I have brake hoses on some of my scratch built cars, plus on the AMS and the new Bachmann cars. It’s a nice detail, but it looks funny to see those hoses not connected when running a train.
I ordered a bunch of magnets and started experimenting with what might work. There are lots of different sizes and types, but I finally settled on some 1/8 inch diameter disks.
I created the glad hand end using some brass strip and brass rod. The magnet goes in to a hole drilled into the shaped strip. CA glue holds it in place.
I bought some black surgical tubing to use for the brake hose. It’s very flexible.
The glad hand will be inserted into the tubing; the other end is for the valve. While I was initially just going to use brass rod to represent the valve, I thought it looked too plain and I decided I really should build something a little more detailed.
Once again, I used some brass rod and some brass tubing to create something that resembled a valve.
I flattened the rod to build the handle. Everything is soldered in place, so it’s quite strong.
The flexible tubing also addressed the polarity issue.
It’s flexible enough that it can twist if necessary to allow the magnets to connect.
Now, when I couple the cars, I also connect the air hoses. It’s very easy to do as the magnets are powerful enough so that you only have to get them close to each other. When I uncouple, I typically hold one car in place as the other moves away.