investment casting couplers


UP4096
 

Hello everyone,
First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Sergent. I really appreciate the patented design of his model coupler locking mechanism.
I have bought a lot of sergent couplers in the past few years and introduced them to many Chinese model train fans. Unfortunately, due to the problems of the postal system, Mr. Sergent no longer deliver to China, which gave birth to my own sergent-like coupler.
I completed the design of the coupler in 2016, and until recently, I tried to produce a batch for verification.
As you can see in the picture below, the parts of my couplers are not interchangeable with Sergent one, but they can be connected to each other without any obstacles.
The material of coupler is brass or bronze, and the surface is chemically blackened.
I only recently learned about this group, and I also found that many friends all over the world are concerned about investment casting couplers, so I decided to come here to share my work with you all.
In fact, my model studio is currently focusing on making a brass HO locomotive model. This coupler is only part of this project.
Anyway, If people here like this coupler, I can produce a batch for everyone.
I will introduce so much for now, let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you very much.
 
Lei


Reynante Bulaon
 

Hi Mr Lei,

Thank you very much for sharing this. 
I too am a huge fan of sergent couplers because of ita looks and function which mimics what i deal with at work in real life. I was able to buy a bulk pack of compatible shank couplers one time but shortly after that sergent announced it also would no longer deliver to the Philippines. 
I lost all of my sergents and want to reequip what remains of my fleet, i hope you could help us 😊

Rey


On Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 4:31 PM UP4096 <up4096@...> wrote:
Hello everyone,
First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Sergent. I really appreciate the patented design of his model coupler locking mechanism.
I have bought a lot of sergent couplers in the past few years and introduced them to many Chinese model train fans. Unfortunately, due to the problems of the postal system, Mr. Sergent no longer deliver to China, which gave birth to my own sergent-like coupler.
I completed the design of the coupler in 2016, and until recently, I tried to produce a batch for verification.
As you can see in the picture below, the parts of my couplers are not interchangeable with Sergent one, but they can be connected to each other without any obstacles.
The material of coupler is brass or bronze, and the surface is chemically blackened.
I only recently learned about this group, and I also found that many friends all over the world are concerned about investment casting couplers, so I decided to come here to share my work with you all.
In fact, my model studio is currently focusing on making a brass HO locomotive model. This coupler is only part of this project.
Anyway, If people here like this coupler, I can produce a batch for everyone.
I will introduce so much for now, let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you very much.
 
Lei


UP4096
 

Hello Rey,
I think these in the picture below maybe enough to equip remains of your fleet. :-)
As mentioned earlier, this batch of products is used for verification, and I did find some minor problems, which are currently being optimized.
In addition, I don’t know how to do international business yet. I don’t know how to create an order, or using eBay is also an option.
It may take a while before I can sell products.

Thank you.

Lei


Reynante Bulaon
 

Thanks for sharing this, yep that would be way more than enough, and I am quite happy that there is now a more accessible source.

As for the mode of business, I'm willing to wait and yes ebay would be one of best option.

Rey

On Thu, Feb 25, 2021, 8:49 AM UP4096 <up4096@...> wrote:
Hello Rey,
I think these in the picture below maybe enough to equip remains of your fleet. :-)
As mentioned earlier, this batch of products is used for verification, and I did find some minor problems, which are currently being optimized.
In addition, I don’t know how to do international business yet. I don’t know how to create an order, or using eBay is also an option.
It may take a while before I can sell products.

Thank you.

Lei


Parker Wilson
 

Well this is a very interesting development!
Mr. Lei, have you considered downloading the source files for Frank Sergent's couplers? There is no need to create entirely new designs, as he has released his patented design into the public domain for free use by everyone - including those who wish to sell new couplers. There are a lot of people who would buy these couplers.


UP4096
 
Edited

I learned that Sergent had made his design public not long ago, for the design of Sergent, I respect his originality, but if it is used in business, I can not become a copy machine.
In addition, there are some other special designs in my project, which may be more popular among Chinese railroad fans. If you look closely, you should be able to see the clues. No one has asked this question yet. I may need to explain it later. Thank you.


Parker Wilson
 

I don't think you need to worry about being labeled a copy machine. Frank made his designs public in hopes that someone else would be able to continue making and selling them.

The first thing I notice about your couplers is the larger mounting hole. It looks like this would be combined with a spring to create a soft slack action? Some people might like that, but others might not. I don't think it will make a difference one way or another for myself.

The second thing I noticed is that the detail in your castings actually appear to be sharper and possibly even better quality than Sergent's. That is an excellent sign!


Michael Wentzel
 

Another online store possibility could be Alibaba or my favorite Aliexpress.com .   I have ordered products from the US and although it takes a little time, I have always received the items and there is tracking of the package from beginning to end.  You may want to check it out!

Michael 

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 7:49 PM UP4096 <up4096@...> wrote:
Hello Rey,
I think these in the picture below maybe enough to equip remains of your fleet. :-)
As mentioned earlier, this batch of products is used for verification, and I did find some minor problems, which are currently being optimized.
In addition, I don’t know how to do international business yet. I don’t know how to create an order, or using eBay is also an option.
It may take a while before I can sell products.

Thank you.

Lei


Carey Probst
 

I certainly hope this works out.

I've been building a lot since covid and they all need couplers plus I have a lot of cars to convert from 802s or no coupler at all.

I was planning on Sergent couplers but then he stopped manufacturing them so most of my cars are couplerless.

Carey

Carey Probst
Chief FerroMicroEquineologist
Pennsyltucky RR
On 2/25/2021 9:39 AM, Michael Wentzel wrote:

Another online store possibility could be Alibaba or my favorite Aliexpress.com .   I have ordered products from the US and although it takes a little time, I have always received the items and there is tracking of the package from beginning to end.  You may want to check it out!

Michael 

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 7:49 PM UP4096 <up4096@...> wrote:
Hello Rey,
I think these in the picture below maybe enough to equip remains of your fleet. :-)
As mentioned earlier, this batch of products is used for verification, and I did find some minor problems, which are currently being optimized.
In addition, I don’t know how to do international business yet. I don’t know how to create an order, or using eBay is also an option.
It may take a while before I can sell products.

Thank you.

Lei


UP4096
 
Edited

Yes Parker, you are right.
The elongated mounting hole is to allow the coupler to extend forward longer.
Normally, I will install the spring in the back slot. In this way, when the model is stationary, the distance that the coupler extends is the shortest. When the model moves forward, the coupler is pulled out more, so that the model can smoothly pass a small radius curve. This design is for the practical needs of most Chinese railroad fans.
Of course, I know that many people do not need/dislike this design, and this can not take into account the backward. It does not matter, you can install short plastic rods in both front and rear slots, the extension of the coupler can be changed by adjusting the lengths of the two plastic rods.
I just provide as many options as possible in one product, which is always cheaper for both buyer and seller than making several couplers of different lengths.
With my current mastery of investment casting, I could indeed make a sharper appearance than common products, and the increased cost is almost negligible. I feel that the real product is a bit sharper than what is shown in the picture.
Thank you.


UP4096
 
Edited

Thank you Michael for your suggestions.
As far as I know, Alibaba has a relatively high entry barrier for small businesses, not to mention the studios I run.
And eBay may also be the same. The reason I say this is because I bought a large format camera from an American seller on eBay a few years ago. He told me that eBay charges a lot of commissions, but he can give me discount $400 off if I can transfer money directly to him via Paypal, and if I was cheated, I could go to Paypal to complain and get the money back, he will also be punished for it. I did, and the transaction was successfully completed. Also, I have purchased some toys in Korea, which are also completed via Paypal.
I think everyone should know that the price of investment casting products is higher than that of die casting. Lots of my efforts are to control the price of products as low as possible(quality is not included).
If I use eBay or Alibaba or other trading platforms, the final price is bound to be much higher, plus the cost of international shipping.
Of course, I also deeply understand that I can not ask a stranger on the other side of the earth to trust me unconditionally and transfer money to me.
There are other friends who have helped me, and I am also grateful for this.
Regarding this issue, I hope to hear more of your and other friend's opinions. At present, I have not denied any way.


Nick Campbell
 

I would like to know if you would consider making ones with the exact design dimensions of the Sergents? Also, would you make extended shank and double shelf models?
Thanks, Nick


On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 6:44 PM, UP4096
<up4096@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Yes Parker, you are right.
The elongated mounting hole is to allow the coupler to extend forward longer.
Normally, I will install the spring in the back slot. In this way, when the model is stationary, the distance that the coupler extends is the shortest. When the model moves forward, the coupler is pulled out more, so that the model can smoothly pass a small radius curve. This design is for the practical needs of most Chinese railroad fans.
Of course, I know that many people do not need/dislike this design, and this can not take into account the backward. It does not matter, you can install short plastic rods in both front and rear slots, the extension of the coupler can be changed by adjusting the lengths of the two plastic rods.
I just provide as many options as possible in one product, which is always cheaper for both buyer and seller than making several couplers of different lengths.
With my current mastery of investment casting, I could indeed make a sharper appearance than common products, and the increased cost is almost negligible. I feel that the real product is a bit sharper than what is shown in the picture.
Thank you.


UP4096
 

Sergent coupler and my coupler can be connected, they can work very well together.
It is not difficult for me to produce various type of couplers , I think it only depending on the number of requirements.
Please forgive me, I live in China, so what I know more about the needs of Chinese railroad fans.
However If it is to produce the exact size of the sergent coupler, I might currently prefer to make it to bulk order instead of going to retail after I have produced it.
Thank you Nick.


Todd Sullivan
 

Lei,

eBay does charge about 20% of the TOTAL cost of an auction = price of item + sales tax + shipping.  eBay used to own PayPal, but spun it off as a separate company again, and recently made changes to the way sellers get their money.  So now, no funds go through PayPal, and I have to wait about a week for eBay to deposit the funds to my bank account when I sell something.  PayPal also takes about 7% (I think) of any transaction, so the receiver of the money gets less than what was transferred. It' all a part of business, although eBay has done a number of things that have moved me from being a fan to not really liking eBay very much.  However, if I sell models in a hobby shop, they will usually require a commission of at least 20%, and eBay is still the most active marketplace for model railroad stuff.

I think that selling through eBay is a good place to start.  They also allow you to set up your own store, which has more regulations, and getting paid through PayPal should work, although I'm not sure eBay will allow that.  You should be aware of eBay's ways of pricing auction items: starting price (auction) and "buy it now" (fixed) price.  The auction approach allows for the possibility of getting more than the average selling price of an item (more than you list it for initially).

My thoughts, based on close to 10 years of selling and buying on eBay.

Todd Sullivan


Tim Weller
 

Lei,
Do you have any pictures or videos of your couplers on a model? I’m curious to see the amount of travel or slack in the movements.
Thank you for connecting with this group!


Parker Wilson
 

Lei,
After reading your explanation, I actually think your design might be an improvement over Sergent's in many regards. It sounds like you've eliminated the need for having both a short and long shank coupler, as it can be adjusted using rods to hold the position. Alternatively, one can use a spring instead of a rod to simulate slack action if preferred. That sounds like a great idea!

FYI, Paypal actually only takes 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction when used outside of ebay. It might not be a bad idea to set up a small web store and accept Paypal as the payment method. You can include the cost of using Paypal in the item's price, of course. 
As others have said, ebay seems to be taking more and more of a cut, but it is still the easiest way to sell a product to a large audience. As with Paypal, you would just have to sell for a higher price to cover the cost of using ebay. 
Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.


Neil Erickson
 

Lei;

I have been using Sergent couplers for my On30 and S scale models but gave up trying to find enough. Please consider a version in 1:64 scale for all of us who would love to use these but have been waiting for someone like you to step up.

The idea of the elongated hole is terrific! Thank you.

Neil Erickson, Hawaii


Mark Lewis
 

Lei,

I second Neil Erickson's request for a properly scaled 1:64, S scale coupler, of your design.

Mark Lewis
Narrow gauge modeling in N.C.


On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:13 AM Neil Erickson <erickson.neilc@...> wrote:
Lei;

I have been using Sergent couplers for my On30 and S scale models but gave up trying to find enough. Please consider a version in 1:64 scale for all of us who would love to use these but have been waiting for someone like you to step up.

The idea of the elongated hole is terrific! Thank you.

Neil Erickson, Hawaii






John Degnan
 

Mark, Neil,

I have already spoken with Lei on the matter of an S scale coupler... with a slight improvement over the original, Sergent design.  He informed me he is willing and able to make it happen.


John D


-------- Original message --------
From: Mark Lewis <narrowrails12@...>
Date: 2/26/21 12:17 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: SergentEngineering@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] investment casting couplers

Lei,

I second Neil Erickson's request for a properly scaled 1:64, S scale coupler, of your design.

Mark Lewis
Narrow gauge modeling in N.C.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:13 AM Neil Erickson <erickson.neilc@...> wrote:
Lei;

I have been using Sergent couplers for my On30 and S scale models but gave up trying to find enough. Please consider a version in 1:64 scale for all of us who would love to use these but have been waiting for someone like you to step up.

The idea of the elongated hole is terrific! Thank you.

Neil Erickson, Hawaii






Peter York
 

Lei,

I know you must be somewhat overwhelmed with all the responses, but I would like to add one more. I use Kadee draft gear boxes almost exclusively on my models (HO and S). If your couplers will function without having to modify the Kadee boxes that would be excellent.

Your work on this is very much appreciated.

Peter York
Dallas, Texas

On Feb 26, 2021, at 11:17 AM, Mark Lewis <narrowrails12@...> wrote:

Lei,

I second Neil Erickson's request for a properly scaled 1:64, S scale coupler, of your design.

Mark Lewis
Narrow gauge modeling in N.C.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 11:13 AM Neil Erickson <erickson.neilc@...> wrote:
Lei;

I have been using Sergent couplers for my On30 and S scale models but gave up trying to find enough. Please consider a version in 1:64 scale for all of us who would love to use these but have been waiting for someone like you to step up.

The idea of the elongated hole is terrific! Thank you.

Neil Erickson, Hawaii