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oztrainz
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Hi all,

Following on from a question raised in

Si. wrote:

Thanks John !

I think you put up a photo before of what seems like a VERY small knuckle coupler...

...low mounting as well.


This topic is planned to be mainly about "less than full size" couplings,
and I'll start with some of the knuckle types used on narrow gauge railways in Australia.

Please feel free to chime in with questions as we go along,
and to add other coupler related information from elsewhere.

This thread could get semi-technical with discussions of coupler heights,
about mounting couplers on rolling stock,
and other types of couplings used on narrow gauge railways.
You have been warned.

:P

First off what is a 'full-sized' knuckle coupler and what does it look like?

I'll pick a US-based knuckle coupler manufacturer and link to some of the pages,
relating to the knuckle coupler specifications and dimensions.

http://www.columbuscastings.com/assets/files/couplers/C-14770.pdf

This one has top and bottom shelves that stop adjacent couplers from disconnecting,
by sliding past each other vertically.

This Wikpedia page has a a good history of the development of the full size knuckle-type coupler

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janney_coupler

So much for the full-sized couplers.
On narrow gauge railways the loads being towed or shoved are less than on standard gauge railways,
so a scaled down version of the auto-coupler can be used.

In Victoria on the Puffing Billy and on the Victorian 2'6" narrow gauge network,
a 3/4 sized version was adopted in the 1920's.

The story goes that the locomotives and wagons on these isolated branchlines,
were converted from the earlier hook drawgear to knuckle couplers over a weekend.


So what does a 3/4 scale knuckle couple look like? - on a NA class locomotive:





and on a NQR gondola wagon with drop sides and ends:





Note the slot in the middle of the jaw of the knuckle.
There is a hole vertically through the jaw.

This allows a sling or a D-shackle to be attached in the slot,
by dropping a pin down the vertical hole in the jaw,
so that the pin passes through the eye of the sling or D-shackle.

This allowed the wagon to be horse-worked at sidings,
when a locomotive was not available to move the wagon.

In model terms - for On30 models of Puffing Billy rolling stock in 1/48 scale,
the standard Victorian Railways coupler height works out at the standard HO coupler height.

Dimensionally the slightly oversize standard HO coupler,
scales out at very close to the 3/4 size coupler as used on Puffing Billy in 1/48 scale.


But there was an even smaller version - to be covered in the next posting.


Kitbash0n30
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I wonder how much a factor reduced mass of narrow gauge equipment,
was/is, in the employment of small couplers.

Would it be true that the mass of narrow gauge equipment compared to standard gauge,
was reduced in greater proportion than were linear or volume relationships?


Herb Kephart
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Good topic, John!

Herb



W C Greene
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Although I can't find the photo I want of this,
I have seen really tiny knuckle couplers on 18" mining equipment.

They looked like something one would find on miniature park trains,
but there they were.

The ones I saw were on cars displayed at the Phelps-Dodge office in Clifton, AZ...
home of the 20" gauge Coronado RR.

I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it!
Imagine N scale knuckles on On30 cars.

Woodie


Si.
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Hi John.

Thanks for posting your knuckle photos !

I thought a thread like this might be a safe haven from archaic L&P extremists.
But it looks like they've found 'the link' !

;)

Oh well, they seem quite well behaved at the moment though.
Give it time, mark my words ...
... & they'll be promoting rusty old 19th-century ironwork for sure !


I've just eMailed Woodie the 'Kadee' catalouge...
...sounds like he's thinking about modernising his mining equipment.

(or making a 1:35 roller-coaster !)


- - - - - - -


I think by accident & design,
I have ended up with a size & height of coupler,
which matches the Victorian Railway setup to a tee !

I was just going to adopt the Gilpin Tram coupler height ...
... but it was just that bit too high, when I looked at all the pros & cons.

I have ended up close to what you said about HO height on On30 cars.
Higher than HO in 1:35 scale; but the same proportion to what you're getting at.


Also I felt in the end that neither the Kadee On3 or O-scale coupler was right for 1:35n2  :td:
So I have ended up with San Juan Car Co. 'Evolution' couplers.

They have nailed the look I wanted, which the Kadees didn't.  :thumb:
Managed to find them at an OK price in Blightey as well, which was a relief.

I haven't really got a great photo of them yet on my car-builds.
But you'll see what I mean, with a figure standing next to the car-end, when I do.


Cheers.

Si.


:moose:


Nice lil' prototype that Victorian Railway.
I like Ians cars a lot !


W C Greene
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Si  nope.

I ain't changing to knuckles.

L&P's are too much "fun" anyway...

Woodie


oztrainz
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Hi Si and all,

Here are some photos of the 1/2 sized ones in use at my local 2'gauge museum.
It took some time to find where I'd stashed these photos and then get them uploaded.
I knew I had them on my hard drive somewhere.....


First up one of the couplers out in the open with the pin down and the jaw locked.





And another photo of the front end of a different locomotive.
The original low-height sugar cane loop coupling can be seen under the buffing block below the knuckle coupler.





The coupling here has been swung out of the way,
to allow another coupling on another vehicle to push past it,
and minimise the space taken up in the shed.

Two of them on different locomotives with the pins up.
This allows the jaw on each coupling to move and the couplings to separate.





The supporting bracket under the right-hand coupling,
prevents the weight of the coupler from causing the coupler to droop.

This might be an idea, for those who model with long-shank Kadee's or similar.


And to close out, a fixed jaw shunting coupler and with a knuckle coupler.





With this arrangement, you lift the pin on the knuckle coupler,
as you shunt up the movable jaw fits into the slot on the fixed jaw, as you close up, the jaw closes,
and then when you bump up, the pin drops and the jaw locks,

In model terms, in the larger 1/43 scale and using 16.5mm tracks for 2' gauge,
the standard #5 coupler head is close to scale. and the actual lower height of the coupler,
works out at very close to the standard HO coupler height again in the larger scale.


To close out, some photos the knuckle couplers of one of my 1/43rd scale models,
and the prototype car.





And the prototype..










See, just like a #5 from a distance.  :bg:

That ought to do for an introduction to 1/2-sized standard knuckle couplers.


oztrainz
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W C Greene wrote:

Si  nope.

I ain't changing to knuckles.

L&P's are too much "fun" anyway...

Woodie


Hi Woodie,

Be careful what you wish for, with link & pin couplers.


How do you shunt this lot? :w:





They are all link and pin type couplings.  :P


oztrainz
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And the correct answer is: -

VERY CAREFULLY ... and ONE wagon at a time.


The joys of working on a narrow-gauge museum railway,
where you have different stuff from different industries,
each with their own "standards".


L:  Standards??

Which standard is the "standard" standard?  :P


W C Greene
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How about "offset" links for different heights?

I have some of them because some cars have lower end beams and pockets.
'Twas done on the real ones also.

Well, that's my story anyhow.

Woodie


oztrainz
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Hi Woodie,

Yes you are right and we do have some offset links,
but there is a limit how far that you can offset (found out usually the hard way)
before you start to jack up a smaller lower wagon when you are moving it,
especially when pushing through curves.

Get it wrong and you have a derailment that takes time and effort to fix.
(even when it falls off at walking speed)

Here is the example of the transition coupler that we made up,
to go between the high-height link and pin Innsifail Tramway wagons,
and the knuckle couplers of our locomotives.





There is a "little bit" of a height mismatch there, but nothing that couldn't be sorted.


Si.
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Hi John.

Unless I want to totaly re-build the endbeams on my Bachmann Porter & Shay...

...I might need some of those !!

Can you weld me up a few in 1:35 ?


:moose:


Si.


oztrainz
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Hi Si.

If you are close to HO standard height in 1:35,

then the Porter and Shay should be fine just as they are,

without having to do a "height fudge".


Si.
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Hi John.

No, I'm not close to HO std. height.


I have very similar 'proportion' as you mentioned On30/1:48 scale & HO height.
But not the 'actual' same measurements.


I have, more like 1:35n2 scale & Kadee std. On3 height...
...although the actual couplers are not Kadee On3 ones...
...but The San Juan Car Co. 'Evolution' couplers.


'Fudge Bar' needeed !!


:moose:


Si.


Great Wikipedia knuckle-coupler link BTW John.
Pretty much tells the whole story !

Never thought to look there for coupler info.
They do tend to have some good technical pages.
( it's the Celebrity stuff that gets messy ! )


Si.
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This is The San Juan Car Co. 'Evolution' coupler.





As you can see in the photo, an extremely realistic appearance.

The actual knuckle-spring is concealed as well, inside the coupler body.

Whoever designed this coupler really knew what they were doing...
...compared to the Kadee On3 couplers...
...IMO it is a massive step forward in every respect.

I am constructing my own basic coupler-pockets...
...so the simple mounting hole & built-in centreing-springs are perfect.

:moose:

Si.

Si.
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Hi John.

I snapped these pics. of the coupler height & size on the new car builds.

I think it looks very 'Victorian Railways' !



The wide-angle lens on the camera, does make the coupler look a bit bigger than seen by eye.

This low shot does as well, even though Wolfgang is only standing 1" away from the knuckle.



:moose:

Si.

Si.
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I dunno if Saladas 'coupler pocket bodge' remark is causing my insomnia or not.
It could just be the 20 cups of coffee a day !
Mmm...

The coupler pocket above ^^^ left is based on my knowledge of how the Westside Lumber Co. made theirs.
Their car builds were all 'in house' as far as I know.
Based on Pacific Car & Foundry, or similar hardware I believe.

The coupler pocket above ^^^ right is based on a 'between the frame' approach, used by the Gilpin Tram.

I have been making steel (styrene !) underframes of late.
The first for a terribly mooodern WELDED tankcar.
The second for my BROWNHOIST inspired crane project.

I have an absolute TON of research photos of similar cranes now.
The one here, has been selected from the bunch as a good 'template' for my build.

I was about to make a rectangular-hole in the end-beam for the coupler-shank...
...when I noticed that my proto-photo had it's coupler 'bodged ?' on, underneath the underframe.
Mmm...

I am going to see if I can find some photographs of how this might have been attached.
But I wondered if anyone has any pointers as to how this might have been done.

I'm not using Kadee couplers, so no ready made box.
The San Juan Car Co. 'Evolution' coupler as above ^^^ is again being used.

:moose:

Si.





Salada
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'Evening Si,

The voice in the night whispers....

"Coupler pocket bodge, coupler pocket bodge"..............sleep well, sweet dreams.


If you enlarge the coupler area of the above photo,
there is a square shape silhouetted within the far side stirrup step.

Maybe a below frames (chassis) coupler pocket bodge ?


Regards, Michael.


(Forever in steel, never in styrene; unless it's scenery)


W C Greene
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...Or, go with link & pins and forget all that "height" jazz!

Woodie


BTW
The inspiration for my Brownhoist came from the Mich-Cal Lumber Co.
There are drawings in the Pino Grande book, page 139.


Si.
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Howdy Woodie :cb:

Well ... I never would a guessed !

'Pino Grande' came down from the shelf...
...& Bob's yer uncle, there she is !!

I do, in a dusty & rusty corner of my mind, remember that drawing & photo.
I hadn't looked through Polkinghorns excellent book for a while though.

Some other GREAT photos & plans in there as well.

WHOOPS ! ... I'm not supposed to be looking at plans ;)

Oh well, all good stuff, just don't sweat the RIVET WORK !

:moose:

Si.

W C Greene
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Well, she ain't an exact copy but as close as I can manage.
I am thinking (dangerous!) about using the BH somewhere at the smelter.
A shame to keep her locked behind glass.

WCG


oztrainz
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Hi Woodie,

L:

Fit it with a dragline or clamshell bucket,

and park it near the slag pit for digging out slag after it had solidified.

;)


W C Greene
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Great idea!

Now something else to have to build!!

Woodie



Si.
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" I am thinking (dangerous!) about using the BH somewhere at the smelter. A shame to keep her locked behind glass."


BROWNHOIST ! ... BROWNHOIST ! ... BROWNHOIST !


Too right !

A Brownhoist behind glass should be a Federal offence !!

10-years hard labour, AT LEAST.


;)


Si.


Has the BROWNHOIST ! escaped the glasshouse yet ? . . .

Si.
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" This is The 'San Juan Car Co.'  'Evolution' On3 coupler.








As you can see in the photo, an extremely realistic appearance.

The actual knuckle-spring is concealed as well, inside the coupler body.

Whoever designed this coupler really knew what they were doing...
...compared to the 'Kadee' On3 couplers...
...IMO it is a massive step forward in every respect.

I am constructing my own basic 1:35n2 coupler-pockets...
...so the simple mounting hole & built-in centreing-springs are perfect."


- - - - - - -


Some additional images of the 'San Juan Car Co.' amazing 'Evolution' coupler ...  :cool:

... compared to the underscale 'Kadee' On3 coupler on some D.& R.G.W. cars.  :f:





Rust coloured 'Kadee' On3 on the left ^^ ... 'San Juan Car Co.' On3 on the right ^^





'San Juan Car Co.' On3 on the left ^^ ... Rust coloured 'Kadee' On3 on the right ^^


- - - - - - -





'Kadee' On3 coupler mounting spec. ^^



:java: :brill:  :dt:



Si.



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