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Written by Jim O'Connor
I saw an article about one of Don Orr's locomotives in Live Steam Magazine and it was sitting on a transfer table that had a simple "scissors" action (see Live Steam Magazine cover May/June 2001). The wheels started turning in my head about how handy it would be to have a scissors table to build my new steamer on. I could work on my steamer with the table up high and then later, drop it down to load the steam locomotive onto my trailer (the trailer will have to be my next project).
This is not a "how to" and I'm not publishing any drawings on this project. I just want to give you guys some ideas of what can be done. If you have never attempted any structural design or fabrication, be sure to get help from folks that have experience.
Before I started, I needed to calculate how much load it needed to carry and size the thickness of the metal to exceed that number by a safe margin. The bottom and top frame are "C" channel and the scissors are tube.
I used my old power miter box with a metal cutting blade to "chop" my steel to length. I drilled holes in the tube with a hole saw to accommodate the pipe in the scissor arms.
It came out great. Works well. I may move the location of the bottle jack to allow more range of motion. And, if I could do it all over again, I would use swiveling casters for all four wheels. It's a bit long this way to move around like a shopping cart. I'm going to lower it before pushing it around because it's a bit top heavy when fully loaded. Putting the wheels farther apart would help too. Adding support on the unsupported side of all rollers is a must! See note below. If you decide to build something like I did, make sure it can support the weight of the load before you load it with that prized locomotive or rolling stock.
Written by Jim
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