An Easy Restoration Please...

| December/January 1997

6548 Lipscomb St. S. E. Salem, Oregon 97301

I only wanted an easy tractor restoration project. You know, the kind where you clean a little dirt off, put on some paint and then say, 'Look at the tractor I restored!' What I got was as far from this as the east is from the west, but it was much more rewarding.

It all started in October 1996, when I was visiting Don Weber's place in Portland, Oregon. Don is a fellow member of EDGE&.TA Branch 15 and I was picking up an old Kultor-King walk-behind garden tractor. I was seeking my easily restored old wheel tractor at the time, so I asked Don if he knew of any such opportunities. He said, 'Sure! I've got three in my backyard!' With anticipation I followed him out back where I saw three of the most derelict piles of junk you ever saw. They were so bad that even the scrap man might be tempted to turn up his nose. As he was showing them to me, saying there were enough parts there to make one, maybe two tractors less the mag, I was busy making positive sounding responses, but looking much more at the clouds and other things, for I was thinking to myself, 'This is NOT what I wanted!' I told him I'd think about it. Yeah, right.

But then the high iron content in my blood got the better of me. Against all reason, logic, common sense, and after discovering I had a mag which would do the job, I made another trip to Portland the following day to have a look at the 'tractors' seeing as how I didn't even really look at them the day before. As half of me was screaming 'idiot,' the other and more powerful half was saying, 'We can do this!' I cut a deal with Don and I was the owner of three former tractors, two McCormick-Deering 10-20s, one I-20, and a pile of rusty various shapes of steel and iron which I was told went with them.

I had to make three more pilgrimages to Portland, one per hulk. My truck broke down on one of these trips and that could be a whole other story in itself. I had to end up replacing the distributor. It's amazing what we'll do for old iron.

When I finally got all the junk home on November 2, 1996, I decided I'd use the I-20, Hulk#1, for the foundation of the tractor I hoped someday to complete. Having already been partially converted to an agricultural model, it had rear steel wheels with angle iron lugs. Also, the main frame casting date was August 21, 1925, making it the oldest of the three. The transmission seemed okay and was the original industrial type. The fenders were also in okay condition and, although not new, looked like they'd work. But it had no engine.

7/10/2014 5:53:16 PM

Has it been 17 years already? I am the original author of ths article and I'm here to tell you that strangely enough, I haven't had the urge to take on such a project since and probably never will. But I really miss this tractor ever since I sold it a few years back. If anyone sees it, please let me know where it is! Thanks, Dave