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Corn Cob Farm Tractors
John Weyers puts the "farm" in farm toys by making toy tractors out of ear corn.

    "I'm partial to Deere because that's the most popular brand around here," Weyers says, adding he's made and sold other models, including Case and Oliver.

    "I got the idea after seeing a patriotic corn flag in FARM SHOW," he says.    

    A farming neighbor lets him pick corn out of the field. He dries the corn in his garage until it is well cured, then adds tires, axles and wheels that he makes out of aspen, oak, dowels and other scrap wood that he has on hand. He uses old pens for exhaust pipes and air breathers, and Plexiglas for the cabs.

    "Any place that I need a screw - axles, for example - I make sure I put Elmer's glue on the screw, and it holds the cob, kernels and everything together," Weyers says.

    He primes his corn toys and then sprays them with two coats of Deere green and yellow paint. With careful handling the toys hold up well, Weyers notes, though they are meant only for display and not play.

    "The most challenging thing about the whole deal is to get the Plexiglas cabs squared and fit on the round ears," Weyers says. His favorite toy to make is the 2010 John Deere with a cab, which he sells for $75.

    Though he makes the corn tractors mostly as a hobby, he often sells them to people looking for unique gifts. He recalls how pleased one couple was to receive a corn tractor on their 50th anniversary.

    Weyers makes other custom toys also, including corn planes after being inspired by seeing a plane at a museum.

    "Since I started this hobby I've found out that I can make just about anything out of an ear of corn," Weyers says.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Weyers, 8300 Mill Rd., Lincoln, Neb. 68517 (ph 402 467-2104; sandy0801bud@msn.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2