Iowa Man Carves Tractor Replicas Out of Wood

Jim De Boer builds exact replicas of the full-sized versions out of wood.
Jim De Boer builds exact replicas of the full-sized versions out of wood.

An Orange City, Iowa man has a big love for small-scale farm equipment. He's got quite the collection, and he made it with his own two hands.

Jim De Boer was a John Deere fan even before his family got their first tractor when he was a young boy.

His fascination with creating the green machines in miniature didn't start until the 1970s, after health problems had forced him off the farm.

"It's a good pastime. I like to do it and then you've got something to show for it after you're finished," said Jim.

Jim has built more than 70 models.

All are 1/15th scale.

Except for a bit of wire here or clear plastic there, they are made entirely from wood, even the tires.

They are exact replicas of the full-sized versions.

"You usually try to find the real one by a farmer or an implement dealer and I'd take pictures and measurements and scale it down and then when I'd get home I'd draw it out on paper the actual size I want to build it so I can kind of compare it as I go along with the wood pieces," he explained.

Jim is a real stickler for details, and every single one of his models has moving, functioning parts.

Jim figures he puts about 100 hours into building one of his smaller, 2-cylinder tractors as many as 250 hours into the big combines.

Jim occasionally displays his collection at tractor shows or county fairs and he's won several awards for his work.