Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Condensed version of my Walthers' turntable kit build

2688 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,700 posts
Condensed version of my Walthers' turntable kit build
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 12, 2017 2:25 AM

This is a condensed version of my thread on building a workable Walthers 90' turntable kit. Here is the link to the original thread:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/258912.aspx

 

Apologies to anyone who is offended by my repeating myself, but the original thread has gone to four pages so for anyone who simply wants to see how I improved on the kit, here it is. These recommendations are in addition to the supplied instructions.

The Walthers 90' turntable kit has not received many positive reviews. In fact, I don't think that anyone who has built the kit according to the instructions has been totally satisfied. Here is what I did to turn the kit into a smooth running model:

The first thing to check is the pit to see if it is round and flat. According to several people the pit is often warped right out of the box. Fortunately mine was not.

The next step is to clean up the large drive gear. Out of the box it has a lot of flash which needs to be carefully removed. I suggest using a magnifier so that you can study the teeth very closely. Any remaining flash will cause the turntable to operate roughly. In addition to cleaning the gear teeth, I also cut a slot in the bottom of the motor housing so I could actually see the gears meshing. The slot proved to be invaluable as I will explain in a bit:

Next I did a test fit of the bridge and the motor housing without the large gear or any other parts installed. The motor housing holds the bottom pivot point for the bridge. I found that the bridge did not sit level in the pit, but there was no allowance for adjusting the motor housing to get the bottom bushing in the proper place. To solve that I drilled out the screw holes in the motor housing so the housing could be moved a bit from side to side:

I had to add washers to cover the larger hole, and that required longer screws to attach the motor housing. A word of caution: the screw sockets on the bottom of the pit are VERY delicate. You will destroy them if you use too large a screw or too long a screw. I managed to break two of the four looseDunce. I tried to epoxy them back into place but they still didn't hold. I then CA'd the epoxy coated sockets to the bottom of the pit and that seemed to hold well. I then deliberately removed the other two screw sockets, reinforced them with epoxy, and once the epoxy had set I glued them in place with CA. Maybe someone can come up with a cleaner solution.

To be continued.... (so the post doesn't time out)

Dave 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,700 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 12, 2017 3:38 AM

Ok, next steps:

I was a little skeptical about the upper bridge bearings given that they were plastic on plastic. I decided to add a piece of brass tube to the top bearing surface on the bridge:

Whether or not this will make any difference in the long run only time will tell.

The next step was to get rid of the horribly poorly molded bogie wheels. In reality the bridge bogie wheels support the ends of the bridge both when it is rotating and when the locomotives are running on and off the bridge. Walthers should be ashamed of what they put in the kit! Enough said. It so happened that I had a leftover set of brass wheels and axles from a Grandt Line box cab kit, but NWSL should be able to supply something similar:

I cut the axles long enough so that they projected from both sides of the wheels that I was going to use (the ones without the gears moulded on). The axles can be pushed through the wheel hubs to create longer stubs if need be.

The next step was to modify the bogie side frames. The original axle sockets were too close to the bridge frame to allow the new wheels to fit so I drilled new axle holes a bit further to towards the ends and a bit higher than the original axle level. Where you drill your holes will depend on the diameter of the wheels you use. I determined the drill points by comparing the diameter of the new wheels to the original and displaced the drill point by an appropriate amount:

The bogies and the mounting position on the bridge for them required a bit of filing to get the bridge seated at the correct height relative to the edge of the pit. I also added some styrene to create new wheel bearing mounting points and to extend the bogie side frames so that the ends of the frames would fit outside of the wheel:

I tested the operation and I found a couple of problems. One is that it is rather difficult to get the actual motor into the right position in the motor housing. There are mounting pins on the motor housing that fit into holes on the motor itself, but the pins are very short and it is easy to miss getting the motor onto them. If the motor doesn't sit properly on the pins the gears will likely not engage properly. I also found that the bridge rotation was rough in some spots. The slot I had cut in the bottom of the motor housing allowed me to study the meshing of the gears so I could see exactly when there was a bump. Upon closer examination I was able to find tiny bits of debris in the large gear's teeth as well as some flashing that I had missed before. Once that was out of the way the turntable operated very smoothly:

It isn't exactly quiet but the camera exaggerates the noise quite a bit. Once the turntable is installed I anticipate that it will be much quieter.

The remaining steps were largely cosmetic. I painted the pit with something with a more gray tone. The original pit colour looks too much like fresh concrete. I added seams and cracks to the concrete with a #11 X-acto blade:

Then I did some extensive weathering. Being new to using weathering powders I way overdid the first few applications and had to wash most of it off, several times in fact! I also added oil and water stains and a few clumps of vegitation. The dark stripes on the floor of the pit represent oil and grease drippings from newly arrived locomotives. The stains will be aligned with the incoming track:

Next I built a gallows using Central Valley box girder beams and part of a box car walkway from Plano:

I modelled a drive system using a brake cylinder and some gears I had in the spare parts box. I also stole some axle bearings from some arch bar trucks:

 

I also added a scratch built operator's shack and lighting:

Please feel free to comment, add suggestions, or ask questions.

Thanks for looking.

Dave

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
  • 7,498 posts
Posted by zstripe on Sunday, February 12, 2017 5:59 AM

Dave,

I havn't commented on Your other thread...but I must say....You did a fantastic job on the pre-fab of the parts You used.......You're a Man after My own heart. Having some mechanical knowledge is a plus, along with patience. I have always believed, '' What the mind of Man can conceive and believe, He can achieve". You never know what You can do...until You try! Yes Yes Yes

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 5,380 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, February 12, 2017 8:57 AM

Excellent work Dave!  I wish I had room for a TT.  Maybe the next layout. I have been following on the first thread, your work is great.

Mike.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,700 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 12, 2017 6:55 PM

Thanks Frank and Mike.

I thought I would condense the other thread because trying to read through it to see the important details would be time consuming and boring.

Dave

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 5,203 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, February 12, 2017 9:09 PM

I think this was an excellent idea.  Multipage posts are hard to follow.  This cuts right to the chase.  Good job.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 8,162 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 9:49 AM

hon30critter
Apologies to anyone who is offended by my repeating myself,

Apologize for sharing knowledge in a concise and understandable format?

Nonsense! You are bringing a wealth of information to the table, Dave. Turntables are fussy beasts and anyone who can gain knowledge and overcome these hurdles that you are showing how to overcome will benefit greatly from your well done "tutorial".

Nice work—and thanks for taking the time to help others with these well documented "cures".

Regards, Ed

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • 1,192 posts
Posted by trainnut1250 on Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 PM

Dave,

 

It turned out great. Nice work. Good idea to consolidate. You might want to link back to the old thread from this one so that people can get all the little details if they want them....

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,700 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 16, 2017 1:23 PM

trainnut1250
You might want to link back to the old thread from this one so that people can get all the little details if they want them....

Duh! I'm a Dunce. Good idea!! I'll put it in the first post too.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/258912.aspx

Thanks for catching that.

Dave

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!