Turntable

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Connor, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. Connor

    Connor Member

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    Any of you guys scratch built a turn table? I'm looking to build one (well, have started it already) and was wanting to get some info on how to build the bridge itself.. My turntable is 10.5" .. I've started by cutting out a ring from plywood, gluing some styrene to it, and then laid a piece of flex track on top of it (cut in half) and glued it down.. I'm planning on using a 1/4" Phono plug as the baring..

    Here is a link to a guy who built one similar to what I'm doing except, he didn't have his tracks raised up..

    www.simplytrains.com/pages/hints&tips/turntable/turntable2.htm

    My hangup is of course building the bridge itself.. I've never scratch built anything... Any help would be appreciated.. I'm looking to model a 76' turn table, similar to the one found in Chattanooga TN at the TVRM.

    Thanks, Billy

  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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  3. Connor

    Connor Member

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    Yea, a little.. I'm still a little unsure about the bridge construction itself.. guess I just need to go give it a try.. What's the easiest way to cut styrene to the correct size?
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i use an xacto razor saw to cut styrene. Really thin styrene I sometimes cut with scissors or a sharp xacto #5 blade. I've cut the sides off of atlas plate girder bridges and used them for the sides of bridges many times. If you have the right tools (table saw or radial arm saw, and a drill press) you could possibly make the bridge out of a piece of sturdy wood (like oak), drill a perpendicular hole in the *exact* center for the phone jack (using a drill press). Then just glue the girders to the side of the wood, and a piece of flextrack to the top.

    kevin
  5. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    The procedure Kevin mentioned with wood would be an easy and sturdy way to build the turntable bridge.
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I built my own turntable some time ago, so I don't remember all the details. The area where it was built had plywood on the tabletop, so the first step was to cut out the area for the pit. Then, working from beneath the layout, I first installed strips of plywood of suitable thickness to the underside of the tabletop around the pit, then installed a new pit bottom of 3/4" plywood (that's what happened to be on hand). I then cut some 1/8" Masonite to the proper size and installed it, using carpenters glue, as the pit wall. When the glue had dried, I cut the "concrete" base for the ring rail from a piece of 1/4" maple plywood (nice smooth finish) and glued it in place. After determining the centre of the pit, I used the same material to make a circular foundation for the centre bearing and glued it in place. The ring rail is made from a piece of code 83 flextrack, the ties cut on the inside of one rail to a length equal to the amount that was sticking out on the other side. The turntable is near the edge of the layout and was originally designed to use the mechanism from an electric hand mixer, turned by a hand crank, to move the table. Unfortunately, this was not very satisfactory, so the table is an Armstrong one. (Actually, it's a fingerstrong one, but it's good enough for my purposes.)
    The bridge is a block of pine with a cut-down freight truck on the underside of each end. Two axles are used in each truck, the inner ends have no wheels, while the outer ends each have two Athearn metal passenger car wheels installed, face-to-face, forming a pair of extra-wide double-flanged wheels on each end of the bridge. These ride on, and pick up current from, the ring rail to power one of the bridge rails. The bridge rotates on a beater shaft, an electical wiper under the table powers the other bridge rail. The bridge is supported at the centre by a metal washer and the shaft turns in a brass bearing. The sides of the bridge are covered with built-up pieces of the sides from a couple of Atlas through girder bridges. The track on the bridge is Atlas code 83 flextrack with the connecting webs between the ties removed, and then real wooden ties (extra long, to support the deck and handrails) inserted between the plastic ones. The deck is basswood, and once installed, the flextrack ties became unnoticeable. The handrails are brass wire in Athearn diesel handrail stanchions. The control cab is scratchbuilt from styrene. I do intend to install a power arch eventually. The picture only partially shows the turntable, since I just learned today how to do photos and had taken this mainly to show the loco.
    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Nice looking loco (and turntable too...) :D

    Andrew
  8. Connor

    Connor Member

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    Can you take a few close ups of the trucks on the bridge and the bridge itself?
  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    if you would Pm me your email address I will send you a copy of a article and the plans on building your own turntable.
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I'll be happy to try to take some pictures of the turntable as you request. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until after the weekend for the camera to return home.
    Wayne
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    My apologies for taking so long to get back to you. From the just recently returned camera, a few pictures of the turntable:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hope these are of assistance. Were I doing another turntable, I think that it would be easier to do a split (insulated) centre shaft to supply power to the bridge rails. The set-up shown here works fine, but I found it fiddly work to make the rail and axle wipers. The trucks shown do not pivot: doesn't seem to be a problem.

    Wayne
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Just a short note to bump this back up to the top should Connor have missed seeing the photos that he requested. Again, my apologies for the delay.

    Wayne
  13. jcoop1

    jcoop1 Member

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    Great TT:thumb: :thumb:
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Common practice is to scribe the styrene with a hobby knife and a straight edge, then bend it to snap it off. I usually scribe both sides. Similar to cutting drywall or plexiglass.