Restoration of 10-20 McCormick Deering

Joe Spell explains the process of restoring a 10-20 McCormick Deering.


| March/April 1991



McCormick Deering before restoration

McCormick Deering before restoration.

1905 Ridgeway Lane, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401.

A carpenter's handsaw comes in handy in removing old hardened tires from wheels of a 10-20 McCormick Deering. Cut across the tire, down to the rim twice, remove a three inch plug of the tire by cutting above the wire with a pocket knife. Drive a crowbar under the wire rims. Use a cold chisel and cut the wire rim-both sides. Then, peel the tire off the rim with the crowbar, using both hands, and a few big screw drivers, and a bigger hammer. After a few dozen years, iron, rust, rubber and decay become one. The 16 inch front wheels are patched by cutting a section one to two inches wide and three or more inches' long from the outside edge of a 15 inch car wheel. Spot weld this under the 16 inch tractor wheel that's rusted through. Body filler is good to smooth out the patch after it is sandblasted.

The 24 inch rear wheels are strengthened by spot welding on each side of a 5/8 iron rod that the machine shop rolled in a 26 inch circle. The wheels are then ready for sandblasting and prime painting.

The pistons are covered with alcohol stove fuel. This is a thin liquid that will soften carbon.

Use plenty of WD-40, then Red Devil lye. After splashing it once, you learn how to use it. A can of lye in a gallon of water is a great solution to get under rust, paint, grease, dirt, and help separate metal parts. Let it soak, do its work and squirt it off with the garden hose. As the part dries, use a pocket knife, chisel, wire brush, whatever, to detail the part. Paint the dry part immediately with primer and go to the next part.

For the skeptic, lye is the ingredient in paint remover you buy at the store for $10 to $12. You can make your own for about 10% of the cost. I have used lye for years with no adverse effect.