Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nailing Kadee couplings to British stock

KDFitting2If God had meant us to fit Kadee couplings to UK stock, he wouldn't have given us 3-links. Hover the customer request Kadee's so that's what I had to fit.

Now I'm not completely new to these couplings - all my On30 stock has them fitted 'cos that's what they do on the other side of the pond. I even knew there were several variants. I'd only used No.5 though, mainly because it is sold as " 'ole reliable" which seems good to me. I mean, who would buy a model railway coupling called " o'le pain in the arse" ? Apart from P4 modellers anyway.

I pondered fitting one of these to the 165DS but to get the knuckle bit far enough out (the back of the knuckle level with the buffer face) , the draft box would be sticking out of the buffer beam. That would look horrible. Worse, half of the thing would be inside the beam and therefore in the way of the body fixing screw. As I say, UK kits aren't designed for this sort of coupling.

Spending time on teh interweb, the solution appeared to be to use a different member of the Kadee family tree, specifically the No.20, which I thought could be pinned to the face of the bufferbeam and handled the wobbling functions at the knuckle end. I found a site and placed an order for these and a few other bits.

A couple of days later I received an e-mail. The whole order was on back order. I rang them up and was told they were putting an order in to the States and I would get my parts in 3 or 4 weeks.

Now, this is web. If I want bits from America, there is no reason for me not to order them straight from there. Apart from some US retailers refusing to supply outside their borders in case we use them for terrorism or communism or something. I order from the Uk because I don't want the wait. I cancelled the order.

Next I ordered from another retailer who's site indicated the parts were in stock. That was 3 weeks ago and I'm still waiting.

Luckily, at the weekend, no less than 3 stands had a selection of Kadee's for sale. DC Kits got my money and I left with a packet of No.20's.

KDFitting1To fit them I spent some time measuring and then cut a rectangular hole in the bufferbeam. The tail of the coupling was shortened and poked through this and it looks OK. The loco couples to a wagon and uncouples on the ramp.

Permanent fixing will involved popping a pin through the tail and to this end I soldered a small shelf which I will drill a hole in, below the hole. But I'll paint it before fixing 'cos I don't think a coat of primer and enamel will do anything for the mechanics.

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