Date   
Re: [SergentEng] Coupler not working properly

Edward Sutorik
 

Frank,

Thanks for getting back to me.  I'll do that.  I've got 5 more from this package and 6 from an unopened one.  I think it would make sense to finish out the next 5 or 11 and see if it happens again and/or how often.

But I'll definitely send 'em back so you can check them out.  Well, it ain't "them" yet, only "it".  We'll see.


Ed

Edward Sutorik

Re: [SergentEng] Coupler not working properly

Tim L
 

Good to see Frank make an appearance. I tried emailing a few times
yonks ago without any reply.

Just something else to check if you haven't already is to see if the
tang on the bottom half is bent. I had this same ball locking trouble a
couple of times with the diecast couplers until Frank got me sorted.
I was assembling the couplers so that the two halves were assembled
tight to each other at the tang. When the tang is bent this means that
the coupler head is not tight and this was allowing some extra movement
of the knuckle which would then suffer the stuck open problem.
Assembling so the two halves of the head are tight (there might be a
slight gap of the two halves at the tang) usually cures the problem.

Tim
Land of OZ

On 27/10/2017 12:50, Edwardsutorik@... [SergentEng] wrote:
Frank,
Thanks for getting back to me.  I'll do that.  I've got 5 more from this package and 6 from an unopened one.  I think it would make sense to finish out the next 5 or 11 and see if it happens again and/or how often.
But I'll definitely send 'em back so you can check them out.  Well, it ain't "them" yet, only "it".  We'll see.
Ed

Re: [SergentEng] Coupler not working properly

Edward Sutorik
 

Update:

I assembled 11 more couplers.  All worked fine.  I had what I consider are a couple of assembly insights, and did things a little differently.

I decided to disassemble ole number 1 myself 'cause now I'm a x-pert!

I did notice that #1 had a wee bit of vertical play on the knuckle.  Not much, maybe a couple of thou.  But noticeably more than all the others.

When I opened 'er up, I found a wee bit of flash at the edge of the lower "ball catching" hole.  Whether that was the problem or not, the flash had to go.  So it went.  That particular flash cleaning is, by the way, a part of my new assembly method; as there was flash in that location on some of the other couplers.

I reassembled the coupler and the primary problem was gone.  So was the vertical play.  The knuckle now closes when it's s'posed to.

It was still a little funny, though, in that the knuckle now wasn't enthusiastic for opening.  Using a magnet, it would work.  But the upside down trick didn't.  I put a little graphite inside.  Wiggled things around.  Removed most of the graphite.  Coupler's now happy.

So it looks like Frank won't be getting my coupler to examine.  But he WILL be getting an order in awhile.


Ed

Edward Sutorik

Atlas F89J flat cars

Andrew
 

Hello all,

Have any of you converted the Atlas (previously BLMA) F89J flatcars to Sergent Couplers?  If so what did you use.  They come from the factory with Kadee scale long shank couplers.  These will typically be run on 36" nominal radius curves.  

Andrew

Coupler finish/color

RJ Dial
 

Yikes, after finally going through the last of my 2 packs of 96 couplers (EN87 & EC87) , I got a new order today, and instead of the nice smooth realistic brown finish, they are rough and a grayish black. Guess I've been living under a rock. I don't want to try and paint these as that would be the fastest way to foul up their smooth flawless operation I've come to enjoy.  Anyone found a "Blacken It" (Brown It?) type of solution to throw these into?

I tried the sucky Yahoo search of conversations but could only find out why the change (Hexavalent Chromium), but no evident solution.  Really, if this was the finish 15 years ago when I made the switch, I probably wouldn't have went the Sergent route.

Thx,

RJ Dial

Burlingame, CA

Re: Coupler finish/color

Mike Conder
 

Actually, painting them is the normal way to finish these.  I think the info is on the web site but it is also on an article in the HOn3 Annual a few years back.  I know that because I helped write the article!  But sadly I don't have it at hand and can't remember the exact paint, though I think it may have been Krylon primer.

Mike Conder

Re: [SergentEng] Coupler finish/color

Tim L
 

There is indeed a painting section on the Sergent website. I can't give
an exact link as Franks website is so old it still uses frames however
the painting guide is in the instructions area.

Franks recommends in his guide Rust-o-leum Rusty Metal Primer.
Unfortunately not available where I am so I'm still searching for a good
substitute.

I paint mine using the same basic method but using an airbrush and
securing the parts on upside down masking tape so there is no chance of
them blowing away.

Tim
Land of OZ

On 10/11/2017 15:33, Mike Conder vulturenest1@... [SergentEng] wrote:
Actually, painting them is the normal way to finish these.  I think the info is on the web site but it is also on an article in the HOn3 Annual a few years back.  I know that because I helped write the article!  But sadly I don't have it at hand and can't remember the exact paint, though I think it may have been Krylon primer.
Mike Conder

Re: [SergentEng] Coupler finish/color

Andrew
 

I use Apple Barrel Nutmeg brown craft paint.  I paint the upper (large) piece prior to assembly.   I usually paint all of the uppers in a bag at once, and segregate them into a separate bag.  The lower pieces get painted after assembly.  I use the same size brush (I think its a 00) as for figure painting.  I typically dont bother to paint the knuckle, but if I do, I use the same size brush and paint (after assembly).  

Because apple barrel is water based, you can remove it if it interferes with operation.

Andrew

On Thursday, November 9, 2017, 10:53:47 PM EST, radiodial@... [SergentEng] wrote:


 

Yikes, after finally going through the last of my 2 packs of 96 couplers (EN87 & EC87) , I got a new order today, and instead of the nice smooth realistic brown finish, they are rough and a grayish black. Guess I've been living under a rock. I don't want to try and paint these as that would be the fastest way to foul up their smooth flawless operation I've come to enjoy.  Anyone found a "Blacken It" (Brown It?) type of solution to throw these into?

I tried the sucky Yahoo search of conversations but could only find out why the change (Hexavalent Chromium), but no evident solution.  Really, if this was the finish 15 years ago when I made the switch, I probably wouldn't have went the Sergent route.

Thx,

RJ Dial

Burlingame, CA

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Coupler finish/color

John Niemeyer
 

This is what Frank said on his website.
 
The "secret" is Rustoleum's Rusty Metal Primer. This is great stuff. It's just the right color and has a dead flat finish. It's available in spray cans and pints and quarts. You can find it just about anywhere (including Walmart).
 
In the 2014 HOn3 Annual, I used Tamiya “Red/Brown”. In my opinion model paint has a finer pigment and can be sprayed with a thinner coat.
 
I also lube the knuckle with Neolube. When dry, it leaves a grimy weathered look. https://www.micromark.com/Neolube-2-fl-oz-
 
Co-author
John Niemeyer
 


Actually, painting them is the normal way to finish these.  I think the info is on the web site but it is also on an article in the HOn3 Annual a few years back.  I know that because I helped write the article!  But sadly I don't have it at hand and can't remember the exact paint, though I think it may have been Krylon primer.
 
Mike Conder

coupler boxes

Robert Margerum
 

has anybody any information as to when accurail will have coupler boxes available.they have been out of stock for months now.

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Coupler finish/color

Edward Sutorik
 

I used to paint my Kadee's with an appropriate mix of Floquil--no regrets.  I expect to spray paint a batch of Sergents in the future, and will likely use my airbrush to spray some equivalent color of flat enamel.

I'm real wary of using spray cans on anything, uh, delicate.


Ed

Edward Sutorik

Re: [SergentEng] coupler boxes

John Degnan
 

Group,

I have good news :

I can't speak to when Accurail will be doing another run of their very nice draft gear boxes... and I can't say anything more than this at this time... but I can tell you that a very nice alternative is coming... SOON!

Hang in there... and save your money!!!


John Degnan


From: "robmar@... [SergentEng]"
To: SergentEng@...
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2017 12:39:58 PM
Subject: [SergentEng] coupler boxes

 

has anybody any information as to when accurail will have coupler boxes available.they have been out of stock for months now.


Re: [SergentEng] coupler boxes

Mark Lewis
 

.....keep us posted- waiting patiently!

Mark Lewis 
Stony Point, NC 

On Nov 10, 2017 5:14 PM, "John Degnan Scaler164@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

Group,

I have good news :

I can't speak to when Accurail will be doing another run of their very nice draft gear boxes... and I can't say anything more than this at this time... but I can tell you that a very nice alternative is coming... SOON!

Hang in there... and save your money!!!


John Degnan


From: "robmar@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...>
To: SergentEng@...
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2017 12:39:58 PM
Subject: [SergentEng] coupler boxes

 

has anybody any information as to when accurail will have coupler boxes available.they have been out of stock for months now.


Re: [SergentEng] Coupler finish/color

Rob McLear
 

Tim

I can get spray cans of Rust Oleum at Bunnings have you tried them, if not I have used Red Brown from Vallejo and it is so fine a paint I can apply it to the couplers with a brush and still not have operating problems.

Rob Mclear
Qld.

Re: Coupler finish/color

jzook@...
 

RJ,

Thoughout the years I've used two different paint solutions for my Sergent couplers; Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer in the rattle can and Tamiya Red Brown in the rattle can.  I like the results of both colors.  The Rustoleum is definitely more rusty red than the Tamiya, so it's a bit of personal preference.  I've learned (from this group, I believe) that the Tamiya paint in the rattle can has a much finer pigment than the Rustoleum, so one gets a bit more of a smooth finish with the Tamiya.  As small as the couplers in HO scale, I can't tell much of a difference.  The great thing about the Tamiya paint is it's available in both the rattle can and a jar.  That allows you to have a jar of the paint on hand to easily touch up the couplers if the paint wears off from operations.

When I paint the couplers, I do it before assembly.  I've constructed a jig after reading an article by Pelle Soeborg wrote in Model Railroader a few years ago.  The jig is very simple; six small clothes pins glued onto a paint mixing stick.  It works great for painting batches of couplers.  I take the knuckles and place them on a piece of painters tape taped onto card stock.  The couplers are sprayed only on the tops and the sides in my spray booth.  The knuckles are painted on the outside (the side we see) only.  I then assemble them in the appropriate jig and complete the process.  I don't paint the underside covers of the couplers, although there's nothing preventing me from doing so.  The underside is not seen, so I don't bother wasting the paint.  I have not painted the couplers after assembly because I fear the paint will gum up the hinges around the knuckle, and impede operation.

Hope this is helpful.

Jon

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Coupler finish/color

Jeff Young
 

We get a slightly different Rustoleum lineup on this side of the pond, but I’ve been using their “Surface Primer" on HOn3 Sharon couplers without any problems:

Rust-Oleum Surface Primer Superior Adhesion Spray Paints

I do rub a bunch of pencil lead on the mating surfaces after assembly, and then burnish the outsides with a toothpick.

Cheers,
Jeff.




Re: [SergentEng] Re: Coupler finish/color [1 Attachment]

William Uffelman
 

Great looking scene!

On Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 5:15 AM, Jeff Young jeff@... [SergentEng]
wrote:
 
[Attachment(s) from Jeff Young included below]

We get a slightly different Rustoleum lineup on this side of the pond, but I’ve been using their “Surface Primer" on HOn3 Sharon couplers without any problems:


Rust-Oleum Surface Primer Superior Adhesion Spray Paints

I do rub a bunch of pencil lead on the mating surfaces after assembly, and then burnish the outsides with a toothpick.

Cheers,
Jeff.




Painting couplets

Ken Neufeld
 

Group,
I paint my couplers with Bragdon weathering powders. I have a set of powders that have
3 different rust colors. I just put some of the powder on a plate and add a little water. The powders dissolve in the water and you can mix them to any level of rust color you wish to achieve. Just be careful how much water you use. I use a spray bottle. It doesn't take much to mix the powder to a usable consistency. I paint mine with a brush after they are assembled and have no problems with the couplers not functioning properly. Also after the mix dries on the plate, you can add water again and reuse.

Ken Neufeld

Re: Coupler finish/color

RJ Dial
 

Thanks to everyone who replied. Been digesting it all. In addition, the crafty wife had the idea of a brown Sharpie Permanent Marker (fine tip) after assembly. I tried a black one I had and it permanently colored the pewter material, so a possibility there. I have one on order.  Another idea she had was if the base material contains tin, she has a dark copper patina solution from her stain glass supplies she was going to try and find. Will report back on the results in addition to few mentioned in the replies.

As a side note, it appears that only the EC87s had the rough surface, the ENs I got are like the  older material but pewter color.  

For giggles and grins, I've attached an image of the color progression through the years. On the left is the original high quality, high detail, but supposedly deadly material.  Next is what I consider the perfect balance of brown matte finish and surface from the early 2000's. 3rd from the left is the pewter finish. You can see that the mold detail sharpness is disappearing. On the right is the coarse black finish that freaked me out.
RJ Dial
Bulrlingame, CA

Coupler boxes ... more info

Jim King <jimking3@...>
 

Re: John Degnan’s post a couple days ago about coupler boxes, I’m the one behind this project, in conjunction with John.  I won’t get into details because testing isn’t finished and the CAD files not started.  I do have 2 working prototypes of the new box.  All I’m willing to say now is that it’s a “drop in” replacement for the out-of-stock Accurail box but with added details and a special feature that will make a LOT of users “happy”.  Give me until after Thanksgiving to finalize the design, work up pricing and upload a CAD image to my web site.  When it’s ready to launch, I’ll post here again with all the info you’ll need to place an order.

 

Jim King

(828) 777-5619

www.smokymountainmodelworks.com