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From his (Alan) last comments that I saw, it seemed more like the financial burden was what drove him away. Maybe he will return and illuminate things for us. The last posts of his that I saw were lamenting the high costs of track and switches.

Simon

Nothing is cheap these days, hobbies included! 🙂 I agree with bob2 about "fixating" on things; as has been mentioned many, many times, it's all a compromise of sorts, so we have to do the best we can... As far as couplers are concerned, I like to keep the original dummy types on my vintage stuff: I love Kadees ( for a lot of reasons), but those old cast ones just look..."right". 🙂

Mark (on the cool) Oregon Coast

@Strummer posted:

Nothing is cheap these days, hobbies included! 🙂 I agree with bob2 about "fixating" on things; as has been mentioned many, many times, it's all a compromise of sorts, so we have to do the best we can... As far as couplers are concerned, I like to keep the original dummy types on my vintage stuff: I love Kadees ( for a lot of reasons), but those old cast ones just look..."right". 🙂

Mark (on the cool) Oregon Coast

You start with a trite comment and then criticize the man for what he likes and because he is poor. Your post is irrelevant to the topic. Shame.

Simon

I bought a few sets of the Shelf Couplers from Jimmy Booth to check them out. I’m not sure of all the varieties he is selling, but I bought 2 pairs of double shelf Type E, 2 pairs of lower shelf Type E and 1 set of Type F.

They are cast brass with 5 parts - the receiver, the knuckle, the tongue, the pin and a spring for draft gear. I also ordered the draft gear boxes - They are 3d printed resin in 2 parts a top and a bottom. The draft gear boxes have some detail including a key slot.

The couplers took me about 15 minutes to figure out how to assemble. Simply slip the tongue into the receiver and push it all the way up open position. Then push the knuckle into the receiver. Then pass the knuckle pin through the receiver and the knuckle to hold the knuckle in place. That’s it. Push or pull the tongue up and the knuckle opens, close the knuckle and the tongue drops and locks the knuckle closed.

I have yet too install them or operate with them so can’t really comment there yet. A few I’ll have to tackle are

1 - limited swing distance, what will the minimum radius with these installed.

2 - bottom operated or modify to top operate. I’m thinking I can install a small steel ring on top to the tongue to operate the couplers with a magnetic wand.

3 - finishing and lubing them. I’m thinking chemically blackening the couplers and applying graphite to the moving surfaces as well as the striking surfaces.

Definitely beautiful. Thank you Jimmy for this beautiful product!

rocky@glacierparkmodels.com

And thanks again JayC for the tip.

72F30D3C-B1EF-4BF9-97D3-A6D117421A4BE654C93A-6ACE-40E9-9B20-70ED82F04642813B8296-8989-4D23-B575-91C07393456A56AC9790-B8D0-4C68-9E8B-F3DB578C2BC7

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Last edited by Greg Amer
@Greg Amer posted:

I bought a few sets of the Shelf Couplers from Jimmy Booth to check them out. I’m not sure of all the varieties he is selling, but I bought 2 pairs of double shelf Type E, 2 pairs of lower shelf Type E and 1 set of Type F.

They are cast brass with 5 parts - the receiver, the knuckle, the tongue, the pin and a spring for draft gear. I also ordered the draft gear boxes - They are 3d printed resin in 2 parts a top and a bottom. The draft gear boxes have some detail including a key slot.

The couplers took me about 15 minutes to figure out how to assemble. Simply slip the tongue into the receiver and push it all the way up open position. Then push the knuckle into the receiver. Then pass the knuckle pin through the receiver and the knuckle to hold the knuckle in place. That’s it. Push or pull the tongue up and the knuckle opens, close the knuckle and the tongue drops and locks the knuckle closed.

I have yet too install them or operate with them so can’t really comment there yet. A few I’ll have to tackle are

1 - limited swing distance, what will the minimum radius with these installed.

2 - bottom operated or modify to top operate. I’m thinking I can install a small steel ring on top to the tongue to operate the couplers with a magnetic wand.

3 - finishing and lubing them. I’m thinking chemically blackening the couplers and applying graphite to the moving surfaces as well as the striking surfaces.

Definitely beautiful. Thank you Jimmy for this beautiful product!

rocky@glacierparkmodels.com

And thanks again JayC for the tip.

Greg,

Did you make any further progress in installing these shelf couplers?

Do you need any tools for getting these castings ready for installation like a drill press or an air brush?

I just ordered a set of the Lionel 30K, tank cars  and think that these double-shelf couplers would be a better choice over the Kadee couplers that I am used to.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen Rajan

Hi Naveen.

I was playing with them earlier this month. I epoxied some .032” diameter steel rod into the keys to make them operate magnetically. They operate pretty good with the steel inside. Since I know they work magnetically, I think I’ll solder the steel rod into them. I also tried some mini ball bearings instead of steel rod, but the rod was a better solution.

6AF54B55-0439-4C88-8C10-CB251E10948E767E1C7D-F416-49AA-8579-77E13CAC3E4B
F5A3C2AB-2EE2-4B26-B858-C8B0F771A0ED

I dipped the couplers in the photos above in blacken-it. I also used neo-lube on the operating parts to blacken and lube them.

The only tool I used to assemble them was a sanding stick to burnish some parts. Assembly was pretty easy. There are 4 parts and pretty much only one way to put them together.

The double shelf E couplers I assembled worked great on the bench, but I haven’t installed them onto a car. The coupler draft gear pockets work well also. The opening in the coupler pocket is pretty narrow, so these will probably only work on broader radius turns.

I experimented the F couplers and the lower shelf E couplers, but had trouble keeping those together. I’ll have to work some more on those varieties to figure them out.

Overall, I like them, but honestly haven’t really put them to practice with any real installation and real use.

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All of this really started with the modification of the original Clouser coupler.  How do I know this?  Because I'm the one that made the original modifications.  The shelf couplers came into being because Jimmy was helped Norm with the final product (for now) and these are an offshoot from all of that.

One of the interim coupler boxes was far different from the current production.  They look more like a Kadee box.  Why do I mention this?  Because the shelf couplers should fit in the older box and they allow for more swing of the couplers.  I know Protocraft has a decent supply of the older boxes.  Norm is away for the Thanksgiving Holiday but he should be back is a week, or so.  Give give him a call and get some of the boxes if you operate with tighter radius curves.

I do remember making the modification that allows for the short steel rod installed in the lift pin.  We drilled out a Clouser, created a slot, and glued a short piece of steel rod in the opening.  I found cutting up a paper clip to be the easiest.  Soft steel, easy to cut, readily available, cheap, and one clip will make a lot of pieces.

If needed, I suppose I could create a few photos.

Jay

Last edited by Jay C

Good info
thanks Jay,

I’ll have to try a paper clip, because the piano wire I’m using is super hard, making it a pain to file to the proper length.

I kind of suspected the old Protocraft coupler boxes might work with these and I contacted Norm about them a couple months ago, but forgot to follow up, I guess I let it fall through the cracks. I’ll have to check back.

@Greg Amer posted:

Hi Naveen.

I was playing with them earlier this month. I epoxied some .032” diameter steel rod into the keys to make them operate magnetically. They operate pretty good with the steel inside. Since I know they work magnetically, I think I’ll solder the steel rod into them. I also tried some mini ball bearings instead of steel rod, but the rod was a better solution.

I dipped the couplers in the photos above in blacken-it. I also used neo-lube on the operating parts to blacken and lube them.

The only tool I used to assemble them was a sanding stick to burnish some parts. Assembly was pretty easy. There are 4 parts and pretty much only one way to put them together.

The double shelf E couplers I assembled worked great on the bench, but I haven’t installed them onto a car. The coupler draft gear pockets work well also. The opening in the coupler pocket is pretty narrow, so these will probably only work on broader radius turns.

I experimented the F couplers and the lower shelf E couplers, but had trouble keeping those together. I’ll have to work some more on those varieties to figure them out.

Overall, I like them, but honestly haven’t really put them to practice with any real installation and real use.

Greg,

Thank you for the update. The couplers look better with the black finish over the earlier colors of the brass castings. Do you plan to leave the couplers with the black finish or do you plan to further paint them? The couplers that I had seen on real trains seem to have a rust-colored orange / brown shades in addition to the matte black colors.

20150627_15034920150627_150918

I noticed that you also bought the draft gear boxes. How do they compare to the Kadee gear boxes, in regards to height and mounting hole spacing? The newer Lionel freight cars seem to have mounting pads, screw hole spacing and some also come with spacers and screws that allow conversions to Kadee couplers, much easier.

These are just my opinion,

Thanks,

Naveen Rajan

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Last edited by naveenrajan

Thank you Jay.

Naveen,

I’ll paint these rusty brown eventually. The mounting holes in the gear boxes do not correspond with the Kadee hole spacing. Height can be adjusted with shims like Kadee.

A Wells,

I think a well car would be fitted with a standard type E coupler or a lower shelf Type SBE coupler more recently. The ones pictured above are double shelf type SE.

Cheers Greg

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