More Scratch Model Building

Oil Pull tractors

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RR #1, Box 63 Avoca, Iowa 51521

Wives and mothers are some of the most wonderful things we can have around anywhere, any time. Especially at a gas engine show. They are always there to fix things to eat, help set up the tent, or just watch the display while we take a break.

My wife has been with me 35 years now. I believe she enjoys gas engine shows and swap meets, about as much as us guys. Last summer our son David went away to work, so he couldn't attend many shows. I didn't know if I really wanted to go to the trouble of getting things ready to go, or just stay home. I'll have you know, my wife set her foot down, and said she wanted to go, so we went to several.

I'm really a John Deere tractor fan. My wife seems to like several brands. Her favorite old tractor is any Rumely Oil Pull. She has often said she just loves the sound of their exhaust. We both would like to have one, but I'm afraid it's out of the question, on two counts. First, we live in town, and I'm afraid it wouldn't go over too big, for us to have a monster like that in our backyard. Especially, considering the neighbors have already objected to our son's John Deere tractors. Also the cost would be prohibitive.

Thinking, I would still like to own a Rumely, the next best thing would be to build a model. This winter she and I looked through the different tractor books David has. We found lots of pictures of Oil Pull tractors.

I started out with a sheet of white card stock, from our local newspaper office, and some sticks sawed about W square. I'm not great on figuring  scale inches, so just tried to make things look believable. Our Rumely is about 11' long and possibly 7' tall. I had noticed they are a rather stubby tractor. I have pieces of white 'semi trailer' mud flaps. They are plastic, and break off in cold weather. We found them along the highway. This plastic is very easily glued with Dupont Duco Cement. It is also very easy to drill and shape. This is what I made the wheels out of.

I had purchased a hole cutter, in one of those boxes of inexpensive tools, the stores carry at times. The arm on the hole cutter is adjustable, so I cut 6 circles 4' in diameter, for each rear wheel. With a band saw I cut out spokes from the center one, and outside rings to glue on each side. This made a wider tread. The front wheels are made the same way, except smaller and only a single wheel is used on each side. All wheels have a band of card stock for tread.

The oil hopper on the front is all of card stock, with a small paper tube in the top. This tube had very fine silk thread on it at one time. The canopy is framed with pine sticks, which were sewn on our table saw. Some pieces are 1/8x1/8 others are 1/8x, this then is covered with card stock. The rivets are made with a leather punch by punching a scrap of card stock one will get lots of little round scraps the size of the inside of the punch. I glued these on to the fenders and oil hopper, using a tweezers to handle them. The axles, steering shaft, etc. are all 3/16' dowel pieces. The steering wheel is of plastic mud flap.

On the back page of a back issue of GEM is a full color picture of a Rumely. We got color ideas from this. We mixed a spoon of this and a dab of that in a baby food jar until the color suited us. My wife suggested yellow on the canopy and tread of all wheels. For this we used John Deere yellow. The orange wheels are a True Value orange. All in all we thought it a pretty colorful model.

The wheels turn when pushed gently on carpet. I saved several small plastic gears from old TV sets we junked out. These I matched up so when the tractor is gently pushed, the flywheel will turn. Also the steering works.

We copied mostly from 'The Agricultural Tractor 1855-1950', page 32, put out by the 'Society of Agricultural Engineers'. This book was compiled by R. B. Gray.

To finish the story, now, the wife and I have a Rumely Oil Pull. It's nice and clean and can sit on a doily on the dresser. The only thing is it doesn't have that good sound.