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Horse-Drawn Miniature Wagons
Tom Johnson’s miniature wagons, stagecoaches and sheepherders’ wagons connect him with his younger years when he worked with horses on a ranch in Nebraska’s Sandhills. Guided by his memory, a very old Sears Roebuck catalog, and a few photos, he makes his oak horse-drawn pieces as close to the originals as he can.
    “Wells Fargo stagecoaches were set on leather. That’s why they rocked,” he says, noting that his foot-long replicas also include leather, as well as padded seats, a cloth ceiling and doors that open. It takes him about a month to build a stagecoach.
    His sheepherder’s wagon also includes intricate details when the cover is removed to reveal a table and chair, sheepherder cookstove, Bible and coffeepot inside.
    Johnson starts with rough oak boards like those found on some pallets. Among his most used tools are power sanders and rotary grinders. He assembles metal parts with solder and wooden pieces with glue and copper.
    “For wagon floors I drill each little board and put in copper wire and hammer it to make it like a rivet,” he says. “Wheels are the most challenging part, because they are easy to break.” It’s a delicate process adding spokes to wheels that are only 1/8-in. thick.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Johnson, 3653 CR19, Harrisburg, Neb. 69345 .

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #6