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Percy "Cranks" Out Big Boy Toys
Percy Anderson, 90, builds toys similar to the way he did when he was 9 - he can play with them while standing up. The Park Rapids, Minn., man attaches toys to rods and cranks with a universal joint he creates from several small parts. The joints he makes on his lathe are more refined than his childhood creations, but they have the same results. They allow the wheels to turn in every direction.
  Anderson and his brothers attached rods and cranks to their toys when they grew up in southern Minnesota - maneuvering their toys over gravel and dirt in the summer and snow banks in the winter.
  "The only problem was that cranks were hard on gloves, which our mother made," Anderson recalls. With eight sons and five daughters she was plenty busy.
  As an adult, the retired snowplow operator built his own toys using scraps, such as chain off farm machinery for the dozer tracks and tin scraps he shaped on his hydraulic press.
  His crank toy fleet includes a tractor, bulldozer and a couple of carts. One grandson calls the carts "tri-barrows."
  "I call them big boy toys," Anderson laughs.
  His yard and shop are full of his creations: a bird feeder he cranks up to keep squirrels out, an electric can smasher, and a half-scale Farmall M working tractor and plow, which he takes to area parades.
  His next project is to convert an electric motorcycle into a go-cart.
  "I just like to do this kind of stuff," Anderson says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Percy Anderson, 17611 Co. Rd. 107, Park Rapids, Minn. 56470 (ph 218 732-5945).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2