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Jim Ruen's "Shop Talk" blog
Shop Talk
Share questions, thoughts and tips about equipment, tools, maintenance and repair, safety and the shop itself. At the bench is Jim Ruen, who grew up working with farm equipment and has been writing about the subject for more than three decades. If he doesn't know the answer to your question, he'll find someone who does.

06/26/2012 - Forest Unleashed
My 8-acres of forest—planted to oak, black walnut, elm and ash—has filled in with more than its share of cottonwood and box elder. Had I planted my trees in rows, I could have simply mowed the errant seedlings, but my trees were broadcast seeded and grew the old fashioned way: where they wanted.

06/19/2012 - A Fixer-upper Farm
An old friend of mine called this spring with the news that he and his wife were buying 15 acres in the country. They had gotten a real good deal on the place, but the buildings were in questionable shape.

06/12/2012 - Corner Shelf: Making Do
The other day, my daughter wanted to hang a shelf she had made. The challenge was that it was a corner shelf and I only had one appropriate hanger for the job.

06/05/2012 - Out of Stock
Hearing the words "out of stock” is normally a precursor to frustration. That is especially true living in the country.

05/29/2012 - A Tool for Tilling
One of the joys of my job as a farm-machinery writer is getting to try out tools. It’s especially fun when the tool turns out to do the job it was promoted to do.

05/22/2012 - Dryer Trouble-shooting: Keep It Simple
Electric motors are great, and modern life wouldn't be the same without them. Let an electric appliance stop working, as our clothes dryer did recently, and you are quickly reminded how vital these machines are.

05/15/2012 - How to Build a Trellis
Several years ago, I built a trellis for a clematis in our front garden. We quickly established that that I had built it too small.

05/08/2012 - Angle Grinder Shopping: The Buy
After brushing up on tools and motors during my tool-shopping expedition, I spent some time on the web looking at my options and reading reviews for angle grinders.

05/01/2012 - Tool Torque and Trade-offs
When comparing drills, grinders, circle saws and other rotating tools, available torque is the important factor.

04/24/2012 - Tool Shopping: Check the Amps
For a guy who likes tools, I really hate shopping for them. I want to add an angle grinder to my shop and have started the process.

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