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1:35th Wilford power shovel B

Started by Bernhard, December 28, 2021, 07:18:45 AM

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I would like to show you my next project: a Wilford power shovel B.
It's not completely new, because Gordon Birrell and Marty have shown us their excellent models here in the forum before. But this will be the first model in 1:35th and brass construction.

Ray Dunakin took good photos of a prototype at the Central Nevada Museum in Tonopah, which he thankfully let me use as a basis for the build.
(Picture: Ray Dunakin)


Also very helpful was additional information and pictures from Ted Valpey, President of the Northeast Rockbusters. He has perfectly restored one of these machines and shows it in operation from time to time. For example to see in the videos
starting at 12:00. There you can see that the operation of such a machine is connected with a lot of physical effort.
(Picture: Ted Valpey)


The Prototype

William Ford, the younger brother of automaker Henry Ford, entered the construction equipment business in 1925 with the formation of the Wilford Shovel Co. in Detroit. The most obvious component of the tracked 1/4-yard Wilford shovel was a Fordson skid unit, used as drive. In addition, the shovel used several parts from Ford cars and trucks: the crowd device on the bucket was a Ford truck worm gear. The machine could be purchased at Ford dealerships.
In 1927, that company changed its name to Universal Power Shovel Company, with William Ford as its president. In 1928, shortly before the Great Depression, Universal Power Shovel Company was acquired by Unit Corporation of America.


The power shovel was modular in design and could be built in different versions.
For example, as a dragline excavator, ...


... as a clam shell excavator ...


... or as a crane.


A sign on the shovel at the Central Nevada Museum in Tonopah shows that the machine was built in 1927. It is the source for my model.
(Picture: Ray Dunakin)

Bill Gill

Lot of good background information there.This will be a fun project to watch.
Do you know which version you will model?


Thanks Bill. I will model the version as in the first picture. I will use the power shovel together with the bucket chain excavator in my clay pit. It will remove the dirt above the clay layer.



That first picture Looks like LAWN ART to me  ;D


It seems we have two or three Fordson based projects underway now (Chuck and Bernhard, of course, but I can't remember who else) and the builders are world class modelers. I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished models and enjoying the progress reports. -- Russ


Take your breath away - dribbling all ready
Never Let someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything
Stuart McPherson

Ray Dunakin

Awesome project! Looking forward to watching this.

Also, thanks for the video links. It's cool to see one restored and in operation.
Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World

Les Tindall

That's going to be a great project.


Thank you all for your interest!
Before we start building, here is a lesson in mechanics.

How it works

I tried to understand how this machine works exactly. After all, all functions of the excavator and the track units are driven from the Fordson tractor, which runs continuously and at a constant speed. The drive is distributed to the various functions via a complicated system of chains, reversing gears, clutches and brakes.
(Picture: Ray Dunakin)