1/16 Scale Tractors: A Model Business

Craftsmen create 1/16 scale tractors using no manufactured parts

| September 1998

  • "Bar-grill" UTU Minneapolis-Moline tractor and grain drill
    Photo by Gary Van Hoozer

Building anything using a minimum of manufactured parts is difficult enough. But imagine duplicating old machinery from scratch at exact-scale toy sizes.

Several craftsmen, scattered around the country, find satisfaction in just that hobby. Their work is routinely exhibited at toy and tractor shows nationwide. And for the pieces they don't feel compelled to keep, they find a ready collector's market.

Frank Miller, a miniature replica builder from Mott, N.D., makes 1/16 scale tractors that look factory-made. Miller welds, solders, slices and cuts to form wheels from exhaust pipe, spokes from wire, and hubs from copper tubing. His daughter, Dianne Mayer, makes canvases out of cotton.

"The only stock item I've used were the wheels on my plows," Miller said. "The drill disks all turn, and they raise and lower, as do the plows. I've built several grain wagons with fifth-wheel steering, bolsters and reaches to 1/16 scale - some with horses on, and some with just eveners and neck yokes on."

Miller sells his small equipment at winter toy shows. He's known for his great variety of handmade products.

Jeff Ceroll, Harrisburg, S.D., has been making 1/16 scale models of Minneapolis-Moline and Cockshutt tractors, plus M-M equipment, for about eight years. Besides farm models, Ceroll - a fulltime modeler - has done race car artwork (including 200 1904 Eldredge race cars for a museum in Belvidere, Ill.) and sculpture.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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