Air Hoses - what to do ---


Following this thread with interest,?I'm just as hung up on the
subject(s) of air hoses and cut bars/levers as Denny and Jack.

I've been using (gasp) Detail Associates air hoses for quite
some time. Being that they are made from "engineering plastic",
I've found that holding a soldering iron close to the hose allows
for bending it slightly to?match?a more prototype appearance.

Of course, one can heat them too much, making them look like
a little black worm with an angle cock. <G>

As far as the mounting of the hoses at 30 degrees, I go along
with that. But, when I was a Special Agent (RR Police) with the
pre-merger Frisco, I used to do a lot of study of the finer details
when possible. I didn't take very many photos of stuff, as my
position with the company would cause the crews to get worked
up if they saw a special agent walking around taking pictures.

Back to the subject at hand --- many cars that I saw, after some
time in use, were amazing in that the cut levers/bars and hose
brackets were pretty much "all over the place".

There were so many "jury rigged" contraptions and bailing wire
and spit fabrications holding this stuff together.

Usually, IIRC, the hose brackets were pretty "floppy". and many
times the angle cock had been turned around a little, here and there,
that uniformity was the exception rather than the rule.

I made friends with a number of the car knockers, a couple of
them were covert model railroaders, and we would discuss
these matters. <G>

I recall one tri-level auto rack and its "trombone slide"
cut lever. You wouldn't believe, and I wish I had a photo, how
this thing had been patched back together, several times, with
a couple of pieces of angle and bar/strap stock and a whole lot
of creative welding.?

It barely would move and it looked as if, when given a good tug,
it would fall off yet again. But, it headed off to Rose Lake from
Ewing Ave., yard in the next cut out, with my car man friend
shaking his head.

No "Bad Order" on that type of stuff, just let it go to the next
carrier and hope it falls off on foreign track.

Back to modeling. One thing that bugs me is that most HO
air hoses have the angle cock turned "open". I've tried slicing
the handle off the HO hoses and re-applying them in the
closed position, especially on passenger cars that I know
I'll want on the end of a train, ATSF Rider Cars specifically.

One of the most remarkable things I've seen is what Dave Davis
has done. He made a little punch in the form of a glad hand and
punches them from thin kitchen magnets. Then he uses the
no-sag thread from Walthers High Tension Tower kits to make
the hose. With the magnet on one end, and the other end of the
hose ACC'd to the angle cock, the hose hangs down at
Denny's prototype angle. But, when the cars are being coupled,
the magnets attract each other and, as if by magic, the
hoses couple by themselves, yielding a prototype appearance
as the train passes by.

Finally, I've drawn and laser cut a little air hose bracket I use
on my freight cars. The hole in it is sized to accept the DA
hose casting, even with the misalignment in the casting caused
by die slippage. It's just a little tab (.0156" thick) that glues to
the back of the end sill and holds the hose pipe in place.

This eliminates the necessity of other types of brackets, or the
big glob of glue needed to hold them in place.

It's simple and unobtrusive. It follows the philosophy of,
if you can't render it properly in scale, then it's best to
leave it off so it doesn't attract negative attention. <G>

I could go on, and on, with this but I have to get working.


John Hitzeman
American Model Builders, Inc.
Our 25th Year!!
LASERkit (tm)

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