Randy Sauder’s Tool Shop

March 15, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Buildings & Landmarks, Erector Sets, Sauder, Randy

Randy writes: This 1924 tool shop has approximately 1000 continuous moving parts including 138 individual gears, wheels and pulleys. The shop is powered by four A-49 engines (1 for the hoist and 3 for everything else). It has 18 drive bands, 97 Type I wide girders, 95 various size base plates and thousands of parts overall. Most are Gilbert erector parts from the 1920’s but a few are later. A minor few parts are not Gilbert. This project was built over a 3-year span and has 35 period advertising signs. The wood flooring was made from approximately 500 Popsicle sticks glued to 1/2” plywood. The red wood frame inside the Type I girders is oak. The most technical and challenging part of the build was the hoist. It required several different prototype gearing efforts before one was finally found to work.

The final version (on the back of the shop) allows the hoist to independently and continuously move in three dimensions (forward/back, left/right, and up/down). All this takes place from one individual motor working in one direction with no reverse. The shop also has a working table saw, drill press, power press, grinder, band saw, lathe, two wall fans, and a steam hit and miss engine outside on one end. Real steam engine sounds with whistle are also incorporated. The project is dedicated to my father and mother. To my father who in the late 1950’s gave me his boyhood Erector set thus starting my journey into the amazing world of A.C. Gilbert. And, mother for nurturing my feeble early artistic talents.

It was a big hit with my two year old grandson. This picture shows the wonder of Gilbert.

  • Watch a video of Randy Sauder's Tool Shop

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