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Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Have you ever lost coupling hooks?

That is, the hooks from traditional UK closed bar couplings. Mysteriously two came free and were lost causing coaches in a train to break loose.

It was the Bachmann variety. A search of the usual stockists did not reveal any but there were Hornby variants available. They were quite cheap but would they fit the Bachmann frame? I was not going to try.

All I could find of the Bachmann were packets of complete coupling assemblies. Needing only two hooks it would have cost about £12 the pair, a bit expensive for two small hooks. Maybe I could make a replacement. 

I had some spare brass sheet about the same thickness as a Bachmann hook so set about carving two out using a Bachmann as a template. Brass is ideal as it holds its form well when working with small parts. The most difficult part was making the clip end so it did not fall off the bar that it swivels around.

Photo shows the Bachmann and two brass fabrications. The clip (left side of hook) in the bottom one is not formed well enough. This was overcome by bending its end to close the circle a little, another advantage of making it in pliable brass rather than brittle plastic.

Monday, 1 August 2022

August Website Cover

Returning from holiday on the Surbiton - Okehampton Car Carrier in 1964. The Bulleid West Country class locomotive is in the distance and behind it are two passenger coaches, a kitchen/buffet and closer to the camera the first of eight GUVs containing passenger motor vehicles.

View the cover here.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Locomotive Motor & Gear Troubles

Locos failing left right and centre. 

First it was my Lima Class 33 that needed a motor transplant (motor obtained from www.strathpefferjunction.com). Then it was my Hornby Class 700 that needed a motor replacement (obtained from Peters Spares; discovered later I could disassemble the original motor and repair it.). Now, My Hornby Bulleid Merchant Navy Class exhibited gear slipping.

There is the culprit - the gear on the right in the photo is split causing the axle on which it fits to spin freely in it.

On the left is the gear assembly comprising a large (white) gear and a replacement for the one in question. This assembly has the number X8849 and whilst spares are listed by several suppliers all had no stock available last week!

What to do?

The faulty gear has 21 teeth and is about 11.5 mm in diameter. I searched eBay for 'hornby 21 teeth gear' and one popped up. It was also identified as 11.5mm diameter but, listed for Hornby Britannia. Taking a hunch that the manufacturer would have applied economies of scale and assigned it to other locomotives I bought it and to my delight found it is a direct replacement for the Merchant Navy gear :-)

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