1930-1940 City water tower #1

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  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
  • 233 posts
1930-1940 City water tower #1
Posted by chocho willy on Saturday, October 27, 2018 4:01 PM

base cut and bentactwalk finished with railingsstanchions being threadedstanchions with cotter pinsbase cut and bent

city water tower #1
   A lot of accessories you can buy for your G scale train but one you can't is a city water tower 1930-40 model. ornamental towerWell starting a new project when I've got three to finish doesn't make much sense but that's just me. Thought I would build a city water tower like the kind in the 30ths and 40ths, this would be my second one, the first was a wooden tank with copper roof that I placed on top of a aristo-craft electrical transmission tower it looked ok but really wasn't tall enough. I had a ornamental medal tower that was about 3' high that had the same basic shape as a water tower.  Figured that scaled out to about 75' a little short but not over powering. Stared by cutting the pointy top off and bending the upper post out to support the cat walk. Then tried to find suitable parts to build the tank and catwalk from found a 3" electrical PVC coupling that looked about right and the bottom to a magic bullet jar I though would look good once the ribs were ground off, a top that was a problem but I proceeded on. 1 coupling wasn't tall enough for the tank so was able to find some pipe that I could use to hook to couplings together, but as I tied hooking things together I found that the tank was to large for the space in the top of the tower and in order to make it fit I would have to cut another section out which would make it about 6" shorter. Drawing board was called upon and the decision was made to try something else for the tank #1 didn't want the tower any shorter #2 had already bent the tops which was a pain.
   I use quite a bit of plastruct stuff and remember seeing in there catalog a water tower kit but it was in N, HO and O scales only + the fact the O scale one was well over $100.00 but they sold PVC parts that would allow me to make my own tank. I selected 3.25" with 120 degree cone roof. I found 1/4" pvc board at home depot and was able to cut out a circle of 6' with a 3'1/4" hole in it for my catwalk. Placed scrubby lace type material on it and secured with glue, this gives it the look of skid resistant surface something like expanded steel, drilled and taped 4/40 holes around the perimeter for my stanchion that I made out of hollow brass tubing that I threaded on one end to the 4/40 thread and the other got 1/16" cotter pins soldered in to the tubing. After installing the pins, all 17 of them, I ran a 1/16" piece of brass rod threw the eyes of the cotter pins and soldered it in place. As I progress with the project I will up date on this thread, Billmodel
  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
  • 233 posts
Posted by chocho willy on Monday, October 29, 2018 10:59 AM

A lot of this was already done when I posted the other day was just waiting for paint and glues to dry.

city water tower #2
   Attention was then turned to the tank, secured the top to a 3" PVC pipe cap and made it a snug fit so the top could be removed to access the electronics for the solar panels and blinking red LED on the top. I ribbed the outside of it for seam lines and also the top in pie shaped pattern. When finished the tank will be glued to the cat walk and the catwalk will be secured to the tower by 2/56" SS machine screws. Not knowing whether I might need to access the bottom where the wiring for the 2 solar panel would enter and made removable also securing again with 2'56' SS machine screws. I spent quite a bit of time figuring how to make the red LED blink using pathway solar lite parts. Most inexpensive pathway solar lights are powered by a 1.2vdc battery that is charged by 1, 1.5 volt solar panel and that is boosted by a joule thief or in my case a converter, which looks like and is marked the same as a resistor. The self blinking LED I had selected uses a IC to make it blink, I selected this over the other option which required a circuit board and some components, KISS. Only problem was the converter inferred with the IC causing it not to blink. Back to the drawing board, I removed the converter and soldered a piece of small wire in its place, now had a 1.2vdc circuit that was to power a 2.5vdc LED so in added a second solar panel in series with the first giving a charge of about 2.8vdc and removed the single battery holder replacing it with 2AAA rechargeable batteries. Would like to thank the folks at lighthouse-led's on eBay for their very valuable assistance in helping figure out this problem.
   Remaining is finish the wiring, securing the tank to the catwalk and catwalk to the tower, + painting of the tower which I will update in stages. 

worker on catwalkadding seamsprimedpainting completed

Tags: phase #2
  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
  • 233 posts
Posted by chocho willy on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 3:37 PM

City Water Tower # 3close up of tower and ladderlong shot

   Work is finally progressing on my 30/40ths city water tower. After a set back in the circuit for the flashing red LED at the top and finding that the theory was correct but the cheap components used in the pathway lights was not. It turned out that by removing the converter (voltage booster) in order so the IC in the LED would flash, I had lowered the necessary voltage below it's voltage threshold and in order to compensate I had added a extra 1.2vdc battery and solar panel.. But this extra voltage could not be handled by the chip imbedded on the small circuit board. So for about $5.00 was able to purchase parts to make my own which I hope will work. Could have been finished 4 weeks ago had I not insisted on making the pathway light circuit work. Oh well learn something new everyday and that's what make getting up in the morning, fun.
   Spent quite a while designing and building the ladder for the tower using 1/16" brass rod all soldered together 1 step at a time. Little difficult as I/m currently taking a med for a lung infection and it makes me shake more that normal, but after I got the rhythm right it wasn't too bad. Bounce 3 time, solder bounce 4 time solder, etc. Left to do is the new circuit board, LED light, wiring, adding the bowl to the bottom of the tank and fixing the tank to the tower. Piece of cake. Think I will also add a radio antenna to the top, like they use to do to sky scrappers so the could have the tallest building in town, currently the stricter is just over 28" and is a little sorter than I wanted but was necessary to cut shorter to compensate for the tank diameter. I will post again when complete or a unforeseen problem arises, Bill
  • Member since
    February, 2013
  • 425 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:39 PM
This is coming along beautifully!

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