Overhead Crane

Overview
I needed an overhead crane to move ‘stuff’ between trucks and flatcars. The framing opening over the track meets the NMRA clearance On3/On30 gauge. The hoist would be in the way of course since it will hang down but that can simply be moved to the small space between the track and road.
Plan
Exploded View

Exploded View

Everytime I start a project like this I am made aware the lack of proper equipment/materials. What would really help a lot for such small parts as these are jigs. I have a micro-mill .. fine. The problem is that special jigs that would hold these for milling requires material to make the jig. What I would love would be a thick piece of close-cell PVC. A hard wood might work but the PVC would machine a lot easier.

The bridge is made from Evergreen bits and pieces .. I-Beam, Channel and Tubing. I designed the thing to make use of these stock size Evergreeen.

Parts
Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

This is the majority of the bits and pieces except for gussets. I figure that they will be easier to make to fit.

Trying to build up the little wheels makes me REALLY want a lathe. What took a good while to slice-dice- and file would take no time at all with a lathe.

Bridge
Bridge

Bridge

Looking ‘good nuff’ so far. Need to add some reinforcing gussets and a scattering of bolt heads. Since this is totally mechanical I need to have a braking system via a rope (and it will look cool)

Gussets and Rivets
Drilling holes for bolt heads

Drilling holes for bolt heads

Added gussets. These pretty much do the same thing they would in real life .. reinforce the structure .. but .. I put them on ’cause they just look good.

Drilling the holes for the bolts. I used a piece of .060″ angle (Evergreen) to lay out the locations. I should have sliced/filed the angle down a bit so the centers were closer to the edges .. the drill bit hit the sides of center web of the I-Beams. That’s fixable but just noting that moving the bolt centers out just a ‘tad’ and I wouldn’t have to do that.

Rivited

Rivited

Think this part of the ‘bridge build’ is pretty much finished. I’m letting the cement set up so I can snip off the bits of the bolts that stuck through after which I will use a minimum bit of putty to clean everything up. Next will be the hoist. I need to figure out how to make one that looks good .. and will slip over the I-Beam rails it will ride on.

Trolley
The Plan

The Plan

Not sure what the part that travels along the bridge is called – me .. calling it the Crane Trolley. Once again .. everything is made from bits and pieces of Evergreen stock – except for the axles. Those are .040 in dia wire.

Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

.. and all the bits and pieces.

The penny is included for the fun of it.

Assembling
trolleyGlue1-800Whew! Man. This was interesting. The trolley fits around the bottom flange of the I-Beams. That means I had to basically build it around the I-Beams of the bridge. Heck. It even moves back and forth! That means I can primer/paint a bit .. then slide it down so I don’t pile up the primer. Cool.
trolleyGlue2-800Close-up of the trolley. This should work pretty well I think. With some primer – it should look pretty good. The only thing left to build is the hoist itself which will hook around that shaft you can see in the gap.
Hoist
Harbor Freight Chain Hoist

Harbor Freight Chain Hoist

I looked around the net and found photos of hoists. One of the ones that I think would be simpler to construct is (visually at least) a group of stacked disks. The one to the left is from Harbor Freight – there is as I said a series of disks with a larger slot for the big chain … the one with the lifting hook and a smaller slot with the smaller chain that is pulled by hand to operate the hoist.

Wiggly Eyes

Wiggly Eyes

Occasionally you run up on a modeling source that is so useful that you really need to put in in your parts box. At WalMart etc. in the children’s craft section of the store are ‘Wiggly Eyes’. These are the ones you see on a Teddy Bear for example – a clear container with a white iris and a black pupil that moves when the bear is shaken. They come in all sizes .. and are CHEAP. In fact, you can purchase a bag with multiple sizes. What cool about these isn’t the clear container (although that can be used for things like the curvy bit on the end of a tank) .. but the pupil. These are nice, precise circles of plastic .. which will provide you instantly with pre-made disks you can use everywhere.

I have cut open two sizes and you can see them laying next to the guy in the bowler hat. I will be using these to make my hoist.

Hoist Bits and Pieces

Hoist Bits and Pieces

I looked at what I needed for chain. There is a larger chain used to actually lift the loads. The smaller chain is the hand operated control. I had a chain that measures .60 in – about 3 in full size. That is probably just a bit large .. but not that much for heavy lifting. The smaller chain is .025 in (Builders in Scale) – about 1-1/4 in which will work also.

The larger chain is not prototypical as it is a jewelry chain I picked up at Michaels – but I had it on hand. Give my ‘druthers’ I would purchase something like the larger chain from Builders In Scale. In fact, the smaller chain is their 40 links per inch. They have 27, 16, 15, 14 and 12 links per inch – which tells me I need to drop an order for stock.


Comments

Overhead Crane — 9 Comments

  1. I’ve used those in my work as a hand operated crane! The crane/ hooker would take slab stone from the f loor to the machinery thst processed it into sandstone windowsilles door thresholds and road curbs! Youts has the par ts to be accurate but how is it operated? Did I miss that?

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