1/3 Size John Deere 1 HP

1 HP John Deere buzz rig

Content Tools

814 S. Sophia Street Homer, Michigan 49245

We were talking in the Tri-State gas engine show at Portland, Indiana in August 1984 when we came across Robert Best of Kansas City, MO. He had on display a 1/3 scale size 1 HP John Deere engine I really liked it. Talking with him, I found out he had built it. After more talk, he told me he had planned on making only 15 sets of castings. It didn't take me long to decide I wanted one. So I asked him if he would put my name down on his list for one.

A few months later I heard from him, wondering if I still wanted one of his John Deere casting kits. I wrote right back telling him yes, I sure did.

In August of 1985 I received the castings. I spent the next three months building the complete buzz rig. I built the engine first, wagon second, then the buzz rig. I machined all bolts, screws, pins and several other pieces from stainless steel. All the springs were made from music wire bought at a music store.

I machined the piston rings from Meehanite (a good grade of cast iron). Building the ignitor was quite a job, mostly because it is so small. I kept at it until I got it to work just right and it still does.

The make believe magneto was formed from a small die I made using cold roll steel. The yellow wire coming from the make believe magneto is a hot wire connected to a 6-volt motor cycle battery and a low tension coil that I also built.

I found the wheels for the wagon at an antique auction. The wire arm rest on the wagon seat and the wire guard on the saw table are off our Thanks giving turkey. The logo on the side of the seat is from the phone book.

The red oak used for the wagon is from a tree we cut about 6 years ago which had been sawed into lumber. The belt is made of duct tape and the saw blade was bought in the tool department of a chain store. I also built a storage, show and carrying case for the complete outfit with plexoglass.

This is the second model I have built, the first one being a 1 /3 scale HP New Holland.

My wife and I enjoy reading about new engines, fine workmanship, models and restorations of old iron that has been bought or found in the weirdest places. We also enjoy the shows and the stories about the people getting together talking, 'show and tell' and just plain having fun. We have met so many nice people at shows and some have become fast friends.

So let's keep building, repairing, cleaning and painting this old stuff that so many of us grew up with. Maybe it will keep us from getting old!