Archive for the ‘Amusement Park Rides’ Category

April 13, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Models, Willard, Craig

Craig Willard writes: “This model was adapted from an original design of Bill Bean and Larry Worley. As we are all from the ACGHS I feel I had to try to copy and modify slightly what these gentlemen had done. The spectacular dimensions are listed at over 3 feet in diameter and 10 inches wide.  It took me just about 3 years to acquire, strip prime and paint (3 to 5 coats) all the parts for this piece. It is quite large and it runs very smoothly thanks to two A-49 Erector motors linked to each side of the Ferris Wheel and driven directly. The joy was building it but watching it is just as satisfying. I’ve installed 8 gondolas and additional EX and EY girders as well as a digitized sound unit of the amusement park sounds which really complete the effect.”

Craig Willard's Ferris Wheel
March 18, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides

Dave Frieder, a professional photographer, was kind enough to send us pictures of the real parachute jump. Dave specializes in photographing New York City bridges. For more of his pictures go to Dave Frieder’s Web site.

Dave writes: Did you know when the Jump was FIRST installed at the World’s Fair it had only 4 guy wires for each Parachute? The Arms of the Jump at the end came to a triangle. Then when it was moved to a different area of the fairgrounds in 1940, additional steelwork was added to the Arms and the ends were given a “Round” configuration. Eight guy wires were then used per parachute to prevent them from swaying into each other on windy days. That configuration was kept when it was moved to Coney Island.

March 14, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Worley, Larry

Larry writes: Over the Christmas holidays we had some house guests who wanted to see the Ferris wheel work. It was broken at the time and that was a little embarrassing. Well, I set out to fix it. While I was at that, I decided to keep the two motors, but add another drive axle. That makes the whole thing turn better now.

Then I decided to add some lights. After a little experimentation, I figured out a way to do it. I used a plastic blank from inside my blank CDs and attached a metal ring. It installed easily and wasn’t hard to adjust. I made the contact arm from Fiber Strips attached to a piece of spring steel.

It burns all the bulbs via a 6 volt battery hidden under the control house. I simply move the contact arm off the metal wheel and it can sit until the next time I want to run the lights.

This isn’t much, I know, but I am proud of it. Mostly proud that it is finally fixed.

Larry writes: I finally finished my B Model Ferris Wheel. It ran a bit jerky at first, but after a few adjustments and a good oiling it now runs smooth. I designed my version after the beautiful example that Bill Bean had created. I saw it when we visited his collection during the Dayton convention last year. I just couldn’t get that thing out of my head, so I built mine along the design of his. I had the usual problem getting the outer EZ’s to form a true circle at first. Then I remembered Doc’s tip on this problem and that really helped. The wheel with the eight gondolas is massive and a little heavy. I had to use two A49s to drive it. Of course, no model is really complete until the MX House is added.

Just to make it interesting to the viewer I experimented with various gearing and transmissions until I settled on these.

· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

Dave Ware’s Carousel

Dave Ware writes: The horses for the carousel were made from a photograph of a real carousel horse. My wife traced them and colored them for me. Flashing lights were added to the base.

Dave Ware’s Hand Operated Airplane Ride

Turn the crank and duck!

Dave Ware’s Parachute Jump

Dave Ware writes: This is the model as revised by Gilbert in 1949. Use of the OI segment of 72 tooth gear allowed for a simpler mechanism. This innovation and the increase of the height to almost 6 feet made for a much improved model. The action was now completely automatic. Parachutes were homemade using silk cloth and swizzle sticks.

· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Ware, Dave

Dave Ware writes: This model was copied from a popular amusement park ride called The Scrambler.

The motor is mounted sideways under the base and is direct drive. Each arm is rubber band driven from a fixed pulley. Its rotation is the result of the rotation of the whole assembly. The assembly rides on top of the fixed pulleys on a TB/TC ball bearing system.

· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

There is an inner track on this Ferris wheel which has a small car on it. As the wheel turns the car rolls backward because gravity keeps it on the bottom of the track.

The baskets are mounted on the outside of the wheel to clear the inner track. The wheel is raised to allow for this.

The car has a gear on the axle which spins 2 weights on the end of short strings. They strike wheels mounted on the wheels to make the musical sounds. Prewar wheels make the best sound.

· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

Dave Ware writes: This is the standard carousel modified to have one horse behind the other.

Recently I was trying to impress one of my grandsons, who is into K’Nex, with the great things I could build with Erector sets. I showed him my carousel. He was not too impressed. In fact he had built one with his K’Nex and it had tandem horses. The only concession that he made was that Erector used screws and nuts so it held together better. So, I had to meet the challenge and modified my carousel to have tandem horses. This is how it was done.

The tandem horses are linked with the mechanism shown. AA Eccentric Cranks are used as before to connect to the drive rods. The 9 washers used as spacers could be replaced with a pair of locking screws.

To make room for the tandem horses, the original horses were moved in by replacing the 7 1/2” drive rods with 7” ones and replacing the guide rod brackets with CH Right Angles. The outer guide rods are held in place with N long double angles mounted to the EZ outer bottom ring with O Pawls and S57 1 3/8 screws. The horses are attached to the guide rods with O pawls as before.

The carousel actually runs smoother than the original due to the balancing effect of the double horses.

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