by Texas Homesteader
We have two tractors, a 55 hp Mahindra for the big jobs and an older and smaller 32 hp Ford 1910 tractor for mowing, disking, etc. RancherMan usually hops on the newer big-boy tractor with the higher horsepower and front-end loader to do the rough stuff. And I happily allow him those tasks.
My preference is Ole Blue, a 1983-built tractor that purrs like a kitten & is as reliable as the day is long.
Recently our Mahindra dealt us an unpleasant blow by having a deteriorating gas tank, rendering it USELESS. So much for the reliability of a fancy-schmancy tractor that’s only 5 yrs –OLD! (Mahindra’s certainly seen the last of us as future customers)
So RancherMan went to work playing tractor mechanic for the Mahindra. But it was the ever-faithful Ole Blue Ford tractor that pulled the load.
I was pretty excited to be using Ole Blue Ford, especially since she’s got a shade canopy on her. I’m planning on doing some pretty extensive pasture mowing soon. Although I’m not a diva or anything, I take sun exposure pretty seriously.
But unfortunately the weather has really taken its toll on the canopy fabric & it’s just shot.
Hummm… Well y’all know my motto: USE WHAT YA GOT! My brain was tickin’ on canopy material to replace this cloth.
Then I got to thinking… a couple of years ago RancherMan & I were at a garage sale and they had all these HUGE very heavy woven bags with a sign that read “FREE – take one”. I have no idea what these bags were originally used for. But as heavy as they are I’m thinking they might typically be used in construction or something – very well reinforced and heavy duty. Perhaps they put bricks or steel in them & moved them around using a forklift to pick them up by their heavily-reinforced straps.
Anyway we didn’t need a bag but the people putting on the sale were pretty insistent that everyone present take at least one. Or two. Or…
We ended up taking one just because of their insistence, hoping we could find a helpful use for it. We couldn’t. So it’s been taking up real estate in our shed for a couple of years.
But now this huge bag comes out of hiding. Maybe I can use the super-heavy material on this bag as a replacement for my torn canopy material.
My intention was to use the old canopy as a template, cut the right size/shape from this heavy bag and install grommets to use to attach the canopy to the metal frame. But the bag is about 3′ x 3′ square. Although I can use the sides to stretch the length some, unfortunately it was still just a little too small to be an exact match.
BUT maybe we can still make it work…
I cut the bag into as big a rectangle as I could. The material from this heavy construction bag worked perfectly, with the heavily reinforced sewn ribs ending up being at exactly the right places for our canopy to both strengthen it and keep it from fraying.
I cut the material to length, cut off the heavy straps & took it to the shop for further working. We used a grommet kit to cut holes along each end for the bindings.
We tried to insert grommets into the holes but since they were at the reinforced areas the fabric was way too thick for the grommets to even go through. BUT since the holes are in those heavily reinforced and sewn areas we’re thinking it may hold just fine as it is.
We took our new canopy to the tractor & spread it out on the frame. Although it’s not quite wide enough to wrap around the frame I think it will still work PERFECTLY to keep me shaded from that hot Texas sun.
It’s currently being held to the frame using bungee straps, we’ll see what the permanent binding method ends up being.
This canopy should hold for quite some time. But when it begins to fail due to weathering, etc. we’ll quickly be able to make ANOTHER ONE since this canopy used only 1/2 of the woven bag material.
I feel pretty good that I was able to think outside the box and put to use something that we already had here on the homestead.
Inexpensive, repurposing and effective. Woo-hoo – let’s hear it for “use what ya got“!
Want To See Other Sun-Protection Posts?
- Protection Skin Without Sunblock
- Wearing Cool But UV-Protective Clothing
- Sun Protection: Rigid Canopy For Our Mid-Sized Trac
Other ‘Use Whatcha Got’ Ideas
- Make A Cute Porch Lantern
- Assuring Safety Around An Underground Cistern
- Repurposing An Empty Parmesan Cheese Container – BRILLIANT!
- Replacing Our Bedside Clock/Radio
- Predator Guard For Our Martin House
- Trick Birds Away From Garden Strawberries
- Protecting Tender Seedlings
- Safer Straight-Pin Storage
- Tame Electrical Cords
- Save Your Fingernails When Cleaning
- MYO Chalkboard Labels
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