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Ron Laden07/05/2018 08:18:34
1617 forum posts
282 photos

Morning guys.

Could you tell me what is a good material for brakes shoes..? I am designing and scratch building a 5 inch electric 0-4-0 shunter type loco. I was thinking of a simple lever system for the brakes with the brake lever in the cab.

Would delrin work ok for the shoes..? Also could I get by with just two shoes working on the rear wheels..?

Many thanks




Edited By Ron Laden on 07/05/2018 08:19:26

Edited By Ron Laden on 07/05/2018 08:20:44

Edited By Ron Laden on 07/05/2018 08:21:38

Edited By Ron Laden on 07/05/2018 08:22:12

Trevor Drabble07/05/2018 08:46:03
205 forum posts
5 photos

In the past I have found Mashlin Friction of Sheffield very helpful . I have no connection with the company .


richardandtracy07/05/2018 09:13:53
938 forum posts
10 photos

I doubt if Delrin would be great. It's soft with a lowish melting point, so will wear fast and may melt. I always remember a time when my dad melted his bicycle brake blocks on a long hill - the old fashioned rubber on rim type - so am always wary of low melting point brakes.

Many early locos used timber as the pad. Could a little bit of beech do you? Does the kitchen chopping board need changing - the boss may be pleased with a new one.



Russell Eberhardt07/05/2018 10:22:09
2533 forum posts
85 photos

Usual material on model steam locos is cast iron. The brakes are mainly used for parking.


Bazyle07/05/2018 10:43:04
4895 forum posts
195 photos

Brakes on a loco are for show and stopping it rolling off the stand at exhibitions.

For stopping the train the brakes are on the driving trolley and typically cast iron but some people use bicycle brakes also sometimes on a disc instead of the wheels. If you are into modern mountain bikes you might know some hydraulic system you can adapt.

Depending on your controller the electric drive will provide all the braking the grip of the wheels can use.

As with full sized you must avoid locking the wheels at all costs.

Edited By Bazyle on 07/05/2018 10:44:22

Edited By Bazyle on 07/05/2018 10:46:56

Ron Laden07/05/2018 11:42:31
1617 forum posts
282 photos

Thanks guys.

I have a lot to learn as you can see..blush Thanks Bazyle it sounds as if I will be ok with the braking from the controller.



John Purdy07/05/2018 18:32:17
192 forum posts
61 photos


I know the purists will frown but I made the brake blocks on my riding trolley of aluminum. All eight wheels are braked using compensating rigging and require only light finger pressure on the lever to come to a rapid stop. I had reservations about how long they would last but there is minimum wear after 20+ years. I made a wood pattern as per the photo and cast a ring of 8 shoes in aluminum. Machined all 8 together them cut the individual shoes apart.



Ron Laden07/05/2018 18:59:56
1617 forum posts
282 photos

Hi John,

At some point I will be building a riding trolley and will be needing brakes for that. I never gave aluminium a thought but I can see how it would work and its good to know that your experience shows very little wear. Similar to your pattern I was thinking of a machined ring of material and cutting/shaping them from that. Your casting is a great idea though as you have the full shape of the eight shoes built in and it just needs cutting into individual shoes...very good.






Edited By Ron Laden on 07/05/2018 19:01:48

John Purdy07/05/2018 19:43:17
192 forum posts
61 photos


I machined the ring by holding in the 3 jaw and facing the back then the front to final thickness and tapering the inner surface to match the wheel tread. Transferred to the mill and cut the slots for the hangers with a 1/8" slitting saw, drilled the holes for the pins, hacks-sawed them apart and cleaned up the ends. Eight brake blocks in less than an hour.

As an added bonus they squeal prototypically when applied.



Edited By John Purdy on 07/05/2018 19:57:39

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