What do you do when you can not find the correct coupler for your vintage railroad car? Answer, you make one from scratch.
I scrounged around the shop looking for useful material to start construction.
The CGW Hicks Stock Car according to my research had Hinson Couplers. While I am not perfectly sure of the specifications as far as primary sourced, I think the list below is fairly close as a reference however I suspect Hinson had more than one model or interchangeable parts.
Reference: Annual Meeting of the Railway Storekeepers' Association
It is possible the Emergency Knuckle National Car Coupler Co. was used on passenger cars:
but on the other hand the coupler on the stock car could have been a standard knuckle at that time by American Steel Foundry. Other parts included the knuckle trunnion, improved lock or lock perfected No. 3, a hanger, the knuckle pin 1 3/8 x 11 3/4, a bracket and the lift. Regardless of trying to ascertain a parts list, sometimes a picture is the best source to study.
With various pieces of scrap leftovers from other projects below is my first attempt to prototype a coupler that hopefully comes reasonably close to the original equipment on the Hicks Stock Car. After studying many types of couplers developed during the 1900's time period and reading about the testing companies conducted to validate
various designs, I think this is an aspect about prototype equipment overlooked as we try to build time period models. It is by far easier to simply install a Kadee which looks pretty good and operates with little trouble.
In this case what I think is unique is the shank and the internals on the Hinson with the crank rod and chain. First I soldered the brass tube with a short length of square brass using plenty of solder on the joint and then turned it down to achieve the contour. The face plate on the front of the shank has a countersink hole matching the diameter of the tube. I machined down a Monarch Coupler from the junk box and modified it in several aspects including to make the Monarch shank to precisely fit into the brass shank cylinder. The bottom of the square shank has a hole for installing the steel bracket for the crank. Given this is the first attempt, I will have to decide if it is a satisfactory replicate of the original equipment. Therefore, I may make several more attempts to scratch build a pair to match the photo.