Passion for old machinery

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Pingelly farmer Graeme Lange has a passion for restoring old machinery.

It began when Graeme was visiting Canberra where he came upon a 1936 Sunshine header that was lying under a tree.

The header was in need of lots of tender loving care, so Graeme made a deal with the owner and the Sunshine was trucked to Pingelly to its new home.

Restoration took two months and last week Graeme was ready to put the harvester to work.

“The inventors of these machines were very clever, ” he said.

Graeme had some difficulty replacing parts made out of wood.

“The white ants couldn’t help themselves to those bits, ” he said.

Graeme spent a lot of time painstakingly making a support piece, carved out of wood, for the beater.

He also is also trying to work out how to construct a wooden wheel, but may have to be content with a second-hand one.

After ripping through some of the wheat crop at a surprising rate, Graeme was happy with the result.

“I guess I feel a bit like Victor McKay, ” he said.

Graeme was referring to the original Sunshine entrepreneur whose life and business was saved by freak foreign interest.

Mr McKay and one of his machines were booked on the Titanic to go to America, but as the story goes, a Russian talked him into changing his plans and he cancelled the voyage in order to demonstrate his machinery elsewhere.

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