It's a hole. It's a hatch. It's hinged. It's an MRS 34-inch turntable!

After careful consideration, I realized that the initial location I had selected for the ‘afterthought’ 34-inch Millhouse River Studio turntable would have required a lot of framing (2x4’s) to be cut, and reinforcements added. Consequently, I changed the location and ended up needing to cut only three 2x4’s,and add two short pieces and one leg – not a big deal.

One thing I wanted to do was to install the TT such that it could double as a maintenance hatch without having to remove the TT completely. A hinged TT would be very desirable, so that is what I set to do.

Here are some details of how I did it. BTW, I have not decided yet whether to fit a roundhouse with the new TT location, but if not, straight engine sheds will work fine.

This is how the area looked before I had even considered the TT.


A portion of the 5/8-inch plywood top and some of the frame 2x4’s cut. I marked the hole with one of the ‘compasses’ I had used to lay HO track some 25 years ago.


After adding the necessary support underneath for the additional 5/8-inch plywood to fill in part of the rectangular access hole cut to match the TT, I set the TT to double-check for fit, from the top.


Support dolly to help stage the TT in place under the layout. Dolly is a horse over a furniture dolly. This really makes it easy to handle the TT by myself.


TT held up against the bottom of the layout. The TT rests directly on the sawhorse to clear the layout frame, and then I used spacers to raise it.


Door hinge installed on wood spacer that will be screwed to 2x4 layout frame member, and the other side with machine screws threaded on the TT aluminum channel. I tapped (#10-32) the channel and also used nuts to backup.


Six blind 1/4-20 T-nuts inserted from the top, and also two FH 1/4-20 machine screws. The blind nuts are for the thumb screws, and the machine screws for the wing nuts. The two D-batteries you see is what I used to power the TT while I was installing it to get an idea of the alignment of the tracks, shed, etc.


I had to trim two of the TT mounting tabs to clear the 2x4 frame. Here is one example.


One of the two chains to support the TT when lowered. Notice the thumb screw is just inserted and I have not tightened it yet so you can see how it looks. Why nylon 1/4-20 thumbscrews? Because I already had them! They will do fine to support the TT together with the two metal wing nuts/machine screws and the hinge.


One of the two wing nuts already installed and tightened.


Here is the TT lowered.




Close up of the hinge when TT is lowered.


A place to keep the thumbscrews and wing nuts when these are not securing the TT.


QuietBrace cut and in place, some of the tracks, and an engine shed. I still have to fill in the rectangular access hole, but I have not decided yet what to do there. Probably, the approach track to the TT will go over this now-open area, and the shed or roundhouse will extend to the right (in the picture).




And now to continue with the work. Fun, fun fun!

Thanks for looking!

Alex

See the layout under construction here Alex's Layout

Happy O-Gauge Railroading!

  Alexander Müller

 

See My Mostly Completed Layout Here

OGR Articles: Runs 256, 263, 267, 292

OGR  forum member since 26 January 2008

Original Post
Alex,

Thanks for sharing your pics with us. My favorite threads are the construction or how-to threads! Smile

That's also one sweet looking layout you have coming together!

Jim

Historic Frederick County, Maryland.  Modeling both the Reading and B&O Railroads.

 

Alastar 'Bear' 3/8/06 - 8/24/15, one heckuva great dog!

Alex...just in for lunch and saw this post. WOW!!!..when you were here this weekend and explaining to us what you did with the turntable, I didn't visualize the whole thing in my head. You really did a great job and did something that I know I would not even attempt!! What a great idea! Thanks for the pictures! The layout is looking fantastic!

Thanks,
Alan
Alex, thanks for the pictures. When you visited my layout and explained how you did it, I could not imagine your process. But your pictures and workmanship are excellent. Thanks for the visit this past weekend and we are looking forward to coming up your way soon. Hope you all have a great week.
Here is a sketch I meant to post earlier but forgot. It may make things still clearer. The amount of spacing required between the TT end bracket to which the hinge is attached, and the supporting frame member will vary with each layout.

Note: I tapped the end bracket and used the #10-32 nuts.



Just a minor detail . . .

Thanks for the comments. Sharing is fun!


Alex

Happy O-Gauge Railroading!

  Alexander Müller

 

See My Mostly Completed Layout Here

OGR Articles: Runs 256, 263, 267, 292

OGR  forum member since 26 January 2008

ALEX I MUST SAY JUST AWESOME,
PLEASE KEEP PHOTOS COMING TO LET
US SEE THE PROGRESS.

THANKS AGAIN ALEX Smile

ALSO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT SIZE IS THE LAYOUT ROOM. Thanks

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Bill,
That is a great idea. It would require a bit more work than the manual-approach I did for expediency’s sake, but I will consider powering it after I get further along with my layout.

Wing nuts & Thumbscrews?
One thing I forgot to mention was the reason for using wing nuts versus thumbscrews, whether nylon or steel.

I thought about using wing nuts at all eight mounting tabs, but the arc trajectory (about the hinge) of the TT when it begins to be lowered would cause the closer-to-the-fulcrum mounting tabs tabs to bind on the screws that would be needed for wing nuts. I did not want to slot the mounting holes for the required clearance, so I decided to use just two wing nuts, at the farthest two mounting tabs, which have an almost perpendicular trajectory at the start, and use thumbscrews for the other six. But all thumbscrews would have worked also.

Thanks again for the nice comments.

Alex

Happy O-Gauge Railroading!

  Alexander Müller

 

See My Mostly Completed Layout Here

OGR Articles: Runs 256, 263, 267, 292

OGR  forum member since 26 January 2008

quote:
Originally posted by DMASSO:
Excellent Alex. Looking really good. I really wanted Al's turntable but things are just too tight. I made my own, see the scenery forum. But it is manual and not very precise. I think I aggravated my hernia moving it so many times.

Keep us posted.


Don,

Al sells the Bowser upgrade kit as well. I've got one of the upgrade kits for my scratchbuilt turntable and am very pleased with it. Smile

Jim

Historic Frederick County, Maryland.  Modeling both the Reading and B&O Railroads.

 

Alastar 'Bear' 3/8/06 - 8/24/15, one heckuva great dog!

Good Thread Thanks Well done by all involved. I appreciate all the time that goes into a post and thread of this detail
This tab design and mounting would work well for adjusting the whole TT up and down to establish final rail height. The TT bridge rail has to line up exactly with all stub rails both ends.
Thanks again
Mike.
Alex,

When, in the future you have to lower the turntable, will you have to remove the bridge and arch?

Are there provisions to do that now or will you have to adapt to make that happen?

I can see that if the bridge and arch were left in place that they may be in the way when you access that area and you might rub against and damage them.

Steve
Mike, you are correct – the TT is relatively easy to adjust for correct height. I set it just a bit high so if any final adjustment were required, I could just raise the peripheral tracks accordingly.

Steve,
I would remove the bridge; it comes off straight up easily, and there is a quick-connect for the track wire. I believe the bridge would stay on OK, but I could easily damage it, as you noted. As it turned out (just figured it out last night), I have room for a small access hatch adjacent to the TT. I will pop up through there to remove the bridge. Wink

Mike,
Well, this was the sixth basement I finished, and will be the last as far as I know. A whole house? Hmmm . . . I did build the layout frame about the same as I did the basement walls; just slightly different spacings Smile

And thanks again for the comments!

Alex

Happy O-Gauge Railroading!

  Alexander Müller

 

See My Mostly Completed Layout Here

OGR Articles: Runs 256, 263, 267, 292

OGR  forum member since 26 January 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Steam Guy:
Alex,

When, in the future you have to lower the turntable, will you have to remove the bridge and arch?

Are there provisions to do that now or will you have to adapt to make that happen?

I can see that if the bridge and arch were left in place that they may be in the way when you access that area and you might rub against and damage them.

Steve


Steve,

The turntable is designed to remove the bridge by simply disconnecting one wire from the bridge and then bridge lifts out of the turntable. You can see that wire here in Alex's photo:

CSX AL 

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Steam Guy:
Thanks CSX Al,

That is what I needed to know. I wasn't sure from the electrical point of view. 1 wire appears to be very easy.

Have you offered the PRR arch equipped turntables yet?

Steve


Steve,

Yes I am shipping PRR arch equipped turntables.

CSX AL 

 

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