Month: August 2013

Letourneau D-800 Letro-Dozer

aletourneaubrochure, originally uploaded by Don Campbell Models.

Letourneau – Here is the first picture of the next model I am building . It is a very cool looking old machine and I am very excited to get started building it next week.
Deb and I went to a car show today and just goofed off and had fun. We know the million tourists will start to move tomorrow after sitting in the campground for a couple days . Especially if it rains again tomorrow.
Those same tourists also get crabby the third day and they get behind the wheel and get rude too, ha,ha. So the next two days we are keeping a low profile and staying out of their way lol
So I might actually work on the Letourneau a little bit .
Have a great Labor Day Weekend !!

Letourneau L-2350 Loader by Don Campbell

aletourneauloader, originally uploaded by Don Campbell Models.

Toy Builder Don Campbell Returns – After a year and a half of working on his long time dream of building several mini farm tractors Don Campbell is now switching gears back to the workbench to build a few smaller models . Don is not sure if there will be just one more model or several . Now in his early 60’s he admits he has slowed down a lot and it is difficult to squat down for very long to weld and grind on the bigger models.
He said building the smaller sized models can be done on top of the workbench and makes it more pleasant . The old knees aren’t so good and even the jogging and biking had to stop that he enjoyed for over 30 years. Todays photo is an example of one of dozens of Don’s one of a kind all metal creations. Today Don’s daughter Nicole will scale up some information for the next model that will be the Letourneau D-800 Letro-Dozer . A 42ft long and 21 foot wide which was a very good sized rubber tired dozer in it’s day. Almost 900hp supplied the dc 4 wheel electric drive to the wheels.
This also will be a one of a kind all steel welded and bolted model and no doubt Don will put plenty of detail in it like every one of his realistic works of art have. I asked him if he ever gets tired of working with metal and he said what keeps it interesting is the challenge of always building something different . Over 15 years ago Don said he built over 15 old fashioned potato harvesters that were just alike and said that was so boring he would never do that again.
I also asked if he thinks he will soon run out of new projects and he just looked at me and chuckled and said he has over 100 machines on a list right now he wants to build.
In ending the interview he said the coolest thing about the whole toy building hobby was to think that people knew who Don Campbell the Toy Builder from Gaylord, Michigan was from all over the world .
To think a little boy from Breckenridge , Michigan that only had one toy truck that came from a contest at a gas station would grow up to have the rarest one of a kind collection of hand made steel toys in the world.
Don says there will be a Don Campbell Museum one day as 50 of his models are still all together in one place. He would like two of his mini John Deere tractors to go into the museum too.
The funny thing is very few locals know about how far his hobby has reached around the world. After all he just works out of a workshop the size of a one car garage .

Bell’s Fishery and Fish Fry

afreshfishdinner2, originally uploaded by Don Campbell Models.

Bell’s Fishery in Mackinaw City- Holiday weekend started today for Deb and I . Because I have to wait for the paint on the tractor hood to dry we decided to take off for Mackinaw for lunch today . We had a Mackinaw Pasty . That is still our favorite stop for lunch and has been for over 40 years. They just popped them out of the oven and they were delicious , yum !!
After we ate we had a family meeting and both of us agreed to head up to the Soo Locks to do a little ship watching. Very little traffic yet on the roads yet and it was a perfect boat watching day .
As we heading back towards Gaylord we stopped back in Mackinaw City and bought some fresh whitefish for tonight for supper.
Bell’s Fishery has been around for over 60 years . We used to stop here to get smoked fish but have never stopped for fresh fish. We took our cooler with us thinking we might be buying fish . We also bought some smoked whitefish and that was excellent.
I just finished helping Deb fry up the fish and it was excellent . Got plenty left for the freezer for several more meals on some cold fall night.
It was a perfect 1st day of our Labor Day Weekend staying home. The next two days a million tourists will head north to camp and have fun one last weekend before school starts. Now in our 60’s life isn’t the same as we both got those aches and pains every morning . But we are very positive and we hop up and hobble to try to put our shoes n and off we go on our morning walk, ha,ha.
The best thing about getting up everyday is getting to spend one more day with my best friend in the whole world. Deb is still a lot of fun and I still thank God for bringing her into my life all those years ago.
Have a fun and safe Holiday Weekend

John Deere 430 Diesel / mini 4020 Hood Painted.

anewlypaintedhood, originally uploaded by Don Campbell Models.

Custom Garden Tractors- Today I got the hood wet sanded and I sprayed three nice coats of John Deere Green Paint on it. After drying all afternoon I set it back up on the tractor and put one screw in the side emblem to get a idea how it is going to look. I am very happy how it looks. Much more real looking like the real one without the side yellow stripes going the full length of both sides of the hood. Now i will let it set at least two more full days before I sand on the new paint and start to buff it out.
Labor Day Weekend – Not sure how much I will work in the shop the next few days anyway because this weekend is always bitter sweet. Were not going down to the farm this weekend because of all the heavy traffic that will be on the roads starting Friday morning heading up north. We may just stay close to home and do a couple short drives in the country off the main highways. We can’t sit home though knowing this is it and next Tues. summer is officially over. The weatherman is saying high temps on Labor Day in the 60’s .
The good news is we can start marking off the calendar for our next trip to D.C. to see Nicole, Bill and Terak. (:>)
We do facetime with them several times every week and that keeps us very connected and we get to see Terak grow each week and learn new words he shares with us. So far they have been all good words , well almost all good words , ha,ha.
Have a great and safe Labor Day Weekend