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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How Do You Disguise Those Ugly Risers?

I run a point-to-point line between my mine and a small commercial/industrial area. The train stops at the mine, an intermediate station, then at the commercial/industrial before making its way back to the mine. But, there are no provisions in the commercial area to unload the ore cars. What there is, is an adjacent spur where a transfer operation could occur. Hmmm…

A railcar could be parked on the spur (that also services the brewery) and the ore could be transferred directly, or the ore cars transferred in part or entirety. The area works out nicely being about 5 feet from the nearest viewing point, so a super high level of detail wasn’t a necessity.

But, as always, there is a fly in the ointment. There is an existing sprinkler riser in this area that can’t really be relocated. OK, the riser would be integrated into the transfer facility. The pipe could serve as the post for a crane. If everything is sized right, the sprinkler head could simply be unscrewed, and the crane slipped right over the pipe. Even better, I already have everything I needed in my nuts, bolts, and junk.

The boom was made out of two pieces of Plastruct I-beam. For effect, I wanted it a little different than usual, and clamped the two pieces in a vice, heated them with a torch, and suspending some weight, made a nice bend in the beams. The two main pulleys are stainless “snaps” used to secure boat tarpaulins assembled backward. Because this would be subject to lots of water (it is a sprinkler) I made extensive use of brass and most fittings and threaded rod are of brass construction.



Once the two pullies were installed on the boom, the base was attached to a 1” PVC coupler using two screws. Cross braces were then slipped in place and fastened using CA. A PVC 1” to ½” reducer centers the assembly on the sprinkler riser and supports the base of the superstructure. I ground the front of the reducer back to the rounded area to place the cab as far rearward as possible.



The cab is made of four Pola walls used in the fire station tower (for hanging hoses). Three were used for the side/rear walls and one for the floor. It was serendipity that the cutout in the Pola walls was sized for a perfect friction fit on the hex shape of the 1” to ½” PVC adapter. I left the Pola louvers on the other three walls, but may remove them and frame out windows. Two nails were CA’ed to the bottom to guide the boom cable. A piece of “corrugated aluminum will serve as a roof. A boiler for a steam donkey will be placed inside the cab and controls and a seat are to be added.



The cable spool is six plastic train wheels CA'ed together. I ground the flanges off four but left them on the outsides of the outer two. The gears to drive the cable spool are from USA GP-9 replacement. A piece of Plastruct I-beam supports the idler gear and the powered gear is under the cab (out of sight).

To support the cable/boom, pullies would be installed on the pole. This had to be removable but the pullies have to be able to spin freely with the cab as this is to be “pose able.” Two PVC “rings were cut. Once ring was turned internally using a “flapper wheel” so that it slides over the riser with a strong friction fit. The other received more internal clearance and freely spins on the riser. This latter piece receives a pulley on either side. These pullies are comprised of brass washers for the flanges, and bits of the center portions of the sacrificed wheels used in making the cable spool. A short screw goes through these pullies and is threaded into the PVC ring.



The base and cab assembly simply slide over the riser pipe. The friction ring this then slid over the pipe followed by the pulley ring. The cable is placed on the pullies and voila, vanishing sprinkler.

The offloading area (complete with the finished pose able crane) will be completed right after the 2008 viewing season ends. Look for it in 2009!



 

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Now that is what I call taking lemons and making lemonade!!!!! That is great, I have 2 sprinkler risers that will need some kind of "camouflage" and I have been inspired. Thanks, can't wait to see it painted and in place.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Posted By Ole Toad Frog on 08/20/2008 6:45 PM
Ok, one question,How did you get the I beam to bend?
Toad



As I noted above, I clamped the two pieces in a vice side-by-side, heated them all around evenly with a propane torch, and suspending some weight (5 lb sledge hammer) from the end, made the bend. In this manner, there was very little "kinking" of the beams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Posted By Ole Toad Frog on 08/20/2008 7:26 PM
Yes I noted it but was hoping you had a pix or picture.
Sorry, Toad


No need to be sorry..., was a legitimate question and a pic of the process would have been nice /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif.

Enjoy your trains.
 

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Todd, your design ingenuity is exceeded only by your uh.. er.. 'persistence' in addressing a problem. Beautiful work, & I look forward to seeing it next year!:D
 

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Nice disguise! I like how you took a lot of common parts and made something very uncommon. Can you post pics after you have installed it in the garden?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Posted By jimtyp on 08/21/2008 9:33 AM
Nice disguise! I like how you took a lot of common parts and made something very uncommon. Can you post pics after you have installed it in the garden?


Yes, will do.
 
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