Kiron Man Is Metal Craftsman

| September/October 1987

  • Wilbur Anderson
    Wilbur Anderson shows off his most intricate model yet, a replica of a John Deere
  • 3-bottom plow
    The 3-bottom plow made to go with Wilbur Anderson's John Deere tractor. Each piece of the 1/8' scale model is made of scrap metal. The tractor comes complete with moving gears and spark plugs.

  • Wilbur Anderson
  • 3-bottom plow

The following article is reprinted with permission from the Denison, Iowa Review. Wilbur Anderson lives at RR, Kiron, Iowa 51448.

When Wilbur Anderson was a boy of 10 he began making models-rough, unfinished airplanes made of old pieces of wood and nails. Now, almost 60 years later, he is still making models but they are a far cry from the crude figurines of before.

The retired Kiron man's latest project is an almost perfect one-eighth scale replica of an old, iron-wheeled John Deere tractor. Anderson made all the parts himself. Each and every piece was hand-molded and not content to work with easily carved wood, the entire tractor is made out of metal.

'Wood would be easier in some ways but I've always liked lathes and metal working tools. I just prefer working with metal,' he said.

Originally, the idea was to make the tractor work. A former mechanic, Anderson knows enough about the inner workings of a tractor to make a running model. But the small size defeated him when it came to making a carburetor.

The idea for the project was born when he saw a picture of one of the old models in a magazine. His homemade machines including a drill press, a grinder and a welder were fit for the job, but first he drew plans on graph paper.