Date   

Re: 1:8 H Couplers

Tim L
 

Now that's just awesome!

It's been a very long time since I was involved with miniature rail (7 1/4" gauge but most stuff was 1:6 or 1:4.8" scale) and I don't know a lot about the inner workings of the couplers we used but a couple of things you could consider.

The knuckle couplers we used had what amounts to a bolt with a loop welded to the top which functioned as the lock and lift pin (top operated obviously). They also had a coil spring in them somehow that threw the knuckle open a bit when you lifted the lock enough to clear the knuckle "tang" (for want of a better word).

I'd look at the possibility of modifying the coupler drawing so that knuckle pivot hole goes all the way through so you can use a bolt like on the commercial couplers; it may be stronger than the short stubs on the Sergent design.

I'd definitely look at getting them cast in metal. You should easily be able to use the prints as the pattern for doing that, though you will have to take into account shrinkage etc.

- Tim

On 29/07/2020 17:57, Nathan Rich wrote:
Thought you guys might enjoy this, I upscaled the H coupler to 1:8 scale, for 7 1/2" gauge. I wanted to test the theory, because I wanted to use a correct H coupler on the front of a PA locomotive a friend is building.
I upscaled the files Mr. Sergent graciously provided us by 1087.5%, and printed then in PLA with 20% infill. I do not expect these to be actually used, I wanted to make sure they would mate with commercially available couplers (Shown here a Live Steam Products standard E coupler). This just proves how accurate the couplers Mr. Sergent made are. I'm certainly impressed.
For the ball, I used a 1/2" steel bearing, and the holes you can see are for using a Sergent pick to uncouple just like the HO version. With a little tweaking with a drill here and there, these things work great. They couple reliably every time!
For the one to go on the actual locomotive, I'll need to 3D print it at 100% infill or figure out a way to cast it in aluminum or brass, and possibly use a different mechanism for the knuckle. It needs to be able to be used in an unusual circumstance, but normally it should be on the front looking cool.
Cheers,
Nathan Rich


1:8 H Couplers

Nathan Rich <thaddeusthudpucker@...>
 

Thought you guys might enjoy this, I upscaled the H coupler to 1:8 scale, for 7 1/2" gauge. I wanted to test the theory, because I wanted to use a correct H coupler on the front of a PA locomotive a friend is  building.

I upscaled the files Mr. Sergent graciously provided us by 1087.5%, and printed then in PLA with 20% infill. I do not expect these to be actually used, I wanted to make sure they would mate with commercially available couplers (Shown here a Live Steam Products standard E coupler). This just proves how accurate the couplers Mr. Sergent made are. I'm certainly impressed.

For the ball, I used a 1/2" steel bearing, and the holes you can see are for using a Sergent pick to uncouple just like the HO version. With a little tweaking with a drill here and there, these things work great. They couple reliably every time! 

For the one to go on the actual locomotive, I'll need to 3D print it at 100% infill or figure out a way to cast it in aluminum or brass, and possibly use a different mechanism for the knuckle. It needs to be able to be used in an unusual circumstance, but normally it should be on the front looking cool.

Cheers,
Nathan Rich


Wanted: S Couplers

Neil Erickson
 

I’m looking for a few more sets if anyone could spare them. Thanks. 


Neil Erickson 


Re: S scale couplers

Neil Erickson
 

The S scale versions have been recreated by a few modelers but not in the way that Frank Sergent did using a 3D printer with a wax type filament in order to cast these strings of parts in metal. This “lost wax” method produces a consistent quality but required a great deal of set up and some cleaning of flash and removal from sprues. Chris Costello (JL Inovative) is attempting to cast some from this way as well as in a spin casting machine. He has bought several small model lines and is busy fulfilling other orders but has promised to share his results. Stay tuned. 

Neil Erickson 




S scale couplers

Brian Straight
 

Hi, i model On30 and have done some tests with Sergent couplers in the past and am more than happy with them.  From what i understand the machine that was used to make them broke down.  Could I get a quickstart on what happened and the possibility for the future.  Also, does anyone know where i could get some more couplers?


Re: Membership

Christopher Zurek
 

I am the owner of the Sergent Coupler group on Facebook. John Niemeyer helps me with that group.

Chris Z.

On 7/19/2020 3:09 PM, Mike Conder wrote:

Actually, to set the record straight as one of the owners I can confirm that Chris Zurek is NOT the moderator of this Sergent Engineering group.  John Niemeyer & I are owners, and I don't remember the other owners (if any or moderators (again, if any.)

Mike Conder


Re: Well, that was quick...

David Olsen
 

Matt, I'm about 95% certain that Frank has no plans to offer those
other styles of couplers again, based on conversations on this group
and Facebook over the past few years. The issue, if you haven't been
around for the "history," is that those other coupler types were first
printed using a 3D printer, then cast uses a "lost wax" style casting
process with those 3D prints serving as the master for the molds. The
issue is that Frank's printer broke down a few years ago, and he went
through a lot of pain trying to fix it with no success. I believe he
even tried to use a new printer but couldn't get it to work. For that
reason, as well as his desire to gradually retire out of the coupler
making business, he's only making the two types of couplers - standard
Type E and lower shelf Type E - that are cast and don't require the 3D
printer.

We're all hopeful that one of several people who have been tinkering
with Frank's publicly available designs for his couplers will be
successful in starting up production of the other coupler types.

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI

On Fri, Jul 24, 2020 at 1:13 PM Matt via groups.io
<matthhaarr8=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Not to change the subject but does anybody know if Frank has been able to or plans on getting his casting process back going so the other types of couplers like shelf,double shelf and the various shank length couplers can be produced yet. I need several double shelf for tank cars and extended shank for auto racks and center beam flats. Thanks Matt


Re: Well, that was quick...

Matt
 

Not to change the subject but does anybody know if Frank has been able to or plans on getting his casting process back going so the other types of couplers like shelf,double shelf and the various shank length couplers can be produced yet. I need several double shelf for tank cars and extended shank for auto racks and center beam flats. Thanks Matt

Sent from my LG K10, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

------ Original message------
From: Christian
Date: Wed, Jul 22, 2020 5:25 PM
Cc:
Subject:Re: [Sergent Engineering] Well, that was quick...

I don’t believe it is “legal” for couplers to ever be painted. I always hit my couplers with a darker rusty brown. 

Christian


> On Jul 22, 2020, at 12:43 PM, Tim L  wrote:
> 
> Why do people paint their couplers rusty? While I don't know of any US freight wagon photo galleries to study a cursory image search seem to suggest that while a few do appear rusty most seem to just be dirty with road grime. I imagine that while a railroad themselves may not paint the coupler in some instances they would be painted ex factory anyway.
> 
> Just seems strange to see all those wagons I've seen with Sergents have "bright" rusty couplers in contrast to the rest of the weathering but I suppose that could come from the practice that couplers are painted the same colour as the end sill / underframe here and weather the same as rest of the wagon. But I digress...
> 
> I don't know if it's been mentioned here or not before but while looking at coupler pics I stumbled across this. Someone is offering 3D printed dummy Sergents (E and H). It may be of use to someone.
> 
> https://www.ho3dim.com/ho-scale-couplers
> 
> - Tim
> 
> 
>> On 22/07/2020 23:04, David Olsen wrote:
>> Thanks for the feedback, James. I was always concerned that Rustoleum
>> from the can had the potential to go on too heavy and gum up the
>> works, but if that hasn't been a problem for you, I'll give it a shot.
>> My airbrush stuff isn't set up yet since our recent move - need to
>> find everything! It would be great to get some couplers painted in the
>> meantime.
>> Dave Olsen
>> Macomb, MI
> 
> 
> 




Membership application

Richard and Liam Kirk
 

Good morning

 

Thank you for allowing me to apply to join the group on Sergent Couplers.

 

I currently live in South Africa but a move to New Zealand is likely in the future.  I madel on an “ad hoc” basis, time and to an extent, funds being limited.  I first discovered Sergent many years ago and bought a few packs of couplers at the time.  Some were installed on the kit built South African items I have (HO scale, 12mm guage).  I also have some North American stock, which I have recently pulled from storage while locked away due to a certain global virus problem.  It is an opportunity to show my youngest the hobby.  We are currently building a sectional layout based very loosely on North American outlines and practices with no real intention to respresent anything accurately.  It is a chance for me to “play” with DCC, automatic signalling and electronics, and Liam gets to play with trains.

 

I am really fond of the Sergent couplers, all my rolling stock is equipped with Sergent.  I find that as long as the assemble process is undertaken with care, the couplers are perfect.  Suspect couplers are removed, soaked to disassemble, and reworked.  I have added pick-ups to all my rolling stock for block detection and as a side effect I found that the slight additional rolling resistance makes coupling even more reliable.

 

Regards

 

Richard and Liam Kirk


Re: Well, that was quick...

Ryan Harris
 

I like the printed dummy couplers. I wish a Type F was available, modified to allow the couplers to uncouple vertically by lifting one car. I'd be all over those to equip my coal fleet.

The color of the coupler depends on the age of the coupler. One of the industries we service is a Trinity plant, so the cars that are pulled from there have bright wheels, freshly painted trucks and bright rusty couplers. Over time the oxidation deepens and the color becomes darker, but at the same time road grime including brake shoe dust accumulates over the lower ends and underbody. If you wear white clothes to work on the railroad very soon you'll become familiar with this powdery brown color that coats everything. It's especially obvious on any TTX well or spine car that has seen a year or more of service.

There are other stains and colors that influence the overall color of couplers, such as mud splashed up from the tracks or spilled lading. The best way to choose the colors to use is to observe the prototype and try to replicate the colors yourself. How you apply the colors, whether paint, stain, powder, etc. is a personal choice. I like using paint, but so far I'm very keen on using Neolube.

--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Re: Well, that was quick...

Randy Hees
 

The rules about painting (or not) are found in AAR Interchange rules, not in FRA rules... but FRA (and PUC) inspect to AAR rules...Couplers are found in rule 18 section E, "General Information" no 7, "Coupler bodies painted susiquent to reclaimation must not be applied"  wheels are found in rule 41, section E, no 9 "Wheels must not be painted"

The above from Field Manual of the AAR Interchange Rules, 1975.

Randy Hees

On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 5:17 PM Edward Sutorik via groups.io <Edwardsutorik=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Here is a list of FRA freight car defects:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/appendix-C_to_part_215

I don't see any listing for a painted coupler or a painted wheel.  If there's no listing, it can't be written up.  If it can't be written up, you can't force a correction.

So it would appear there is no FRA objection to painted couplers and wheels.


Speaking of couplers:  I paint mine with Testors flat enamel after they're assembled.  I haven't noticed any problems, other than the paint coming off here and there.  I would likely have used Floquil if it were still available.  Sniff.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Re: Well, that was quick... / prototype coupler colors

Tim L
 

No, they paint the wheels, or at least they used to:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/7201974420/sizes/o/

The railways themselves don't paint them anymore as far as I can tell but I think that could be more to do with it's a waste of paint than anything else. These are how new wheelsets they turn up these days. I don't think that's the natural finish of the steel wheel but I can't tell if it's a paint or some other sort of coating that's been applied by the manufacturer:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/6706782127/sizes/o/

Thanks for taking the time to look at the photo's Todd, it's usually pretty hard to get American modellers to look at a non North American prototypes.

Anyway, before getting too far off topic, thanks everyone. I guess I'm actually quite lucky that we paint couplers down here, that lovely aerosol can Rustoleum rusty primer isn't available in this country. Airbrushing them is a pain though.

Stay safe all,

- Tim

On 23/07/2020 23:38, Todd Sullivan via groups.io wrote:
Thanks, Tim, for your comments and the photos.  It looks like the Australian railways follow a different standard, and couplers do get painted.  It looks like wheels do not.  Of course, here in the U.S., if anything goes wrong once, and someone important notices, we go make a law or rule about it.
I also was surprised at the number of responses to my message.  That's one really good thing about the Internet and groups.io - they greatly facilitate open exchange of information and ideas.
Best wishes for good modeling!


Re: Well, that was quick... / prototype coupler colors

Todd Sullivan
 

Thanks, Tim, for your comments and the photos.  It looks like the Australian railways follow a different standard, and couplers do get painted.  It looks like wheels do not.  Of course, here in the U.S., if anything goes wrong once, and someone important notices, we go make a law or rule about it.

I also was surprised at the number of responses to my message.  That's one really good thing about the Internet and groups.io - they greatly facilitate open exchange of information and ideas.

Best wishes for good modeling!

Todd Sullivan
Rowlett, Texas (east of Dallas)


Re: Well, that was quick...

James Wall
 

Dave & all,

The first few I did paint with the rattle can were a little heavy on paint.  This is one reason I put the parts separate on tape to paint them and clean up if necessary.
I also try to do the paint in two to three different applications and spray from about four to five inches from the coupler parts.
The Rustoleum rust primer is a very nice spray paint and provides a even thin pattern.  I do suggest s few tests with your can to get the feel of how it sprays.

James Wall


Re: Well, that was quick...

Ryan Harris
 

I usually brush them with Model Master Burnt Umber after assembly (sometimes after installation). I try to have the paint almost at the drybrush stage when I work around the joint between the knuckle and the coupler body to avoid getting any paint in there. When the paint is still wet I roll the couplers around in some weathering powder to get a deep rust color. After that I knock off the excess powder and work some graphite in the joint and open and close the knuckle several times.

I recently found my bottle of Neolube, the graphite suspended in alcohol solution, and brushed it on some couplers. It did a nice job coloring them black without adding any of the thickness you'd get from paint. I'll probably use it as a base color going forward then just drybrush the couplers over that, then use the powders to dial in the color.

--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Re: Well, that was quick... / prototype coupler colors

Tim L
 

I didn't think my question would elicit so many responses. Thank you all, especially David for the photo links.

So it seems not painting couplers is very much a North American thing, though I'm a little bit doubtful on the whole crack detection thing given that how much crud ends up enveloping couplers and especially wheel faces after a while I'm not sure whether painted or not painted would really make much difference but people smarter than me who are in the industry know better.

Todd, to answer your question, Late 80's / early 90's South East Australia in 1/87 scale. Not trying to be nasty or anything but I don't think there'll be any specific responses coming. Your response was very informative though and I now know why you all paint your couplers rusty.

To show you all I'm not crazy and that we paint couplers here:

Newly painted Container flat
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/5925466563/sizes/o/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/5926026258/sizes/o/

Grain hoppers
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/5721770970/sizes/o/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/7181168982/sizes/o/

Open wagon
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/6162227452/sizes/o/

Tank wagons
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/5906947731/sizes/o/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/5563775464/sizes/o/

Coal hopper
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/48944267197/sizes/4k/

LZ class locomotive
https://vicsig.net/photo/17709

- Tim

On 23/07/2020 03:49, Todd Sullivan via groups.io wrote:
Hi Tim,
The color of prototype couplers depends on a variety of things such as the era of the car, the time since the car was built/refurbished/repainted/repaired, the prevailing weather in the area the car operated, the commodities typically carried and the amount of use the car saw.  In earlier eras, painters could overspray couplers when they painted cars, but later (and I don't know the date) that was prohibited along with painting car wheels.  The change had to do with crack detection in the castings.
I find a good source for U.S. prototype photos are the Morning Sun Color Guide books.  The photos are usually clear and well lit by sunlight, and the color reproduction is generally superior, except for the earliest books.  I often use my small collection of Color Guides to check various aspects of freight car weathering, including couplers.
All that being said, often, couplers on 1930s-1950s U.S. freight cars are just rusty, and weather to a hue that is close to the red-brown of most U.S. freight cars.  On a weathered car, it can be hard to tell whether the coupler was painted or not.  In most cases, they would not be painted.  If you move up to the 1970s, '80s and beyond, other factors come into play, such as commodities that have spilled over the exterior of the car and colored nearly everything.  Kaolin covered hoppers are a good example of this - even the couplers are mostly white.  Also, freight cars of this later era were not affected by soot and cinders from steam locomotives and industries which darkened and corroded everything.
Going back to the 1950s, which I model, I often see that the inner faces of couplers and the outer faces of the knuckles have  a more orange-ish hue due to routine chafing of the parts against one another as the cars are hauled about and switched.  As you probably know, newer rust is more orange than older rust which moves progressively to reddish, then brownish, then nearly black colors.  Often, couplers on little used maintenance equipment are nearly black or a slightly blueish black from lack of use.
I hope this helps.
BTW, you didn't state the scale, era or geographic area of your modeling.  Letting us know that might generate some more specific responses.


Re: Well, that was quick...

Mike Conder
 

Recognize that some good practices aren't always part of FRA regulations.

Mike Conder

On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 6:17 PM Edward Sutorik via groups.io <Edwardsutorik=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Here is a list of FRA freight car defects:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/appendix-C_to_part_215

I don't see any listing for a painted coupler or a painted wheel.  If there's no listing, it can't be written up.  If it can't be written up, you can't force a correction.

So it would appear there is no FRA objection to painted couplers and wheels.


Speaking of couplers:  I paint mine with Testors flat enamel after they're assembled.  I haven't noticed any problems, other than the paint coming off here and there.  I would likely have used Floquil if it were still available.  Sniff.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Re: Well, that was quick...

Andrew DeKruif
 

That is correct. It is illegal to paint couplers or wheels for that matter (unless they are instrumented) as paint can hide cracking.

On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 04:25:03 PM CDT, Christian <cdhostetler@...> wrote:


I don’t believe it is “legal” for couplers to ever be painted. I always hit my couplers with a darker rusty brown.

Christian


> On Jul 22, 2020, at 12:43 PM, Tim L <tim@...> wrote:
>
> Why do people paint their couplers rusty? While I don't know of any US freight wagon photo galleries to study a cursory image search seem to suggest that while a few do appear rusty most seem to just be dirty with road grime. I imagine that while a railroad themselves may not paint the coupler in some instances they would be painted ex factory anyway.
>
> Just seems strange to see all those wagons I've seen with Sergents have "bright" rusty couplers in contrast to the rest of the weathering but I suppose that could come from the practice that couplers are painted the same colour as the end sill / underframe here and weather the same as rest of the wagon. But I digress...
>
> I don't know if it's been mentioned here or not before but while looking at coupler pics I stumbled across this. Someone is offering 3D printed dummy Sergents (E and H). It may be of use to someone.
>
> https://www.ho3dim.com/ho-scale-couplers
>
> - Tim
>
>
>> On 22/07/2020 23:04, David Olsen wrote:
>> Thanks for the feedback, James. I was always concerned that Rustoleum
>> from the can had the potential to go on too heavy and gum up the
>> works, but if that hasn't been a problem for you, I'll give it a shot.
>> My airbrush stuff isn't set up yet since our recent move - need to
>> find everything! It would be great to get some couplers painted in the
>> meantime.
>> Dave Olsen
>> Macomb, MI
>
>
>



Re: Well, that was quick...

Christian
 

I don’t believe it is “legal” for couplers to ever be painted. I always hit my couplers with a darker rusty brown.

Christian

On Jul 22, 2020, at 12:43 PM, Tim L <tim@pyro.life> wrote:

Why do people paint their couplers rusty? While I don't know of any US freight wagon photo galleries to study a cursory image search seem to suggest that while a few do appear rusty most seem to just be dirty with road grime. I imagine that while a railroad themselves may not paint the coupler in some instances they would be painted ex factory anyway.

Just seems strange to see all those wagons I've seen with Sergents have "bright" rusty couplers in contrast to the rest of the weathering but I suppose that could come from the practice that couplers are painted the same colour as the end sill / underframe here and weather the same as rest of the wagon. But I digress...

I don't know if it's been mentioned here or not before but while looking at coupler pics I stumbled across this. Someone is offering 3D printed dummy Sergents (E and H). It may be of use to someone.

https://www.ho3dim.com/ho-scale-couplers

- Tim


On 22/07/2020 23:04, David Olsen wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, James. I was always concerned that Rustoleum
from the can had the potential to go on too heavy and gum up the
works, but if that hasn't been a problem for you, I'll give it a shot.
My airbrush stuff isn't set up yet since our recent move - need to
find everything! It would be great to get some couplers painted in the
meantime.
Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI


Re: Prototype coupler colors

Dale Kritzky
 

I play with real trains, I see very bright rust color couplers on new stuff, the older is just dirty. In my model rr I usually paint the couplers the color of the equipment being painted, after awhile the paint starts to rub of especially on the knuckles. Dale

On Jul 22, 2020, at 3:52 PM, David Olsen <3acr.scout@gmail.com> wrote:

Tim and Todd,

I don't consider "rust" to be the bright orange color that most model
paints represent, but rather a darker color like "rail brown" in some
model paint product lines that provides a base for additional
weathering. I've occasionally seen newly replaced couplers that are
that brighter orange color, but most are various shades of grimy brown
with patches of other colors.

I model CSX in Maryland in the late '90s, so I'll provide some example
photos from freight cars and locomotives that I've photographed,
mainly in the 2000-2010 timeframe. One of the things that jumps out at
me in photos is the contrasting color between two couplers that are
linked together, something that I feel makes it important to vary the
colors of model couplers.

One compromise that I'll be making is that my Sergents all get
polished and treated with graphite - powder inside and a pencil rubbed
on the contact points - to improve operation, so that may cover up
some of the areas that might be rusty.

Here is an example of a 2-bay covered hopper with a new rusty orange
coupler on one end and a "normal" dark brown coupler on the other:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1775253
http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1775259

A newer 2-bay hopper (about twelve years old in this photo) with a
slightly lighter brown coupler compared to the darker one it is
connected to:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=396012

A 3-bay hopper with light colored dust coating the coupler (either
grain or another fine granular product):

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3450139

A 50' boxcar in general service showing a coupler splotched with rust
on the knuckle:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1390757

A 60' boxcar showing an interesting contrast with rust on the shank
compared to the darker coupler head:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1831312

A coal gon with "clean" rub marks on the knuckle with a patch of newer
rust in the middle:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2647631

A 3-bay aggregate hopper showing a good example of contrasting coupler colors:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1961186

A 3-bay coal hopper with a coupler that's mostly the same color as the
brake pad dust and other grime on the end of the car itself:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3759619

A road slug with a decent amount of visible rust on the coupler
compared to the color of the pilot face:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=327744

Two road units (in coal service at the time) with rust visible inside
the knuckles, but generally the same color as their plows:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3115567

An SD50 in helper service in Cumberland, Maryland with some
interesting splatterings of color on the coupler:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1319000

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI


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