Friday, July 31, 2015

About the Little Tractors...

 
 


 
 
 

 Hello, I thought I'd address a few questions about these custom, hand made, half scale tractors. When you reach the bottom of this page, be sure to click the "Older Posts" link for more tractors...

My name is Kurt Smith, I grew up on a 1,600 acre farm. In 1996, at the age of 19 I left the farm to pursue a career in Graphic Design. I started a family, and wanted to have a fun toy for myself. So, in 2007, I set out building my 1/2 scale IH 826 from an old Cub Cadet, which was finished in 2008. I showed it at a few tractor shows, and had a lot of questions about it, one of which was "where's the John Deere?" So, in 2009, I set out to build the John Deere 2030 for a friend. I finished it, and kept it for a season of tractor shows.

At one tractor show, a nice gentleman asked me what I'd charge to build a little John Deere 430. I gave him a rough idea, and didn't think I'd ever hear from him again. About a month later, he showed up at my place with an old Cub Cadet to start working on. Then I started thinking, "maybe others would like miniature tractors built." So I ran an ad, and created a new blog devoted to these "little tractors."

I'm 38 years old, and started making things on the farm when I was 9 years old. Let's say those first few projects, when I was a kid, were... interesting, and didn't seem to work all the time. Now, I design the tractors on the computer so I have minimal "surprises" when I build them. They are completely hand made by me, and I enjoy every minute of it.
I don't have an "inventory" at all. I will build what ever color tractor you'd like. Each one needs to be quoted individually, because of the amount of work that may need to go into the build.

Each tractor would take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to complete, depending on how busy I am with other projects. I require $300 to lock a customer's name in the schedule, 60% down once construction begins, an additional 25% when the tractor's ready to paint, and the balance upon delivery. I will work with the customer on delivery, I have a few trucking company's that I work with, or if preferred, the customer can arrange all the details, or come and pick the machine up at my shop.

Please feel free to call me with any questions 734.368.3273, and also feel free to leave comments here on the blog.

I just wanted to mention the reason I am making "little" tractors for a living. I am a Christian, and in the fall of 2010, I had a very "heated" discussion with God about my state in life. I hadn't had a regular pay check in almost 2 years with no decent prospects, a wonderful wife, a 5 year old and a new baby in my home to take care of and provide for. When I say I had a heated discussion... there were quite a few expletives in it. :) Literally 2 days after that conversation, it dawned on me, (I was enlightened with the idea...) to give the "Red Power" magazine a call, and find out their rates. I know the power of a well placed ad, and discovered the ad space there was very reasonable. I decided I'd give it a shot, talked to my wife, and placed the ad. I have been counting my blessings ever since. I'm not becoming rich building these "little" tractors, but we are making it, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

I count this chapter in my life as a testimony to how well God knows me, and how He can and will take care of His kids when they ask Him to. Jesus has the power to move mountains, even today.

I get to talk to people from all over the country, from all walks of life, in all stages in life, and we all have one thing in common, agriculture. Some are farmers or retired farmers, some grew up on a farm, and moved on to another career, others worked on their Grandparents or Uncles farm in the summer... Tractors mean something, the memory of these tractors takes us back in time, when some one we loved was still with us. When Grandpa taught us how to drive, to days in the potato field, or cutting hay. They help us connect to our past. That is why I built my tractor, and that is why I've built so many "little" tractors as well.

I am thankful to the God of the universe for caring enough for me, to use my talents to bless others.

Thanks for looking,
Kurt

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Tractor shows we'll attend this year...

Just wanted to give an update. We are planning on attending the Half Century of Progress in Rantoul, Illinois. I should have 6 of my creations there... The Oliver 770 Orchard, Oliver 1650, Minni Mo G750, Cockshutt 1550, John Deere 5020, and our IH 826. I'm very excited to show this display of my work.

More later...

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

John Deere 5020 take 2...

I built this tractor in 2011. A local man bought it from me. Last summer, he unfortunately passed away, so I bought it back at the estate sale. This is what it looked like when I brought it home...

I had planned on reworking the rear fenders, seat mount and using much larger rear tires.

As it turned out, I needed to do a lot more work than that. I ended up replacing the radiator, oil lines, some seals in the rear end, U-joints, and a belt.

First came new fenders, rear tires and rims, new rear hitch, and reworked the seat mount.

 

Then I had a brand new hood built, made new side panes for the "5020." A new front axle was built that pushed the front wheels forward 5 1/2"

 I also had to rework the exhaust because what I had built the first time had failed.

It's not done in these photos yet. I still have to make and paint the rear "hub caps."



Making a new front axle really finished the re-work. I'm totally happy with this tractor now.
She's all done now... the rear "hub caps" make a huge difference.


 

More later,
Kurt

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Farmall M and Cockshutt 1550...

With the 1456 almost done, I pulled the next 2 tractors in the shop. One will be a Farmall "M" and the other will be a Cockshutt 1550

This will be the Farmall...
 This one will be the Cockshutt...
I started on the "M" hood and fuel tank... I bought a Farmall A nose and fuel tank and started cutting them down...
 



I got the fuel tank "cover" welded up today.
I started the grill for the Cockshutt.

 
Got started on the hood...
Steering for the M arrived today... My machinist is TOPS!

 Steering linkage is done...
 Steering pedestal...
Front end is mounted...
 
I got the grill from my machinist. It was CNC routed from a file that I sent to him...
 Bent to shape...
 She's starting to look like an M...
I started working on the other end...
 
  I got the seat mounted today...
I got the dash done for the Cockshutt...
I'm just about done with the M... 
I started working on the swinging drawbar for the Cockshutt...
Electric 3 point hitch...
I got the M back from the sandblaster...
 Some red paint... I like it.

Started some assembly...

 
I set up the next ad for the Red Power Magazine...
I'm finally ready to paint the Cockshutt...


 I'm done with the M now... the "hub caps" really finish it.




The Cockshutt is all done...



 
 
 Kurt

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