Re: Scale Coupler Boxes: was Couplers, Coupler Pockets, The NMRA, and Scale Size

Walter M. Clark

--- In, Denny Anspach <danspach@m...> wrote:

To an extent, those turning up their noses to all plastic couplers in
some kind of blanket fashion remind me of the "standing in the
trench" pronouncements of those who in the '60s announced in print
and in word loudly that they would *never* ever buy (or sell)
anything made of plastic, and urged others to do the same. Plastics
were "the death of model railroad hobby" (this was at the time when
the then-new Athearn molded cars were de facto taking over the model
railroad market). Now, just how much egg would you like on your face?

"All metal" can mean anything from bismuth, lead, brass, aluminum,
steel, zinc, and zamac and other alloys (some pure, but many others
made of of leavings and sweepings), steel, etc. I do have some
pretty terrible couplers" that are "All Metal".

"All plastic" can mean anything from soft new styrene (or similar)
or other unstable plastics to various kinds of very tough aged
engineering plastics . I also have some pretty fine couplers that are
"All Plastic".<snip the rest of the discussion>
Denny (and everyone else),

Back in the late 1960s and 1970s several of us model railroaders,
mostly in our teens and twenties would gather at Harper's Hobby Shop
in Riverside, California on Friday evenings (thanks, Jim!) to shoot
the bull and run whatever we brought on the store layout (scenery and
26" minimum radius, great fun). Everyone was using MKD-5 & 10 (that
digs way back into the memory) and we burned out several of those
little brass springs before we figured out the problem. Two Athearn
engines, back-to-back, would run coupled into a tunnel on a curve and
come out the other end uncoupled and missing one or both coupler
springs. Yep, we were putting the (metal) couplers in the frame
coupler pockets on (metal frame) engines and the reversed polarity of
the two frames would short out the coupler springs. If we'd had
plastic couplers it wouldn't have been a problem. One guy had access
to a mill and milled off the cast on pockets, drilled the remaining
pad and used the plastic KD boxes. Problem solved. And my point is
to agree with Denny and say that plastics can be a problem or a
solution, you just have to have the right stuff at the right time and

Walter M. Clark
Time stopped in November 1941
Riverside, California

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