The Internet Craftsmanship Museum Presents

Richard Dosdall
Skilled Designer and Builder
Page added September 2019


In most regards Richard is a self taught designer and builder in both metalworking and woodworking. He is a detail oriented perfectionist in all that he does. In many cases, if he doesn't have the equipment or knowledge for a task, he builds a machine and/or learns the necessary skills to successfully get the job done. The results depicted in the many examples provided speak for themselves. Some of his early projects completed before he graduated from high school include radio controlled airplanes, clocks, a working steam engine model and the outfitting of his shop with his first vertical milling machine. As a youth he was instilled with the principle to always do your best no matter the task; a principle that has served him well over the years.


  Richard Dosdall's Story
Here on these pages you are going to find two stories as told by Richard himself. The first is Richard's autobiography covering his early beginnings right through his most recent project (as of 2019.) Next you will read Richard's detailed account of one of his most ambitious projects, his half scale Oliver 1655 tractor.
(Click on any image to enlarge)

Acquiring the skills to build a
miniature tractor…or just about anything

By Richard Dosdall

I will start back about when I was in 2nd grade, or about 1972. My dad Earl started selling and repairing the Oliver line of tractors and equipment in 1950, after building a new shop in 1949. When I came along in 1964, my parents had already had three children, and had their parenting skills in place, and they were not to be changed. The guidelines were: After school you get home and get to work in the shop—-no sports, etc. The shop was heated with coal using a stoker to feed the boiler. Dad said “If the fire goes out, you go out.” In other words, you made darn sure that the stoker was full. When dad would go to town with the truck and bring home a load of about six tons of coal and back it in the shop, nothing needed to be said, we just grabbed the scoop shovel and started unloading. A full scoop shovel was quite a load for a little guy, but that was how it was to be. What I am trying to say is that all of us kids were brought up in a work-work-work environment. (Continue Reading)

Earl Dosdall's Oliver sales
and shop building circa 1970

A young Rich and his father Earl after
unloading a new combine off a railcar in town

The radio-controlled airplane Rich
built for a science fair at school


Building a half scale Oliver 1655 tractor
By Richard Dosdall

This is the story of the building of my half-scale 1655 Oliver tractor, with a short history of our family's Oliver background. I want to stress the fact that I personally built 99.9% of this from scratch, including the engine. Very few items were bought and used in the “as bought condition.” (Example: tires)

In 1946, my parents Earl and Marion Dosdall moved from town out to rural Goodhue County. Earl had been working for an implement dealer in town and thought that he could do better working on his own. He soon became known as the man to see if you wanted your tractor put on rubber tires rather than the steel wheels. He cut hundreds of steel wheels and welded rubber-type rims to the spokes. (Continue Reading)

Rich Dosdall stands behind his nearly
finished half-scale Oliver 1655 tractor.


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