Creston Valley horse owner and millwright create scratch-built manure spreader

Web Lead

  • Sep. 20, 2015 5:00 a.m.

(Above) Bob Domenjoz (left) and Don Stace-Smith with the manure spreader; (below) the gears and flails; (below story

When Bob Domenjoz wanted a new manure spreader, he did something better than simply buying a new one — he enlisted the help of longtime friend Don Stace-Smith to build one from scratch.

“It’s better than one that’s manufactured,” Domenjoz said. “It’s stronger. It won’t bend or twist.”

It was cheaper, too, said Domenjoz, owner of two miniature horses and a quarter horse. A new manufactured spreader would have been about $4,000 for one; this one was under $2,000.

Stace-Smith, a journeyman millwright, appreciated the opportunity to create something new. He built a boat when he was 14, and project in the decades since have included a crossbow pistol and geodesic dome.

“I’ve made all kinds of ‘weird things, strange and wonderful,’ my sister says,” said Stace-Smith.

He prefers to create only one of everything, though.

“The challenge is for the first one,” said Stace-Smith. “After that, you’re like a machine.”

Part of the challenge for this was to figure out the drive system, which required the wheels to propel the spreader forward, while the track in the bed and flails at the rear turn the opposite direction to spread the manure. The result is a complicated — at least, to the layperson — system of gears and chains.

“There’s a lot of little finicky work,” said Domenjoz (who has himself built a four-wheeled buggy — and wants to build an artillery tank).

“Even making square holes with a file takes time,” added Stace-Smith.

Altogether, the project took about two months of weekends and some evenings before it was completed Sept. 11.

Domenjoz laughed when he admitted to some surprise during the early stages of construction when he saw that the frame looked nothing like what he’d imagined.

“I had the frame upside-down and he couldn’t figure out what was going on,” said Stace-Smith.

“Now, I can take it apart and put it back together,” added Domenjoz.

The project turned out to be a success, and with the quad painted a slick red and black, matching the quad used to pull it, Domenjoz has found the scratch-built manure spreader to be quite a time saver. It holds about a ton, and it takes him 10 minutes load it and five to unload it.

“For me, it’s a miracle,” said Domenjoz. “I don’t have to shovel anymore.

“I just put it in gear and away I go.”

Just Posted

ASC approves their work plan and reviews spatial analysis

FireWise Consulting Ltd. provided an overview of two components for the ASC to consider.

Hospice continues to serve

For more than 30 years, volunteers with the Creston Valley Hospice Society… Continue reading

Local singers to perform in Carnegie Hall, NY

Boundless vocal ensemble which features 10 singers from Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and Creston, BC

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

Bad behaviour dominates police week

Bad behaviour, some fueled by alcohol, was the running theme as Creston RCMP responded to 57 calls for assistance from April 10-17, Staff Sergeant Ryan Currie said on Tuesday.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Fire near Baynes Lake

On Sunday, April 22, a fire was discovered in the Baynes Lake area.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Most Read