Posts Tagged ‘Ferris Wheels’

March 14, 2014 · 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.

Charlie Pack’s 1929 Ferris wheel

Charlie Pack writes: Here is my 1929 version Ferris Wheel, which was on display at the Museum of American Heritage, Palo Alto, CA from Oct. 2005 through Jan. 2006.

Power is supplied by an A-47 motor with gearbox enclosed in a housing to keep little fingers out. The top of the housing can be removed for service by removing 4 screws which go into captive nuts (Meccano collars). The wide pulley that drives the big wheel is made from a flanged wheel Z and a bush wheel BT. The driving belt was made by my wife Kim. It is a black drawstring cord (probably nylon) from an old pair of sweatpants (her idea!), with the ends sewed together. The belt passes all the way around the small pulley once, and the tension is adjusted so if the big wheel is stopped the belt will simply slip. Adjust is made within a small range by putting spacers under the motor housing.

The motor power cord is connected to an electronic timer and pushbutton. When a kid (of any size!) pushes the button, the wheel runs for about 2 minutes and shuts off automatically. A ground fault circuit interruptor is included and the motor is properly grounded.

A ticket shack and boarding ramp were added for more interest. There are 8 cabins, each one with a roof made by Joe Long. The whole thing is mounted on a piece of 1/2” plywood about 30” x 40” and painted red.

Joe writes: Parts used were mostly pre-war parts with the plastic carousel horses coming from early 1950’s 10� sets. Early Erector logo on board was printed by me from a file from A.C. Gilbert Heritage Society website. Pulleys on one side are driven by an Erector electric motor using Jensen spring belts and the other side has pulleys for my Jensen Steam Engines. When running on live steam, I keep the electric motor belt on the pulley to add a load which helps control the speed. Never built an Erector carousel but have thought for years about incorporating the horses into a Ferris Wheel. What kid would not have wanted to ride in a Ferris Wheel carriage with giant horses on each side!

Al Writes: This is my classic period wheel, I built it over the winter, and with much trial and error and much help from Dave Ware’s model on the website, I was able to finally complete the model without throwing it out into the snow…I added four carriages for a total of eight perfectly balanced cars to go around powered by an A47 motor and P52 ladder chain around a 72 tooth gear at the top…As of the submission of this article, I sold the model to Jack Dobrzynski, who had been interested in it since it was built. I delivered the model to his home and it fits in very nicely with his classic period collection. I doubt I will be building another any time soon!!!

· by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Klein, Bill

Bill Klein’s Quintuple Ferris Wheel

Bill Klein writes: The “Quint” has an A49 motor. The arms hold two wheels. The seats are yellow. The wheels are string driven. The arms rotate the wheel. It has yellow stairs and a blue passenger platform with string guardrails. It is five foot long, four feet deep and five feet tall.

Bill Klein’s Small Ferris Wheel

Bill writes: This small Ferris wheel has a sidewinder drive system.


  • Bill Klein's Ferris Wheel

Bruce Hansen’s Airplane Ride

Bruce Hansen writes: This is the Airplane Ride built from a 1955 No. 4 1/2 set. The motor was turned with a key and provided about 30 seconds of power to spin the airplanes.

Bruce Hansen’s Circle Swing Ride

Bruce Hansen writes: This Circle Swing model built from a 1916 #6 type I set is the obvious predecessor to the Airplane ride lead model of the 6 ½ set. The model is driven by a P-58 motor (I used a rubber band instead of string to drive the gear box). The motor spins the “canoes” at about 30 RPM’s.

Bruce Hansen’s Double Ferris Wheel

Bruce Hansen writes: This is a Double Ferris Wheel model. It uses two classic #8 ½ set wheels supported by an “H” frame. The A49 motor drives “H” frame and string/pulleys are used to turn the wheels.

Fred Hachmeyer’s Ferris wheel

Fred Writes: This is my first attempt at the famous Erector Ferris wheel from the 8 1/2 set box art. This model has actually been assembled for 5 years. Each year I want to rebuild it with some improvements but I never seem to have the time. I used 12 of the MN base plates to form the base instead of a piece of plywood, next time I think I will use only 6. I made the 4 passenger baskets per the Erector book, but I want to try to make something that looks more prototypical, either an enclosed car with a door, or an open seat with a lap bar to secure the passengers. I also want to have six or eight passenger cars instead of just four. I also used some of the yellow painted 10 inch straight girders that I had. It looks so good to my eye that I am in the process of painting additional straight and curved girders so that I can construct the entire rotating wheel in yellow parts.

The biggest problem with this model has been getting it to work! The cotton string that I used just slips over the pulleys so I put several rubber bands on each pulley, which gives the string the grip it needs. Then I tried doubling the string because a single strand would stretch and slip after a few minutes of running. Someone told me to try fishing line, I may try that next year. Another improvement I have in mind is to add lights, I need to get going on my homemade version of the Gilbert Illumination kit. By the way, I run these models for several hours at a time. My wife and I host several large parties at Christmas time with anywhere from 20 to 60 people, and the Lionel trains and Erector models are going nonstop the entire time.

Bob Allmen’s Ferris Wheel

Bob Writes: This picture shows a full view of my double Ferris wheel built with type 3 erector parts. The model is 58 inches high and is powered by 2 erector battery controller boxes and 4 plastic gear box motors. Transfer of power is by erector chain, sprockets, custom built drive pulley mechanisms, auto string tightening system and flax waxed string. The wheels with gondolas can be run with the main H frame at a standstill which simulates the real operation of a full size unit.

Bob Galler’s 8 Parachute Jump

Here is Bob’s first place model of a giant parachute jump (8 parachutes, 8 feet high) from the 2003 ACGHS convention in Tulsa.

Tom Washeck’s Merry-Go-Round

Also see Tom’s notes in the Model Building Tips Section.

Newer Entries »