Finding new life in an old combine

A restored combine is the result of a partnership between a regional Case IH dealership and a local 4-H group

By Jennifer Jackson

When Craig Smith, co-owner of O’Niel’s Farm Equipment Ltd. in Binbrook, told Robert Meier, Territory Sales Manager for central and eastern Ontario for Case IH, about a 1930s A-6 Case combine that was up for sale at auction, it wasn’t long before the pair set a plan in place for the piece of equipment.

The combine needed to be restored and Meier knew the right team for the job: the local 4-H machinery club.

Along with Smith and Clint Burrows, leader of the 4-H Machinery Club in Hamilton-Wentworth County, Meier hopes the completed project will showcase the hard work and dedication demonstrated by the 4-H members, as well as the agricultural industry’s history and progression.

Here, Better Farming provides further highlights from the restoration process.

Restoring Combines

Smith found the combine for sale online in an auction. An individual involved with the project snapped a photo of the 1930s combine at the start of its journey, leaving the grounds of the Grey Roots Museum & Archives.

Restoring Combines

The combine sat untouched over the winter of 2016/2017, while Meier and Smith started to plan the combine’s restoration. The pull-type combine features a galvanized metal body, a six-foot-wide head and an innovative grain unloading system.

Restoring Combines

Once the combine arrived at the farm of Clint Burrows, the Hamilton-Wentworth 4-H Machinery Club got to work. This was one of the six meetings where the members fixed, rebuilt and painted the combine.

4H restoring combines

    Photo credit: Hamilton-Wentworth County 4-H machinery club photo

The 15 4-H machinery club members range in age from nine to 21 years old. Members with all levels of skill and familiarities with machinery had ample opportunities to contribute to the project.

4H restoring combines

    Photo credit: Hamilton-Wentworth County 4-H machinery club photo

Part of the group stands for a photo after a night of hard work. The meetings each lasted for about two hours and, according to Burrows, the 4-H members are all very enthusiastic about the project.

4H restoring combines

    Photo credit: Hamilton-Wentworth County 4-H machinery club photo

The 4-H members had many opportunities for hands-on learning – the kind of learning not acquired with a computer program, says Smith – through such responsibilities as cleaning, the completion of structural work and painting. BF

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