N892 Highway 149, New Holstein, Wisconsin 53061
For many years I wanted to build a model tractor of some kind, but wasn't quite sure what I could be capable of building.
I go to about six tractor and engine shows here in Wisconsin and enjoy and investigate the models I see, borrowing ideas and thinking. One evening while reading one of the magazines I receive, a brain storm hit. A man from Nebraska built a W-4 McCormick. I gave him a call and he shared some of his ideas on the engine and transmission. Now I knew what I wanted to try. A 3/4 scale model of my 1937 W-30 McCormick Deering.
First I had to hunt up some major parts. I needed a Continental engine off a McCormick pull type combine. I needed the combine engine because of the clutch and housing. The same engine on a baler has a belt tightener, no clutch. The engines are approximately 3/4 scale and look like a tractor engine and they are crank starting. Next I needed a transaxle with an input shaft coming out of the front, not a belt pulley. My next project was having a 1/4' plate bent in a half-moon to look like the cast belly of the McCormick Deering W-30. A metal fabricating shop did the job for me. Then I started working off the belly which acts as the frame. I fitted the transaxle into the belly, built the front axle and axle supports and all other parts which go along with the front end.
Next step was making the four steel wheels. They were made by welding a 3/4' lip around the face of each wheel. These were peer rolled, to get the McCormick wheel appearance. I riveted the spokes in and made the 64 spade lugs needed. I made them from angle iron, cutting 128 pieces then bending each one in a press, then welding the tops together and drilling a few holes.
Then I installed the engine after it was overhauled. I mounted the radiator, steering gear, drive shaft, deck plate, hitch, seat, tool box, brake and another dozen or two parts that needed to be made.
Then I needed more help from the metal fabricating shop for fenders, hood and gas tank. Now all that was left was to disassemble the tractor and prime and paint it.
The project took about seven months, after I had my major parts, and of course took many, many hours of time, ideas from engine friends, lost sleep and many mistakes. The project turned out better than I had hoped.
Now I decided I needed something to hook behind it. I've restored 15 other steel wheel tractors and several trailer plows, which I enjoy, so why not a 3/4 scale McCormick No. 8 plow? I had one to scale off of. So, I bought two used garden tractor plows and fabricated the wheels, handles, hitch and so forth.
I've learned a lot from this project and have hopes of building a few more models of different tractors as time goes on.
One more helpful hint: before starting projects such as these, check with your local psychiatrist first!!!