Massachusetts man merges metalworking hobby with passion for big machines

Imagine a 100,000-pound excavator equipped with a hydraulic thumb and a complete range of attachments including a coupler, hammer, grapple and shear. Now imagine it on your roof.

Steve Colby of Hanson, Mass., has merged his passion for construction equipment and his hobby of metalworking to construct weathervanes that are the exact miniatures of the latest equipment models. Made of copper with soldered joints, the weathervanes can be ordered in a variety of models and equipment types. Colby has constructed everything from garbage trucks to excavators.

“I found a niche in making weathervanes of construction equipment,” Colby said. “I don’t have to sell the performance of the piece or know all the specs. I look at the shape and the flow of the lines.”

Colby, a veteran in the equipment repair and sales business, began working with copper in his shop after work. A woman who was marrying the owner of an excavating business approached Colby a few years ago and asked if he would make a miniature excavator weathervane for her to give her husband as a wedding gift. After the first weathervane was made, orders for more came in. According to Colby, many contractors just like looking at it.

“It’s fun to have contractors see it — like little kids with toys,” Colby said. “I want people to like it. I’m doing this as a hobby, for enjoyment.”

The weathervanes, which take approximately 100 hours to construct, are made to order. Prices start out at $1,800 and increase if a weathervane is individualized to the buyer’s specifications. The excavator weathervanes are approximately 39 1/2 inches long, 20 inches high and 4 inches wide across the tracks.

To find out more about the weathervanes or to order one for your business or home, call 781-293-6621 or e-mail sjcolby@attbi.com.