F.E.D. Nakamura Seimitsu 0-4-0T brushes?

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New Member
I have two F.E.D. 0-4-0T (brass) switchers from my childhood. I've rebuilt lots of locos over time, but these two projects keep staring at me from above the workbench. They were imported from Japan by NWSL from 1974-1984; of course NWSL has long been out of parts for something this old/small/obscure.

I can fab everything else I need to make these like new, I'm just stuck on the motor brushes.

Does anyone know where I can get motor brushes that might fit these (cute) little guys? The brushes are .115 in (2.92mm) in diameter and appear to be .16 in (3.96 mm) in length. Longer ones could be cut down in length, of course.

[Athearn brushes are way too wide (.127 in/3.22 mm)].

Thanks in advance. Ken (rosanitty)


Master Mechanic
Do these have the old open frame motors in them? If so, you can modify just about any old brush to fit by using a file. I've had to do this with some of my older motors, before I started replacing them with cans. If it is an old can motor, I'd just bite the bullet and replace the motor.

I've even used old Athearn brushes, lightly held in a clamp, and filing the shape I needed into the end not clamped. It takes some time, and can gum up the file's teeth, but it works. I start by filing one side completely flat. Then with the brush out of the clamp and laying on the flat side, I file the other side flat. I replace the brush back into the clamp to file the third flat side. Lastly the brush is removed from the clamp again, and lying on the third side I just filed, I file the last flat side.

Now I have a four sided long brush that I cut into the lengths needed with a jewelers saw. It takes awhile to make it, but it was worth the effort. I have extended the life of some old open frames by doing this.


New Member

Thanks Carey,
This is great to know. I definitely have a supply of other brushes I can use - I didn't known I could file/shape them down. Thanks so much!
Best, Ken (rosanitty)

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