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How to Build a Model Oil Well

By Mark P. Cussen
Oil rig replica

The price of oil has spiked in recent years, attracting the attention of speculators and more conservative investors. But making a model of the moneymaking element of this industry is much easier than the issues faced by those who profit from it. It just takes a few simple tools and materials.

Paint the plywood base an earth color matching the type of terrain you want your oil derrick to stand on.

Shake lichen or foam bits on the paint while it's wet to cement them down to simulate grass or shrubbery.

Sprinkle ballast or sand on the paint to simulate dirt or gravel around the derrick base.

Take the strips of balsa wood and cut several of them into smaller pieces to be used for the cross braces. Glue these together to make squares of various sizes. The larger squares will be used for the lower braces and the smaller ones will be used at the top.

Glue the legs of the derrick to the lowest and highest cross bracing squares to begin the structure. Use slightly thicker strips of balsa for the legs of the derrick. Then glue all of the other braces around the inside to complete the cross sections.

Glue small round or square balsa rods diagonally between each joint to simulate diagonal bracing. Cut four small blocks of balsa to simulate concrete piers and glue them onto the base.

Construct a small ladder separately and then glue it into one side of the derrick.

Cut four small blocks of balsa to simulate concrete piers and glue them onto the base.

Spray paint the entire derrick either black or gray to simulate steel, and allow to dry. Glue the structure onto the base on the balsa piers.

Cut a fence out of window screen and mount with balsa piers painted gray for a chain link fence.

About the Author

Mark Cussen has more than 17 years of experience in the financial industry. He received his B.S. in English from the University of Kansas and became a Certified Financial Planner in 2001. He has published financial educational articles on such websites as Investopedia and Money Crashers. He also provides financial education and counseling for members of the U.S. military and their families.