Another turntable ???

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Joe Valva, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Joe Valva

    Joe Valva New Member

    :wave: Dose anyone have any plans for scratch building a turntable?
  2. Joepomp

    Joepomp Member

    No But!

    No, But I did get some takeout food once and I am still holdinf to the lid. The lid lookd like it would make a greate pit for a turn table.:D
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Joe:wave:

    As I go thru and catalog my magazines I'll keep an eye out for you. The two simplest I've seen are one that uses a 1/4" stereo headphone jack and socket for the manual turn mechanism and wiring. The other used one of those lazy susans found in a kitchen cabinet. The bottom moved with the table itself but it was pretty clever none the less.:thumb:
  4. Skammer

    Skammer Member

    I have a Walthers 90' turntable that's never worked as well as I would hope - the mail problem is that power is supplied to the tracks via a set of brass wipers, which seem to conduct only about 50% of the time. I've been thinking about replacing the stem of the turntable with a 1/4" headphone jack (I think mono would work; wouldn't need to be stereo) which would allow it to spin and maintain electrical contact better. I haven't gotten to it yet, but I might tackle it when my passenger station is done.

    Sorry, that's more of a kitbash than a scratchbuild, but there you go. I'll be following this thread for ideas though.
  5. Don

    Don New Member

    If you can find them, the 9 thru 11 1957 issues of MR had 3 pt. article by Gordy Odegard on bldg a "modern" 3 pt. TT. Even if you don't build it, there are a lot of good ideas in the article.
  6. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I replaced the wipers on my turntable with wires soldered to the rails. Something told me to scrap the wipers.
  7. Skammer

    Skammer Member

    How do you keep the wires from getting twisted as the table rotates?
  8. HOseeker

    HOseeker New Member


    There is an article about building a turntable in the April 1949 issue of Model Railroader.

  9. kenabody

    kenabody New Member

    I built my turntable out of the old, cheap HO scale Heljan kit. The trick to a smooth operating turntable is to apply motive power to one (of two sets) of the bridge "trucks". This can be accomplished by using NWSL double idler gearbox, universals, shafting and a small (Sagami) motor. Of course, added weight is necessary at either end of the bridge. It is helpful to "strike" the driving wheels with a fine file for greater adhesion. As far as electrical pickups are concerned, fabricate the rotating piece from styrene tubing with brass slip rings. My wipers are spring loaded carbon brushes from old motors (4 total). It was necessary to reinforce the underside of the turntable pit with 1/8 aluminum. This turntable has been in service for about 10 years. Took some time, but this is the hobby aspect I enjoy most.
  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Just got one of those kits recently and found the floor bowed upwards. My trick was a ring of 3/4' MDO plywood to flatten it out and give it some beef. Good to see there's other folks out there that'll do a little out of the box tweeking:thumb:
  11. Skammer

    Skammer Member

    The Model Railroad Craftsman magazine that arrived in my mailbox today (April issue, I guess) has a nice article about scratchbuilding a turntable. I haven't read it yet, but it looks like it would be worth reading carefully.
  12. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    Was the article any good? Is there anything you could put on here that wouldn't infringe any copyright laws?
    We don't get that mag in the UK :cry: (Or if we do, I've never seen it).

    Im going to be making a very small turn table for the Yo-Yo.
  13. JAyers

    JAyers Member

    You may want to check out Ray M's excellent tutorial on his HO scratchbuilt turntable. Very detailed and precise. Just the sort of thing you expect from Ray.

  14. Skammer

    Skammer Member

    Okay, I mistyped the name of the magazine - it's Railroad Model Craftsman. The article is by Trevor Marshall and called "Scratchbuilding a Quarry Turntable." He built it in On24 scale, but you could easily adapt his methods for HO. You would also want to make the bridge longer; his is only 38 scale feet in O, which is still only 76' in HO.

    Basically he made the bridge by soldering together a brass frame (to prevent warping and sagging) and then covered it with a wood deck/sides. The turning mechanism is built around a 1/4" mono phone plug mounted in a stryrene frame. The plug is used both to allow the table to rotate and to feed power to the track on the bridge.

    The the motor turns a nylon gear that is held against a larger gear mounted on the stem of the turntable. The gears are held against each other by a spring, which allows slippage to prevent binding. The turntable is not indexed (the author only has one lead track anyway, and the motor turns slowly enough that indexing is not needed).

    You can probably order a copy of the April issue directly from the publisher:
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I scratch built my turntable, but it's an Armstrong model (no motor). I didn't use any plans, it consists of some Atlas bridge girders mounted to a block of wood. I originally mounted an old electric hand mixer under the layout and had planned to turn the motor with a hand crank extending through the layout fascia. The bridge is mounted on one of the beater shafts. Because it's very close to the edge of the layout, I eliminated the mechanism and opted for "big finger" operation. Power for one bridge rail is provided by wipers under the layout contacting the beater shaft, the other is powered through the pit ring rail via wipers on the table wheels. Indexing is by eye.
    I'm not sure if the speed of a prototype turntable can be regulated, but I have seen one operate so quickly that the diesel that was being turned actually rocked when the table stopped. It looked very unprototypical.
    A very good, but pricey, rtr turntable is offered by Fleischmann, complete with indexing. For kits, Diamond Scale, also expensive, will build into a nice model if you don't mind correcting some minor design problems. Their indexing system is also pretty good, with the bonus that you can set it up at whatever intervals you require.


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