The Display Carousel project


After being asked if I could build a motorized turntable to display some carousel horse cookies for Cookie Bouquet / Cookies by Design in Plano, TX, I promptly blew the project out of proportion as is my normal procedure J

What resulted is chronicled below. Since I had just moved to Texas a couple months earlier the first task was getting my shop at least partially assembled. Nothing like taking on a big project when your shop is mostly still on pallets.

After getting the brilliant idea to build a full carousel I had a couple weeks to mull over the design while waiting for dimensions of the horse cookies so I could set the scale. About 99% of the construction took place over a two-week period with the final decoration decisions taking a little longer.

Click on the pictures for high res versions. Follow the project from tools on pallets to display in store window

 

Using scaffholding as shelving to try to make some room in the shopAdjustable height work table I build using a surplus baseToolchest and general clutter

Trying to clear some space in the shop. This is where most of my stuff was unloaded from the moving truck so it got a big cluttered.

 

Assembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forkliftAssembeling the Bridgeport mill with the forklift

Assembling the Bridgeport mill with the forklift. Previously I've had to use an engine hoist to assemble / move this mill and the forklift is about 1,000 times faster and easier.

 

Getting the lathe setupGetting the lathe setup

Assembling the lathe. More forklift help here, just no pictures of it.

 

The Bridgeport mill setup with a worklight and rotary tableUtility cabinet in corner for some toolingToolchest parked on the other side of the corner

Getting the Bridgeport setup for the carousel project. Work light hung, rotary table mounted, tooling cabinet in corner, tool chest nearby.

 

Rough cutting blanks out of 1/2 inch MDFBlanks mounted on the rotary tableMilling the blanks to perfect round and the propper diameterMilling the blanks to perfect round and the propper diameterMarking and drilling the holes for the perimeter poles

Cutting out base and top blanks from " MDF. Milling the blanks round and to the correct size. Locating and drilling the holes for the perimeter poles.

 

Segments cut and layed out for the central columnSegments cut and layed out for the central columnTest assembly of the columnTest of the column sitting on the base

Twelve segments for the central column cut and test assembled with masking tape.

 

Setting the Tee nuts in the baseSetting the Tee nuts in the base

Setting Tee nuts in the base for the perimeter poles.

 

An early test assembly

Test assembling the base and top with the center column and a few perimeter poles.

 

Milling the light bars for the topGlueing the light bars in placeGlueing the light bars in placeThrough drilling the light holes

Milling the light bars. Gluing the light bars to the top. Through drilling the light bars.

 

Another test assemblyIt turns! (video)

A more complete test assembly. Only a few of the twelve perimeter poles have their brass tubes since the local store didn't have enough tubing in stock.

 

A test with some lights in the barTesting the colmn light and mirror design

Testing some lights in the light bar. Testing the lighting and décor design for the center column.

 

Segmenting the top for the fascia panels

Segmenting the top for the fascia panels.

 

Drilling the light holes in the center column using a template

Drilling the center column for lights using the prototype segment as a template.

 

Test layout of a fascia segmentCutting the twelve fascia segmentsTest fitting the fascia segmentsFascia segments glued and clamped

Checking the fascia segment design. Cutting the twelve fascia segments. Test fitting the fascia. Glued and clamped.

 

Turning down a piece of PVC pipe to fit slip ringsSlip rings fitted on the central driveshaft and wired

Turning down some PVC pipe to fit slip rings. Slip rings fitted and wired.

 

Priming some partsPriming some parts

Putting primer on some of the parts.

 

Assembling some of the base and drive componentsAssembling some of the base and drive components

Assembling parts of the base.

 

Some paint - Hazelnut cream

Some paint this time - Hazelnut Creme.

 

Milling groves for the cam trackFitting pieces of Masonite for the cam tracksFitting pieces of Masonite for the cam tracksCutting the cam profileFitting the cam tracksFitting the cam tracksMeasuring clearances

Milling the groves for the cam track. Fitting pieces of Masonite for the cam tracks. Cutting the profile on the cam tracks. Installing the cam tracks. Checking clearances.

 

Some partially completed roller lifters

Some partially assembled roller lifters.

 

Some freshly milled brush carriers, still two up

Freshly milled brush holders, still two up on the sheet of acrylic.

 

Load testing the slip rings

Load testing the slip rings.

 

The first casualty of the project

The first (and last) casualty of the project.

 

A lovely MDF layer cake

A lovely MDF layer cake.

 

Wiring the central column lightsWiring the central column lightsTesting the central column lights

Wiring and testing the lighting in the center column.

 

The layer cake coredAssembled with the turntable bearingChecking clearances

The MDF layer cake cored and assembled supporting the turntable bearing. Checking clearances again.

 

Mirrors on the center column

Mirrors added to the center column.

 

Wiring the lights for the topWiring the lights for the topWiring the lights for the top

Wiring the lights in the top.

 

Testing the lightsTesting the lights

Testing the lights in the top.

 

Test assemblyTest assembly with test cookiesTest assembly with test cookies and lightsTest assembly with test cookies and lights

Another test assembly, this time with lights and test cookies.

 

Boreing the drive pully to size

Boring the drive pulley to size.

 

Some drive componentsDrive test assembly

Some drive components.

 

Some almost complete roller lifters

Almost completed roller lifters.

 

Base assembly

A mostly assembled base.

 

Lifter guides mounted under the base

Lifter guides and lifters attached to the base.

 

Testing some moreTest run without lifters (video) Test run without lifters - different lighting (video) Test run without lifters - different lighting (video)

An early test run without the lifters active.

 

Brass frames for the mirrors

Brass frames for the mirrors.

 

A welded support frame for a fabric tent roofRoof constructionRoof inspection (Sophie)Roof - different angle

A welded wire support frame for a fabric tent roof. Construction of the tent roof. Inspection of the tent roof by Sophie. Another view of the roof.

 

Partly assembled for a lifter testA test run with lifters (video)

A test run with the lifters active and without the upper section.

 

Setting it upSetting it upCompletedCompletedFully assembled and running (video) Fully assembled and running - another view (video)

Final setup at the store and up and running.