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Mini Silos Complement Toy Farm Display Hobby
When collector Ken Klettke couldn't find a miniature silo or silage blower to go with his toy farm display, he took matters into his own hands and built mini versions of each in great detail.
  The Fort Atkinson, Wis. native's hand-made creation soon became popular with other farm toy collectors who asked him to build more for them.
  Klettke makes two types of mini silos - A.O. Smith Harvestore, and stave (concrete) silos. He uses sections of pvc pipe and sands them to roughen the surface before painting. To make the silo's horizontal reinforcement rings and vertical reinforcement bars at the base, he uses pin striping (from an auto supply store), or sometimes just paints them on.
  "For the stave silos, I make the roof out of Styrofoam with a coat of plaster over the top. I sand it to make it rounded, smooth and paintable," Klettke explains. "Then I paint on a checkered pattern around the ring, and either a silver or white dome."
  For the Harvestore roofs, he simply uses a pvc cap that's cut down to fit, and painted white. Hoops are made from wire belting and Klettke uses wire screening to make the ladders. Chutes and filler pipes are made with aluminum, he adds.
  "I also include a bottom unloader that I make using different odd parts," he says, declining to be more specific because it's his "little trade secret."
  Using pvc pipe, a solid piece of plastic, some toy wheels and an axle, Klettke also makes a 1/16-scale International Harvestor blower and is working on a 1/64 scale blower.
  The silos he makes are available in various sizes four different Harvestore 1/64-scale models, and three sizes of 1/64-scale stave silos. Klettke also produces three sizes in each, done at 1/32-scale.
  "I've got about 50 made right now, but they go pretty fast. I go to toy shows between Nov. and April, attending two to three per month, all in an hour and a half radius from home," he says.
  Klettke says the 1/64-scale stave silos are the most time-consuming to make. The smaller ones take about four hours apiece to complete.
  He sells his silos for between $45 and $85 each, depending on the size, and his blowers are priced at $75 each. Klettke accepts custom orders and mail orders, for which he then charges extra for shipping.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ken Klettke, 1258 Sioux Trail, Fort Atkinson, Wis. 53538 (ph 920 568-9250).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2