Table Top Truck and Tractor

Lauson tractor

Content Tools

N892 Hwy 149 New Holstein, Wisconsin 53061

Back in 19911 got the idea of building a Lauson tractor. I've only seen a few, but they have always fascinated me. They were built only four miles from where I live, by the John Lauson Manufacturing Company of New Holstein, Wisconsin. They also built the Lauson gas engines of many sizes and sold them world wide.

I found a reprinted catalog of many brands of tractors, and the Lauson tractor was shown with the specs listed. So, I decided I would try to build a    size model from the measurements listed. The model Lauson I copied was the 20-35. The real 20-35 Lauson was listed as a four-plow tractor. The rear wheels were 54 x 12, front wheels 36 x 6, length 126' width 64', height at 66', total weight of 7650 pounds, using a Beaver vertical four-cylinder cast-iron block engine.

So, with that I started the project. The entire tractor is built of steel. The rear lugs were cut from solid steel on my band saw, and each one is tapped, so they could be mounted on the rear wheels. There is an engine under the hood which, of course, is not functional. I just used things I had, or thought would work.

The tractor was displayed on a board that rested on saw bucks. As my wife and I got a little older, we found that we could hardly lift the tractor from the pickup truck to the saw bucks to display it. Another idea came to my mind in 1993. Build a truck to haul it on, and then my wife and I could push it in and out of the pickup truck instead of lifting it.

I knew I wanted a chain-drive, solid rubber-tired, open cab, Mack truck. After many hours of thinking about materials, I finally figured out what to do for the wheels. (This was always a setback when every Mack truck came to mind.) I ordered six wheels from Madison Cast who builds engine truck wheels for gas engines. To get the solid rubber appearance, I had a truck recapping company vulcanize the rubber on the wheels. This was a little costly, but it really worked out nicely.

I'll bet you're wondering how I got the measurements for the Mack truck. They were taken at a tractor show, along with pictures taken from all sides. I've only seen one open-cab Mack truck so far.

Now, getting to building the rest of the truck: The cab and frame are made of steel, with a hardwood deck for the tractor to ride on. The Mack has another non-functional engine.

The Mack and Lauson fit in my pickup truck box for easy hauling to shows. The Mack and Lauson sit on a table which is the same height as my pickup. The table, which is made up of five pieces, goes together and comes apart very easily, and fits next to the models in the pickup truck for hauling. When at home, it sits on the table at all times. Now my wife and I don't have to lift so heavily anymore. Pushing is still much easier on the back.

I enjoy building things. The truck and tractor have plenty of mistakes, but I just build models for the fun of it. We have a great hobby going and whatever each one of you enjoys in the hobby, go for it, because there are lots and lots of wonderful people out there!