Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are you kidding me....Wooden farm Equipment models?


Here's something that might interest some of you Farm equipment and hit & miss engine guys and gals. Last year I met a guy through some e-mail conversations from my other web site called Ol' Dave's Woodshop. His name is Tom McAllister. Tom has been making wooden models for over 20 years now and in my humble opinion has developed a skill that few people ever try to accomplish. His work is immaculate in that the detail is not only apparent, but extremely attractive as well. Here is a link to an article I posted last year to my Antique Tractor web site called "Fastrac" where Tom had built a model of a 1958 Oliver 770 Diesel tractor.

Tom has recently retired and is now spending his time remodeling his house and building these fantastic models full time. I recently received another e-mail from him informing me that he was currently involved in repairing a 1930 Case hay press (baler) at his club and got so intrigued with it that he decided to try to build a wooden model of one of these old hay balers. He said he didn't have a clue as how to make the gears for it but after some trial and error, (and he said "heavy on the error") that he finally figured it out. The model, he says, works just like the real one. He said having a real full sized baler to go by made it much easier than his usual method of using what pictures that he could find or take on his own.
 

Take a look at the two photos (below) of Tom's finished model of this old baler.


He told me that since the actual real piece of equipment was orange, he decided to use African Mahogany for the body and American Hickory for the gears, wheels and hay shoot.

The guys at his club also challenged him to make a wooden hit and miss engine to run the model baler..... and so he did. This hit and miss engine model has a little battery-operated motor in it. He told me that he needs to work out a way to get more power to the engine and that he needs to find or make a drive belt, but as you can see from this short video below, he's well on his way. It even sounds a little like the real thing.

video

The engine is supposed to look like a McCormick-Dearing 6 or 8 hp. Take a look at the two photos of his hit & miss engine below.... I think he came pretty dang close, don't you? Most folks wouldn't know a hit and miss engine from a toaster but some of you would and I think he got about as close as most of us would ever get in an attempt like this. Tom's reason for choosing the model that he did is that this model of engine was one of the easiest styles to hide a motor and batteries in (which is necessary to make it run). It runs on 3 volts (or at least 3 volts gives the speed he wanted to achieve). Tom said that the two AAA batteries just don't have much staying power but he might try to solve that problem down the road.





Anyway, Tom has a web site called "Woodman's Collectibles" which you might want to go visit if this kind of thing is of an interest to you. I find it fascinating!