Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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 37 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

Pin It

Monday, April 7, 2014

John Deere 4020s...

I just pulled in the next pair of tractors... They are both going to be John Deere 4020's, but will be significantly different. The AWD tractor will be used as a maintenance machine for a home owner. It will have a front end loader, and a mower deck. It will also plow snow in the winter. It needs to function as a useful yard machine. The other one will be a toy, just like most of my tractors...



I finished tearing the tractor apart and started fabricating... I modified the original ROPS supports so they reinforced the top 3rd point of the tractor.

 
 I started working on the hub caps today...


I started tearing the second tractor apart... 
 

Hub caps are done on the large tractor... 
 
I started making the front hood panels...
 
Fenders have been made and mounted...

 I finally got the hood for the large tractor. This is off a John Deere 3020 tractor. I removed the rear 24", then cut 2 1/2" out of each side...


 I finished the hood sheet metal...
Tear down for paint...
Paint!!!
  
 
It's really starting to come together...

 I had the floor board "Rinho Lined..."
All done... 




 This photo shows the scale of the 4020.. It's quite a bit larger than my "normal" build.
 I'm going to make some "old" Deere logo stickers for the loader arms.
Started working on the 140 some more... I lengthened the front of the frame and made a new axle mount.
 Believe it or not... This is the start of the 4020 hood. I extend the front of the hood with "Great Stuff" insulation in a can... I will shape the hardened foam, fill it with bondo, prime and paint it. Then I'll make a fiberglass "mold" on top of it. When the "mold" has set, I'll remove it, and clean all of the foam off the hood. Then I'll re-mount the mold and extend the hood with fiberglass.
 
It will take a little time, but it's how I've figured out to extend the hood...


 Making progress on the fenders...

 Diamond plate... :)
Front axle progress...
 
The steering works...
 This isn't the final hood, but the "blank" that was made to make a fiberglass mold. I should have the finished part by Monday.
 She's starting to look like a tractor...
I got the parts back from the blaster... and started painting!!!

 

 More later...

Pin It