ACGHS member Randy Sauder at the recent June 2012 Train Collectors Association National Convention held in Atlanta. His "Tool Shop" creation with over 1000 continuous moving parts won "Best Model Builder" at the recent 2012 ACGHS National Convention in Minneapolis, Mn. (photo credit: Herbert Alfred Mayer)
This 1920's tool shop was built over a 2 1/2 year span (2009-2012) in about 900 man hours. There are roughly 1,000 continuous moving parts including thousands more parts. Most parts are from early 20th century wood box A. C. Gilbert erector sets. However, some are from like era Meccano, Marklin and other sets. The homemade oak shop frame is similar to the earlier shop that was fortunate to win Best Model at the 2011 national ACGHS Convention in Chicago. Both employ about 500 Popsicle sticks of various length glued on 1/4 plywood to make the first floor. However, that is where the similarity ends. This version is far more complex with some 30 different working tools and machinery. The tools are interrelated using a series of gears and pulley systems. All are powered by one modern Dayton gear motor located under the metal shear on the first level. Like on my first shop, regular erector motors in series could have been used. However, more space was required and dependability to run for several hours without overheating was a concern. There are over 100 period advertising signs in the shop. The wood portion of the water wheel at the end of the shop was made using Popsicle sticks. The drive bands are ladies hair bands and rubber o-ring material. The o-rings work best and (thanks to Dave Blood's tip in a recent ACGHS article on how to make them) all the drive bands will eventually be converted to that version. The shop and all tools are of original design. However, I'll be the first to admit that hundreds of hours over a 2-3 year period were spent on the Internet researching and looking at pictures of real tools and shops of that era to get ideas. This shop is dedicated to my grandkids and all those who love erector. Special thanks go to my Dad who in the 1950's gave me his boyhood erector set and thus set in motion my journey into the wonderful world of A. C. Gilbert. And to my mother's creativity that somehow spilled over in my direction. Also, special thanks go to all the great erector builders whose many projects can be found on this ACGHS website. Their mass of work helped inspire me to build. And hopefully, this will have the same effect on others. Lastly, thanks to the genius of A. C. Gilbert, Frank Horby (Meccano) and others who gave us the magnificent erector sets.
The shop in the early stages. On the lower left is a small circular milling machine that was eventually discarded and not used in the shop. Nor were the two stacks on the right that I was thinking of incorporating into a large steam engine.