Turntable Design and Build

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Glenn Brooks
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Turntable design - making progress

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:10 am

Finally making some progress on the foundations for the turntable and retractable bridge across the driveway.

Took three weeks to get two loads of fill delivered - but it was free courtesy of a local contractor, so had to wait for him to reach a stage where he was excavating decent compatable fill and topsoil. So got 25 yards fill - one load to backfill and level the turntable footings, another load today down the ROw to build up the grade 100' east of the turntable - put of site behind the shop.

The pictures below show sort of an oblique view from the back deck - nice elevation shot showing layout of raised retaining wall block leading up to the driveway crossing (about 18" above grade) and the final round turntable placement - which will allow cars and engines to park parallel with the shop.

The turntable itself must allow through passage, as it will be aligned with the main line. So hopefully I've worked up a decent engineering design to lock the rail joints from the retractable bridge and turntable to the mainline.

Apparently the local deer population have adopted the ROW as their preferred deer run. Couldn't get a photo but a nice four point buck and big doe walked the ROWyesterday, as well as our several family of does and fawns. Iam thinking of building a salt lick and molasses bar back in the trees, sort of a wildlife espresso stand, for their enjoyment.
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squaring up the foundation stones for the round table.
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Aerial oblique view of bridge abutement in foreground and round table foundation
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Deer inspecting the ROW
Last edited by Glenn Brooks on Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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steamin10
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Re: Turntable design

Post by steamin10 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:13 pm

I like to live in harmony with nature. But deer are antlered rabbits, that will eat you out of house and home garden very quickly, once they discover goodies. Local hillbillies poach all the deer available here, so the gamepop is low for deer. I gave up trying to raise a garden a few years back, because of the antlered predators.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

Glenn Brooks
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Back in Washington, Alas

Re: Turntable design

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:59 pm

Hey Big Dave,

Yes indeed. Deer are constant vegetation munchers. We have a garden by the side of the house, a few dozen feet from the turntable. But they don't seem to bother us much. Our biggest assault ever year comes from the Great Bunny Horde. Rabbits sit on the edge of the lawn watching me plant in the spring, then spend vast amounts of time staring at the Bunny Wall I built, trying to figure out how to get in. i built the Great Bunny Wall last year, after failing dismally to keep them out using plastic fencing. It's modeled after the Great Wall of China, but only three courses high. Last year I initialy tried plastic 1" square fenching, but after the strawberries came in, one night the Bunny Horde descending on the place and nibbled multiple perfectly square 8" square "doors" in the fencing. Of course the strawberries were gone the next morning, leaving me with a handful of little square fenching cut outs. Hence the great Bunny wall. Which worked well for about three months - until the rabbits figured out there was no way around the wall, and decided to hop up and over. They aren't very fast learners, but are terribly persistent. Well that resulted in improving my learning curve. I added metal fence posts and 24" chicken wire on top of the wall. So far this year, Iam winningthe great bunny war, at least the initial battles. Although some unknown creature did manage to pillage all the remaining berries one night and disappear with out a footPrint or trace. Either the Owls have become vegetarians and flew in to feast, or the mole gangsters tunneled in, popped up and stole the fruit. Sort of a smash and grab in reverse.

Still not sure why the deer don't come in - I suspect they don't like the long straight edges of the wall. Or maybe the short metal fence posts that hold up the wire. Hence are afraid of stepping over.

Long story, but the Great Bunny Wall inspired my design for the turntable and bridge abutement - courses of retaining wall stone. So now, all my landscape materials are now similar looking and sort of tied together in an architectural balance. lending weight to my arguement that the railroad ROW, bridge, various appurtences, and piles of RR ties , 12# rail, and what some might consider ugly junk (not!) are part of my overall home landscaping theme. And hence, don't need building permits or zoning approval. (This was actually pointed out to me by the zoning permit office. A more pleasant result than I expected when I went in for an initial plan review last winter.)
Attachments
image.jpeg
Great Bunny Wall design-2016 improvements
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Turntable design

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:53 pm

Leveled up the bridge abutement leading to the turntable and laid one section of rail to check the grade. I don't particularly like the cap stones for the abutement so will be taking them back and looking for something more traditional to finish off the cement block walls. Maybe cut sandstone or something similar- a local rockery has a quarter of a pallet that might go at a discount.
Attachments
image.jpg
Bridge abutement looking north from the turntable.
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

Glenn Brooks
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Back in Washington, Alas

Re: Turntable design

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:58 pm

Making some progress on the turntable. Since June, realigned the turntable foundation - relaid the outer wall 18" or so closer to the shop to better align with the main line. Then brought in 50 yards of fill to raise the grade to proper elevation. All free fill from construction projects around town that contractors wanted to get rid of. Mostly decent dirt with no clay and not to much debris.

Then drug a French drain and laid below ground drainage pipe to carry away the winter rains that will surely accumulate in the bottom of the foundation. Pics are to slightly big to post, no way to resize with my iPad - a real nuisance.

Finally, got time to lay up the I beams for the frame - photos attached below. Decided to go with two supporting beams directly under the wheels/rail, rather than 4. The beams are light gauge 3" x10" I beams. in lieu of the two outer beams, I decided to add 8" wing extensions on 24" centers, extending out from the two I beams. The wing extensions will support small planked walkways on each side of the bridge structure. The 'wings' also will be supporting structure for 1 1/2" angle iron running lengthwise. The angle iron will anchor the bottom ends of each wooden tie and add overall strength and rigidity to the frame.

So the overall dimensions of the turntable bridge work out to be: 30" width, 11'6" length overall, 10" tall, not counting ties and rail.

The rails will extend from the turntable frame 6"-8" over the cement block foundation and be bolted to the mainline with fishplates when the table is not in use. Properly shimmed and supported with 1/4" steel backing plate on top of a cement foundation, the rail over the turntable bridge should act like part of the mainline for normal train operation.

I used 3" ship channel for the wing extensions, welded on end to the I beams, then supported each with a 1 1/2" angle iron brace to stiffen the walkway supports. These braces will also help the ties carry the load if the engine derails and heads for the edge of the table. I then installed 1 1/4" x2" channel iron braces inside the 3x10" beams to create the primary frame. Now, all this stuff is light Guage steel, in the neighborhood of 3/16" thick. So it is fairly easy to handle and should be plenty strong. As FYI, the I beams are old salvaged mobile home frames. I find them free on Craigslist from time to time. Cuts well and fairly cleanly with a small OOO size acetylene torch tip. The beams are pretty easy to burn through when stick welding though, if one isn't careful. Don't dally when making your pass...


Here are the photos thus far...


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Turntable frame layup
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End bracing - probably needs vertical angle iron braces on both edges, and a 4" flat bar wrapped and welded from end to end to reinforce the corners.
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Turntable design

Post by Erskine Tramway » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:18 pm

Looks like you're making good progress, Glenn :D

I know what you mean about welding thin stuff. I'm making some carrying 'pockets' for the 'plugs' that fill the central deck hole in my Heywood cars when the 'timber forks' aren't installed. They are 16 gauge, plasma cut parts, and even with 1/16" rod, it's easy to burn a hole :shock:
9-6-16 wagon plug pocket.jpg
Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Glenn Brooks
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Location: Back in Washington, Alas

Re: Turntable design

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:46 pm

More progress. Mostly finished welding the table - topside anyway. Now to fab up the outer edge brackets And mount the wheels, and install the center pivot.
image.jpeg
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

Glenn Brooks
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Back in Washington, Alas

Re: Turntable design

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:00 am

Finished up the turntable bearing assembly. Iam going with a simple 2 7/8" shaft pin that sets in a 8"x 1 1/2" 'bearing' - bored 1 1/4" inch deep to accept the pin. The bearing will be centered and welded to the backing plate on the bottom of the table. The shaft itself is mounted to an adjusting plate having four 1" foundation rods. The rods will be anchored in a cement footing and are threaded to 3/4" x 16 on the upper end to allow the table to be raised or lowered up to four inches to adjust final fit to ground level. (Also to adjust height each season as the surface elevation moves up or down through hydrolic action due to ground water saturation)

For convenience, I turned a threaded shaft on the end of the pin to accept a 3/4" x16 nut to hold the pin onto the bearing during assembly - probably unnecessary when the table is in use; but fun to make. Also, the shaft is drilled, tapped, and cross drilled to accept a squirt of axle grease to lubricate the pin and bearing socket through a zert fitting now and then.

Plan B is to install some sort of roller bearing assembly if the pin and socket idea doesn't work well enuf.

The next step is to fab up the wheel assemblies and supporting beams at each end and attach to the table. Then start digging in the pit to establish final grade for the pin assembly. Should be fun now that the winter rains are starting to coming back on shore from the North Pacific.
Attachments
IMG_1189.JPG
Pin and pivot assembly ready for mounting to the turn table
IMG_1193.JPG
Pivot assembly closeup
IMG_1191.JPG
I turned down an 8" wheel blank to make the bearing. This gets welded to the bottom of the table.
Last edited by Glenn Brooks on Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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10KPete
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Re: Turntable design

Post by 10KPete » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:51 am

You won't get much digging done after today, Glenn. We're about to get pounded by a big 'un!! Huge cyclone moving in Thurs morning with lots of rain.

I've never built a turntable but that one looks h*ll for stout!

Pete
Just tryin'

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Turntable design

Post by Erskine Tramway » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:43 am

Looks good, Glenn........

I turned a 15" gauge Atlantic for years on a bearing like that.

Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Glenn Brooks
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Back in Washington, Alas

Re: Turntable design

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:02 am

Thanks Mike. I decided to build this based on your experiences in 15" gauge.

Pete, yep, winter is definitely here -almost. Have you heard about the new live steam club being formed at the Mt. rainier Scenic Railway? Might be something to be involved in. They received a donation of 10 logging locos and 6000' track from Tom Miller. Looks like a couple of us from the KLS are going to help pullup the old track.
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

10 Wheeler Rob
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Re: Turntable design

Post by 10 Wheeler Rob » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:43 pm

A used front automobile or truck spindle with the brake rotor and tapered roller bearings could be the basis of a cheap center pivot.

Rob

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