1988 - Volume #12, Issue #6, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Sells Toy Farm EquipmentWhen Steven Schulz started collecting Allis-Chalmers toy tractors 5 years ago, he also looked for farm machinery to go with them. When he couldn't find equipment he liked, he decided to build his own and now what started as a hobby has turned into a money-making sideline for the Monroe, Wis., farmer.
Schulz custom-builds working toys to 1/ 16th scale workings from drawings and photos from his collection of equipment brochures and owner's manuals, as well as from photographs and literature provided to him by customers. He buys some of the components - sheet brass, square and round brass tubing, steel rod, wheels - at hobby stores. He finds other parts, such as some of the wheels and the decals, at other toy equipment dealers. Many parts he simply builds from scratch..
All parts on the full-size equipment, including pto's, conveyors, blowers, sickle bars, spring-loaded chisel shanks, etc., also work on the models Schulz builds. He uses "0" rings and rubber bands painted black as belts to turn pulleys.
The brass components are all cut and fit to size by hand. All silver solder joints are filed smooth before the units get painted with a lead-free paint.
Although Schulz started building toy equipment as a hobby, he now exhibits at shows and builds selected models. He recently starting casting some of the most common parts to make mass production possible. He hopes to turn the money-making sideline into a full-time occupation at some future point.
So far he has built round balers, sickle mowers, chisel plo'vs, forage choppers, square balers, flail choppers, and bale racks. Price depends on whether he's made a particular model before, and on the difficulty of construction. Prices range from $50 for an AC 37 trailing sickle mower (for which he had a mold made for casting) to $200 or more for the first-time construction of a round baler or forage chopper.
"I'm providing a unique service for toy collectors who want equipment that looks and works like the real thing," says Schulz.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOWFollowup,Steven Schulz,2321 16th Ave., Monr
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