Materials and Construction Parameters
Three basic materials are used for the tool: steel, wood and plastic. Steel materials for the runners, frame, risers and braces are preferred. These materials are also often available as lower cost salvage material. Some graziers prefer to construct the mainframe of treated wood (Figure 41). Materials choice depends on the readily available supply, the most economical construction and method of assembly (some graziers do not have a welder).
Nothing beats a heavy-walled (about one-fourth inch thick or more) poly drum (plastic) for the salt and mineral feeder. Wood is next best and steel is least preferred. The drums are available in salvage trade and cost is minimal at about $15 or less per 55-gallon drum which can make two feeders. Noble Foundation models of the salt and mineral feeder made of poly drums are in good condition after about 12 years of use.
There are many good models of the basic properly designed tool that can provide the numerous advantages discussed. Some good designs are represented throughout in Figures 7, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 19. The model pictured on the cover and in Figures 11, 37, and in this section is considered among the best overall design for all intended purposes. It is used for the model of the schematic diagram (Figure 37) and for construction parameter information.
If the grazier making one of the tools prefers a smaller or otherwise different design, the information in this part can be used as a guide to adapt to the chosen design.
Construction parameters for this section model are shown in side view and end views (Figures 21, 22 and 23). These illustrations present the overall physical view. It is also portrayed as a schematic drawing in Figure 37.
In summary, the frame is all steel for strength and longevity. Runners and risers are two and three-eighths inch diameter salvaged pipe. The legs and feeder supports are two-inch wide, one-fourth inch thick angle iron. The supports leading to the roof are one and one-half inch wide, one-fourth inch thick, angle iron. These supports should be gusseted top and bottom for more joint strength. The roof frame and rafters are made of one and one-half inch wide, three-sixteenths inch thick square tubing. The roof material is galvanized sheet iron fastened with sheet metal screws with neoprene washers.
Runners, legs, risers and any other stress points should all be gusseted to provide added structural strength where they meet other parts of the frame similar to that shown for the tall riser (Figure 24).
Runners should be set wide at about 48 inches to prevent cattle tipping the tool over (Figure 25). They should be narrow enough to allow the tool to slide into the back of a pickup for long distance hauling. Curve both of the ends of the runners up at about a 45-degree angle to provide a good sled runner affect (Figures 25 and 26). These curved runners should be gusseted to provide more structural strength.