Quarter Scale John Deere 1936 MODEL B

By Staff
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Comparison view: full size B to left rear. Photo taken at Paducah, Kentucky Show.
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Quarter scale John Deere 1946 model B.
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Rear/right side view: shows the equipment lift, towbar/hitch and fan.

244 Mabry Drive, Camden, Tennessee 38320

First, let me thank the publishers of GEM for a fine magazine.
And thanks to all the good readers who have written articles
sharing their experiences, expertise and information that has been
so enjoyable and helpful over the years. Hopefully, my article will
impart the enthusiasm and satisfaction that can be gained by
creating a machine that can be enjoyed by others. You readers who
build model engines, tractors and machines know already.

After many years of a very enjoyable hobby of restoring and
showing old gas engines, I began to realize that the time was fast
approaching that I should get away from the heavy work, and
cultivate an already burning interest in model building.

I noticed that the rear end of an early model Wheel Horse
tractor had some similarity to the Model B John Deere tractor. Yes,
I decided this Wheel Horse transaxle was the beginning of a scale
model 1936 John Deere, Model B. Taking a few measurements from a
full size tractor and after much study, I could go with the
one-quarter scale very well. Many weeks of spare time was devoted
to the scale-down process and development of actual measurements
for the numerous components I would fabricate and use. Many junk
yards, flea markets, metal and hardware suppliers were visited to
accumulate needed materials. The actual fabrication and manufacture
of ‘Little B’ began the fall of 1991. My hobby shop is used
primarily in winter, during inclement weather. By spring of 1993,
‘Little B’ was assembled, painted, stenciled and ready for
showing. It has had a very busy show season. It leads our Benton
County Two Cylinder Club in parades, and is a feature of our West
Tennessee Antique Tractor and Engine Club. It has been shown at
Heritage Days, festivals and other special celebrations in this
area. The ‘Little B’ has been featured in several
newspapers and farm publications, including

The Progressive Farmer and the Tennessee Cooperator. Several
dollars and many enjoyable hours have gone into this little
tractor, but I guess the greatest reward comes when you see the
‘little guys and gals’ jump, scream, yank at Dad’s
pants leg and point as ‘Little B’ parades by.

My wife Martha may not admit it, but I can detect her interest
in the old machines I drag in. At least she delights in the joy I
derive from my hobby. While driving through the country she calls
my attention to any old machinery she sees. On one occasion as we
drove through a small town, she excitedly exclaimed, ‘Did you
see that?’ I glanced in the rear-view mirror to see an old
Hardie orchard sprayer sitting no more than 50 feet from the
street. I hurried to get out of traffic, turn around and go back to
the driveway where the old sprayer sat. A quick examination
revealed it to be complete, with good restorable running gear,
wooden tank, pump and 2 HP Stover engine. I asked the lady who came
to the door if the rig was for sale. She said it was. That it had
been in their storage building for years. That they intended to
fill the wooden tank and the engine hopper with dirt and make a
flower display for the backyard, but just never got around to
it.’ Now,’ she said, ‘I want to get the thing out of my
way. I’ll take $100 for it.’ I not only was glad to pay her
price, but was proud to rescue the tired old sprayer rig.

Martha and I have been retired for several years. We spend many
enjoyable hours driving the back roads, seeing the beautiful
countryside, talking with wonderful people and, of course, keeping
our eyes out for old machinery. She says that I can spot an old
tractor through the cracks of a barn 600 yards away! She finally
did convince me, after I knocked over a farmer’s mailbox, that
I really should watch the road now and then, while driving on the
back roads.

The miniature machinery hobby is for all ages. Especially if you
are retired and this article sparks a desire in you to build
something during that spare time, then go for it! You will be glad
you did and your wife will probably love me for it.!

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