Tips of the Trade
Here's the tip. Use a large pair of vise grips to hold the bright boy. This gives you a nice handle to hold onto. It extends your reach and reduces the amount of pressure that you have to use because the weight of the vise grips does most of the work for you.
To replace truck mounted couplers use Kadee #148 with Kadee #212 Talgo Truck Adapters. You might have to trim the whisker springs a little bit to make them work better. Or else you can cut off the coupler pocket with a razor knife and glue a 0.040" piece of styrene to the body and glue a #5 coupler box onto it.
To replace Rivarossi (AHM) style truck mounted couplers use Athearn McHenry (McH ) #56 for freight cars or McH #52 for passenger cars.
|To uncouple Kadee compatible couplers I use a home made uncoupling tool which is based on a design by Lionel Strang. I use the end of the tool to grab the 'brake hose' and separate the couplers. I make sure I have slack in the couplers before doing it so that the couplers have room to detach from each other. This tool works pretty well. I would never use a barbecue skewer to uncouple cars because it can damage the coupler and or the coupler pocket and knock the couplers out of alignment and cause them to be at an improper height.|
Make your own electrical feeder rail joiners by soldering (door) bell wire onto rail joiners. Doing it at the work bench makes it easier. Use a wood chissel to create a notch in a piece of MDF or other scrape of wood to cradel the rail joiner. Use a piece of tape to hold the wire in place while you solder the wire to the rail joiner. Ues two different colors of wire so you don't accidentally mix up the positive and negative wires.
Simple rules for model railroad track plan
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