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Old 12-14-2010, 06:56 PM
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Default Wood model excavator

I think we can all use the inspiration found in this project. I sure hope that these will load up. If they do, I will go into some details of this project.

Regards, Colin




Last edited by ColinGiersberg; 06-17-2013 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

Holy cow! That's some detail!

I also noticed the photo of the Staggerwing Beech - my favorite airplane of all time.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

Colin, that is... AMAZING!!!

Please please PLEASE tell us more about it, like....

How long did it take?
What gave you the idea to do it?
What were the most challenging parts?
What tools did you use?

It's SO COOL - I love it!

(okay, must tear myself away and make more candy now...)
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

The jig used to build the tracks.


Last edited by ColinGiersberg; 12-17-2010 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

Hmmm.... you sure you have your tracks tensioned properly? Would hate to have that puppy throw a track when I tested it out on my glacial cobbles up here....
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

Thanks for the replies.

First of all, I sincerely wish I could lay claim to this spectacular model, however, that is not the case. The person that built this is Chuck Fisher of Bloomingdale, Michigan. I first learned of him when he posted photos of this on a diecast collectable forum that I visit. He always used the name "Woodchuck" there. Unfortunately, he passed away around three years ago after developing lung cancer. He smoked, and I don't doubt that the fine dust that he inhaled in his shop helped him either.
He was in business for himself building church pews. One day, he decided to build a bulldozer model, and eventually, he entered it into a contest where he won first place. After realizing that he was pretty good at it, he began building models full time. His skills developed over time, as do ours, and I don't really know how long he had been building the models.
I went on the diecast website one day and saw a post from him about whether or not there would be any interest in selling plans of construction and mining equipment. I replied that yes, I thought that there would be an interest in that, as modellers try to customize the models that they have bought, and that plans would give them a reference to go by. After some phone discussions, we decided to try our luck at this.
He wanted to build a model of a Caterpillar 5230 mining excavator in 1/16th scale. I began my research by picking up a brochure from the local Caterpillar dealership. After studying it, I began drawing it up on the CAD program that I had at the time (Autosketch 2.0. Boy I sure do miss it). I realized quickly that manufacturers do not put totally accurate information in their brochures, so I had to ask fellow diecast members if they could provide any more information. I received some help from them, but there just wasn't enough information available, so I just had to eyeball the drawings as best I could.
In building the model, Chuck had some contacts that provided him with the extra materails that he needed for this project. As a result, my drawings were really just a rough guideline for him to go by. The drawings in no way even come close to the level of detail in this model. He began building on 10/4/04. His first and probably the most time consuming task was to build the tracks. The tracks were built out of walnut and consist of over 2300 pieces of wood. The crawler frames are equally amazing in the level of detail.
I wish I could describe the entire process he used to build this, but it is something that I do not know. The few tidbits that were given to me:
The railings were made from 70 lin. ft. of dowel stock that he turned himself. It is all 3/32" in diameter. The bends in the railing were not done by using steam and bending around a form. He actually made the bends by cutting the dowels into short pieces and mitering the ends, then gluing the pieces back together. There will be a photo of the railing pieces with a dime overlaid on them posted here eventually. The grill work and walkway platforms were made by a friend with a laser system, so this saved a tremendous amount of work.There will be a photo or two on this also. He finished the model sometime around 9/3/07, so it took him almost three years from start to finish, and he had over 2800 hours of labor in it
I will post a photo of this over time, and hopefully I can get the knack of attaching photos without too much trouble.

My apologies if I seem to be jumping around in my commentary. If there are any questions, I will attempt to answer them as best I can.

Regards, Colin

Last edited by ColinGiersberg; 12-15-2010 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

The track pieces.




Last edited by ColinGiersberg; 12-17-2010 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

A section of the tracks.




Last edited by ColinGiersberg; 12-17-2010 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

Another view.




Last edited by ColinGiersberg; 12-17-2010 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Wood model excavator

Crawler frames.




Last edited by ColinGiersberg; 12-17-2010 at 03:18 AM.
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