love the quality of good old american steel

Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:49 pm

the quality of the steel that these old farmalls were made out of is, in my opinion some of best steel ever made. im doing a repaint of my tractor's hood. the paint was starting to peal pretty bad so it was time. any time i ever do any paint work on my tractor i am amazed at how well the steel has held up. most of these tractor's are over 50 years old and some are approaching 70 years like my 1948. as long as these tractors haven't spent an enormous amount of time outside they clean up really easily..... steel like that is just something you dont see anymore. they really are fantastically built little tractors. i also noticed a factory seam that was mostly covered in old paint, its kind of like stitching, its factory. im not sure how or why they built it like that but it seems like a great amount of attention was spent on build quality. can anyone shed some light on that seam and what its purpose was?

Re: love the quality of good old american steel

Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:02 am

The hood and tank were built separately and then welded together, hence the seam where they were joined.

Re: love the quality of good old american steel

Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:14 am

the sad thing is today we have the technology to make steel far better than they did in the 40's. we just don't. for instance a fridge from the 50's might still be running today. but a fridge new at the store will only last 6 months past the warrenty. with the technology to make a pure grade of steel for the shaft and the exact grade of bronze for the bushing in the compressor. instead of building the best product that can be built with this great technology it is used to engineer it to fail. the 40's tractor was built to be the best thing that they could produce. now stuff is the minimum we can get away with. I think that's why I like old American steel, it is a reminder of a better time in our culture.

Re: love the quality of good old american steel

Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:17 am

the tech is simply used to determine how cheap a given product can be produced and its also used to calculate the product's life cycle. i work as a raw milk receiver and i see allot of different truck drivers. i have a truck driver that come to work and he constantly brags about new this and new that, he has no respect for history. anyways he has a new Ferris and likes to poke fun of my cub, he says its "way out of its era"... i think that's a good thing, im not proud of to many products produced today, in fact im ashamed of most of it and i know how far this country has fallen.i know how good products were made and how bad they are made now.

we have the tech to produce things much better but use the tech instead to determine how to make things fail after a given life cycle. his Ferris might mow faster but it certainly will not mow more grass overall then a cub through the life cycle of the product. my tractor is from the 1940's and the mower from the 1960's and it will probably still be mowing 50 years from now

Re: love the quality of good old american steel

Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:57 am

Find the well made stuff produced today. A lot of it is out there, but STICKER SHOCK!!! (and most of it is from outside the US). It is the consumer that pushed our production to junk and overseas. We have become the sheep of Madison Avenue advertisers; overly concerned with price and style instead of lasting quality and value.

As for the steel, most of what is made today is from recycled scrap. The lab at the furnace has a very short time to assay the contents of the crucible and recommend how many bags of this and that to add to bring the melt to "acceptable" properties.

Re: love the quality of good old american steel

Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:47 pm

i tend to think even the well made stuff today is made no where near the quality of stuff 70-30 years ago. sure there are products that are made better then others, but the price is sticker shock AND the quality of even the best stuff does not compare to the old tractors of yesterday. i think the metal of yesterday was mostly virgin steel and perhaps it even has some nickle in it, and i know its higher carbon content. MOST people love living in a disposable world, buy a new shiney, pretty lawn tractor every 8-10 years and throw it away. im a different breed, i want something that lasts a lifetime and if that means i gotta put some work and sweat into it every once in a while so be it. im not a follower.

that being said yesterday's steel is some impressive quality stuff. IH didnt cut too many corners, and they made great products that lasted well over 1/2 of a century and many are still earning their keep.... i know my tractor does. they did this and still made a profit, well at least for a while.