Monday, February 25, 2008

Russell Grader

We were watching the Antique Road Show on TV and some fellow had brought in a little horse drawn road grader. It had been a salesman's sample of an Adams road grader. I was quite intrigued with it and thought that would be something interesting to build a model of. My dad had an Adams grader to smooth the roads on the farm, but the farm had been sold and besides it was a hundred miles away. I did have a book about Russell Graders, so I picked one of those to model. According to the book their "Highway Patrol No. 2" was their most popular model, although perhaps not their biggest or best. It probably suited more clients needs. There were a couple photographs plus a list of specifications, which was very helpful in getting started sizing it. My model was built 1/10th scale. Same as the hay press and manure spreader.

It was so tiny that I put the lettering on freehand with a little brush. The angle frame was made by splitting 1/16" wall square tubing and then milling the legs of the angle to size. The seat was pounded out on a bench block, and the holes punched with a slotting punch made from tool steel, on the end grain of a scrap of hard wood.
Oh, I also need to mention that Russell was an aggressive company, and kept upgrading, redesigning and experimenting, using tractors etc. for power. This did not go on unnoticed. In 1928 Caterpillar Company acquired the Russell Company. So when you see one of those big old Caterpillar graders going down the road, remember the little horse drawn Russell grader was it's predecessor.

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