Tractor Ears

Will with Wide Butted Big Eared Tractor

Will is working on learning to weld stainless steel in preparation for making some of the parts we need for the butcher shop. Tractor ears was his first sheet metal project in stainless steel. By doing small useful tests we explore techniques and develop the necessary skills for design and production. This is a way. Chez Tao.

To build the butcher shop we developed techniques by building our cottage, a much smaller version using many of the same methods. Prior to the cottage we built the dog house. Before that a ferro cement and brick pig hut. Even earlier, table top models. With each progressively larger version we developed technique and honed skills.

Stainless Steel Tractor Ear Chain Bucket

Recently I showed the metal bender machine Will made for creating metal arches. The photo above shows the resulting chain buckets hung on the sides of the roll bar. Will used the existing light bolt holes for attachment.

I’ve wanted to have more storage spots on the tractor for years, especially for the grab chains we use to lift and drag things like logs, bales and stones. Now the chains are safely stored in easy to access locations rather than under our feet on the floor of the tractor.

Stainless steel might seem like overkill for such a project but it was a good way to combine practice with functionality. This might be the only tractor with stainless steel ears, er, storage boxes!

Outdoors: 64F/44°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/62°F

Daily Spark: Math is a dangerous thing – Don’t run with statistics.

11 thoughts on “Tractor Ears

  1. What manner of drainage have you in the bottom of those ears?

    “Enjoying” 101 F here, partly because someone lit a really big campfire over at Yosemite. Wanna loan us a glacier?

    • There’s a hole drilled at the bottom of each ear to drain water away from the chains stored in the boxes. No lid for simplicity. These are free range chains who have lived their whole lives out in the Vermont weather. :)

      I don’t have any glacier ice to send you but we did get snow two weeks ago. It didn’t stick, fortunately. Really weird hard fast falling white stuff in the middle of a cold rain storm. We were out sorting pigs in the south field at the time.

  2. I like working with metal myself, Will is doing great with these projects. As for stainless steel, it is not an overkill, paint comes off especially on hard worn areas or metal on metal situations. Pay the extra money for stainless steel but you do the job first time right.

  3. I am so borrowing that idea. Tell Will he will get the credit! Probably some of the best project advice: prototype. Will save huge for version final. (Assuming that is achievable in this universe!)

  4. Nice welds; clean lines. He spent time on those. He’s got a good eye for it.

    Mine is a box and has a cover to hold other tools, etc. Found some junk from 1990 in there last week. I am with you – the cover was a bad idea. Too easy to ‘lose’ stuff…

  5. Will here,
    I have started a thread on the WeldingWeb Forum with more detailed pictures of the welds, along with technical information on how the welds were made.

    I would be interested in getting feedback from anyone here with welding experience.

    Comments on this blog post or a direct email ( are good means of communication if you don’t want to setup an account on WeldingWeb.

    Will Jeffries

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