Brake Hoses Redux.


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

Since my last post on this fascinating subject,
quite a bit has gone under the bridge, and I have
gained considerable wisdom thereby:

As you recall I had purchased brass air hoses in
bulk from PSC on special order (i.e. they cast
them to order), and I found that there was a
learning curve in effectively adapting them to
our usual freight car modeling. A major problem
was that when shaping them, they tended to break
right at a very thin critical point between the
angle cock and the hose. An experienced modeler
also using these brass hoses has related to me
that he thinks that the installation "loss" is
perhaps around 10%. My initial loss was higher,
but has significantly subsided in the interim.

Jack Burgess inquired as to whether or not they
could be annealed. Good question, and I have
tried it- and it seems to work to some
substantial degree (I held the air hose in a gas
burner flame until dull red and then dunked it in
a nearby glass of water). I did curl up and lose
most of the air pipe on one hose by getting it
too hot, but all in all, it is worthwhile.

Jack also reported the fact (new to me, although
I should have known better after all of these
years) that the angle cock is rotated 30º
clockwise on the air pipe (viewed facing the car
end), the purpose being obviously that the two
facing cocks on adjacent coupled cars actually
squarely face each other on the same vertical
plane. Off list, Dennis Storzek has also sent me
some wonderful photos graphically depicting this.
This factoid simplifies things immensely inasmuch
as for most installations, all one needs to do to
shape the hose is to grasp the hose proper just
beyond the critically-thin section and gently
curl it downward almost to a vertical stance just
as gravity would encourage any hanging rubber
hose with a heavy weight on the end.

Before heading to Naperville, I installed brass
hoses on five cars, one styrene and four resin,
four of which I wrapped in plastic sheeting,
packed in fitted foam boxes, and took to the
show. Four individual air hose installations did
not make it. The hoses were great, but their
plastic or resin mounts were not. Outside
pressure on the hoses simply leveraged the mounts
beyond what they could stand. Part of this was
poor packing on my part, and more generally, it
indicates that the job is not finished: we need
good solid well anchored air hose brackets.

Keep in mind, all air hoses survived to live
again; the air hose brackets did not.

The only ones commonly available are Kadee's,
which I have since been told were more common
than just log cars, but still were relatively
unusual. These can and do work well providing
that once the bracket is cemented in place, it is
further anchored by driving a wire "drift pin"
through the base in to the underside of the car
or end (#76 drill), and ACC it in place. I
personally just use any one of the clipped off
wire grab iron remnants on the bench top, and
simply drill through to size.

According to Dennis' estimates, he feels that
about half of the cars in our interest era
1920-60 in broad terms just used a simple metal
strap 4-5" wide projecting out and sloping
gently down from under the end sill to suspend
the end of the air pipe and its attached angle
coek/air hose below with a U bolt. This strap
had some bracing of course, but the concept and
execution was pretty simple.

A number of our kits have included these
strap-type brackets in cast resin, the most
recent for me being a Sunshine SS Milwaukee
boxcar of c. 1922. These good looking, but
precarious brackets on this car did not survive
the leverage of the brass hoses during the trip,
and IMHO would not have survived long in routine
handling/operations otherwise under any
circumstances.

Finely done styrene brake hose hanger/brackets of
a slightly different type on a 50' Branchline
steel boxcar lasted even less time: both were
broken prior to the car even being put on the
track for the first time!

So, my attention is now directed to just how can
we have made some bulletproof brass air hose
brackets that have locating/anchoring pins that
can be inserted into drilled holes on the
underside of the car ends. My intention to to
first concentrate on developing some sort of
strap-type hanger that would be fine for at last
half of the cars we are doing, and perhaps be
acceptable by many for an awful lot of the
remaining cars as well.

Other air hose variables not mentioned, but have to be considered:
1) Compatibility with couplers with magnetic
coupling pins still intact. This issue includes
the pin on the coupler on the car A, and the pin
on the adjacent car B to which it wishes to be
coupled.

2) The effect of the wide coupler box. The air
pipe comes out right alongside the box right on
the central horizontal axis of the coupler
drawbar and head. If you are attempting to model
the air pipe right from the angle cock back to
the bolster, one has to consider the interference
of the wheels, which in most instances will
prevent it. With the narrow box, accurate
modeling of this detail becomes a greater
possibility.

I have more information to share on this subject,
but will retire for now. Dennis has generously
given me permission to share his photos and
graphics on this subject, and I will post them to
Files in the next day or so.

Dennis is a precious resource in our hobby.

BTW, I have a VERY limited number of packets (@36
count) of brass air hoses in excess of what I
will ever need, which I will sell for my expenses
(c. @ $0.27-0.30) and a SSASE. Please contact me
ONLY off-list.


Denny








--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento


Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...>
 

Denny this is very interesting, so thanks for continuing to update the list with your efforts. One point worth noting: You said:
"Jack Burgess inquired as to whether or not they
could be annealed. [snip] I held the air hose in a gas
burner flame until dull red and then dunked it in
a nearby glass of water [snip]"

Unfortunately, the water dunk was counter productive. In metals work, once its red hot you want it to cool slowly - fast cooling only hardens it up again. I suppose its all a matter of degree, but I suggest you try to let them air cool instead. (I purchased a special soldering surface from a jewellery manufacturer that works good for this sort of work).

Regards,

Rob Kirkham


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Rob Kirkham wrote:
Unfortunately, the water dunk was counter productive. In metals work, once its red hot you want it to cool slowly - fast cooling only hardens it up again.
This would be true for steel, Rob, but not for brass. If anything, cooling it quickly reduces oxidation during cool-down.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...>
 

Well, you learn something new every day. Thanks for pointing that out Tony. I take it this turns out to be a tip for more effective brass modelling generally - quick cooling it to minimize oxidation and build up of unsolderable scale and gunk?

Rob

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:09 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Brake Hoses Redux.


Rob Kirkham wrote:
Unfortunately, the water dunk was counter productive. In metals work,
once its red hot you want it to cool slowly - fast cooling only
hardens it up again.
This would be true for steel, Rob, but not for brass. If anything,
cooling it quickly reduces oxidation during cool-down.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history




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James Eckman
 

Posted by: "Rob Kirkham"
Unfortunately, the water dunk was counter productive. In metals work, once
its red hot you want it to cool slowly - fast cooling only hardens it up
again.
Sorry, this is not true for brass. The only way it hardens is by work hardening, i.e. compressing it in some fashion. Jewelers often plunge wire that has just been heated for annealing into pickle baths. See a books such as "The Complete Metalsmith" by Tim McCreight or possibly
"Practical Casting, a Studio Reference" by Tim McCreight. Filled with lots of information on manipulating small metal bits! Including low tech photo-etching, soldering, bending, the works.

Some of the little jeweler tricks may spark some ideas for sturdier brake hose mountings. These are cheap books and often available used.

Jim Eckman


B.T. Charles
 

Denny Anspach <danspach@...> wrote:
...that the angle cock is rotated 30º
clockwise on the air pipe (viewed facing the car
end), the purpose being obviously that the two
facing cocks on adjacent coupled cars actually
squarely face each other on the same vertical
plane.
While it would be impossibly small to see in HO, there is a casting
mark on the threaded end of a brake hose, on one side of the six sided
area where the wrench is used. Sometimes it will actually have "Top"
cast in, but most of the time it is just a indent, or the name of the
company. While the angle cock is mounted at 30º, the mark on the hose
is matched to the break mark in the angle cock casting. In short, too
late, the reason for this is that the hoses will not slip apart at the
glad hands if not mounted close to the 30º mark, and they will stretch
quite far before breaking! When assembling hoses, the glad hand is
matched with the threaded fitting at the other end of the hose. Hope
this helps...

Rome Romano


Jared Harper <harper-brown@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Denny Anspach <danspach@...> wrote:
Jack also reported the fact (new to me, although
I should have known better after all of these
years) that the angle cock is rotated 30º
clockwise on the air pipe (viewed facing the car
end),
Did this only apply to freight cars? Doesn't seem like it would, but
photos of Santa Fe doodlebug M.177 at Travel Town in LA, and historical
photos of the same show the angle cocks and hoses hanging straight
down. I am not trying to be contrary here, but am just wondering.
Jared Harper
Athens, GA


Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

Jared wrote, regarding brake hoses angled to 30 degrees:

Did this only apply to freight cars? Doesn't seem like it would, but
photos of Santa Fe doodlebug M.177 at Travel Town in LA, and historical
photos of the same show the angle cocks and hoses hanging straight
down. I am not trying to be contrary here, but am just wondering.
There are several photos in Volume One of "Focus on Freight Cars" which show
the air hoses/cocks on an angle. Although I no longer have the drawing
provided by the YV brakeman who pointed this this out to me (apparently he
sent me a photocopy from a Car Builders Dictionary), the standards are
included in the 1925 Locomotive Cyclopedia (page 783) that I have. The
Cyclopedia quotes 1911 ARA standards which require that the air hose be
angled at 30 degrees and be 13" from the centerline of the coupler. The
standards also apply to passenger cars.

I wonder if the hoses were not angled on the doodlebug because it wasn't
used in interchange service and probably rarely coupled to freight cars.
Maybe the hoses were longer to compensate for hanging straight down...

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Jack Burgess" <jack@...> wrote:
There are several photos in Volume One of "Focus on Freight Cars"
which show
the air hoses/cocks on an angle. Although I no longer have the drawing
provided by the YV brakeman who pointed this this out to me
(apparently he
sent me a photocopy from a Car Builders Dictionary), the standards are
included in the 1925 Locomotive Cyclopedia (page 783) that I have. The
Cyclopedia quotes 1911 ARA standards which require that the air hose be
angled at 30 degrees and be 13" from the centerline of the coupler. The
standards also apply to passenger cars.

I wonder if the hoses were not angled on the doodlebug because it wasn't
used in interchange service and probably rarely coupled to freight cars.
Maybe the hoses were longer to compensate for hanging straight down...

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com
Jack,

That same ARA standard drawing was included in every CBC through 1946.
The dimensions for the pipe centerline and projection are shown as a
table, with different values for wood sills, steel sills, and for use
with Type D (later E) couplers. The table in the 1922 CBC shows the
distance from car centerline increasing with each upgrade until it is
to be 15½" with Type D couplers. Then, in 1943 this recommended
distance is decreased to 12". In all cases the angle is to be 30 deg.

I have, however, worked with locomotives that had their front air line
to the LEFT (facing the locomotive) of the front coupler, to keep the
air line, and thus the crewman operating the halve, on the engineer's
side. I can only surmise that exceptions were permissible to account
for the uneque operating conditions imposed by locomotives, and I
would imagine these were equipped with non-standard length hoses. I
suspect Jared's observation of the placement on Santa Fe motorcars is
one of those exceptions.

That 12" off centerline dimension is one reason why few people have
properly modeled air hoses, angle cocks and their brackets until now;
the side of the common model coupler box is further from centerline
that that. This causes the air line to be displaced outward, where it
can then interfere with the wheels on our sharp model curves.

Richard Hendrickson's Focus on Freight Cars is an excellent place to
study angle cock brackets, and illustrate the three major types:

1) Cars with deep end sills simply run the air line through a hole in
the sill and provide a mounting for a pipe clamp, often times on the
inner face of the sill. These are easy to model, just drill a hole and
glue the air hose casting in.

2) Cars with early versions of steel ends typically bracketed the air
line off the end of the center sill. The 1922 CBC has a drawing for a
fancy casting intended to do this job on a USRA boxcar, and it bears
an uncanny resemblance to the Kadee bracket that Doc Denny likes.

3) Just about everything else uses some variation of a flat steel
plate bent to drop downward and outward from the bottom of the end to
hold the angle cock at the proper location. This is the part that is
sorely missing. Several resin kits now include these, but as has been
stated before, their strength leaves much to be desired.

Dennis


Jared Harper <harper-brown@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Jack Burgess" <jack@...> wrote:
I wonder if the hoses were not angled on the doodlebug because it
wasn't
used in interchange service and probably rarely coupled to freight
cars.
Maybe the hoses were longer to compensate for hanging straight down...
The doodlebug was used in regular mixed train service on the Santa Fe's
Alma branch run. When in that service it was used to pickup, set out
and switch cars like any locomotive.

Jared Harper
Athens, GA


B.T. Charles
 

--- In STMFC@..., Denny Anspach <danspach@> wrote:
...that the angle cock is rotated 30º
"Jared Harper" <harper-brown@...> wrote:
...photos of Santa Fe doodlebug M.177 at Travel Town...
...show the angle cocks and hoses hanging straight down...
Good point Jared, some steam locomotives had the hoses hang straight
down too, CPR 4-6-2 G5's (1200 class) come to mind. While the hose
hung straight down, it was on the same side as the engineer along with
the signal line, instead of the fireman's or left side of the
locomotive, as well as the same side as the passenger car it was
coupling/coupled to. If you can picture this, since the hose was
pulled to the right as the locomotive backed away, it was straightened
enough for the hoses to part, without becoming locked.

Rome Romano


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

Last evening I attended a dinner in the Great
Hall of the California State Railroad Museum, our
table nestled up to the lifting injector of UP
0-6-0 (#4466, Lima 1920). Although not feeling
very chipper, I did take the opportunity to look
briefly around at air hoses and brackets- and
every one that I saw was at 30º- including the UP
switcher. I especially looked at the FGE ice
refrigerator car (#35832, 1924), and as Dennis
would have surmised, it had a very simple
bent-down strap hanger for the air hose, the hose
being suspended below by a U-bolt at the end.

I did note that when the car was repainted and
restored in 1980, however, the restorers failed
to hammer down the simple heavy sheet metal
locking device that was designed to keep the hex
nut fitting between the angle cock and pipe from
inadvertently turning (a function usually
performed by simply tightening the U-bolt so that
a hex nut "flat" is pressed against the underside
of the strap/hanger).

More as I learn more.

Denny
--
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento