Thomas and Brio Type Magnetic Coupler Replacements

About a year ago there were a few postings   (Picture from Lee W. below) on converting the couplers on the thomas cars and engines  to Brio type magnets so young children could couple them up easier when setting up or recovering from a derailment.  Lee W.  was lucky enough to have some of the wooden train magnets to start with and then augmented them with well glued neodymium magnets.  

 

I am about to start this project and was interested in the current state of the art on design ideas.  Bigsmooth also mentioned in this post that he had found some good sources for magnets on line and in hobby stores.  any references on where and what model magnets to get, which work best?  Any design  improvements since that original post?  Thanks for any details and  updates to this good project.

 

 

Slide3

Hokie 71

Chief of Operations, Free Union, Blacksburg, and Albemarle Railroad (FUBAR)

Original Post
Originally Posted by GCRailways:
I highly recommend LEGO magnetic couplers.  Their magnets swivel so they will couple regardless of each piece of equipment's orientation, unlike the wooden railways' couplers that only allow equipment to face one direction.

What do you mean by swivel? They still have to be opposite polarity magnets to connect.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

The heads spin in their brackets so that the correct pole is automatically presented:  each one has both + and -.
 
Originally Posted by Moonman:
Originally Posted by GCRailways:
I highly recommend LEGO magnetic couplers.  Their magnets swivel so they will couple regardless of each piece of equipment's orientation, unlike the wooden railways' couplers that only allow equipment to face one direction.

What do you mean by swivel? They still have to be opposite polarity magnets to connect.

 

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

I originally bought the nails and magnets that are similar to what you find on the Brio and Thomas wooden trains to make some of my own custom rolling stock for my sons trains. I can post some pictures when I get home.

 

I purchased the magnets and nails used from Casey's Wood Products and the parts I ordered were:

 

Ceramic Magnet Dot with 1/8" hole (Part 5053)

Chromed Head Nail (Part 5053E)

 

They work together very well, having good holding power, and are compatible with the Thomas / Brio trains. Functionally, there is no difference in performance between the couplers on the manufactured trains and the ones I built.

Originally Posted by bigsmooth:

I originally bought the nails and magnets that are similar to what you find on the Brio and Thomas wooden trains to make some of my own custom rolling stock for my sons trains. I can post some pictures when I get home.

 ...

If the link is inappropriate since they are not a forum sponsor, let me know and I'll send an email offline.

Thanks Aaron, that Lego coupler looks like it has possibilities.

 

Bigsmooth,

That's a possible solution. Thanks for the vendor link. The magnet(5053E) looks like a good size and thickness for a ceramic magnet. Too bad they don't provide the grade.

 

I went with the Brio hemi-spherical button in case I need to use a rare earth magnet. Don't want any pinched fingers. That nail head has rounded edges, so it would be ok.

 

 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

Many good ideas here and thanks to all.  I just bought a combination of items so I can play around with ideas:

1) Here is the best deal I found on Lego type couplers.

2) And the deal from Moonman above is also tough to beat for the traditional Brio option, impressive holding power in the bigsmooth pictures.

 

Here is the best deal I could find on a larger (10mmx 3mm) round magnet, and from a US source so no terribly long wait.  I may get these too - who can fight 20 cents each? with free shipping?

 

Hokie 71

Chief of Operations, Free Union, Blacksburg, and Albemarle Railroad (FUBAR)

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