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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you may remember my posts on the old forum about building some mining cars in 1:12 sacle. Click here to see the old posts. Here it is almost a year later and I have gotten back to this project. This time I have fully turned my attention to a four wheel crane car. I decided to make the car entirely from metal. It is actually a combination of metals-- primarily aluminum, but it also uses steel, brass, copper and white metal. And now for a few process photos to kick this off.

The frame was built up from aluminum channel. The assembly is bolted together with 2-56 hex screws.


The heavy center cross member is milled from 1/2" thick plate. It has a bronze bushing pressed into the center to act as the pivot for the gantry.


The gantry is partially assembled. I have not yet figured out how to construct the support for the boom.


The boom is attached to the gantry with Ozark Miniatures shaft supports. The rivets in the side frame are called "drive screws" you just pre-drill a hole and then pound em' in.


The hook was built up from a brass ball, wire, flat bar and a turned pulley and axle.


The counterweight was made from 3/8" plate. It (and many of the other parts) was sandblasted to give it a texture that resembles a casting.


The whole shebang is mocked up. I had a conversation with a couple friends and we decided that the gantry is way too low to be appropriate for a small hand crank derrick. To resolve this issue I fabricated a "pedestal" to mount the gantry on that I will touch on in my next posting.


Thanks for looking.
Regards,
 

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That's going to be a great little crane! Are you working from a prototype or is it a freelance generic? Looking forward to more photos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And now for some finished pictures. In these photos the model has been primed with green etching primer. I decided that I like the sickly green color so I am going to keep it this color.

Here she is-- the finished crane hoisting a gear on to the deck of my flat car.


As you can see I made a stout pedestal to get the gantry up to a more ergonomic height for the crane operator. The pedestal is built up from brass plate and a short piece of copper pipe.


The deck is made from steel diamond plate. This miniature diamond plate is a product from O.S. Engines of Osaka Japan. Here you get a good view of the scale hardware that holds the whole car together.


The base of the pedestal is brass plate that is silver soldered to the pipe. The triangular gussets are soft soldered in place.


I also added grab handles to the underside of the gantry frame. They are made from ordinary steel bailing wire. I bolted them in place with 1-72 screws.


This was my solution for the boom support.


By releasing the two lobster clips you can lower the boom for transport.


The underbelly of the car is very simple but you can see the heavy cross-member, the gantry pivot (shoulder screw) and the four small screws that hold the pedestal in place.


That about wraps it up. I will probably weather the car eventually but for now I am satisfied. This car is big and heavy because of the all-metal construction and the large (1:12) scale. I would love to hear your comments. Thanks again for looking.

Best,
 

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You should be very proud of your work. That is one of the best looking, scratch built cranes I've ever seen. I admire your ability to work with metals.

Doc
 

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the crane looks great! Thanks for sharing.
Terry
 

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Wow. That's incredible!
 

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Great design and workmanship. I especially like the way the handcrank is securely attached to the countershaft using a hex under the U-bolt.

Would you tell me the brand of etching primer you used-- is it available in a spray can, or is it a professional product?

Larry
 

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Your work is very inspirational. A year or so ago I was reading this forum and I came across some other inch scale posts and I was hooked. I wound up building a 4 3/4” gauge porter a couple of cars and a small loop of track as a result.

The large scale infection continues to worsen as I will be assisting a club in Sata Rosa assemble their 1.5” scale track next month!
I love the post. Keep them coming and maybe you will get more folks hooked!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everybody for the compliments. I really appreciate it. Winn, there is no specific prototype for this crane. It is purely from my imagination. If you look at my link to the old posting you will see the concept drawings for this crane. The crane is very loosely inspired by the small artillery cranes that they used on WWI trench railroads and it sort of has the proportions of the wood derrick car that Hartford Products sells.

Dana, thanks for posting that link. There is some very interesting info about small cranes on there.

Larry, the primer is Duplicolor brand etching primer that I bought at the local auto parts store. It comes in a rattle can. The small u-bolt on the hand crank is actually a fake /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif. In fact the entire winch is from Ozark Miniatures. I just carefully assembled it and I bolted it to the gantry frame with real hardware-- in this case 1-72 through-bolts and nuts. The winch and the journals are the only parts of the car that use any glue.

Doc thanks for the high praise, I have really been enjoying your posts on the private car you are building. I admire your work.

Joel, glad to hear that you are still involved in BIG trains. While my goal isn't to drive people into larger scales I do enjoy experimenting with building ride on scale equipment on a "G" scale budget-- and this crane car represents that.

I will continue to post my progress. The next step is to start planning for a locomotive to pull these cars. I have something very special in mind for that. I have a beautiful Maier butane internal combustion engine that I want to build into a gas powered critter to pull these cars. First step, like the crane, is to do some drawings. Thanks again for looking :)

Best regards,
 

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Eric,
Your crane car is a beautiful piece of work and very cleverly designed. Way to go.....

I'm curious why you selected 1:12 scale instead of 1:13.7 (7/8ths), which would have made 45mm gauge track represent two feet? I've built a couple of cars in 7/8ths that look familiar to your earlier posts. I've also scratch built a 1200 gallon rectangular water car and have for a long time been contemplating a crane car to go with my 10' flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
...curious why you selected 1:12 scale instead of 1:13.7 (7/8ths), which would have made 45mm gauge track represent...


Hi Carl, these cars that I am building are not 45mm gauge. They are in fact 3.5" gauge. Why that gauge? Well I can better answer that with a photo:



This is my Americanized O.S. Krauss locomotive in 1:12 scale and 3.5" gauge. These cars were partially meant to be a companion to this locomotive. Here's the thing, I have always felt that the ride-on-scale crowd pays overly high prices to build similar stuff to what we build in the "G" scale world. This entire project is an experiment. The goal was to use techniques and parts from our community (mostly 1:13.7 (7/8ths) stuff) to build nice ride-on-scale models on a low budget. Besides, it's fun to build BIG trains. One day I hope to have the space to build a nice 3.5" gauge mining layout in my yard. Until that time I will have to stick to 1:20.3 scale in my yard. But I will continue to build this stuff because it really doesn't cost that much, it's BIG, and it's fun to build.

Incidentally, I had some of my mine cars up at Golden Gate Live Steamers, where most of the guys are running 7.5" gauge equipment. These cars actually got quite a bit of interest. That's what makes a project like this so fun.

Best regards,
 

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Eric,
Thanks, I should have realized when I saw the wide track in the picture below. I like your Kraus Americanization.
 

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Eric - great model. I used the Ozark winch kit for a steam donkey and really like the detail. Where did you buy the diamond deck plate? I was unable to find it looking up OS models website. Was it a local hobby shop - I'm close to the bay area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Chris,
I got the diamond tread plate from an O.S. dealer that used to be located in my old home town of Minneapolis MN called Live Steam Parts. The proprietor of this place moved to the middle east or something. His website is still up. Click here to check it out. Even though he moved out of the USA he obviously kept his business going as an online sorta deal only, because anything you order is shipped directly from Japan. I did not see the tread plate listed anymore but maybe if you shoot him an email he can get you some. I got it about three years ago and it was $50 for a 12"x24" sheet. The scale of the tread plate is 1:12 and the material is steel. You also might check with the sponsor of the live steam forum Quisenberry Station because his website claims the he will "soon be a dealer for O.S. Engines". Good luck. Let me know how your search goes.
Regards,
 
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