Upon initiation into 1.5” scale, it did not take long to realize many things changed from experiences in the HO hobby. I learned from others and made some mistakes. Hopefully this review of several items will help others.
My first effort to own 1.5” scale equipment was the purchase of a cabin car (caboose). Rick White hauled it home from Michigan, and I soon realized that I needed some sort of cart to put it on.
I received many inputs. Some built of wood to match one vehicle, some built of steel, some with chain drives for elevation control. I did not find anyone that had the flexibility I felt I would need in the future.
One day I was shopping at Northern Tool & Equipment and noticed a “sale” sign on a group of “Hydraulic Tables”. There were 5 different types. Options included different capacities, different height ranges, different minimum heights, different maximum heights, and different table sizes. Prices ranged from $200 to $500. I considered this to be a livable cost given the cost of a single car kit. I picked two tables.
This table has a range of 13.8” to 52”. It is tested for 770 lbs. It is ideal for cars and small locomotives. It has a table size of 36” X 20”. Its height range makes it ideal for placing cars on upper shelves.
This table has a range of 12” to 35”. It is tested for 1100 lbs. It has a table size of 63” by 32”, making it ideal for locomotives. There is adequate space on both sides of the table for parts and tools. I used it to construct my GP7.
Unfortunately, these tables need some minor additions and modifications for maximum usage. A simple track made from 1” square tubing, ¾” square tubing, and some scrap 3/16” plate can be bolted to the table.
I made my track 7’ long with a 7 5/8” separation between the 1” square rails. This allows an overhang sufficient to provide clearance to truck bolsters at each end. Adding a sliding steel plate at one end is helpful for aligning the table with a vehicle carrier.
The load is of course best balanced so placing the rail correctly on the table is important. This will cause the need to extend the push/pull handle away from the table to clear the track. These welded extensions should be adequate in strength so the car or locomotive can be tied off to the handle. I use a large bungee cord or tie down belt connected to the coupler.
I have been using these tables for 5 1/2 years and have found them to be very much worth their cost. I have used them to detail & build a number of cars, build a GP7, rework trucks on an NW2, and display cars and locomotives at conventions.
|This design provides a built-in weight limit||Tables are heavy and take two people to load and move|
|Adjustable height design||Cost is higher than hand made tables|
|Easy fit and lock to the height of different carriers||Table reduces the access to the center/bottom of the car or locomotive|
|Built for high usage|
|Built-in wheel stops|