Western Gold Mine 2


I have started to construct my old wooden mine cart. The mine cart, to me, is a tool that uniquely symbolizes the old west. These are the gold rush days with mining towns and saloons and lawlessness and the development of the frontier.

This actual wooden ore cart dumps from the end but it can also rotate so that the rock can be dumped along the side of the rails.

The dimensions of a full size cart were 39 inches high by 48 inches long by 24 inches wide. When I scaled the dimensions and factored in an 8 degree inward slant on the sides and accounted for the wheel mechanism height I created a wax model for the box that was about 1.7 inches high by 2.6 inches long by 1.7 inches wide.

At the same time I created wax models for the water wheel and the tower. The water wheel at full size would be 5 feet tall as is the water tank. I also constructed a scale water tower which would stand about 6 and 3/4 feet tall at full size.

My first casting was for the ore card, wheel caps, water wheel, and water tower. All the wax parts are textured as wood. The ore cart wheels are rough cast 3/8 inch rod to fit bearings with 1/8 inch shafts by 5/16 inch caps. One end of the ore cart will open to dump the rock.

My second casting was for the water tank and the wooden supports for the water wheel and tower. This also included the wheel base for the ore cart. I also cast a bronze box but this is planned for another sculpture.

I soldered a 3/16 inch diameter shaft through the centre of my water wheel. This wheel is not expected to turn perfectly true or be exactly balanced, but this is not absolutely required. The wheel is intended to be mounted on bearings.

The ore cart wheels were constructed such that the cart rests on a 1/8 inch shaft for pivoting to dump, and rotating so that the cart can dump to the side of the tracks if necessary.

The ore cart is finished now. The wheels are on bearings and should turn easily on the tracks. The cart dumps from one end that will pivot open. The end can be secured closed with a steel pin. The cart can be rotated to dump from the side and there is a little pin underneath to stop it from tipping backwards.