Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

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DanSmo
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Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:42 pm

So I've been asked by a number of people to share some details about the construction of my recently completed UP 903044 Bucyrus Erie 250T derrick. I figure this would be the best place to write it up and share the photos.

I have a number of projects on the go in 1.5" scale, most notably Big Boy 4012 and UP 0-6-0 #4466. But those are years away from completion and I was itching to have some equipment of my own to play with at the club. I figured I would stick with my chosen theme of modelling steam to diesel transition era Union Pacific. My other criteria were It had to be on the rails in less than a year and it had to be something no one else had. In my mind that left me with a few options, a spreader, a rotary plow and a derrick. A rotary plow is useless here in the land down under, save for perhaps blowing leaves off the track if sped up to dangerous rpm! A spreader would look neat but once again, fairly useless. So that left the derrick.

Of the number of manufacturers that produced 250T units I decided I liked the look of the Bucyrus Erie prototype best. After some research I found that number 903044 fit the same timeline and geographical area as the rest of the equipment I will model, decision made.

Throughout the build I worked purely from a few known general dimensions, scaled from photos and an Athearn HO scale model.

Follow along as I post the construction in stages, I'll be sure to include plenty of photos.
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:12 pm

Construction began logically, on the base/fame/body whatever you want to call it. I planned the whole assembly to be somewhat of a flat-pack kit. I bought a 1.2m x 2.4m sheet of 5mm steel and came up with a plan that allowed the whole thing to be guillotined in 6 or 7 steps. For trucks I went with Tom Bees Buckeyes, although they're 1.6" scale I figure the difference is negligible in this application. Tom really does have a great product, nice castings and easy to follow drawings.

The first big challenge encountered early on was how I would go about the central pivot or turret. As I wanted this to be a functional model that wouldn't break a sweat lifting up to a ton it had to be strong, rigid but still rotate freely. The use of a wheel came to me when I saw a 5 ton forklift in the scrap line at work. After going through the appropriate channels and obtaining permission I removed the rear wheel, hub, bearings and spindle assembly. The original spindle was a cast piece and given that I wanted to weld it into what would become the frame of the winch house, that was no good. I replaced the cast spindle with a 3" square billet of steel turned in the 4 jaw. The wheel hub has a gear I found in the scrap bin bolted to it for the slew drive.

To add strength and closer emulate the arrangement on the prototype I decided to have a ring of rollers run around the rim of the wheel, this piece along with the windows were the only laser cut components in the model.

As I don't seem to be able to add photos in line, I will have to resort to uploading them in groups at the end of each section.
Attachments
2016-09-03 15.31.11s.jpg
2016-09-03 15.32.45s.jpg
2016-06-29 16.30.24s.jpg
2016-09-03 15.35.01s.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:43 pm

The next item on the list was the outriggers, as these are a critical component in taking the weight in a heavy lift I was determined they work and work right. There are 6 all up, 4 smaller ones at each corner and two large ones in the middle. Going on photos I replicated the telescoping sections as best I could by fabricating them in 1 meter lengths and once welded I cut them into individual sections. Everywhere I could I used the thickest and heaviest material not only for strength but for weight in order to make the derrick as solid and stable counterweight as possible. Purely for aesthetics I replicated the rack and pinions for extending and retracting the outriggers, although they aren't functional I think they add a nice touch.

When traveling or stowed the outriggers are held in place with a pin that inserts horizontally through all components. The end units also have a notch in them to clear the coupler pocket. I couldn't find any information on how far they would reach in the extended position so I made the inner stage travel out 2/3 of its length and the larger 2nd stage 1/2 its length. I figure this would give adequate strength and resistance to the lever force it will see under a lift.
Attachments
2016-12-17 16.49.02s.jpg
2016-12-17 16.49.38s.jpg
2016-12-17 16.50.19s.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:42 pm

The next stage is the winch house. I decided for ease to make a structural frame and separate removable cover it that sits over the top. As I wanted a fun, simple and easy model to operate, battery power was chosen. The idea of making gears, clutches, brakes, transmissions, actuators, a compressor as well as a two cylinder engine and vertical boiler was a bit too much for me so I resorted to three 12v winches and a geared motor for the slewing drive. The winches are eBay specials, undoubtedly Chinese, but they provide power in, power out as well as an automatic brake funtions. The stickers claim 4500lb of pull and even if they achieve half of that it will be far beyond what is required. Initial tests showed that the line speed of 6 meters per minute with no load was ideal for raising and lowering the boom, but far too slow for raising and lowering the hooks. Therefore the winches that drive the Auxiliary Hook and main Hook were both disassembled and had one of the three planetary gearsets removed to increase line speed.

As the frame will see some fairly high stresses especially around the boom mount and pivot area I decided to start with two 20mm x 100mm flat bar frames on which I would build the rest of it. The winches sit atop the frame, staggered to clear each other and the slewing gearbox nestles down in between the frames. The slewing gearbox was once again sourced from a forklift slated for scrap, this time it came from the steering gear and provides a 1:22 reduction. To the gearbox I mounted a geared motor from Jaycar Electronics that has a 55rpm output and 50kg/cm torque. I can't remember the tooth count on the final drive pinion or the gear bolted to the wheel hub but the whole assembly results in the structure rotating at about 1rpm and enough torque to make it unstoppable with manpower.

The rear of the frame accommodates two 6V 255Ah cells in series to provide 12V, these also act as counterweight to the boom.
Attachments
2016-09-28 17.31.38s.jpg
2016-09-28 17.45.58s.jpg
2016-09-28 17.25.00s.jpg
2016-09-28 17.26.39s.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:36 am

The boom started life as part of the 5mm sheet, from that I cut the shape then added the top and bottom flanges. The webbing and braces are a real visual feature of the prototype so to me reproducing them was critical. The webbing and braces are all aesthetic rather than funtional, made form 3x10mm flat and 12mm triangular section all plug welded from behind. Hiding welds on models is important to me, no matter how neat or small I've never seen anyone pull off a scale looking weld. To reduce the inevitable heat distortion I was careful to plan my welds, weld to counter movement and preload the material as necessary. It worked fairly well and I was left with a minimal but consistent bow along the length of either side piece. This was straightened out with me putting my weight in the middle of the side pieces suspended between two saw horses. I then tacked welded them back to back and proceeded to drill the all the mount, pivot and pulley holes.

The cross bracing is all 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/8 steel angle cut to suit. Quite a fiddly job given the consistent 45 degree pattern along the gradual taper of the boom.

I was unable to find a commercial or off-the-shelf pulley that looked the part so I resorted to making my own. My steel supplier cut all the blanks from billet. I proceeded to cut the cable groves and recess the faces in the lathe, then the rotary table got its biggest workout to date cutting all the slots. Fair enough to say I really don't fancy making pulleys every again haha, in the end there was 28 of them. All have bronze bushes pressed in the middle and all shafts, pins and pivots on the model are from 4140.

Once the winch house frame was mated to the body, the boom was test fitted and checked for square. At this point in my mind, it began to be recognisable.
Attachments
2016-12-31 14.38.50s.jpg
2017-01-02 15.35.38s.jpg
2017-01-07 12.48.18s.jpg
2017-01-07 12.48.32s.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:52 am

The painting and lettering was done in what I've since been told is a somewhat unconventional method. Once a component had been finished it was washed thoroughly with thinners then all seams, joins and gaps were sealed with polyurethane and primed with an etch primer. Everything that would be white was painted first, I like to paint things in order of light to dark colours. Once I nice consistent white base was achieved with a few coats I masked the front and rear chevrons and applied vinyl lettering stencils to the appropriate locations. Then all was sprayed the black, I removed the masking and viola... Clean crisp white lettering!
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:05 am

I outsourced the rolling and folding of sheet metal to make up the winch house cover or "shell". A lot of time went into trimming and fitting of the sides roof and back together. The intersection of the roof and back were especially difficult given the two different radii. Once I was happy with the fit it was all tack welded, then following a process to minimise distortion I stitch welded it all over with a process of 100mm weld followed by 100mm gap. Once cooled I went back and welded all the gaps to produce seamless part, then ground back and sanded all the welds. The opening roof section was cut out next as well as openings for the windows and doors.
Attachments
2017-01-25 20.13.41s.jpg
2017-01-25 20.13.56s.jpg
2017-01-28 17.32.38s.jpg
2017-01-28 17.34.57s.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:23 am

Finally all the grab irons, details and ladders came from Precision Steel Car, trucks from Tom Bee and couplers from Little Engines.

The auxiliary hook was an ebay special, the main hook was carved from 20x150x200mm 4140 plate. All cable is 3mm dyneema yacht rope, with a breaking strain of 350kg, twice the load rating of the same size steel cable. Windows are Polycarbonate, glued in from behind. Final weight is estimated at 1500lbs

Control is currently by a tethered hand controller but in the future will be wireless remote control.
Attachments
2017-01-10 15.31.27s.jpg
2017-03-12 12.59.16s.jpg
2017-03-12 12.59.45s.jpg
2017-03-12 12.59.31s.jpg
2017-03-12 12.52.08s.jpg
I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:40 am

Very nice Dan.

It must be the decade for wreckers within the hobby. I just dragged my crane out of storage (built in the 1980s) for reconditioning recently.

It's interesting that your project also relied upon multiple sources for construction. Gathering reference material for building a crane is
a project within a project for sure.

Thanks for sharing your work.

John

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DanSmo
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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by DanSmo » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:30 pm

Thanks John!

Finding information sure was a challenge, I was surprised at the lack of it and even good photos seemed few and far between.

If you have any pictures you could post I'd love to see yours. Did you follow a specific prototype? Where did you find your information?

Dan

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I just don't understand pronouncing solder as "sodder"... where did the L go?

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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by spro » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:56 pm

I should just say "astounding" or nothing. Bucyrus Erie is locked in my head. Back in Texas when I was a little kid there were awesome machines to build to what became the first "mall". We were children clambering on to these machines because they were so cool before cool. All heavy iron and chains and sprockets and cables. Cast on one main plate was Pat'd 1902 or close. These had the huge bucket wheels like a smaller version of those used to dig the Panama and major canals. I was in awe about heavy machinery ever since.
I will remove this if required but everytime I see an older crawler with Bucyrus Erie loader on it, I remember.

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Re: Bucyrus Erie 250T Derrick in 1.5"

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:21 am

That is one impressive-looking derrick and very well thought out. I recall seeing one of those things many years ago near North Platte, Nebraska, which is where the UP has a huge yard and shop. A real monster.

Great job!
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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