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About muleskinner

  • Rank
    MCM Regular
  • Birthday 11/18/1950

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  • Scale I Build 1/25th scale

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  • Location Oregon, USA
  • Full Name William W Bitner II

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muleskinner's Activity

  1. muleskinner added a post in a topic DAF 380 ATI Tractor   

    Now this is one fine looking Euro Rig. The weathering gives it life and I love the chipped paint on the fuel tank. Great build.

  2. muleskinner added a topic in All the Rest   

    1914 Holt T-60 Track layer
    I finally completed this model after finding a set of Die Cast tracks which looked like the ones on the 1:1 at a farm and Construction model show last weekend. They had to be shortened by two links but fit the bill alright. The model depicts a Holt unit which was built in Stockton California and one of the last T-60's to be built. My inspiration for this model came from my memories of seeing one of them grown over in a field in Fieldbrooke, California back in my early high school days and again a short time later in Redwood valley off Highway 299 just out of Blue Lake, going East. That one was also grown over in the brush and had a small redwood tree growing up through the floor. The latter was missing the track units and front tiller and was used to power a mill in the valley, which was nearby and only the foundation remained. Both units were about to disappear into history as they were slowly disintegrating from the elements. These units and units before them was where the name Caterpillar came from which was later adopted to the equipment we know today. When the first one rolled through Stockton, some one exclaimed that it moved like a Caterpillar and the name was born through the merger of Holt and Best companies.

    The model is totally scratch built from Evergreen plastic and a few parts from the parts bin. The engine is a combination of two 1926 Mack engines spliced together and the cross valving rocker arms added to them, and the other details to make it represent a E10 gas engine of the time. The radiator and colling system also is scratch built and the fan belt is made from a 3/8 " wide rubber band cut down and spliced together to fit the engine. All braking, clutch and steering systems were made out of Brass wire and the gears for the Tiller and drive system I made from evergreen plastic. I added the trickle tank to the back as the one in Redwood valley looked to have one which fed oil down and underneath to the main and drive gears.

    The model was topped of by the addition of a water urn, cup and lunch box Also scratch built and then weathered to give it a lightly used look, as if it had just began on the job for a few months. On the back is a set of hay grapples which were used to drag turns of logs. The coming of these units and others like it finally sealed the fate of the horse, mule and oxen teams as far as log skidding goes in the logging industry.

    • 14 replies
  3. muleskinner added a post in a topic Redwood and Doug Fir Country King Cat   

    The model started out as an AMT D8H Cat and was modified to back date it. The arch behind it was scratch built.
  4. muleskinner added a topic in On the Workbench: Big Rigs   

    Redwood and Doug Fir Country King Cat
    The model depicts one of the Newer Cats which made their way into the big tree country in the late thirties and forties to help harvest timber in the Pacific Northwest coastal areas. It was built off of a 1938 unit which was reconditioned and rebuilt here in the Oregon area. These Cats came at a time when the six and seven model were struggling to bring in the old growth turns, with some nearing the end of their serviceability as far as skidders go.

    The new D8 which would soon replace many of them was up gunned and heavier and able to cope with the massive logs being harvested. They were equipped with larger engines, heavier spring suspension, trannies, Final drives and track suspension which was a must in the area they would be working. The pony had its exhaust rerouted from the engine compartment and better protection for the Cat Skinner was made possible by the addition of the Sierra type Skinner top which arched over the skinner deck. Though some were equipped with the extra seat, it was eventually eliminated as the Regs only specified one man on the unit for safety reasons, when operating.

    These brutes also were equipped with double winches such as the model D8N Hyster unit which I added to my Model. They had also the straight Blade which was better when pushing logs on the deck and kept down the logs blade climbing as with the curved blade. the blades were also equipped with decking cleats which helped in rolling a log over top of another and when needed stacking. The Cat would come forward and drive the cleats into the log and lifting the blade the log would come up with the blade using the log behind as a guide and roll up and over. Although they were a helpful addition they were eventually removed because of being a safety hazard for any one who happened to walk into one while the blade was in the raised position.

    My Model also has the strong arm lever for blade control and the Rhino Horn set up on the front which was braced by Haywire to the front of the Cage. Due to the open configuration of the grill of the Cat, A steel guard was added to the front of the Rhino mount to assure added Protection to this area of the unit. The unit also has enclosed lower rollers to help protect against debris from fowling the lower area of the tracks.

    I equipped the Cat with a CARCO tracked arch which was scratch built all except the tracks which are off a die cast model. The unit is equipped with one 16' and one 10' chocker for the turns, attached to the fair lead line of the winch. The winch is also equipped with roller guides up and down and from side to side for easier drawing of the fair lead.

    After the model was completed, they were both painted Dark Japanese Yellow and weathered with the arch receiving the heaviest, as the new D8 were teamed with Arch's already being used on the site. The model took a lot of time and research to get it where it looked like the original 1:1 s which were used at the time by Simpson of Korbel and Pacific lumber company of Scotia, California. It could also very well represent an Oregon or Washington Big tree unit with a little modification.

    • 6 replies
  5. muleskinner added a post in a topic observation: few seem to "weather" model trucks   

    Weathering is like every boby has previously said, it is entirely up to the builder and what he wants to depict in his building. Some of it too depends on where you live in the states and what major haul ways are near and industries the rig is hauling commodities for. about 90 percent of the trucks are interstate and local haulers and really don't pick up much grime except for the bottoms as on of the members mentioned. Dump rigs and construction equipment would pick up what ever the environment they are working, to include dust, dirt, and ocassionaly tar and caulking for road surfacing. These type of trucks are usually the ones which see very little time for washing and set most of the down time on the joob site or in the shop area. Most of the dirty rigs can also be attributed to driver neglect and also the company.

    I live im the Pacific Northwestern part of the states and here the biggest majority of rigs are logging trucks. Maybe one out four look as though they had never seen a wash rack in a week or two, but then again there was a saying when I worked in the logging industy which plainly stated " If a truck or peice of equipment isn't dirty or grimy then it Ain't been working" . I sure some of the readers have seen some of my models on this site and others where it looks like they are ready for the rust pile and spent their years never seeing water. But the models I depict are models which spend their time in the woods and see civilization ony for the purpose of heavy maintenance and to the worse, scrapping. The long hours which is involved in the logging industry prevents a lot of operators from doing house work as we called it on their rigs and equipment. When you get up at three in the morning take the long drive to the woods and work nine to ten hours and then head back on the long haul home, house keeping is the last thing on your mind. For most of my logging career I was a cat skinner and spent a lot of time in choking dust in the summer and up to my neck in mud during the winter, some times to the point where you couldn't tell me from an attached piece of the equipment. My Dad was a logging truck driver and used to laugh at me when he saw me on the landing, but after three or four trips to the woods his clean logging truck looked like it had been put thru h*** and back and the laugh was on him. Logging truck drivers will mostly use a wash rack equipt with a fire hose of high pressure to clean the grime and dust off their rigs when they come in. But in the woods the closest i've ever been to a fire hose or high pressure hose was fighting fires on the site!

    Interstate trucks in turn will kept clean to keep up the tight appearance of the commodity they are hauling and the company name. About 90 percent of the Owner Operators have to abide by this rule also and it also shows the pride which the operator takes in keeping up a good appearance, which the commodity shipper looks for.
    There is an old saying that states "Cleanliness is next to godliness" and in the trucking industry today it is true. If you don't keep up the appearance of your rig, it reflects on you the driver and deteres you from getting the high paying jobs. Now I'm not saying that you have to stop and wash and dust off the rig at every rest stop or so but it a fact, the cleaner the rig in the eye of the shipper the better the haul and the better chance of getting the haul and the advertising of the shippers company. But then again it just depends on the area of US Industry you work in.

    Its the same with building models, you build and weather to depict the area of the industries you are building the model from and what area of the country you live in. All the comments I have read are right and if you compare which part of the states those comments are coming from you can pretty well guess which industries are located there and how equipment is used. My opionion on the whole subject is it doesn't matter how much weathering you apply to a model, it is in the eye of the builder and what he wants to state about how the unit is used in the area where he lives or how he keeps up his own rig if he is an operator. No two builders are the same and they each see things a little different from the next builder. Maybe one builder sees a model someone else did and finds something that doesn't look right to him but in the eyes of the builder it is because,he saw the same on the 1:1 he is trying to depict.

    Weathering is not an easy task and a lot of people shy away from it, but with practice it is easy to master. I was affraid to weather a model but once I took and old model and began to weather it into an older styate, it became easy and now a part of my model building. To those of you who are affraid of it I say this, you won't learn unless you try it and there are a lot of people out there who can help you with advise and technique. All you have to do is ask. For those of you who do weather drive on and enjoy the art of modeling.
  6. muleskinner added a post in a topic logging trailer ??????????   

    The cables you are refering to are to hold the stakes in an upright position when the truck is loaded with logs. In the older days of logging we had what we called Cheese blocks which were triangular shaped and sat in the channel of the bunk to keep the logs from rolling when they were sinched down. These were good but when you are unloading they were very dangerous for after the load binders were removed there was a possibility of the whole load moving in either direction and becoming very leathal especially for the driver who was removing the binders. The stakes gave more added protection against this from happening and became standard on American Logging trucks after a time. They are fixed so the stakes can be dropped down to unload in log ponds under an Aframe unit and then raised again and locked down.

    The cable you are refering to was achored at the back of the bunk at the slotted achor bar and then ran across to the skid plate loopwhere it was threaded thru and then up to the hog loop on the trailer fork. From there it was threaded down once more to the skid plate loop and across to the other side of the bunk. It had a loop in the end of it to which was attached a lenght of chain which was pulled and locked into the hook which you see at the front of the bunk. By unhooking the chain it let the bunk on the opposite side fall. I have a few of those AMT trailers which I rigged up which I can photograph and Email you if you still need help with them.
  7. muleskinner added a post in a topic Tyrone Malone's Papa Truck KW FINISHED   

    Well kid, you did a super fine lob on these models. I'm proud of ya and think the big T would also be proud to see these models of his trucks. Keep up the good work.

    Muleskinner (DAD)
  8. muleskinner added a post in a topic Polar Lights Blue Max   

    Super Cherry build. Kinda reminds me of when I was building funny car models. Your doing a super job kid!

  9. muleskinner added a post in a topic Hoopa Caterpiller   

    Thanks guys for the great comments. Will be the last posting for awhile. Have some other casting projects to get done, which have been back logged for awhile. One again thanks very much.
  10. muleskinner added a post in a topic Hoopa Caterpiller   

    Basically it is the same as the pictures you saw. The grill and basic cat design was a standard Viet nam machine. When I was drafted into the military in the later 60's I was stationed in Viet Nam and the engineer unit next to my company had about seven Cats which were modified like the original of this model, excluding the logging cage and equipment. All Painted (Yuck!) OD Green!!!
  11. muleskinner added a post in a topic Hoopa Caterpiller   

    This is the new one, Mike, I had the other Cat up there with the Logging Arch on it.
  12. muleskinner added a post in a topic Star Dust Barracuda funny car   

    Well kid I was wondering when you was going to post one of those Funny Cars. The Stardust is just as I remember seeing her way back when, when she was racing in southern Cal. Really a great build!!!!

    Keep up the great work.

  13. muleskinner added a topic in On the Workbench: Big Rigs   

    Hoopa Caterpiller
    This posting revolves around a Cat which I knew personally in my life as it was owned by a gypo logging outfit in hoopa California, where a 15 year old High School dropout learned to be a Cat Skinner. It was a surplus buy from the US Navy and was used extensivly in the south Pacific by the Sea Bees before being retrograded back to the states and sold. The grill in this Cat had been rebuilt by the Sea Bees to direct more air into the radiator grill for better cooling in the tropical heat. The Blade hoisting and lowering was accomplished by an overhead Cable system which came up from the winch in the back and traveled down a long tubular guide to the front of the Cat and then attached to the blade blocks. When she was bought surplus from the Navy she was fitted with a brand new rebuilt winch unit which was designed to accomidate both the over head haywire and the winching haywire for the lead line. She was given the customary logging Cage around the Skinner Platform and frontal guards over the hood. The intake breather was moved to the position on the out board deck extension which was also a company modifacation, and a circular patch was added where the breather used to go thru the hood. She wasn't turbine powered and was the most stubborn animal to start in the mornings and was addicted to starting fluid as the owner would say. In the summer she was a good running unit but in the winter because of the over cooling problem with the radiator grill, she often ran with a peice of heavy canvas draped and tied over the grill to keep the radiator from super cooling. This is the Cat I remember most as she was the one I learned the art of Cat Skinning on from an old Cat Skinner, named Tom Noble. He'd been around Cat for so long there was nothing which he couldn't tell you about the art. When I last saw this cat a few years back it was rusting away in a field atop Liscomb Hill road out side of Blue Lake California, on the old Noble Ranch. The extention atop the blade was done also to keep limbs and what not from going into the radiator thru the open grill work, when doing clearing and road work.

    I built her from memory and used the AMT D-8H for conversion which was really minor. She was a twin sticker steer unit which I added after modifying the dash and deck of the model. The right hand outside stick was a addition which I attached like on the original, to the winch power unit for the main winch control and the one on the out side of the right side of the cat is the control for the small rear over head winch to the blade. The winch is a copy of the original modifacation which was made to the original Cat in a shop somewhere over by Redding California.

    The model is a replilca of the Cat as I remember her because, like truck driving, you never forget the first rig you learn on and the people who took the time to teach you the trade of being a Cat Skinner or truck Driver.

    • 15 replies
  14. muleskinner added a post in a topic New to Forum, Logging Equipment Models   

    Welcome aboard. Ya gotta love that logging equipment. I have a great interest in the older logging equipment which is more my generation. Great builds and once again welcome aboard!
  15. muleskinner added a topic in On the Workbench: Big Rigs   

    Pacific Northwest Yarder Truck
    I haven't posted in a while becasue of other pressing issues and Model Shows so I, thought I would post my newest model in my Old Logging Theme. The model is a Yarder Truck which represents a lot of the rigs which was built by the Gypo units around the Pacific Northwest for the purpose of gathering logs to the landing for loading and tranport to the mill. The original From which this truck was modeled was sitting on a lowboy at the shop by my house and was salvaged from the woods up around Cottage Grove, Or. The rig was a Mack but of a different style so I used a Resin Mack L cab unit which my son gave me to recreate the model. At one time these kind of rigs could be found all over the Pacific Northwest and were built by a lot of small logging outfits for the purpose of yarding in logs from steep hillsides much as a modern day yarder today. This one used the winching unit from and older yarder unit which was most likely bartered for and the inclosure was made from an old railroad crane housing. They were used with either a spar tree rigged for high lead yarding on steep down hill slopes or they were used as is for level ground. The main winches were used for high lead logging and the small winch on the right side of the rig was also used for short skidding pulls to the landing. They could also be rigged if needed for the purpose of loading trucks on the landing by rigging to an overhead framing . When the Modern Yarder came on the scene, these trucks didn't really disappear all that fast from the woods and became recovery trucks, Maintenance cranes and so foth. The lived a very useful life. The one which I modeled this truck from was, for being in the woods about 30 yrs, in pretty good condition and after a few days in the shop the winch power unit and the truck itself was once more in running condition.

    For this model I used a Mack Cruiseliner frame from AMT and as I mentioned before the Resin Mack cab hich my son Bill gave me. All of the winches and the compartment on the rear deck were scratch build from a series of photos which I took of the original truck. The Back deck is done completely in Evergreen plastic and has bass wood strips layed for the deck flooring. The winching hay wire was made from stained surveying cord. The whole rig was painted with Polly Scale Coat acrylic Japanese yellow and then washed over with various shade of Potters acrylic to give it a rusty and used look. The winches and inside of the deck were washed in black Calligraphy ink tho give it an oily greasy look. Flat black potters acrylic was used to simulate the black sooty areas of the exhaust. Gloss black acrylic was used where the oil flows and spills were on the various parts of the machinery and sides of the rig itself. I have about three month of building involved with this model and while I am writing this I just looked and discovered on the pictures of the original truck, there are a set of out riggers just barely visiable under the rear of the main deck which I will have to add. But over all the model and the original rig illustrates the enginuity of the American logger when it comes to building machinery on the job

    • 15 replies