MTH PS2 Steam Drawbar

Hello,

Does anyone know the part number for an MTH PS2 "traditional" drawbar (not wireless)?  I've searched the MTH parts site high and low and put in a service request, but I cannot find a part number to see if a replacement is even available - all I'm finding are the "wireless" drawbars.

I'm considering just purchasing some brass and drilling out holes to make my own, but I'd prefer to use an "OEM" one if available.

Thanks in advance!

Original Post

I would probably make it out of 1/16" fiberglass sheet, I keep some around for this kind of stuff.  It's super strong, and pretty easy to whack into whatever shape you need.  Obviously, making it from brass will work as well.

I used another similar generation PS2 locomotive and pulled the drawbar to measure and came up with the following using my digital calipers:

78mm Long
7.55mm Wide
2mm Thick

I went to Lowes to look for some brass or metal to make my drawbar but the best I could find was some ~1/16" thick "welding plate." I used a chop saw with a metal cutting blade to cut my plate into a rectangle (took far longer than I had hoped - chop saw was not ideal for the application but it's the only heavy duty metal cutting tool I have as I didn't thing the dremel would cut it (pun intended)). I then used my vice and a dremel to grind down the bar to the shape close to the MTH part, then I drilled my two holes in my drawbar, before giving it an even coat of black metal spray paint.

End result worked the charm, can't even tell it's not the original piece unless you pull it off the locomotive and inspect it.  That being said, all told it probably took me about 1.5 hours worth of effort (not including the time spent milling around Lowes looking for materials).

Would I do it again, I'd probably use ABS plastic from Plastruct or Evergreen... alternatively I do have a jig saw with some metal cutting blades, but I'm not sure the jig saw blade is substantial enough to cut through 1/16" steel.

Here's a photo of the locomotive on the tracks (angle doesn't show the drawbar, but I figured it's a good photo of a good looking loco):

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Glad you were able to do the job.  Truthfully, I don't know that I'd use plastic, I'd use my 1/16" fiberglass.  It's very easy to shape with a Dremel with carbide burrs, and also easy to drill.  However, it's way stronger than any plastic.  To rough cut it, I use a carbide radial arm saw to make a slim piece of stock.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I would probably make it out of 1/16" fiberglass sheet, I keep some around for this kind of stuff.  It's super strong, and pretty easy to whack into whatever shape you need.  Obviously, making it from brass will work as well.

Source for these boards?  You use the same stuff for your smoke unit and pickup roller mounting?

Dave Zucal posted:

GRJ, I'm guessing it's not necessary to have a good ground connection between the engine and tender that you favor fiberglass. Would this be correct?

That would be correct, and a loose drawbar isn't going to give you a solid connection either.  If you want a connection, run a wire.

superwarp1 posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

I would probably make it out of 1/16" fiberglass sheet, I keep some around for this kind of stuff.  It's super strong, and pretty easy to whack into whatever shape you need.  Obviously, making it from brass will work as well.

Source for these boards?  You use the same stuff for your smoke unit and pickup roller mounting?

Garolite Micarta Phenolic G10FR4 Sheet .063" (1/16") Thick x 12" x 12", 3 Pcs, eBay: 111001839155 is one source.

This is the solution I've been looking for when it comes to shortening the drawbar on a few of my 3rdrail engines that need isolation from ground due to the tender shell being the TMCC antenna.  Thanks John.

superwarp1 posted:

This is the solution I've been looking for when it comes to shortening the drawbar on a few of my 3rdrail engines that need isolation from ground due to the tender shell being the TMCC antenna.  Thanks John.

In this case the post on the tender is on the frame which should be isolated from the body already. You can use fiberglass but it not really needed.

Any old PC board would work here. In my case I probably have enough copper clad board to tile a gymnasium.

Pete 

Norton posted:
superwarp1 posted:

This is the solution I've been looking for when it comes to shortening the drawbar on a few of my 3rdrail engines that need isolation from ground due to the tender shell being the TMCC antenna.  Thanks John.

In this case the post on the tender is on the frame which should be isolated from the body already. You can use fiberglass but it not really needed.

Any old PC board would work here. In my case I probably have enough copper clad board to tile a gymnasium.

Pete 

On older 3rdrail engines like my Niagara, the frame is not isolated.  There's a plastic grommet in the drawbar keeping the tender from grounding out which is glued in.  Instead of finding a substitute for this grommet I'll just build a new drawbar to the spacing I want.

Since both the 6-pin and 10-pin drawbar have a ground conductor, I question if that solid wire is really for grounding.  The articulated post on the tender makes VERY POOR contact on the two units I checked, the only ones that were handy.  I sure wouldn't want to count on that post and wire for a proper ground.

If that fiberglass dulls a saw so fast, what about the drill bit used for the holes?

A "Drill Doctor"? Or do you grind holes with a grinding ball bit?

(I know it does dull cutters fast, and saws are hard to sharpen. I'm mostly just curious what your solution is to dull bits. Sharpen or toss um? (Jobber bits are cheap enough, but they aren't even close to my fav.s., even compared to a regrind they often seem too soft for me)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I use the titanium coated drills, and so far I've drilled countless holes in fiberglass and they still are as sharp as ever.  I didn't think that would make a difference of HSS drills, but clearly I seem to have been mistaken.

Yes, when a drill bit does gets dull, I toss it.  I have a large box of drill bits that I bought years ago, still working through those.

That makes perfect sense, circuit board drills have to make thousands (tens of thousands?) of holes in FR4 or similar fiberglass stock, they have to last.  I saw them for $6-$7 each, I don't drill that many holes.

I like to use titanium also. 

I label my carbides as "glass bits". A carry over from helping Gramps make custom gauges. (Talk about hard to cut without a shatter. We'd weight the drill press handle slightly and walk off, checking progress between other work, then fliped it,  going in from the other side to avoid edge chips)

 They do have titanium saw blades too.

A grinder is usually my choice for cutting fiberglass though.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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Alan Mancus
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