Scale Model Farm Equipment
Roslyn Lisk, Business Manager of The Torch newspaper, has given us permission to use the
following article and picture.
In this busy day and age when a working man and father of two sons
and two daughters finds time to pursue a hobby such as whittling scale model farm implements, we believe it is of interest to the young and
So it is with Lloyd Burns, son of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Burns, husband of Ella Fisher Burns, and father of Sharon,
Allan, Penny, and Donald.
Back in 1920 when Lloyd was born the first of three sons, his parents
were farmers out east of Central Lake, MI, and so his love of the land
and the farm machinery used in tilling the land was a natural one.
In 1930 at the age of 10, his only means of acquiring machinery
“just like Dad’s” was to make some for himself, thus
his “Whittlin’ Career” started.
His first models were very crude, but none-the-less dear to the
heart of a ten year old! As the years went by his patience and
interest grew and his skills improved, but he was becoming
dissatisfied with his finished products. The need to be more
exacting plagued him, until he decided that making his small
creations to scale would be of value to their authenticity.
Thus in 1946 at the age of 26 years, Lloyd started making his
first set of blueprints. From then on although his miniature
farm equipment pieces were complete in detail and true in size, they do not
The list of materials and tools used in his unique hobby are
simple ones. Most all of the machinery is made from pine and bass
wood, various gauges of wire, tin, nails, belts of many types, wood
fillers and a few small cans of different colored paints. From his
beginning with a jack knife he has added a small hammer, coping
saw, jig saw, wood chisels and pliers.
While paint is his greatest expense, the woods and other
supplies are mostly free from various sources.
Lloyd farmed on the home farm with his father and brother until
1952 when he moved to the vicinity of Burr Oak, Sturgis, Michigan. There he found a job with Kirsch Co., and in 1953 married Ella
But his love of farming called him back to Central Lake, where he
bought a farm east of town and farmed again for a number of
Lloyd and his family now live in Central Lake, and he is employed
at Mt Clemens Metal Products in East Jordan. He also plays and
sings with an old fashioned square dance band at least one night a
Still Lloyd finds time for his interesting and unusual hobby! In
his attempt to record the history of farm implements, Lloyd has
spent four or five evenings per week, about 2 hours per evening for the
past 37 years, actually “whittlin'” away or studying hobby magazines in the hope that he might find the descriptions of
still more antique models, and reading and studying current farm
machinery magazines in search of new developments. The magazines he
has acquired through the years is a collection in itself!
In his quest for knowledge to carry on his “Whittlin’
Career,” an annual event for Lloyd in recent years is
attending the “Old Time Thresher Show” in Fort Wayne, Ind.
and Hastings, Mich.
Now at the age of 47 years and 432 models later, Lloyd–with
small son Donald age 6 keeping a watchful eye on Dad’s skilled
fingers–still spends several evenings per week patiently and
devotedly working on his hobby hoping to reach his goal of 500
individual pieces of authentically styled farm implements dating
back to an 1831 First McCormick Reaper.
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