Archive for the ‘Amusement Park Rides’ Category

March 14, 2014 · 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.

  • Watch a video of Dave Ware’s Tandem Horse Carousel
· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

First I had to make some parachutes. I followed most of Bruce Hansen’s instructions, although I used “Sandwich Picks” for the sticks and glued with Elmers. Rubber washers (faucet gasket type) were used instead of pop rivets. I also made the chutes larger (8”) for a slower descent.

As for the parachute jump, I used 4 parachutes and two drive shafts, one geared from the other at a right angle. Each drive shaft powers a continuous loop of cord which takes care of 2 chutes. Thin strings tied around the cord at intervals serve as pick-ups for the chutes. When the chute reaches the top the string pulls through the rubber washer releasing the chute which glides down the cord. Using a trick that I learned from Larry Worley, I used a length of wire to catch the chute at the bottom so it wouldn’t lay on the landing pad and tangle up with the pulley. After tying the ends of the cord together, I put a drop of Elmers on the knot. After it dried, I cut the ends off. This lump also served as a pickup. The cord rides over the various pulleys fairly smoothly and rarely jumps off a pulley.

The loop of cord was strung as follows: From the landing pad pulley of one chute to the top, over a sheave pulley to the center, over a pulley and down the center to the bottom. Around the drive pulley to the OTHER side, around the other landing pad pulley and back up to the top, over the other sheave pulley to the other center pulley, down to the bottom again, around a free pulley on the same shaft of the drive pulley (free pulley is going the opposite direction as the drive pulley) and back to the first side landing pad.

The 2 chutes above are opposite each other, not like Gilbert’s original design. The other 2 chutes are at right angles to the first two and are driven from the second drive shaft which is at right angles to the first with another loop of cord like the first.

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

This is my double size Ferris wheel. The wheel stands almost 4 feet high. Each side of the wheel is made with alternating E Curved and B straight girders; 13 each. The spokes are 2 lengths of C girders tied to a BN turret plate. Eleven EZ Big Channel Girders form a circle which is attached to the outer spokes to provide extra stiffness to the wheel. There are 8 basket seats. Each seat has an MH wheel on the end of its axle for decoration.

The inner red circle of CS wheel segments and the outer spoked wheel are locked to the axle which does not turn. The wheel, inner spoked wheel and commutator turn freely on the axle and are driven by a 2 BN, BT pulley fixed to the back BN turret plate which has long screws through it to fit into the pulley holes. The pulley is spaced out on the screws so that the drive string clears the wheel. A P37 collar and washer is used on each side of the hubs and drive pulley to keep them in place and reduce friction.

Eight light sockets (Radio Shack 272-359) are set around the wheel and are set to flash using a commutator from Brian Johnson. The mounting holes for the sockets were drilled out to fit Erector screws. A bare wire was soldered to one terminal of the socket and wrapped around the mounting screw. The wires for the other terminals are run down the spokes and tied together at the hub and then to the commutator.

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

I bought a partial B Ferris Wheel set at the National Convention auction. Thanks to a tip from Mike Devita via Bruce Hansen I painted all the red pieces with Dupli-Color Engine Enamel color #DE1632. I had been led to believe that 18 EZ’s did not make a true circle and that some overlapping was necessary. However, when they were joined together, they fit just fine with no overlapping. This was a plus since overlapping would have resulted in an unbalanced wheel. There were 108 holes around the circle so the 8 spokes needed to be 13 ½ holes apart on the wheel. To get the half spaces, every other spoke was attached to a center hole on the EZ’s which are spaced half way between the 108 inner holes. Each of the 4 spokes on the inner holes was made from a C and a B girder. The other 4 spokes that were connected to the center holes were made from 2 overlapping C girders that were made one hole longer than the other 4 spokes to reach the center holes. The resulting wheels were 34 ¼” in diameter.

I didn’t have BA hubs and AZ Bull Wheel Plates, so I substituted BN hubs with enlarged center holes to fit a larger axle. This axle was made from a 1/4” threaded rod. This allowed nuts to be tightened on each side of the BN hubs to secure them to the axle. Another pair of BN hubs were fasten together, drilled out and secured on the threaded rod with nuts to serve as a drive wheel.

The cabs were made per the originals, except that MD base plates were used for the bottoms as I was short on Q base plates. The roofs were attached with CH right angles. The roofs had to be carefully forced into a curve to attach them. Note the double curvature of the roofs.

I did not have BB segment plates, so I substituted 2 Ps and 2 MOs for each.

The inner 2 of these assemblies were drilled out to allow the axle to pass through and a patio sliding door bearing was attached to each to act as a bearing for the threaded rod.

The space between the wheels resulting from the FT spacers was 6 5/8” while the FU cab roofs were 6 3/8”. This meant that the screws holding the circle segments and the spokes stuck out and prevented the cabs from turning freely because the roofs hit the ends of the screws. After trying unsuccessfully to find places for the cabs that were away from screws, I put the cab axles through the ends of the four shorter spokes after removing the mounting screws. A P37 collar with no set screw and one with a set screw on each side of the cabs kept the cabs centered and the spokes pressed against the wheels.

Two of the cab positions were at segment junctions, so the outer screw of the junction also had to be removed. To compensate for this an I 21 hole strip was attached across the inside of each in such a way that the screws holding the I were just out of reach of the cab roofs as they swung. The FT spacers also were in the way of the cabs turning, so after studying the diagram in the manual, I moved 8 ot the FT spacers so that each one was 6 holes from each side of a cab axle. This left 15 hole spaces between each pair of FTs. One FT was put 8 holes from one of each pair and 7 holes from the other of each pair, being careful to maintain symmetry (and balance).

The rest of the tower and supports were made per the manual. I found that the square girders made from EXs and EYs could not be tightened as much as the C square girders. Too much tightening resulted in the girders beginning to bulge. Instead of a board, DP girders were used to form the base. The size of the base was set at 34 ½” x 12 ½”. The Ferris Wheel was driven by an A49 motor. A string drive worked because the wheel is balanced and because the string was tied too small, the knot was glued with Elmers, and when dry, the ends were trimmed and the string was stretched over the pulleys.

  • Watch a video of Dave Ware's Ferris Wheel
· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Scheer, Dan

Dan writes: After viewing Joe Muscanere’s beautifully made Ferris wheel, I decided to construct one of my own. Although I followed his basic style, several changes were made to fit the theme I had in mind. This Ferris wheel was built primarily in honor of my father, a WWll veteran who recently passed away, but it was also built for all the brave men and women who presently wear or have worn the uniform. I call it the “American Spirit Ferris Wheel”. It was made from spare parts that were stripped clean, primed and painted in a red, white and blue color scheme. The only reproduction parts are the nuts, screws, axles and flags.

· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Scheer, Dan

Dan writes: Spare parts were painted the usual Gilbert colors after they were stripped and primed. The standard Gilbert carousel horse was reproduced on good quality card stock. The saddle and bridle design remained the same, but each horse was given a different color scheme that added some additional panache. My wife Kathy, was my color consultant.

· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Scheer, Dan

This model was originally constructed as an airplane ride only. The planes were made to give a more realistic aircraft look. A few Mecanno parts were used for the wings and the tail assemblies. Also, I added a few extra features to the model. It was built with spare parts that were stripped clean, primed and painted the various colors that Gilbert used over the years.

Recently, I purchased several plastic seats on eBay. Rather than build another ride structure, I made the seats interchangeable with the airplanes.

My wife, Kathy, gives me much needed help as to what color each part should be painted. Always good to include the spouse!

Greg writes: This giant coaster has taken fifteen years to get to this stage. There are three chain hills. #1 has six motors, four at the top and two at the bottom to reduce drag. #2 and #3 hills both have two motors at top and bottom. The height of the first hill is approximately eight feet, the width is six feet at the widest point and it is a little more than fifteen feet long. After the first hill and drop the track inverts so that the car travels upside down until it loops back to the second chain hill. When it reaches the top of the second hill the track does a double helix turn with a few camel hump hills near the end and it then drops to the third chain hill. At the top of the third hill, it does a slow turn to the final drop with a double loop at the bottom before returning to loading building.

There is a little more than 100 feet of track. I am presently working on an electronic sensor system that will control the starting and stopping of the cars.

Developing the catch for the chain has been an ongoing research project that has tried my patience to the limit. The only other problem is trying to slow the cars down at key sections of the track.

I’d be glad to answer any questions if anyone is interested. But if you’re starting a coaster model you better have a lot of time, parts, and an unbelievable amount of patience because you’re going to need it!

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