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Joined: Apr 4, 2011
posted on Mar 22, 2018 09:09 AM:
My Archive Category
While unpacking some of my stuff, I came across this crane that I had built way back in the 70's when I was was first trying to learn how to build with metal instead of plastic and soldering them together instead of gluing.
This is made out of tin ( using the metal from an old paint thinner can ) and small diameter brass rod.
I have learned a lot about soldering and working thin metal over the years and this model is a little crude compared to the standard that I set for myself now.
This is the crane.
I've taken the back cover off of it so I could put paint remover on it and get it down inside everything.
The first thing to do, was to separate the main parts of the crane.
You can see that the crane boom was mounted using two large terminals for electrical wiring.
The pulleys are made up from putting brass eyelets together on a rod.
I'm only going to modify this enough to make it look a little more realistic but still has some of the oddball things that I used when I first built it.
The base for the crane is a single sheet of tin that extends out the front ( where the boom is attached ) and hangs out past both side of the main body.
I trimmed both sides so they are flush with the main body of the crane.
The gear and pulleys at the top front edge are for the cables that raise and lower the boom.
Originally, I had the cable for the hook running up over the center of these pulleys and going under the center of the lift pulleys out on the boom and from there, on out to the end of the boom.
Now, I made up a bracket with two rollers and mounted it down closer to the base of the crane body.
I want to use a clam-shell bucket on this crane so the cables for it will come out between these two rollers.
A piece of brass is bent up on the ends to form the new mounting bracket for the boom.
I have also soldered 1/4 inch square brass tube to the underside of the base to make it thicker.
I machined a cover out of a piece of brass for the gear on top of the crane.
The cover makes it look a little more realistic and it also has a screw in the back of it that will keep the gear from rotating.
The gear is used to wind the two boom lifting cables up on the pulleys then tightening the screw will keep the cables from unwinding.
If you'll look back at the first photos, you'll see that the framework for the cab is made out of round brass rod.
I want to be able to put glass in this cab so I cut the brass rod out so it can be replaced with pieces of angle.
This side of the cab has a hole in it that was for clearance for the boom mounting bracket.
Here I'm forming the frame for the rear window behind the seat.
The top was also held in place by the brass rod so I decided to just get rid of it and make a new frame for the top from the brass angle.
The rear window frame is soldered in place.
The brass angle is used to form the windshield frame and the support for the top of the cab.
A new roof piece is soldered to the top of the cab.
Remember that hole in the lower part of the cab to clear the mounting bracket for the boom ?
I covered that with a piece of brass.
The I used some narrow strips of steel to frame out a door and soldered a strip of brass along the back side of the door.
This looks kind of gaudy but I think it will look okay once it is painted.
I also made up a door handle and put it on.
Here is how it looks so far with the cab mounted to the main body.
The front and rear window and the two angled side windows will have clear plastic in them for the glass.
I took three straight pins with the little round heads and soldered them to a piece of brass.
This is the panel with the control levers for inside the cab ( I know a real crane has more than three levers, but this cab only has room for three. )
This is mounted to the dash inside the cab.
Next is to build a clam-shell bucket.
Starting with a piece of sink drain pipe, this will form the bottom 'curved' part of the bucket.
I squared the two sides on the lathe and I took a skim cut to remove the chrome plating.
Then I cut two sections from the drain pipe for the bottom panels of the two bucket halves.
The sides are cut from sheet brass and a brass washer is soldered to the hinge point on each piece.
Soldering the sides to the bottom panels.
Trial fitting the two halves of the bucket together and making sure they upen and close properly.
Here I'm fastening 'teeth' to the bottom edge of each half.
Each tooth is soldered onto the cutting edge of the bucket so it over laps the the other side just a little.
They are only soldered lightly so the solder doesn't flow across the surface of the whole tooth and stick it to the edge of the other bucket half.
Then two small holes are drilled thru the tooth and the bucket and two small brass pins are pushed thru them.
The long ends of the pins are cut off about 1/16 inch above the surface of the tooth.
This is place on the corner of the vice and the cut ends of the pins are hammered flat to form a tight rivet to hold the tooth in place.
The teeth are all attached, 3-teeth on one halve and 4-teeth on the other half.
I cut a brass rod to length and drilled and tapped the ends to form the pivot bar for the two bucket halves.
The pulley goes in the center of this bar and is free to spin on the bar itself.
I made up a triangular shaped housing with brass tubes soldered on each side of it.
This is the guard to keep the cable from coming off the pulley and it also keeps the pulley in the center of the bucket.
If you look close, you can see that each of the washers also have two rivets thru them to hold them in place because they are only soldered on 1/4 of each washer.
Here is how it looks so far with everything assembled.
All that was left was to make a top bar and attach the four arms to it and the corners of the bucket.
The arms are valve linkage parts from the Rivarossi 0-8-0 locomotive kit.
The operating cable to open and close the two bucket halves goes down the the small hole in the center of the top bar, then under the pulley and will be attached onto the underside of the top bar.
With the bucket hung from the hook in the center of the top bar, releasing the operating cable will let the center pivot bar drop and the two halves of the bucket will open up so it is only held by the cable attached to the top bar.
The open bucket is then lowered down so it sits on top of the dirt.
Then the operating cable is pulled back up and this lifts the pully on the center pivot rod up and causes the two halves of the bucket to close.
The teeth on the cutting edge of the bucket dig down into the ground as the two halves close so it digs a hole and fills the bucket with dirt.
The whole bucket is then lifted by the operating cable.
The cable attached to the top bar is also raised at the same time but is kept slack to keep the bucket closed.
To drop the dirt, either the cable to the top bar can be raised up to let the operating cable go slack and open the bucket .. or the cable to the top bar can be held still and the operating cable is then lowered to open the bucket.
A drag line from the crane will be attached to the chain that is hooked to one end of the bucket, to keep it from spinning on the cable and also to help position the bucket.
Joined: Apr 4, 2011
posted on Mar 22, 2018 09:10 AM:
My Archive Category
The gear that the crane is mounted on needs to be about 2 inches in diameter and looking thru my stuff, I didn't have any gears that big.
So I got on ebay and found a plastic gear that is made for people that build robots.
It came in the mail yesterday and I collected the rest of the parts that I need and started working on mounting the crane to a flat car.
I've already cut the flat piece of brass to size for the base plate and drilled a hole in the center of it.
This piece will be soldered to the underside of the crane and the gear and pivot mount will be attached to it.
I found the round brass piece on the bottom left already machined with the shaft sticking up from the base and it will be the pedestal mount that will be fastened to the deck of the flat car.
The other piece of brass will be the pivot bushing that will be mounted to the flat base plate.
The hole in the pivot bushing is drilled out to fit over the shaft on the pedestal.
One end of the bushing is then turned down to fit into the hole in the center of the base plate and the rest of the bushing is turned down so the gear fits onto it.
The bushing is soldered into the hole in the base plate.
The gear is set down over the bushing and fastened to the base plate with three small machine screws.
The pedestal fits into the bushing in the center of the gear.
At this point, the base plate is soldered onto the bottom of the crane.
I dug up a nice heavy duty flat car that someone had built back in the 40's or 50's and I'm going to mount the crane on one end of it.
The body of the flat car is made out of wood with an aluminum center frame.
The crane pedestal is positioned off center on the flat car so the deck area of the flat car sticks out past the side of the cab to make it easier for the operator to get in and out of the cab.
The screws that fasten the pedestal to the deck are positioned so they are threaded into the aluminum frame underneath.
I set the crane down on the pedestal to see how it looks.
Here you can see the area of the deck sticking out past the side of the cab.
The bottom of the gear has .020 clearance between it and the surface of the deck.
With the crane now mounted on the flat car, I can determine where to put the step to get up into the cab and also put a hand rail on the side of the cab in front of the door.
The base gear is almost as wide as the body of the crane, so the smaller gear that turns the base gear will be sticking out past the side of the crane.
Because of this, it needs to have a guard built around it and that is the next piece to build.
I took a section of brass angle and milled the center out of one side and it is formed to the radius of the base gear to form a flat guard panel with tabs to fasten it down to the deck of the flat car.
Then I took a piece of brass rod and machined it to fit up against the flat guard panel.
The two parts are soldered together to form a guard around the small gear and part of the base gear on either side of it.
This is fastened down on the deck of the flat car.
This is how it looks with the crane set back on the pedestal.
With the crane now mounted on the flat car, I need to make a bracket for the boom to rest on when the crane is being moved from one place to another.
I cut a section of brass " I-beam " to the correct length and milled a slot in one end for the boom to fit into.
A piece of sheet brass will be the mounting plate and I've drilled holes in it to mount it on the deck of the flatcar.
Soldering the I-beam to the base plate.
The supports for the I-beam are made out of pieces of flat brass.
These are soldered to the boom support and then holes are drilled for ' rivets ' to fasten the parts together and make the boom support look more realistic.
Here is how it looks with the boom support mounted on the flat car.
It has been fun redoing something that I built a long time ago and this is how it looks with it all finished.
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
posted on Mar 23, 2018 01:38 PM:
My Archive Category
A wonderful piece of work there!
Great seeing how it was accomplished as well.
Joined: Apr 4, 2011
posted on Mar 23, 2018 07:48 PM:
My Archive Category
I'm working on a crew car to go with it.
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