With the track design in the yard area verified I decided to get started on the turntable since everything revolves around that. So to speak. I had selected a Walthers HO scale 90' kit (not motorized) because I thought it would be a good base for kit bashing into an On30 50' "Armstrong type turntable which would be about the right size for my layout. My original plan was to replace the bridge deck and use everything else. I opened up the box yesterday and started assembling the bridge and quickly found the quality to be so poor that I would have to replace 90% of the parts. "Ya gets whatcha pays for". The bridge itself isn't even correctly centered in the pit so one end scrapes against the wall. The wheels for the bridge just scrape across the top of the plastic rail and since everything is plastic there's too much resistance in the movement. At least to my liking. I'd like to use the pit because I like the shape of the floor but it resonates with a cheazy plastic sound.
My first thought is to clean out the ring rail and ties and replace them with wood ties and metal rail. I think it needs a bearing in the base too. I can add some sound dampening material to the underside of the pit too. I'll try that first and if it doesn't work out I'll hafta make my own pit. I'd like to widen the bridge and replace the wheels with metal ones. Id also like to do the bridge deck in wood at a proper width.
I did find a really nice turntable kit made by Kitwood Hills (http://www.kitwoodhillmodels.com/13-5-on30-pit-turntable/). It's about an inch longer than this one which would be OK. It also comes motorized for £87 which I think is about $130 US. I guess that'll be my backup plan if I totally muff this conversion. It would probably be cheaper and easier to just get the kit but now I'm feeling challenged to do something with what I have. We'll see how high my frustration breaking point is set.
Man, I like that turntable you have the photo for. Looks about as long as the Peco one, though. I really wish I could have built turntables about 1/2 inch longer that the ones I have, but the Peco ones are just long enough for a ten-wheeler...
The peco ones also include all the electrical contacts and 'split ring' for turning. It's quite foolproof and needs no special wiring at all.
Lee - The photo is of the kit made by Kitwood Hill Models. It's 13.5" in length which is plenty long enough for my 2-8-0. It's motorized also. I looked at some of the other turntables on the market and found them to be either too short, too long or too expensive. This one is laser cut plywood with some metal parts and looks like it has enough quality parts to suit me. For all that the price is also very fair at about $130 in US dollars. I think the kit is made in the UK. If I was really smart I'd just go ahead and order one now.
Woodie - I think you may be right. I keep going over this Walthers kit trying to decide how to redo the parts I don't like about it. The amount of work involved in making it right is probably more than if I made one from scratch. I need to give this some thought. Thanks for the suggestion.
So, I've decided to build my own turntable to get things the way I want. Thanks Woodie. I settled on a length of 13.5" because it looked right with the 2-8-0. Everything else was designed around that. I talked to Larry Olsen at Diamond Scale and will be using some of the components he offers for O scale. The dolly trucks are the main thing and he's sending me a scale drawing of that so I can work them into my design before I start ordering parts. I'll still use the dial hand rank and 30:1 speed reducer for manual indexing. The picture below is my drawing compared to the Walthers HO turntable.
Howdy Tom, not only will you have fun building this yourself, but then you will own the ONLY one...nobody else will have one like it! There's a certain satisfaction about building something yourself, it does wonders for the mind!
Have fun, let's see more when possible.
____________________ It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
I've ordered the parts to build the turntable bridge including styrene parts from Plastruct to build the girders and wood 8" x 8" ties and 2" x 10" deck planks from Kappler. I probably won't be getting these for another three weeks so I went ahead and got started with what I had on hand.
I built a wood buck (right name?) for the turtable bridge. This will be clad with the styrene girders and topped with the decking so it won't be seen but will provide good support for the center shaft and dolly wheels.
I built the handrails also. Several times. The first time around I used heavy solid core copper wire but the result was that it looked like it had one hundred years of heavy abuse. Since my railroad was still in it's infancy in the 1920"s and my foreman was meticulous with maintenance this wouldn't do. John Garaty suggested I try brass rod. I found some 3/64" brass rod that measures out to .045", plenty close enough to .042" for 2" pipe. I soldered the stanchions on but could not add other details in brass because my iron is too hot. Really need one of those resistance soldering stations! The stanchion bases and suports are made from styrene. I simulated pipe joint T's by layering three coats of brushed on enamel paint. Once the railings were painted you probably can't see the pipe joint detail but I know it's there.