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Gilbert American Flyer S Gauge Operating and Repair Guide (Volume 1) Paperback – September 10, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

If you have just discovered a set of Gilbert American Flyer S Gauge trains and want to get them back on track, this is the book that will help you do just that. These trains were built to last and Tom Barker has been helping AF owners tune them up for over 40 years. This book will help repair and maintain these trains and bring back memories from a long ago Christmas in the late 1940's, and 1950's. If it's your grandfather's train or one that you had as a kid, this is the book that will help breathe new life into it.

From the Author

I first assembled my thoughts on Gilbert American Flyer train repair and restoration in the early 1970's, some years after the Gilbert Company had ceased operation. Up until then, the only "official" guide to the repair of these great model trains was a set of exploded diagrams with part numbers that were being circulated from photocopies of the originals. There was nothing on how to really fix these trains and the company was no longer there to supply replacement parts. 
  My first AF Repair Book was a handmade compilation of the experience I had gained by fixing hundreds of engines and lots of accessories for a fellow collector who did not have the skill to do it himself. He "paid" me with 20%  of what I worked on and that's how I built my collection - but what I really built was the knowledge base on how these trains worked and how to make them work again.
  Later, Greenberg Publishing asked me to have them print the book in a professional format which became the "First and Second" Editions. When Greenberg sold out to Kalmbach and the book inventory ran out, I obtained the rights back to my book. After ten years of supplying it in an electronic format, I discovered Amazon's Creatspace publishing arm and went to work revising and making the book live again. However, it was not just a reprint of the original with a new cover - it is a complete revision of the original work with over 80 new photographs and expanded and added chapters. All the original Gilbert instructions and diagrams have been reset in a more readable type and the entire book has been put into a larger font for easier reading.
  The Facebook AF group was very supportive in my efforts and five of the members volunteered to proof read the pages. I am so grateful for their help and support. Restoring AF by Gilbert is a labor of love and I hope my efforts have helped in this labor.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 3 edition (September 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466420715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466420717
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dennis D. Murphey on September 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you own any A.C. Gilbert American Flyer S Gauge trains you need this book.
I received the Tom Barker Repair Guide today and you all should know it is an awesome book. Very well made high quality print, image and easy to read text. These old eyes liked it. The flow sheet and diagrams are just wonderful, it is a must have for anyone with Gilbert Gear. Thank you so much for taking this on and remaking your original publication, only more better. I sure needed that chapter on the barrel loader. Very high quality publication guys, $20 very well spent.
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Tom's book is the best tool I have for repairing and servicing my Gilbert produced American Flyer trains. Not only are there easy to use repair flow charts, Tom divulges some of his own hints and tricks to make a repair easier or improve the operation of your trains. From wiring diagrams to step-by-step repair instructions, it's all there. I've spoken to Tom online about further questions I've had and I can say his knowledge is spot on and he speaks from experience. I would not hesitate to buy this book. It will save you time and money and future headaches.
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Format: Paperback
If you collect and own American Flyer Trains from the late 1940's onward this is the book. Tom's easy writing style makes it easy for almost anyone to repair their vintage trains. The book is full of pictures and diagrams that further help in your repair efforts. I have been and American Flyer person for years and got a number of tips on repairs that I had never thought of. This is a great book that should be next to your workbench for quick and easy reference. Good job Mr. Barker. You are without a doubt the authority on Flyer trains!
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If you are getting back into the "S" gauge model train hobby after many years as I was this is the book for you. This well written guide is near my bench work at all times and I am constantly referring to it as I am sure you will be too. The author Tom Barker is fluent in American Flyer trouble shooting and showing how you can make your own tools for specific repairs. He has just written a Volume 2 Repair Guide to extend the usefulness of this edition with color photographs, so be sure to check that out as well.
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Easy to understand, very basic for any one to understand. I would recommend it to anyone that has a American Flyer A. C. Gilbert set. I give it five stars. The Author did a nice job. Mr. Barker has a great compassion for for the A. C. Gilbert Co.
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By bill on September 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a AF enthusiast you will find this book helpful. If you are like the author and enjoy doing your own repair work you will likely enjoy this guide. It is a great addition to my American Flyer Library.
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I love this book! I recently purchased my first American Flyer Engine and Tender at a local train show knowing that it needed to be repaired before it would ever work again. I've always been a tinkerer so I figured I could tackle this... model trains are a little more complicated than I thought and the engine and tender have been sitting on my shelf. I saw this book and knew immediately that I needed a copy and it is by far the best book I could have purchased to help fix my little engine. The detailed drawings, photographs, and step-by-step troubleshooting and repair guides are great! The detail parts list is excellent - I have now figured out exactly what parts are missing. Now to sit down, fix it up, and run! Thanks for such a great book!
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Format: Paperback
This 3rd edition is a great update for already wonderful book. I have all three now and will use the new one often in repairing my Gilber Flyer. The larger font size is the best part for me. I can read it while working at a project easily without loosing my place. Lotes of new pictures too with additional information not placed in the earlier editions.
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