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.