Month: May 2010

Model Ships is what Don Campbell from Gaylord, Michigan also enjoys.

Toy Boats- Todays picture shows another interest I have and that is boats. I am a boatnerd for sure. Deb and I have camped at the Soo Locks for over 25 years and I always had a interest in boats. In high school I remember in art class painting a large oil painting of a tugboat and it still hangs in my old room upstairs on the farm.
I built one great lakes freighter model that is about 6 feet long and plan to finish it this year. I would also like to build a large scale tugboat for a future project. Each time we go camping at the Soo Locks I get the urges to build models of ships.
You guessed it this weekend we are camping at the Soo and as I write this blog two ships are passing by our campsite.
Deb and I have had so many fun times camping over the years.
These days it isn’t even so much about the boats or the Soo Locks , instead it is more about the many memories we have had together here including many of those years of Nicole growing up having fun here too.
It was just last year Nicole told us she really missed going to the Soo Locks.
We’re hoping when her baby gets old enough we will all come up here together to make some brand new memories together.
Walking and Running – Even on vacation this weekend Deb and I are up early each morning running and walking along the river enjoying the boats as they glide through the water.
I have always said less is more and this is another example of what I mean.
Have a great Sunday !!

Mining Equipment model showing side platforms, stairs, ladder and railings being built by Don Campbell from Gaylord, Michigan.

Alpine Village, Otsego County- Todays picture shows the next progress as Toy builder Don Campbell slowly makes progress on his next monster sized steel model. Don has gained fame around the world for his very unique style of one of a kind all steel metal works of art. No one else in the world has built so many one of a kind large scale models built 100% by him in his very small workshop with no lathes or computer laser cutting machines.
Every part is hand shaped drilled bolted to achieve these outstanding works of art. Don was asked if he has a favorite model and just when he thinks he has one in mind , he changes his mind and says he has many favorite ones. He says each one is special and a part of him as remembering he sketched out a few lines on a piece of paper for each one and saw them all take shape often from his imagination and a lot of guessing.
When asked what is Don going to do in the future to top this latest huge mining machine model he says he just takes it one day at a time. But Don says each new model is just as exciting as the last because he knows it will be something he never made before.
He did say his next project is another unique model. It will be a large scale dragline bucket with a glass top that will end up being a very special coffee table.
Another project on his list is a 1/12th scale Euclid Scraper with double or triple bowls. He says that would be a very exciting model to build too.
There is no doubt when you see what Don has on his workbench when he begins a mega machine model it is just mind boggling the thought that goes into completing it in his mini sized workshop.
This latest model will not fit through the shop door and will have to be dissassembled and reassembled after painting.
One thing is for sure that this Toy Builder from the little Alpine Village nestled in Otsego County is a one of a kind artist himself.

John Deere 455 all wheel steer first time ever in Don Campbell’s back yard.

John Deere 455 Lawn Tractor- Todays picture shows me mowing the back yard for the first time with a riding mower. Because of the way the landscaping used to be I could not even get in the backyard except for the push mower. It seemed great last night to drive the 455 JD out back and mow . The new grass still has some thin spots but many areas needed to be cut so I decided to go for it. It is so clean looking out back compared to a few weeks ago .
Bern, Switzerland – Nicole and Bill spend one more day in the Capital of Switzerland enjoying the spectacular views and looking in the shops. Looks like the airline strike has adjusted their trip home but the volcanic ash has settled down for now.
P&H 5700 Steps and side platforms . I am busy working on the sections of platforms and stairs and railings for the right side.
Memorial Day Weekend- The weatherman is saying perfect summer weather for this holiday weekends forcast and that is great.
Weightwatchers- Today is 38 days now and going strong and walking and running everyday . We know we will never be thin but in a country where obesity is at an epidemic now we are proud to continue to try to get control of our choices and our portion control.
Maybe it’s time the government starts rationing food having and mandatory 2 hours a day of vigorous exercise for anyone who is over 100 lbs. or more overweight , ha,ha. Sadly , someone has to do something to help these people who really are addicted to junk food just like a drug addict or a alcoholic . Our hospitals are full of people who would not be there had they not had a eating disorder.
No one knows more than Deb and I how hard it is to lose weight after walking 30 to 40 miles a week for the last 20 years , and trying several times each year to lose weight. Weightwatchers is no guarantee either so we just take it one day at a time.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend !!

Gaylord Resident Don Campbell assembling the cab for the P&H Coal Shovel Toy he is building .

Coal Mining – Todays picture shows me roughing in the shape of the P&H cable excavator cab . Now I will set the cab aside and move ahead to designing the right side platforms, step assemblies and safety railings. It’s funny sometimes to think about how many coal mining related machines I have built in Otsego County in Northern Michigan. Who would have thought in a little workshop in Gaylord, Michigan someone would enjoy mining equipment so much. (:>).
Who would think I have seen some of the worlds largest machines worth several million dollars each and actually sit in the drivers seat and operated them on the top of a mountain down south . Very Cool !! I think everyone who loves big machines should get to do that at least once in their lifetime, (:>).
WEIGHTWATCHERS – Today is our 36th day of eating and counting points like the weightwatchers program suggests. We are getting a system now each day down pretty well so we distribute the points equally throughout the day and evening as not to cut us short for the whole day. It sure does show a person how they can’t eat in any resturaunt without careful thought and choices. Surprising how resturaunt food has healthier choices and when you look it up they are almost as bad as the regular junk we like on the menu, ha,ha.
Walking and Running – We were up early getting our morning walk and running done before it got hot again. Deb just walked today to give her knees a rest day but I ran a few blocks ahead and would turn back and run to her and turn around and go again . I do that a lot so we can still kinda be together and then I walk a block or two with her in between too . So it makes it more fun.
NEW GRASS- The backyard grass is looking good, I had to spread a little grass seed last night in a couple thin areas but for the most part it looks wonderful. I plan to mow it the first time next week.
I am running the irrigation every evening to keep it wet all night and it is growing like crazy.
I’m going to have Deb take a video of me mowing it for the very first time after not having a nice back lawn for 25 years.
Solar Lights- We purchased 16 backyard solar lights and put them out last night and they are very cool.
John Deere Forks- Next week I am getting me a set of front forks for my big John Deere. I figure I can move my models around easier if they are sitting on pallets . You know you got a good sized toy when you start moving them with a forklift, ha,ha. I’ll also have Deb take a video of me moving the big P&H with the forks when it gets closer to completion.
The picture below this one shows Nicole and Bill still enjoying the beautiful scenery of Switzerland.
Have a great Wed.