Matthysen Junction's coal dumper...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by shaygetz, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Years before the B&MC became a podunk tourist/branchline, the town of Matthysen Junction had a small tilt dumper to send coal down the bay to local coal suppliers when coal was still used for heating a good percentage of Eastern Shore homes. Ten cars a week came to this noisy, dusty beast and few tears were shed when it tossed its last load in the spring of '63.

    Based on plans on page 79 of the long out of print "Bridges and Buildings for Model Railroads" and remeniscent of a time when there were far fewer kits available, I've wanted to build this thing since I first read the article over thirty years ago. Robin's work took me back to my own beginnings, when I made my models with the same materials and nothing but a straight edge razor, a scale ruler cut from a magazine and paper matches for paint brushes.

    I started by turning the bull wheel by first rough cutting it on a band saw. Then I placed a finishing nail thru the center and then nailed it to a scrap piece of wood. By applying even pressure as I turned it against my sander, I was able to produce the proper sized disc and make it perfectly round. Because the plywood used was much too thick, I simply split the disc on my bandsaw, then sanded it flat.

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  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    The slo-mo motor came from an old store display and turns at about 1 1/2 RPMs @ 2 volts, perfect for this project...and...free for the asking. I fashioned a mount for the motor then mounted it and the bull wheel to it for a test fit.

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  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Then I turned my attention to the tilt table. Using the same plywood, I cut it to a scale 16x40 feet, then split it as I had the bull wheel. The wood is scrap pieces of a high quality MDO used for highway signage. It is infused with an epoxy and makes for a very stable base.

    I gauge the track by removing a portion of Atlas Snap Track tie strip, then gluing it to the base, using a track gauge in the center to insure a uniform gauge the whole length. I then made a set of guard rails and glued them in place with a gap filling ACC glue. Then I clipped the rails and squared the ends on my sander.

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  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Part model, part functional base, the drive box came next, built from scrap MDF particle board, solid, stable but a bit unforgiving of water soluble scenery material so be careful where you use it. I made it fairly solid as it will be part of a 6' traveling module.

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  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Test fitting the tilt bed and drive components.

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  6. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

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    Nice work, cant wait to see more!!
  7. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

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    Cool! Great work!
  8. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    great work just love to see the chains of ready to run discarded:)
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, guys, it do feel good to do some bottom line scratch building again.

    Today found me toiling on the tilt hinge, finally settling on a 4" piano model in brass. Thru much trail and error, it tilts smoothly and sets flat. Patience is a virtue here.

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  10. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    You never cease to amaze me. you wouldn't happen to be related to Macgyver would you?
  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    One of the pitfalls of turning to old MRs for projects is that the articles are generally written on the assumption that you're mechanically inclined. "Fashion part A and then attach it to part B" Fair enough---if you have a mechanical engineering degree from MIT and a workshop that would have Norm Abrams sobbing like a little girl.:rolleyes:

    Here are some closeups of how I got the tilt table to tilt past 90 degrees and return to flat. About an hour of non-stop adventure, flyin' sawdust and tongue bitin'...:thumb: :thumb:

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  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, Glen. I can't take all the credit when my friends names are Dewalt, Bosch, Porter Cable and Craftsman....:thumb:
  13. Gaming4JC

    Gaming4JC New Member

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    Nice work!!!

    Wow,
    This project looks complicated, but it appears to be comming along nicley.

    Keep up the good work!!! ;)

    Gaming4JC
  14. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

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    Sounds like you're in good company, Bob.:D
  15. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Kinda nice when the job gives me a reason (excuse:rolleyes: ) to buy cool power tools.:thumb: Didja ever get that Docksider running you picked up at the swap meet?

    Hey, G4JC:wave:
  16. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Today was spent running from the shop to the apartment in the rain fabricating the lift linkages. Found my hardware store didn't carry small enough bar stock so I resorted to my inner McGyver and made my own from scrap door sill material. I drilled, bent and shaped the connecting rod and lift arm according to the instructions and now am ready for final fitting and assembly.

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  17. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    The rest of the weekend will find me no doubt wishing I had taken up stamp collecting or something as I fiddle and adjust the tilt mechanism for optimal performance. Already I've deviated from the plans by reforming a lift arm with multiple adjustment holes to help in the final tweeking. Once finished I will fasten the whole smack down and then repeatedly slam my head in a door while muttering, "Model railroading is fun..."wall1

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  18. webmaster

    webmaster Member

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    I take it you will use power one way to lift & then reverse the power to lower??

    When I first saw the disk, I would have thought you would have made it similar to a loco wheel with just one rod. Using a micro switch to cut the power when the bed returns. That means that you would only need to power in one direction with a momentary switch to over ride the micro switch to start the proccess.?
  19. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    The motor travels in one direction. The bend in the lift arm offsets the top dead center so that, once the wheel passes a certain point, the connecting rod pulls down rather than pushes up. I will add a micro roller switch to the circuitry so that, when it hits bottom dead center, it will stop the motor, thus making it semi-automatic. Then, like you said, I'll have a momentary on switch to bypass the micro switch and start the whole process again.

    The adjustments are proving interesting to say the least and not risk suffering potty mouth and will probably take a bit longer then I had hoped. Again, it goes back to those early articles that assumed skills that may or may not be there. Help to adjust the mechanism just is nowhere to be found in the article I got this from.
  20. webmaster

    webmaster Member

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    Hmmm... In that case, are the two rods fixed together permanently (rigid)? Obviously the one one the disc rotates, but I must be missing something otherwise the two arms if not fixed rigid will it not just rotate without a lift?