through and using the heat gun and the roller created a seam on this thing that you had to tear the plastic in order to pull it apart. If you're ever going to take a bunker cover and you need to seam something onto it or use it for another project, it is 100% doable and works super well for a great slip-and-slide.

Jack: It was an awesome slip-and-slide.


3. Go Kart

Neil: Our third and final project with stuff gleaned from work would be the recent go-kart that we built.

Jack: We did indeed build build a go-kart.

Neil: We did indeed build a go-kart. My wife just had a stroke of genius while driving around the other day. Along the side of the road, she saw a go-kart with a free sign on it and stuffed it into the back of her Subaru Forester, and brought it home. Now the electronics on the entire thing front to back, the controllers, the batteries, everything was toast. We removed all the guts of it, took the chassis, and rebuilt a new go-kart almost entirely from scratch. The batteries on the back of here are traditional lawn mower batteries. Rather than buying say expensive lithium-ion battery packs, we just dropped a couple lawn mower batteries on the back with some 3D-printed brackets that I made up. Got some regular chain and gears and stuff out of the parts department, some switches and buttons up here. Things we would normally be using on tractors are a very natural fit for this project. We do owe a special shout-out to the fine folks at Vavor. They have go-kart kits that you can have all the electronic motors and controllers at say sub $100 pricing for a really powerful 3 horsepower motor.

Vevor GoKart controller.

Jack: It is a very powerful 3 horsepower motor capable of taking me up to 20 miles an hour.

Neil: Doing this project, we have over doubled the amount of power out of this little motor. This thing is too fast, if I'm honest with you. It doesn't drive super, super well.

Jack: He's very scared of me falling over. I almost rolled it a couple of times. It feels like it's going to blow up.

Neil: The parent in me is a little scared of what I've created here.

Jack: It's very dangerous.

Neil: Really fun project with the pieces and bits that you're going to find around your farm, your shop, your job site. Go-karts are a really fun project with your leftover components. That's a little bit on the intersection between some of those things that we have around work and my home and family life have intersected. Some of my greatest memories growing up are these kinds of things. I didn't grow up on a farm, but a lot of my family did and spent a lot of time there.
Some of my greatest memories came from those environments, where you're just surrounded with the stuff that can be used in unique ways or repurposed to create these great weekend projects. Maybe this is a little inspiration for you to look around and spend a weekend with a little bit of creative ways with your kids and family.

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