Re: Horizontal Brake Wheels highlighting Tichy parts

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>

Gene and  Bill,

Nobody has mentioned the Bowser/Cal-Scale brass and plastic brake wheels: . The catalog drawings are crude, and I suspect that the plastic wheels are the same as the brass (Cal-Scale offered many plastic knock-offs of their brass parts). If so, there are also two designs among the plastic wheels. There are also a lot of other brake parts listed on this page that are of use to us, especially levers (which I love) and hoses.

In my brake parts drawer, I have an out-of-package gray plastic sprue of eight wheels similar to the Bowser plastic drawing. Although they are similar to Tichy's, with eight wheels they don't match anything in their catalog and are definitely not Bowser either. An obvious treasure, but I don't know who made them.

Looking at the very bottom of my parts drawer, I see a whole bunch of what are probably 14" horizontal brake wheels. They are likely from Grandt for narrow gauge cars. (Sigh!) I don't know how I came to have them, as all my HO narrow gauge parts and stuff were sold off when I went into On2 (real 2-foot) after college.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

On 7/14/18 11:17 AM, Gene Green via Groups.Io wrote:
First, your photos are always excellent.  Kudos!

The horizontal wheel hand brakes are mostly non-existent in HO scale so far as I know.  Good hand brakes for flat and tank cars are sorely needed.  There is more to those hand brakes than merely stabbing a shaft into the deck (flats) or running board (tanks) and putting a 16 inch hand wheel on top.

—Are the manufacturers of the Tichy representations known?  In your photo with "14" visible the spoke pattern of the one on the left resembles early Equipco hand wheels when viewed from above as in your photo.  The Equipco hand wheels were dished, however, and the Tichy hand wheel is not.  Universal had a 5-spoke hand wheel which the right hand wheel 'sort of' represents but . . .   The Universal hand wheel was also dished but not very much.

—Are the two Tichy rim variations prototypical or a tooling error?  Don't know.  Both are plausible but the rim of malleable (cast) hand wheels was typically a 'U' cross-section.

—Are there other accurate Horizontal brake wheels available in 1/87th scale? I know Precision Scale offers some variations—are they Prototypical and if so what do they represent?   I am not at all familiar with what the brass importers might have or have had available so I won't answer.

—Are there significant Horizontal Brake wheels that need to be done?  Oh, my goodness, YES!!!!  Your question only asks about hand wheels but I always think in terms of the entire hand brake of which the hand wheel is only one part.  I have made drawings of twenty 15-inch and 16-inch (yes, there were both) hand wheels I either have in my collection or to which I had safe, legal access long enough to take the necessary measurements, make the CAD drawing on site and then check drawing against actual hand wheel.  I've only scratched the surface.  I have a number of hand wheels upon which I find no manufacturer identification, at least none that I recognize as such.  Railroads may have also made their own hand wheels, especially malleable hand wheels.  At least Equipco had a forged hand wheel (stamped) in later years.  I tend to ignore anything built after 1950 so there may well be others. 

Addressing hand wheels only we need:
1 Ellcon-National
4 Equipco
2 Superior (there was a 15- & 16-inch.  One could serve for both, I suppose)
1 Universal
2 URECO (one of which is identical to an Equipco except for the markings)

So far as I have determined, Superior and URECO never offered a forged hand wheel.

Horizontal wheel hand brake mechanisms needed include:
3 ACF for tank cars (all are quite similar to one another so maybe we could change that to one)
2 Ellcon-National (malleable & forged versions of the same brake)
1 Equipco
3 Superior (one of which is THE GATX tank car hand brake)
2 Universal

I think many modelers tend to assume that all horizontal wheel hand brakes were Plate A, that is, chain wound around shaft.  Not the case at all from the late 1930s to the present.  Horizontal wheel hand brakes, just like vertical wheel hand brakes, were GEARED hand brakes.

Dan Smith, please chime in here.  If you, or anyone else, can add to or correct what I have written, please do so.

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