How to pull 50 bottoms
September 13, 2023 12:26 PM   Subscribe

What do you do when Case stopped manufacturing your favourite tractor 110 years ago and none are available on the used market? If you are Kory Anderson you start a foundry so you can build, with help from your friends, a brand new Case 150 steam road tractor.
posted by Mitheral (17 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
🎶 You pull 50 bottoms,
And what do you get? 🎵
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:45 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]

Wow. What a fantastic waste of resources - both to build and to operate this coal and wood fired monstrosity. Truly the ultimate coal roller. Consider yourself owned libz!
posted by Anoplura at 12:48 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]

I'll take "Top MetaFilter Titles That Should Never Be Searched On XTube" for $100, Alex.
posted by hippybear at 12:51 PM on September 13 [15 favorites]

Thanks very much for posting Mitheral, I've been trying to find if there's innovation in the traction steam space. The local tractor musuem is 100m from my front door so I see this tech quite often.
posted by unearthed at 12:57 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]

I too have a problem with this, in terms of wasted resources, pollution, and unsustainable agricultural practices (see no-till agriculture). That said, this thing is basically a museum piece, there is no way this guy will operate it except on a few demo days. Same as the few steam railroad engines still operating here and there.
posted by beagle at 1:39 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]

The result is pretty cool. I've followed a lot of heritage ag equipment enthusiasts. Usually they are sort of shabby farmer meets intellectual meets tradesmen types, always very nerdy. This is the first of these guys I've seen that's trying to turn this into some sort of muscly motivational speaking/ iron man thing?
posted by Think_Long at 1:40 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]

You pull 50 bottoms,
And what do you get?

Herpes at the very least.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:18 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]

Just advertise you’re a top.

posted by los pantalones del muerte at 3:03 PM on September 13

Why I'm positive about this is some of us live in very remote regions of the planet, and in (increasingly likely) worst case scenarios we'll have to feed ourselves without fossil oil - previous right wing govt sold our only refinery to their mates who have just shut it down and demolished it. We used to rely on the US in emergencies but with US decline this is no longer reliable.

These guys write scenarios for NZ govt, - it's time to look at unthinkables, cos it'll be a decade+ before agriculture is electrified.

When I can go go to the NZ Plough Champs, yes some nerdiness, essential, also a lot of innovation in an overlooked art science craft.

No till does not mean no tractive power at all, very very hard to do that - a friend of mine is exploring this on his 300Ha sheep farm - including growing winter fodder crops, hard to achieve for many reasons. Till includes drilling in seed, mechanical weeding, chemical apps inc for organic, soil drainage ops, oh and harvest itself - can't do any of this without tractors, combines etc.
posted by unearthed at 3:41 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]

Huh, round about me — viz., a couple acres either side of this gravel road — "no-till” can include running a diesel tractor spader or a BCS power harrow. Or possibly we’re all aiming at minimal till, and that depends.

Me, I’m Big Tarp.
posted by clew at 5:07 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]

There's something charming about these old steam engines - I was lucky enough to recently stumble over the Age of Steam Roundhouse in northeast Ohio, which has a staggering amount of steam engines both in use and in process of being rebuilt. Given the shear enormous size and weight of these beasts, it still shocks me that they were all pretty much hand-built, much like Kory's Case150 was - but in much larger numbers in a vastly shorter period of time with far less tech than today.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:44 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]

"Boilermaker" is a really impressive expert to be!
posted by clew at 7:00 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]

This is a road tractor; it can pull pretty much any implement you can contrive a connection for. The plough thing is both a demonstration of it's power that would mean a lot to people experienced with pulling a plough and a punch a world record. No one is going to be using this museum piece to plough up the back 40.
posted by Mitheral at 7:33 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]

For something more human scale this pulls too vroooomm, chuf, chuf..

Ploughing competitions are the oddests things, all competitors are farmers, and there's everything from horse-drawn to the latest CLAAS and J Deere. But if you look at some of the old ploughs you might see some look .. different, like HDPE plough-shares - "good in wet soil", telemetry, and wires leading away from implements that probably predate electricity. Digital readouts on steam engines...
posted by unearthed at 11:04 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]

Out here in the North Dakota/Minnesota area we're prime area for these sort of machines -- the bonanza farm era meets modern technology right when things were getting good, so there's a lot of historical recreationists in the steam power area. I've gone to the Rollag steam thresher reunion, which is one of the big ones and has its own train, but it seems like every other weekend there's some small group putting on their annual meet where a few steam engines show their mettle, along with early gas tractors, horsepower, etc.

But, these are largely restored machines, not newly manufactured ones, let alone an extinct beast like this. It's like resurrecting the brontosaurus.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:15 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

This post has been added to the Best Of blog!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:04 AM on September 14

If you live in the city you can pull 50 bottoms with an open vodka-and-soda bar and some Dua Lipa remixes.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 10:43 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]

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