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HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/15/2019 :  7:48:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Been out of model railroading and model building in general.
My brother just bought a house with a full basement of rather substantial size. He asked me to help him. He wants full signaling capabilities as well as computer control. He asked if I could build the signals. Well, I gave it a try. I knew it would be impossible to build them free hand, so I built several jigs for the different stages of construction. Here are the results.

With the jig(s) every signal is identical to all the others.

I could not find any scale grating for the platform, so I made them solid.

Each head has a 1.6mm bi-color led for illumination. This comes to about as close as I could get to a scale 6". I was not going to use the 3mm. That is a scale 12". Signal lenses are 6" I do believe...I think.

Signals are all brass and copper construction. To do the soldering, a regular iron created too much heat and with something this small, the heat kept undoing other joints.
So, to stop all this, I made a resistance soldering station out of a 12V 2amp transformer.

In the pic with the yellow, it's a bit washed out. Almost looks red. This is adjustable with the electronics involved once it is all mounted.















So far, I have 22 signals built. Two of them are double head and wired independently. Some are home signals with single head but with a cabinet at the base.

Dave
HWCC
Seattle



Country: | Posts: 440

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/15/2019 :  8:15:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tried to edit the above post, but it would not let me. So, a new reply became necessary.
I probably put this thread in the wrong area, but I have been gone for a very long time and my hard drive has too many cookies.

I left out some particulars.

The masts are 1/16" brass tubing. The wire for the led's are #35 magnet wire. Four wires will fit in there if needed.

Dave
HWCC
Seattle



Country: | Posts: 440 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  12:17:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To begin, we first have to build all the jigs. These are all mounted on one piece of 3/8" x 6" x 12" piece of birch plywood.

Before we go any further, here is a pic of all the tools used and a materials list.



Tools Used

Dremel
Assorted drill bits and cutters
Soldering iron and solder
Razor saw and miter box
Digital caliper
Steel rule
Assorted jeweler files
Tweezers
Small side cutter
Sizzors
Razor blades
Making a small edit here in tools:

The soldering iron produces way too much heat. Especially with something this small. So, I built a 12V. 2amp resistance soldering unit. Absolutely perfect.

Materials: for jig and signals

3/8" x 6" x 12" birch ply
1/32" birch ply
3/16" x 3/16" x 24" strip wood (an option here is a solid piece of wood. I will bring this up in the next post.)
3/16" x 5/16" x 24" strip wood
1/16" x 1/16" x 12" strip wood
5/64" x 3/64" x 12" strip wood
1/32" x 3/32" x 12" strip wood
1/16" o.d. brass tubing
3/32" square brass tubing
1/8" o.d. aluminum tubing
3/32" o.d. aluminum tubing
1/16" o.d. aluminum tubing
.010 mm x 1/4" brass bar stock
3/64" x 1/4" strip plastruct (this is just what I have on hand to use as a spacer. It's purpose will be seen later in the thread.)

For the LED's and wire I will be using in the signals:

1.6mm bi-color LED's
#35 enamaled magnet wire

Now to the jigs:

First measure in 15/16" from one long side and make a mark. Then measure up from the short side 3 7/8" make a mark. Them measuring in from the same long side measure in again at the 3 7/8" 15/16", make another mark. Now connect the two marks with a line.



Now, measure in from the short end of the ply, 3/16" then using a square line this mark across the long line. This is where the first piece of the jig is to be place.

Cut three pieces of the 3/16" x 3/16" stock, 11/32" in length. Measure at least one of them for c/L. Then using CA, glue them together. Then glue them onto the ply at this first line, making sure you line up the C/L with the main line on the ply. A picture tells a thousand words.



Place the third piece in front of these first two. Keeping them all aligned. Well, I can't seem to find that pic. But onward and upward. It will show up in later pics and will show location.

Well, I am pretty tired. Been a long day for me. Gonna stop here and take it up again later.

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



Edited by - HWCRR on 01/16/2019 5:57:39 PM

Country: | Posts: 440 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  08:02:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Next, cut another piece of 3/16" x 3/16" stock 5/8" in length. Then cut two pieces of 1/16" x 1/16" stock 3/8" in length. Again finding dead center on the 3/8" piece, glue the two small pieces to this. There will be a 1/16" gap between the two small pieces. This will be for the mast tube to rest on and between.



Using CA, glue this piece to the ply at 5/16" from the first piece we did.



You may notice a piece is missing in pic. But on the actual jig, it is there. I am including a pic of the jig in it's present form to clarify. You will also notice a notch cut in the first piece made. That is a modification I will explain later.



I know the entire jig looks a little rough, but I have already made 22 signals on it. It is a veteran.

Dave
HWCC
Seattle



Edited by - HWCRR on 01/16/2019 11:25:44 AM

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Pennman
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2019 :  08:38:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave,

This is another great tutorial from another great brassman ! It looks inviting... too. I must have to try this one day.

Rich



Country: USA | Posts: 4102 Go to Top of Page

Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  09:03:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Excellent build on that search light signal. I did a couple almost 10 years ago. I actually took 3 SMD LEDs and filed them so they would fit in the lens. The whole light was a resin casting I made. Gave up making more. To much work.



Bernd



Country: USA | Posts: 3133 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  09:29:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the drop in and comments Pennman and Bernd.

Nice signal Bernd. The hookup on the bottom, GREAT for stopping damage to the sig if it is accidentally bumped. I did this with one signal using a dip socket. Lots of extra work for me as well as added cost. I would be quite interested in what you used or constructed on the back of the shield to hide the led and connections.

These signals are so easy to make with this set up, I decided to not do it. A damaged signal can be replaced quickly and very inexpensively and might I say, it is quite enjoyable making them.

It took more time to design and build the jigs, than it took me to build all the signals already made with it.

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



Edited by - HWCRR on 01/16/2019 09:38:04 AM

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BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/16/2019 :  10:11:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks real good Dave, scratchbuilding offers a lot of personal satisfaction. Those lenses were anywhere between 6" and 10" depending on manufacturer. Here is a neat site to visit... https://www.railroadsignals.us/signals/lenses/index.htm#Technical_

Jim



Country: USA | Posts: 4493 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  10:19:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the link and your oomment Burleyjim.

So, what I am using falls right into the ballpark! Excellent!

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



Country: | Posts: 440 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  10:24:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Never mind the question on the housing Bernd, I read your post again and it clearly states you cast them in resin. Getting old is a pain. Especially in places I didn't even know I had.

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



Country: | Posts: 440 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  11:42:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Between working on the thread and repairing my RV furnace. I'm having a busy day.

The next piece to apply to the jig, is the base stop.



Cut a piece from the 1/8" x 3/16" stock 3/8" in length. Always find dead center on all these pieces. (To keep from repeating myself, all this woodwork is fastened to the base with CA.)

This piece is glued exactly 5/64" from the piece before.

Next is the number board platform.



Cut this from the 3/16" square stock 11/32" in length. Glue it onto the ply base oriented as shown exactly 1/2' up from the stop piece.

I do hope my directions are clear.

Next will be the large head piece.

My furnace calls.

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



Country: | Posts: 440 Go to Top of Page

Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  12:57:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HWCRR

Never mind the question on the housing Bernd, I read your post again and it clearly states you cast them in resin. Getting old is a pain. Especially in places I didn't even know I had.

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



A little more detailed explanation. I made a shell from styrene scale size of the back of the signal and poured clear casting resin in it with the three SMD LED's in it. Sanded the front down nice and flat. I filled a piece of tubing the size of the lens with clear resin. Once hard I cut a slice of the end. The target is .010" shim brass as is the hood. After making two more I decided it was a bit to much work at that time and shelved the project.

I like your jigs you made. They are great helpers when doing multiple items.

Bernd



Country: USA | Posts: 3133 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/16/2019 :  5:27:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the explanation Bernd. I may give it a shot. Not sure. Done with the furnace for awhile. Not using the motor home right now, so it can wait.

Next up is making the main head of the jig.



Still using the 3/16" stock. Cut 2 pieces 1 3/16" in length. Find C/L on both. Then glue down to the ply base 1 25/64" from support piece.



Once this is finished, 8 more pieces of 3/16" stock must be cut to a length of 9/16" each. Begin gluing these to the bottom two pieces. Keeping the outer edges flush with the bottom pieces. Stacking as you go. Keep everything flush front, back and outside edges.



I have a piece of mast tubing there to make sure it is a snug fit all the way up. The tubing must fit snugly all the way up. Not so snug it has to be forced into the finished slot nor out of same. Once you are finished, you can clean it all up with a small file or very fine sandpaper. Just don't overdo it.







Next we locate the centering pocket for the mast platform. This is on the backside of the main head assembly.



This is where I used the plastruct as a guide to locating the piece of wood on either side of the slot.

This piece of 1/4" wide by 1/8" thick. Cut a piece 11/16" long. Make sure it is square on one end at least. This is the end that will rest on the face of the ply base. This will keep everything square.
Measure the center line which is 1/8". place this piece against the baskside of the main head.



Cut 2 pieces of 3/64" stripwood, 9/16" in length. Glue these to the wooden face of the main head. Do not glue the plastic nor the strips to the plastic.

Once you have this done, remove the plastic. piece.



This is how it should look. I included a mast with the platform to demonstrate.

Well, that's it for today. Will catch it later. Once the jig is finished, I will show how to use it from stem to stern.

Have a good day everybody.

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



Edited by - HWCRR on 01/16/2019 6:00:41 PM

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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2019 :  2:16:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dave, I seem to recall seeing some of the contents of this thread before, maybe on modelersforum?
At any rate, nice work and good use of jigs.

Possibly repeating myself, if you like the solid platforms, that's fine. I did mine using etchings
from Free State Systems (who AFAICT doesn't advertise and has no web presence):

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=45342

Since the owner seems to be invisible to web search, I just emailed to see if he's still in business.
If he is, I'll relay his email. [EDIT] Free State Systems is out of business and no inventory remains.



Edited by - jbvb on 01/17/2019 11:16:21 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5866 Go to Top of Page

HWCRR
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/17/2019 :  3:19:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, you did see it on another forum. the exact one you mention. Is that ok? if not, I will cease and desist now.

Dave
HWCRR
Seattle



Country: | Posts: 440 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/17/2019 :  4:15:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't speak for the owner, but in 12 years as a member I've never seen anyone discouraged from posting good content. And IMO yours is worth looking at.


Country: USA | Posts: 5866 Go to Top of Page
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