When it comes to wiring a Lionel KW transformer, there’s more to consider than just which posts to use. The size of the wires also matters. If you derail a train 8 amps of power can run through the wire for 10-15 seconds before the circuit breaker kicks in. You don’t want the insulation to melt and catch fire.
Proper wiring for the KW transformer is a bit of a safety issue.
The Lionel e-unit was a wonder of ingenuity in the 1930s. But how does a Lionel e-unit work?
Continue reading How does a Lionel e-unit work?
I get a lot of inquiries about “the copper piece on a locomotive.” They mean a toy train locomotive. Depending on the make of the train, there may be one copper piece on the motor, or there may be two.
Here’s what those pieces are called, how to find them, and how to care for them.
Continue reading The copper piece on a locomotive
In 1959, Marx attempted to cash in on the popularity of TV westerns by creating an 1860s style locomotive. Today, the Marx William Crooks locomotive is one of the rarer and more desirable Marx locomotives. You don’t often hear the words “rare” and “Marx” together.
The Marx locomotive was a recognizable model of the real William Crooks locomotive, a St. Paul and Pacific 1861-era engine that still exists today.
Continue reading Marx William Crooks locomotive
Marx fans often complain Marx didn’t make quite enough variety in its 3/16 scale line. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get a bit more variety out of it by making a 3/16 scale Marx ore car. And you can do it all with original Marx parts.
Continue reading Make a 3/16 scale Marx ore car
In spite of being older and rarer than the Lionel 92 circuit breaker, the American Flyer 1275 circuit breaker usually sells for less. It performs essentially the same function and is easy to adjust.
Here’s how to hook it up.
Continue reading American Flyer 1275 circuit breaker instructions
When it comes to wiring a Lionel 1033 transformer or its brothers, the Lionel 1044 and 4090, there’s more to consider than just which posts to use. The size of the wires also matters. If you derail a train 4 amps of power can run through the wire for 10-15 seconds before the circuit breaker kicks in. Although this is less of an issue than with Lionel’s larger transformers, a 1033, 1044 or 4090 still has enough power to melt wire and make it smoke or even catch fire.
Proper wiring for the 1033 transformer is a bit of a safety issue. It’s not just about preventing voltage drop to keep your train running smoothly. A smooth running train is nice, but safety is a must.
Continue reading Wiring a Lionel 1033 transformer
If your old bottles of Testors model paint dried out, you’ll have trouble getting the jars open and there’s no guarantee what you’ll find inside. But it’s definitely worth a try.
Here’s how to get the lid off, what to do with the separated paint, and what you can do to keep it from happening again.
Continue reading Testors model paint dried out? Here’s what to do.
When it comes time to wire a Lionel ZW transformer, there’s more to think about than just which posts to use. The size of the wires also matters. If you derail a train 12 amps of power can run through the wire for 10-15 seconds before the circuit breaker kicks in. You don’t want the insulation to melt and catch fire.
Proper wiring for the ZW transformer is a bit of a safety issue.
Continue reading Wire a Lionel ZW transformer
Restoring Tootsietoys can be a fun and satisfying way to enjoy old toy vehicles. Whether you want your childhood toys to look nice again or just enjoy bringing new life to neglected examples, it can be as easy and as affordable as you want it to be.
I’ll talk specifically about Tootsietoys here, but the principles apply to other vintage diecast cars of the same era like Hubley or Midgetoy.
Continue reading Restoring Tootsietoys and other early diecast vehicles