This 4.5’ x 4.5’ x 8.5’ steel toy model of the Cockshutt Model 30 Row Crop Tractor came in for a complete restoration and detailing from a client who lives on Vancouver Island. He intends to donate it to a collectors’ museum in Ontario.


  • Steel and rubber
  • Masking tape
  • Paints
  • Vinyl decals


  • Fabrication
  • Straightening
  • Sandblasting
  • Masking
  • Painting
  • Decal application

The original tractor manufacturer, Cockshutt Farm Equipment, was founded in 1877 by James G. Cockshutt in Brantford, Ontario. Initially, the firm distributed American-made tractors and designed accompanying implements. Eventually, the company ended its U.S. agreement and decided to design and manufacture its own line of tractors. They manufactured this style of tractor between 1948 and 1958.


As you can see from the images, this toy tractor came in with much of the paint worn off and without a steering wheel. To begin, I straightened the toy tractor wheels and steering yoke. I then stripped the paint with the sandblaster. However, I needed to protect the rubber on the wheels before sandblasting and used masking tape for that process.

fabricating a steering wheel

Since there was no steering wheel, I had to fabricate one. I coiled some 3/ 32" diameter steel bar, cut and bent to form a circle by eye and machined, and cut the spokes for the steering column. I created a steering wheel by bending the hand wheel and machined the spokes to attach to the column.

painting challenges

I matched the original paint to be as close as possible to the original and used spray paints, giving it yellow for the wheel hubs and red for the tractor body. The yellow paint took three coats because the pigment kept separating.

The red, on the other hand, was smooth as silk.


VINYL decals

For some beautiful die-cut vinyl sticky-back decals, I contacted Business Now Services, Inc. I emailed my rough sketch, and they created precise artwork using the colours and measurements I provided. The original decals were barely visible on the toy tractor when it first came to me.

Finally, I painted and assembled the tractor and applied the vinyl decals.

An articulated toy farmer will hopefully fit on the tractor seat.

A huge thank you to @businessnowvancouver for the die-cut vinyl sticky-back decals.

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