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thinking about buying a turntable for my layout which I use mostly big boy engines cab forward challengers  and eventually Nigeria Lionel the new one when they are finally released. don't want any issues when I starting using a turntable and would like one that works perfectly and approximately how much do they cost!  ? thanks for any answers and support!

Alan

Last edited by Alan Mancus
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I have the Millhouse River 34 inch and you will not finder a better product. It’s all welded aluminum frame with metal bridges make it practically bullet proof and the indexer is fantastic. The only thing better than the turntable is Al’s customer support. He’s been always willing to help me out on with any question or problems I’ve had

Matt Makens posted:

I have the Millhouse River 34 inch and you will not finder a better product. It’s all welded aluminum frame with metal bridges make it practically bullet proof and the indexer is fantastic. The only thing better than the turntable is Al’s customer support. He’s been always willing to help me out on with any question or problems I’ve had

I also have the Millhouse River 34”   AND  agree with everything that Matt stated.

Al is fantastic to deal with!!

Last edited by W&W

Just curious, as I built my own 33" (I'll ever do that again!), but I have considered replacing it with one of the manufactured ones, and I notice above that the Millhouse seems to be the crowd favorite, so I am wondering if any of you have any specific objections to or problems with the Ross version. Ross offers quality products, as many or most of us know, and I'm curious about the apparent large preference for Millhouse.

Both appear to be well-made, and I'm not looking to slam anyone, of course. Neither is inexpensive.

D500 posted:

Just curious, as I built my own 33" (I'll ever do that again!), but I have considered replacing it with one of the manufactured ones, and I notice above that the Millhouse seems to be the crowd favorite, so I am wondering if any of you have any specific objections to or problems with the Ross version. Ross offers quality products, as many or most of us know, and I'm curious about the apparent large preference for Millhouse.

Both appear to be well-made, and I'm not looking to slam anyone, of course. Neither is inexpensive.

Ditto.

Here’s my 2 cents as to why, all aluminum construction, weathering option, more detailed bridge as well as diferent bridge options.  The construction is such that you only need to make a round hole, and use the adjustable tabs for mounting.  This is a more compact option than the Ross.

the Ross wood construction is bigger, deeper that the Millhouse.  Ross makes many nice things, and at one point it was a top option, but since millhouse came out, I believe it surpassed the Ross.

Millhouse, hands down. The folks at Ross and Millhouse are both great to work with. I have a 34" Millhouse. The programmable indexing system is awesome and the turntable is far more robust built. It's built like a Sherman tank compared to the rest. It's the single most expensive item on my layout and you get what you pay for.

D500 posted:

Just curious, as I built my own 33" (I'll ever do that again!), but I have considered replacing it with one of the manufactured ones, and I notice above that the Millhouse seems to be the crowd favorite, so I am wondering if any of you have any specific objections to or problems with the Ross version. Ross offers quality products, as many or most of us know, and I'm curious about the apparent large preference for Millhouse.

Both appear to be well-made, and I'm not looking to slam anyone, of course. Neither is inexpensive.

I built my own too; 36" so I could fit the whole scale Allegheny and tender on it. I know it is not as good as Millhouse or Ross, but mine cost me under $100!!!

I used an antenna rotator for the motor and a lazy Susan bearing for stability. I made my own railings and used balsa wood for the skirts and pit walls. The control house is Plastruct. It worked out very well with some tinkering and careful measurement. I do not have an indexer, which makes operating it a little more challenging, but still fun. I could use a brake to lock the motor once positioned. The motor tends to retain some energy after power is cut, and it moves a bit too long. I haven't figured that part out yet but haven't tried too hard.

Enjoy your purchase! The Millhouse unit sounds great.

George

I too was in deep thought for a VERY long time about turntables. My wife did NOT like the price of the 33" Millhouse and tried very hard to convince me at every show or visit to a layout that Millhouse was over kill. WRONG! I finally bit the bullet and went with Millhouse and can not even imagine why I was looking elsewhere. Even she agrees after seeing it and helping me install it. I went full blown and got weathering and all the options. Al's support is worth the money alone. What a fantastic guy. He will do everything to make sure you have no problems. I ask him so many DUMB questions that I felt like Dopey from Disney Dwarfs. This turntable is absolutely the best manufactured piece of art work that works exactly like it is suppose to with NO PROBLEMS! I use atlas track and as my table was already built I had a problem with the plywood being 3/8 and a 1" foam on top. After many discussions with Al I purchased and installed with no problems. The answer was installing (simply cutting a hole from the traced line around the upside down turntable), installing and then framing a square around  the turntable for support of the plywood so it would not sag. I can only say It works, It's easy to install, it;s built to a very rugged standard, and man is it FUN!

 

I also have the MH River TT. I added the Indexer later on. I have been very happy with it and like others said above Al's customer service was great as I did have some installation questions. I believe that Ross also makes a great product. I picked the MH River TT because I liked the aluminum construction and Al offers the option of 2 rail track.

Since I didn't have one and wanted to be cool, LOL, I just got off the phone with Al and ordered me a 34" Turn Table.  Seriously I have been telling Al for years I'd be buying one and I finally can put the funds in place as well as some space to procure IMO the best turntable there is.  After spending last York in his booth demoing LCS operations it was a no brainer.

George S -

"I built my own too; 36" so I could fit the whole scale Allegheny and tender on it. I know it is not as good as Millhouse or Ross, but mine cost me under $100!!!

I used an antenna rotator for the motor and a lazy Susan bearing for stability. I made my own railings and used balsa wood for the skirts and pit walls. The control house is Plastruct. It worked out very well with some tinkering and careful measurement. I do not have an indexer, which makes operating it a little more challenging, but still fun. I could use a brake to lock the motor once positioned. The motor tends to retain some energy after power is cut, and it moves a bit too long. I haven't figured that part out yet but haven't tried too hard."

Yeah - I used a "turntable motor" (as in store window display) from one of the electronics remainders sellers; $35. Basswood; pine; plastic 50-cent Atlas HO bridge girders (I was going for a semi-ATSF/SP-look for some reason); styrene; dirt. The support track is Lionel outside 027 rails removed from the ties and spiked (small nails) down. Probably $100 spent.

It's 31" long as I recall - it has to handle the wheelbase of my Lionel AC-9 2-8-8-4.

Note the "natural weathering" on some of my equipment.

$100 and blood, sweat, profanity, regret and, believe me, I'll never do it again. It works; the indexing software/hardware is between my ears and through my eyes. The degree of precision required to build one of these surprised me; more even than I expected - which is why the expensive store-bought ones look like a bargain from the other side.

Maybe I'll just attempt to fine-tune it;  it's crude, but its mine.

DSCN3126a

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Last edited by D500

A material list for a turntable I built several years ago.

Turntable project slideshow.  Have fun with your project.  Click on the underlined phrase to link.

Parts list.

Parts List from Diamond Scale.  Diamond Scale is under new ownership since I bought my parts in May 2007.
MK-111 turntable drive kit (1)
DT-09  turntable dolly trucks, (1) pair (not available) Dolly trucks were fabricated.
CB-30  turntable control cab (1) may not be required if using the Bowser 7902 bridge detail kit. 
Bowser turntable parts and detail kits are no longer available.
AK-104 Turntable Arch Kit Angled  (1) (not available).
WG-9   Worm and Drive Gear (Boston Gear 1049G) 7/16" bore. (1)required.
WS-87  3/16" X 6" Worm gear shaft (1)required.
B-187  3/16" ID Bronze Bushings (2) required.
SC-187 3/16" ID Shaft Collar (2) required.
B-437  7/16" ID Bronze Bushings (2) required
SC-437 7/16" ID Shaft Collar (2) required.
US-1   3/16" X 1/8" universal drive.  (1)
 
Bowser Trains
#7902  O Gauge Bridge detail kit.
#79417 handrail post.  An Additional (20) were required. 
Bowser Turntables and detail part kits are no longer available.
 
Kaplar Lumber.
KP1186-OP24 Scale 10" X 12" .208" X .250" match up to Atlas railroad ties.
KP1126-OP24 Scale 2" X 10" .042" X .208"  addition deck material
 
Plastruct.
#90423 ABS Ladder
 
Evergreen Scale Models.
#146 .040" x .125" Styrene Strips.
#9077 .015" Clear Styrene sheet
#9040 .040" White Styrene sheet
 
K&S Engineering.
#91066   1/8" brass angle X .022" X 36"
#92098   3/16" brass bar X 12"
 
Crow River Products.
#O-56 Scale Electric Winch Kit. (2) required
 
Atlas.
#6056 40" flex track curved pit rail.
#6058 40" rigid track Bridge rails
#6094 Track Screws.
 
MSC Industrial Supply/ J&L Industrial Supply.
#607Z Bearing  7 X 19 X 6 mm bearing. (4) required.
 
Micro Fasteners.
RMB0212 2-56 X 3/4" brass round head screws.
 
Krylon paint.
#2323  River Rock spray paint
#1602 Ultra Flat Black spray paint
 
MinWax stain.
#224 Special Walnut. deck stain
 
Sherwin Williams primer/sealer.
#141-1699 Preprite ProBlock Alkyd Primer/Sealer in spray cans.
 
Floquil/Polyscale acrylic paint.
#F414137 Grimy Black
#F414329 Railroad Tie Brown
#F404076 Coach Green
 
Aluminum Ring and bridge sides were fabricated at a local fab shop 1/4" Aluminum sheet.
7/16" drive shaft and "T" bar were fabricated locally.
4' X 8' MDO board local lumber supply.
Premium grade frame lumber  local lumber supply.
Miscellaneous hardware and framing screws local supply/hardware.
Construction adhesive local supply.
Wire and connectors, from my truck.  
 

Yes, the Millhouse Turntable and Transfer tables are simply the best of the best and will be the real focal points and Crowd pleasers of your layouts.  Trust me, be sure you place Your new Turntable in an area for your train friends to gather around. The indexing Control is amazing, accurate and fun to use. You can pull your Big Boy onto this table and be assured of no wobble, no hesitation, just slow motion Fun.....Go for it, you’ll be glad you did....Happy Railroading....

 

leapinlarry posted:

Yes, the Millhouse Turntable and Transfer tables are simply the best of the best and will be the real focal points and Crowd pleasers of your layouts.  Trust me, be sure you place Your new Turntable in an area for your train friends to gather around. The indexing Control is amazing, accurate and fun to use. You can pull your Big Boy onto this table and be assured of no wobble, no hesitation, just slow motion Fun.....Go for it, you’ll be glad you did....Happy Railroading....

 

Looks like you can buy the indexer separately. So, you could buy the table for about $1650, then add the indexer later if you are on a budget.

I wonder if I could get the indexer to work with my turntable? Does anyone have a schematic for it?

George

Dave Zucal posted:

Not to sidetrack this post, but is it advised to build a round house with stall depths that match the diameter of the turntable?

Absolutely! No point in have a 34" long turntable bridge, capable of holding/turning articulated steam locomotives, with a roundhouse having only 24" deep stalls. Then on the other side of the coin, no sense in having a roundhouse with 36", or deeper stalls capable of holding large articulated locomotives, with a turntable of only, say 24".

"So, my engine shed (not a roundhouse) is not long enough for enough for my Allegheny, but my turntable is. However, I open the rear doors on my engine shed and the tender sticks out a little. This is an acceptable compromise.

George"

A compromise, but a prototypical practice from time to time, in certain situations. Compromise is the soul of progress - you still have a turntable.

Dr. Jack posted:

Have a Ross, since they came out, no problems whatever.  Easy to install, no having to cut out a circle in order to install on the layout. 

Jack

Hi Jack.  Having no experience with a turntable, I got quite an education regarding TT's in this thread.  I thought you would have to make a recess hole in your layout floor/base to accommodate the mechanism of the TT so that you could mount the TT flush to align its track with yours.  You indicated 'no having to cut out a circle to install on the layout'.  Maybe you could explain how you did that?  

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