Branstetter Hardware

ClearanceOn30_1200Planning for a new building. I am running out of room so I am thinking of bringing it forward over the tracks. The idea is to push a covered crane that could unload a truck parked on the road and bringing it back to a loading dock – or something similar. This allows another structure possibly behind this or or simply a larger structure. I’ve tentatively named it Branstetter Hardware – that may change later if the building’s purpose changes.
Early Planning
ClearForCrane_1So. The idea is to have a crane over the road. I inserted the On30 Clearance Gauge into the scene and formed some 12 in. sq. beams to hug the gauge. Ok. That is the minimum to clear an engine passing by. The only reason for this is simply there isn’t any room for supports between the road and track .. at least .. I don’t think so.

Sooo. The crane structure needs to be extended back to a loading dock .. after all that would be the reason for this after all. Next question is .. how about the area over the track? If the crane is supposed to snatch a load from a flatcar on the track the crane supports would have to be quite a bit higher.

Note that the minimum clearance suggests a timber support on the track side that is already at 17-1/2 ft. in length, with 21-1/2 ft. length on the road side. Increasing the timber length for a crane’s pulley/block/hoist with clearance over the flatcar will make these timbers quite a bit longer. Just how to construct these supports .. whether they might be better made of steel I-Beams for example depends on determining the final dimensions. This is just a starting point .. for that end.

Not sure it is worth the trouble to build the thing to lift off a flatcar .. I will play with it a bit but might be too much.

Mechanism_CraneSo. Here’s the crane overall.

  • Blue: This I-Beam runs in the X-axis. The pulley runs on this.
  • Green: Appears to be paired channels so the trolley wheels sit between them. The trolley wheels run on rails in the Y-axis.
  • Yellow: The pulley

The fun part here is figuring out how to model this in O scale .. with all the bits and pieces.

Mechanism_1Often you see an overhead crane with the truck running on rails. This one though runs on an I-Beam which I actually like quite a bit. Usually (I believe) there would be a pair of trucks .. one above the other allowing the pulley hanging below to be moved along x and y axises. I suppose the important direction of movement would be y – so a load could be lifted off of a flatcar, or flatbed and moved back into the building/loading dock. The x direction .. you could “assume” that the flatcar or flatbed could be positioned under the pulley .. which would allowing decreasing the headroom by the height of that x axis truck. This would be a pain though for an operator.
Pulley Block
Mechanism_2Not sure how well this can be replicated in O scale – but here’s a Pulley Block. This – or some alternate version is necessary I think to be built prior to final consideration for the overhead height of the crane. This (the headroom) will depend also on the truck height(s) added to the vertical height. The lifting hook itself will help determine again .. the overall height of the crane.
Working Drawing
working_2Just about finished with the design for the crane. I have the Code #55 rail from a length of N gauge track. I-Beam and Channel are both 3/16″ from Evergreen. The only thing left is to find appropriate spur gears. Once I acquire those I can adjust the spacing out from the I-Beam.

I think I can use HO gears from Vector Cut. Since these are more for scenic purposes it is hard to find two sets the same. The laser board they a made from is about 0.014″ thick which translates to about 5/8″ full size. If I had two the same I could stack them so you would have a gear about 1-3/8″ thick.

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