Gas Engine Magazine

Scale Model W-30 and Plow

By Staff

N892 Highway 149, New Holstein, Wisconsin 53061

For many years I wanted to build a model tractor of some kind,
but wasn’t quite sure what I could be capable of building.

I go to about six tractor and engine shows here in Wisconsin and
enjoy and investigate the models I see, borrowing ideas and
thinking. One evening while reading one of the magazines I receive,
a brain storm hit. A man from Nebraska built a W-4 McCormick. I
gave him a call and he shared some of his ideas on the engine and
transmission. Now I knew what I wanted to try. A 3/4 scale model of
my 1937 W-30 McCormick Deering.

First I had to hunt up some major parts. I needed a Continental
engine off a McCormick pull type combine. I needed the combine
engine because of the clutch and housing. The same engine on a
baler has a belt tightener, no clutch. The engines are
approximately 3/4 scale and look like a tractor engine and they are
crank starting. Next I needed a transaxle with an input shaft
coming out of the front, not a belt pulley. My next project was
having a 1/4′ plate bent in a half-moon to look like the cast
belly of the McCormick Deering W-30. A metal fabricating shop did
the job for me. Then I started working off the belly which acts as
the frame. I fitted the transaxle into the belly, built the front
axle and axle supports and all other parts which go along with the
front end.

Next step was making the four steel wheels. They were made by
welding a 3/4′ lip around the face of each wheel. These were
peer rolled, to get the McCormick wheel appearance. I riveted the
spokes in and made the 64 spade lugs needed. I made them from angle
iron, cutting 128 pieces then bending each one in a press, then
welding the tops together and drilling a few holes.

Then I installed the engine after it was overhauled. I mounted
the radiator, steering gear, drive shaft, deck plate, hitch, seat,
tool box, brake and another dozen or two parts that needed to be

Then I needed more help from the metal fabricating shop for
fenders, hood and gas tank. Now all that was left was to
disassemble the tractor and prime and paint it.

The project took about seven months, after I had my major parts,
and of course took many, many hours of time, ideas from engine
friends, lost sleep and many mistakes. The project turned out
better than I had hoped.

Now I decided I needed something to hook behind it. I’ve
restored 15 other steel wheel tractors and several trailer plows,
which I enjoy, so why not a 3/4 scale McCormick No. 8 plow? I had
one to scale off of. So, I bought two used garden tractor plows and
fabricated the wheels, handles, hitch and so forth.

I’ve learned a lot from this project and have hopes of
building a few more models of different tractors as time goes

One more helpful hint: before starting projects such as these,
check with your local psychiatrist first!!!

  • Published on May 1, 1990
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