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Canyon Carver
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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a project I just finished up for my niece. I wanted to make her a musical ferris wheel that would spin while a tradition styled music element would play. It was originally designed to be a Christmas present for her first Christmas, but after numerous delays, it looks like it will be a gift for her first birthday next month. After a lot of hours of work, here is the finshed piece and the build-up...


I knew I wanted to make it out of steel, so I first sat down and decided on a design and then layed everything out to make sure the scale was right. After the ground work was done, I got to work.

The first part I made was the large round wheel portion. This would be the most essential part, so I figured I would do it first and make changes to anything else if need be. I knew I wanted 10 carts on the wheel, so I layed out a 10 sided polygon and figured out all the angles and lengths needed. I used 1/2" tubing to build the wheel.

I first built a jig so that I could cut 20 pieces of 1/2" tubing all the same size with the proper angles on each end. As you can see, nothing fancy, but it worked quite well in the chop saw.


Here is 1 of 20 of the outer rim wheel pieces


I then got a piece of MDF and layed out all the dimensions for the wheel. I then placed 10 of the above pieces to check for sizing.


Once I knew they were the right size, I glued and screwed down some pieces of MDF to hold everything in place.


Here is everything in place ready to be welded. This would have been near impossible without the jig.


I then cut 5 pieces of 1/2" tubing for the structural spokes of the wheel. I also installed a piece of 1" tubing to accept a bearing so that the wheel could spin on it's axel.


With everything clamped in place, I welded all the joints. I allowed it to cool before unclamping so that everything would remain in shape.


Here is one side done. I also welded in some smaller rods for cosmetics. I made a second piece in the exact same manner.


The two pieces next to one another. You can start to see how it'll take shape.


I then drilled a 3/8" hole at every joint on both pieces. I cut 10 pieces of 3/8" rod to attach the two side together and to also allow a place for the carts to swing on. Here was a shot prior to welding, trying to keep everything square. I used the wood and some shims to get the spacing correct.
 

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Canyon Carver
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
The finished wheel. It came out incredibly square and true when it's spun. The hard part was now over.


Then I started work on the main support structure for the ferris wheel. Some 1" tubing welded into two A pillars did the trick.


I then drilled a hole in one side and welded a piece of 7/16" rod as an axel for the wheel to spin on. The other side received a 7/16" hole so that the rod would slip inside of it.


The general shape of the A frame.


And one with the wheel.


It was still rather bland looking so I took some 1" wide steel, drilled a few holes in it and attached these to each A frame.


I also welded some rod onto the A frame for cosmetics. The bottoms got a square plate so that I can later bolt the unit to a piece of wood.


I then began work on the carts. My original design was to have a single cart, but the amount of ballast to keep it level would have been outrageous. I decide to do back to back carts so that they would be balanced all the time. Here were the pieces to assemble 10 double carts.


All the pieces to make one double cart prior to welding.
 

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Canyon Carver
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The cart all welded up. I later made 9 more of these. I tried to hide as many welds as possible.


The upper bar that connects the two seats together was slotted so that it can slip onto the wheel and be free to rotate.


Here it is with 5 carts installed.


And the finished wheel with all 10 carts.


Here were the bearings I used for the wheel/axel. It spins very freely.


I then needed a way to power the wheel to make it spin. I used a small pulley for the motor and a large pulley for the wheel to help slow it down.


The large pulley was aluminum so I sanded and polished it's outer lip and installed it on the back of the wheel. It's held in place with a set screw.


With all the fab work done, it came time for finishing. After smoothing all the welds, I had to use a little filler in spots. After that, two coats of primer, and 2 coats of paint. I wanted the wheel structure to be white


 

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Canyon Carver
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The carts got 2 toned. I wanted a different color for each cart but I also wanted to tie them all together so I painted the grab bars and the pivot bar white. I also just had to paint one of them pewter with some leftover paint from my truck. The end colors were, black, brown, pewter, blue, green, orange, red, yellow, pink, and purple


On the wheel I painted the smaller rods pink, along with the inside of the pulley.


And some almost finished shots. The washers hold the bearings in place, they need to be painted still. After it's assembled for the final time, cotter pins will hold the wheel from walking.










I then made a simple drive motor to spin the wheel. I wanted to use a wind-up motor, but coudn't find one big enough. I also wanted to stay away from any electrical motors. In the end it was a crank motor. With the pulleys, I believe it is about a 3:1 drive ratio.


Here was the music element. It is a 30-note element that playes "Canon in D". This was attached to the inside of the box.


Once again, the finished piece. My Dad made the wooden box for me, as my wood skills are severly lacking. It was painted a semi-gloss black. I just used a large rubber band for the belt on the two pulleys.


I'll try and get a video up of it later.
 

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under construction
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2,936 Posts
dammmmmmn dude


i wanna get one of those for my baby girl, she will be born in a few weeks......... how much would you charge to make another????
 

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Canyon Carver
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2,855 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
It looks awesome!
I give you props just for finishing! I would get about 1/2 way through or maybe all the way through with the fab work, and would give up before breaking it down and painting it!
( I am terrible at finishing projects)

I am surprised you didn't power coat the pieces

Good job!
t
Yeah, it got like that a couple times.

I would have liked to powdercoat it, but I was building my oven at the same time I was building this.
 

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Wannabe Dragger
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1,714 Posts
That's damn cool. You make nice ass presents like this for all your nieces/nephews or does this niece mean something special to you?
 
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