The definition is not enough to begin bending an uncoupling lever as it does not provide the dimensions or mounting location data. For that data I had to look in the safety appliances: A.A.R. Standards section of the 1949-1951 Car Builders’ Cyclopedia. Here I found two uncoupling levers are required. The handle, of an approved design, shall not be more than twelve (12) inches nor less than nine (9) inches from the sides of the car. Ends of the handles shall extend not less than four (4) inches below the end sill, or shall be so constructed as to give a minimum clearance of two (2) inches around the handle. Minimum drop of the handles shall be twelve (12) inches; maximum, fifteen (15) inches over all.
I still needed to know what handles, of an approved design, were used. I found the following photos in the 1941-1951 and 1953 Car Builders’ Cyclopedias in the Standard section and the Couplers And Draft section. The photos show the two basic rod types of uncoupling levers: top or bottom.
|Top mounted uncoupling lever|
(Tap or click on this and other photos to enlarge)
|Bottom mounted uncoupling levers|
|Another handle type of bottom uncoupling lever|
|Basic uncoupling lever pattern in lower right corner|
|The circled letters are points pliers placed for various bends.|
Once you have a diagram, choose the wire size you wish to use for the uncoupling lever. I prefer .012” Detail Associates brass wire, #2504, or .0125” Tichy Train Group phosphor bronze wire, #1106. You will also need a needle nose plier to use to make the bends in the wire to form the uncoupling lever.
To start an uncoupling lever you make a right angle in the wire a scale 15” or longer from the end of the wire as you can cut it to final desired length later (A on the diagram). You lay the wire with the right angle bend on the diagram and grab it with the plier at point B on the diagram and bend wire downward at an angle while holding it on diagram. Move the plier to point C on the diagram and make an upward bend while holding wire on the diagram. The final step is to move the plier to point D and bend the wire upward until you have bent a right angle. You have now bent an uncoupling lever. With practice, you soon will be able to bend two uncoupling levers in a very short time.
|Plier at point B and wire portion beyond plier is bent downward|
|Wire bent downward|
|Plier closed on wire at point C and wire bent upward|
|Wire to right of plier bent upward|
|Plier moved to point D for final bend|
|Finished uncoupling lever|
|Finished uncoupling lever wire to be cut off above plier|
|Top type uncoupling lever|
|Bottom type uncoupling lever|
|Bottom type coupler with right angle end mounted in coupler box.|