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Part 3: Atlas Wooden Turntable Goes Steel

September 13, 2009

To follow this project from the beginning, check out part one and look at part 2 with interest and make sure you’re all up to speed, because here’s where it gets complicated.

Atlas Turntable kitbash

Okay, since the design of this turntable is essentially a pin-connected steel truss bridge lying in a concrete pit. So now it’s time to break out a package or two of Central Valley’s bridge parts. To make the bridge, you need to assemble 4 identical truss bridge pieces. A smart idea would be to make a wooden jig and assemble the pieces accordingly. I need to draw up some scale plans for the truss spans, I’ll post them in a while. It isn’t too difficult to take the photographs found in the first article and modify or compress them to fit on our atlas turntable.



the photos above shows how the Central Valley bridge pieces connect to the I beams attached to the main frame in the last article.

Basically, each truss piece should attach to the I beams, then you connect each truss span together with bar-and-pin fittings from the top of each truss span. The first truss span seen in the photo below was a prototype. Each girder was cut with a razor saw, and fitted together with Walther’s goo. The rivet plates were made from 0.003″ brass, the rivets made from gently tapping the point of a screw into the brass in the correct rivet pattern, pretty tedious work that doesn’t make that great of an effect. I might go with styrene in the next version with archer rivet decals handling the rivet details.


Next, we’ll tackle how to distribute weight on the turntable, work on the pit rails and give it a rotation test.

pit rail

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Gary Henderson permalink
    September 14, 2010 10:53 pm

    I’ve been hoping you would have installment #4. Any chance there will be more of the project?

    • September 15, 2010 12:04 am


      Yes! Lots of client projects have sapped my time from this project, but I do need this turntable for my layout, so I’ll see if I can plop in back onto my workbench in the next couple of months. I’m glad someone likes my ideas when it comes to this old Atlas Classic.

      • Gary Henderson permalink
        September 28, 2010 12:22 am


        I’ll keep checking back.

  2. February 8, 2016 3:58 pm

    Where can I find Parts 5, …?

    • February 8, 2016 6:15 pm

      Sadly this project was scrapped when I moved homes and no longer needed a turntable this size.

      However! The concept is sound, and should work perfectly when fully assembled. If I were to change anything in my design, I’d use small rollerbearing equipped wheelsets from Intermountain for the turntable wheels.

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