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Picture of K'nex Tower Crane
Here is a tower crane I made one weekend that is about 75 inches (6.25 feet) tall. It has almost every function off a real tower crane. It can rotate 360 degrees, the trolley moves from the tip of the jib, all the way back to the tower, and the hook can lower all the way to the ground no matter where the trolley is. Even though the crane can only lift a few ounces, it was a build that I really enjoyed, and (if you have the pieces), I hope you will build and enjoy too! Please rate and comment! :D
 
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Step 1: Pieces Count

This tower crane is very large and uses MANY pieces, so it would be a really good idea to make sure that you have all the pieces before you start building. Note that the count may not be 100% perfect, but should be very accurate.

Connecters:
Gray (1 slot): 3
Gray (2 slot): 6
Orange: 142
Red: 17 
Green: 6
Yellow: 29
Silver Slide: 272
Blue Slide: 52
White Circle: 43

Bars/Rods:
Green: 154
White: 131
Blue: 238
Yellow: 259
Red: 151
Gray: 13

Other:
Brown/Tan Clip: 13
Blue Clip: 36
Black Hinge: 4
Blue Spacer: 50
Silver Spacer: 105
Micro Chain Gear (Black): 4
Micro Gear: 2
Large Gear: 1
Medium Gear: 2
Small Gear: 1
Big Wheel: 5
Big Tire: 0
Small Wheel: 4
Small Tire: 4
Motor: 3
Chain Links: 162
String: 20-25 feet
Marbles (optional): 70-90 (depending on size of load)

Step 2: The Base

This is one of the easiest sections to build, although it could be considered the most important. 

Step 3: The Tower

Picture of The Tower
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Okay, I lied, this is the easiest section of the crane to build :)This part attaches to the base to hold up the jib and counter weight.

Step 4: The Rotating Mechanism

This little part is what makes the whole crane rotate!

Step 5: The Top Of The Tower

Picture of The Top Of The Tower
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This will hold the jib and the counter weight on it's sides.

Step 6: The Tower Tip

Step 7: The Jib

This will hold the hook and trolley.

Step 8: The Counter Weight

This small part will balance out the crane. 

Step 9: The Support Rods

Picture of The Support Rods
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These slim pieces will help distribute the weight of the jib and counter weight so they don't break off.

Step 10: The Winch

Picture of The Winch
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This will raise and lower the hook from the jib.

Step 11: The Trolley Mechanism

Picture of The Trolley Mechanism
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This will move the trolley along the jib.

Step 12: The Trolley

Picture of The Trolley
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This will bring the hook along the jib.

Step 13: The Hook

Picture of The Hook
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This will lift the load.

Step 14: Inserting The Trolley Mechanism

Picture of Inserting The Trolley Mechanism
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This will connect the chain around through the jib.

Step 15: Stringing Up The String

Picture of Stringing Up The String
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This will connect to the winch and the hook.

Step 16: Assembling The Crane

This will show you how to assemble the crane.
airmanT-281 year ago
Fantastic, neat, well thought-out instructions. I wish more people would do it this thoroughly. I will definitely build this wondrous piece. Absolutely brilliantly done.
fuzi4 years ago
what 3 motors do you need
MrSmashCat (author)  fuzi4 years ago
If you look at step 4, those are the kind of motors you will need. They work the best.

I've noticed over the years that having more pieces definitely helps. The only problem I will have is that I may need a slightly smaller model, if you're able to make one, please?

megate2 years ago
in step 12 were do you find the gears that you use
MrSmashCat (author)  megate2 years ago
I got mine from an old micro roller coaster set, but I can't remember what it was called. You can search for "K'nex black sprocket" and you should be able to find some.
TubaJ4463 years ago
hey, the rotating mechanism on mine seems to not support the weight of the tower, it bends and the axle rods snap out of place. Do you have any ideas?
MrSmashCat (author)  TubaJ4463 years ago
Can you email me a picture or video of where specifically it is snapping off? That would help me fix it and possible redesign the rotating mechanism completely. My email address is: "MrSmashCat@olivacentral.com" Thanks!
mellorpat3 years ago
Just finished building your crane shortend the front by two blocks and but them on the rear still had to add weight to rear but looks good. My grandson will love this. thanks.
MrSmashCat (author)  mellorpat3 years ago
Would you mind posting a few pics of the one you made? Or even emailing them to me?
MrSmashCat (author)  mellorpat3 years ago
Yeah, it has been over a year sense I made this. Now I would definitely make the back end longer, as back then I didn't know much about these things. If you have anything other ideas on k'nex projects, let me know! I'm always open to ideas, the bigger the better! :D Anyway, thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you found this helpful!
Ferangi514 years ago
cool
~KGB~4 years ago
nice