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"Bendy" brake hoses.

Started by John Candy, Aug 23 2020 10:38

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John Candy

One annoyance with many kits is the inclusion of brake pipe/hoses made from whitemetal.
They cannot be bent to custom shapes (most kits seem to include a "generic" casting which is not correct for most applications) and the alternative is to buy an expensive replacement with a rubber connector or make a custom part from brass.
In the past, I have used brass pipe, rod and wire to make custom fittings but today I just couldn't be bothered, so looked for alternative solution.

The application was for a GWR front loco pipe, which (being the Great Western) had to be significantly different to other railways!

The pipe "terminator" plug is offset away to the left of the pipe mounting and quite high on the buffer beam, unlike most railways, where the terminator is fitted vertically below, usually on the brake pipe.

Looking around, the solution came in the form of heat-shrink tube.
I threaded a length of tube (just larger in bore than the cast pipe) over the bendy hose section of the casting and shrunk with gentle heat....not too hot or the result will be a blob of whitemetal!

The heat shrink will blend with the convolutions/ribbing hose casting, which can be bent to the required shape.
Yes, the whitemetal will fracture within the heat shrink tube but the result is a bendy hose.
A solution for the lazy and cost-conscious.

P.S. Photos of GWR 4817, an auto tank, originally destined for Monkton Priors plus original casting for comparison.
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Great minds think alike, well almost. Trying to resolve the problem the other day I found some small long springs in my spring box, then a length of wire heat shrink insulation, a quick blow with the heat gun Bingo flexible vac hoses. If you don't have long enough springs you can gang them to length.


John Candy


Your spring solution would work even better but I don't have any springs that small and of sufficient length.
Worth bearing in mind for future though.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.


I've used the following from Brandbright they do an offset version too:


John Branch

Hornbeam was just ahead of me in recalling the Bandbright product, (I thought it might have been Tenmille).  A quick rummage in my "Might come in handy" box came up with these two.  I think they were bought in my 16mm/ft NG days.  The length of bendy coiled wire is 36mm , and its diameter is 3mm.  What we need is a source of the coiled spring, a few metres of this would keep us all in vac pipes for a few years!


Ebay! 305mm lengths of stainless 3mm spring for £1.39 each.



John Candy


I assume the Brandbright variety use "extension" springs?
For a shrink-wrapped version I think a compression spring may be preferable.... the "banding" is more likely to be visible through the wrap.
Either way, a lot cheaper than buying ready-made pipes.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.