Scale House Rot
For those of you that read my mother’s blog, this will be old news. But since it has taken up a lot of last week, I thought I would talk about it anyway. The old scale house has been needing some work for quite a while now. I don’t know how many years we have said that we needed to put a window in the back to let in the light and help it warm up, but it has been quite a few. Weighing calves in the winter can get downright cold in there. It just holds the chill from the night and when you’re sitting there weighing you don’t get moving enough to fight it off.
The scale house came with the scale when Grandpa bought it years ago. He says that he bought it from Holly Sugar, which used to be the company that owned the sugar factory in Worland. They used to use it to weigh beet trucks. The scale and house have been around through my whole life. We have used it to weigh loads of grain, our steers when they sell, and individual calves for performance testing over the years.
I decided that the window project would be a good one for when it cooled off. That’s how it all started... one window... maybe I would try to change out the observation windows too if I felt like it. But once I had to clean out the whole shed and tear off one wall for the first window, the project grew and grew. Eventually, it turned into stripping every wall down and putting OSB up in its place. All of the mice nests had to go, the cabinet was moved onto the wall to make room on the counter. I through away a lot of stuff and tried to reorganize the rest.
Along the way, I found “treasures” in the walls. An old Miller High Life can from when you still had to use a can opener, a Hiram Walker bourbon bottle, and a glass Pepsi bottle and cap. From the pictures I found on the internet, the Pepsi bottle looks to be from around 1946. There were other things, too. Marlboro packaging, Copenhagen cans, and even an old can for peaches, but all those found their way into the trash can. I’m not sure if the old boys that built the shed just had a really good time or if the Holly Sugar employees had a way to shove trash in the wall while they waited for the next beet truck to arrive. There was one more treasure I found when I tore off the last wall. It was a painted metal sign that shows the scale to be approved to capacity. I couldn’t help myself and that is now hanging right above the observation window.
After the new windows were installed and the new sheeting that we had left over from fixing up the shop a couple of years ago had been hung, I had to put everything back in. It seemed like I had just gotten all that free space and didn’t want to give it up. So I added a couple of shelves and hung a few more things in the walls. One of the biggest reasons that we didn’t have space in there is the branding irons. We have our normal branding irons and all the ones for age marking as well. We decided some hooks would be a great idea, but I was worried that the irons would be too much weight for normal hooks so I welded up some hangers from old rake teeth and flat iron.
The old shed still needs some work here and there, but I think the project was an improvement. Don’t get to looking too closely or you might notice the gaps in the OSB that come from trying to put straight sheets into a leaning building. I think it isn’t too bad, though, for a shed that I had to jack one stud up to get it back on the footer. Hopefully it lasts for a while longer, but I understand if none of you hire me to build a house after looking these photos.
I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and thanks for reading. It has now been 52 weeks of blogging for us and we really appreciate all the support that you’ve given us.
by Brandon Greet