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Sellner Manufacturing Tilt-A-Whirl
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Amusement Ride
About this creation
The Tilt-A-Whirl amusement ride has been around for more than 75 years! The first models were created by a man named Herbert W. Sellner. He was a wood-worker, and his first ride was actually a Water-Toboggan slide made of wood. The first Tilt, believe it or not, was made of wood! The ride design is simple and fun. Cars are pinned to car platform sections(7), and they roll around on a small concentric track. The platforms themselves rest on a set of sweeps that travel out in a radial pattern from the center hub. The sweeps have a wheel/bearing assembly underneath them, which rides on the track below. The track has that hill/valley shape that allows the cars to rotate and spin as they travel around the moving platforms. The tilts up to the mid 90's or so, were driven by this really cool cable drive system. It was a similar system used on older Ferris Wheels. On the end of each of the platform sweeps, there is a 'cable grip' assembly that would be the contact point with the drive cable. The cable is wound around the entire platform, and then attached to a transmission/drive wheels/engine, with a reciprocal clutch to engage the drive wheels.
This was my first large scale Lego model. MAN did I learn a few things while getting this to work right! In all I think I redesigned every component on this ride more than 5 or six times, as I battled the physical properties of Lego elements. In the end I only had to permanently fasten the 'cable grips', which are just a 1x3 blue slope, with an inverted 1x3 blue slope, forming a v. I had to custom build and cut the platform sections(car and intermediates) by eye, and went through a total of about 56 large blue baseplates before getting them right! (ouch$) The center hub was made by using 1x4 hinge plates, wrapped around a large balloon tire and hub, with a 7 sectioned coupling for the sweeps to plug into. The track beneath the sweeps and platforms was made out of wooden hoops that I fastened together, and then cut the hills and valleys out of, and finally painted Lego Blue. If I had to redo this one, I would build a Lego base, and plastic tubing, which I learned to use for the Flying Bobs track. The drive system for this uses a cable and a micro-motor powered tensioner system to adjust the grip on the sweeps. The motor is a 14.4 Dewalt cordless drill, with a 90 degree adapter attached to the chuck. It has a lever set-up built on to it, to allow the speed to be adjusted by the operator. The front side opens to allow the removal of the battery for recharging. I am not sure how many elements went into to this, but I would think in the 20,000 range+.

Thanks for looking! :)


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   Gives you an idea of scale.

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   Early prototype and trials

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   Building the drive system.

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   Early trials.

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   Early prototype car.

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   Final car assembly units.

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   Base and drive system/operator booth.

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   Base support.

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   Here is the tilt taken apart. It fits into two 90 litre totes.


 I like it 
  September 13, 2005
AWESOME, never thought that ride was possible out of lego
By Tilt a Whirl
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Added May 12, 2003

LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Sellner Manufacturing Tilt-A-WhirlOther structures

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