Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Post and Base

Hello Gang.

        Back from a weekend away with friends, and it is time to look at removing the ladder, lattice post and the base from the fret and building the main post structure. You will also require the ladder stand off bracket and the landing bracket (they will be used in the next instalment).

        I normally try to build structures on a good foundation and the lattice post signal is not different. I cut a small piece of 9 mm craftwood (you can use anything that you have lying around), approximately 50 mm x 25 mm.  On this base we can build the signal from the base up. The base also serves as a place to attach a servo if you wish to fit one to operate your signal.

        If you now remove the the previously drilled ladder stiles, and grab a couple of lengths of 0.3 mm brass wire, which needs to be cut into small lengths. Using a sanding block, sand the excess tab material of the sides of the ladder stiles and try to keep the stiles straight as bending them would not go well at this stage. Locate the ladder stiles in the KRM Misc 004 ladder forming jig and follow the latest blog that I have set up at


        This blog gives you a great blow by blow of how to use the ladder forming jig. which I will not repeat here. For this kit I make the ladder 12 scale inches.
The finished ladder soon to be located onto the signal and base.

The Ladder Base and the Timber Block.

The base prior to drilling on the corners for location purposes
(modifications to Version 2 will incorporate these holes)

The timber base  made from craftwood, but any material that you have
 lying around, can be used.

        The base of the signal, is located about 15 mm from the outer edge of the block. with the ladder location holes facing to the right.

        Firstly you will need to drill 4 holes (0.5 mm drill) in the corners of the base, just in from the edge (a modification to the signal kit will be done in Version 2).  Locate the base and drill the timber base through the signal base for brass pins to hold the base down to the timber.  The other hole that needs drilling is the actuator hole which sits to the right front of the signal post location holes, drill it out 0.5 mm then drill the timber base to 1 mm so that it has some clearance for any actuation  linkage.

        You can use track pins if you prefer or the lace pins are available from KRM  (KRM Misc 002). Cut 4 lace pins about 6 mm to 8 mm long. File the tips so that they are sharp, and check the fit of the pins into the base. Remove the pins and signal base and place aside for securing to the post later on.
The signal base with the cut down pins ready to be located in the base.

The signal base located temporarily, using shortened lace pins.

 The Lattice Signal Post.

        The lattice post etch has 6 small tabs that will allow the etch to fold very easily. You can use a Hold and Fold tool, but to be honest, it is not necessary. Let us have a look at the etch. You will notice that the top of the etch had 2 long half etched sections, and the other 2 have 2 short half etched sections. These half etched sections are there to simulate the timber part of the signal post. Refer to the previous photos to give you an idea of how the signal is orientated. When you fold the post etch, ensure that you only fold it once, with the half etched sections to the outside of the signal. Fold the signal so the the top hole and the bottom hole are square.  The 6 small tabs on each fold line are half etched on the inside to allow for easy folding.

The lattice post signal just after removing from the fret and cleaning up the
tabs that hold the part in the fret.

      There is a reason that this kit is made from nickel silver, and that reason is simply because it solders very easily. The solder flows well and makes the modellers job much easier. I use standard fine resin core solder from Dick Smiths with Carr's Red flux. Others have their own preferred options, but I find this works for me.

      Starting with the main joint, solder the joint completely using very little solder and when finished do the same with the other 3 fold lines with the tabs.  When finished wash the post with warm water and dry, them using very fine sanding blocks, clean up the joints and the post faces. If you run you fingers down the edge of the post, you can feel the tabs slightly protruding from the corners, you can sand these away if you like, but they will be difficult to see on the finished signal, so it is your choice. The finished post should be square both top and bottom and the top should be able to accommodate the finial on the inside, which means that the finial base will need to be filed to fit.

The finished post after cleaning up and ready to be inserted into the base.
        The orientation of the signal post is really important. and should be as per the photos previously published.  The hole at the very top of the post is for the signal arm, and should be located so that it is facing the ladder slots in the signal base.

        Some modellers have said that the signal post feet don't fit into the base, if you drill as per the instructions. However this is not true, as the feet of the post are smaller than 0.4 mm and they just need to be manipulated to fit. The base below was drilled as per the instructions, and the legs protrude through to give a nice solid fitting into and through the base. Solder the feet into the base from underneath, ensuring that the post is straight and square to the base. When you are happy that the post is straight, allow the solder to set, and file the excess from under the base, leaving it flat to sit on the timber base.

The post legs showing through the base, they are made longer than necessary to
 allow for this type of protrusion.

The  feet can be clearly seen here, protruding through the base.
The signal post soldered to the base giving it a good support.
The base, after solder and excess leg material removed, ready to be located
on the base
        In the next instalment, we will  fold up the brackets and place the ladder onto the signal, and fit the finial.

        Until then it is buy for now, please leave any comments that you like, or any questions that you need answered. More than happy to help to make this kit into a fully working signal.

Regard Keiran Ryan

Monday, October 5, 2015


Hi Gang

The kits includes the following parts:

* 0.3 mm Nickel Silver Etch (more about the parts on that later)
* Cast Brass Counter Balance.
* Cast Brass Standard Finial.
* Cast Brass Lamp (Not for drilling (too hard)
* Cast Pewter Lamp (For drilling for a light)
* 3 short lengths of 0.3 mm wire
* 3 short lengths of 0.4 mm wire
* 3 short lengths of 0.5 mm wire
* 0.3 mm drill
* 0.4 mm drill

Things that you should have to complete the kit:

* Soldering Iron
* Solder
* Flux (of your choice)
* Pin Vice or slow speed Dremel tool
* Cutters
* Pliers
* Tweezers
* Needle files
* Sanding block
* Stainless Steel Scissors
* Snap off blade knife
* KRM Misc 004 HO Ladder Forming Jig
* Small piece of 6 mm or 9 mm craftwood -- 25 mm x 50 mm (base of signal)

The following is a graphic description of the parts of the etch that is in this kit:

The etch is 0.3 mm nickel silver and has been slightly under etched, which means that some of the holes require drilling so that they can be opened up to the correct size, this needs to be done before any parts are removed from the fret. The following drawing is coloured coded to indicate the size of the holes that need to be drilled. A 0.3 mm and an 0.4 mm drill has been supplied for this purpose.

Please take care when drilling out the etch as the drill bits are very fragile and can easily break if worked to hard. I suggest that you use, a pin vice if you are not confident to use a Dremel to do the drilling. The spacer washers are used to pack out the brackets that fit against the post.

The other bag in the kit contains 4 castings and a couple of drills. There are 3 brass castings (finial, Counter Balance Arm and Signal lamp) and 1 pewter casting of the The Signal Lamp.
The pewter casting was included so that those who wish to fit lights can do so, as the brass casting is really hard to drill, but the pewter on is not.

This kit is based on the lattice post signal at Peak Hill and a few photos will be attached so that you can see how the signal goes together. Sorry about the quality of the photos but that are very old and were done using a technology called Film.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the blog for the NSW  HO Lattice Post Signal Kit.

The Idea of this blog is to provide an interactive site for those who wish to construct the KRM HO 008 Lattice Post Signal Kit and to provide updates and hints and tips and any information that will make the construction of this kit easier for the modeller.

Normally I provide a PDF file with a image based instruction format. This kit will be no different except that the information will be in the form of this blog that can be updated quickly.
So lets get started.


Why do an etched kit in the first place ---- Simple really, "I wanted this signal on a layout" and the other reason is so that I can provide an excuse for modellers to capture new skills, such as soldering, patience, working with metal, painting, electronics, and depending on the person many other potential skills.
The Kit is based on the Lattice Post Signal that is located on the Narromine end of the Peak Hill Yard in central West NSW. Because of its location, and the topography, the signal stands approximately 29 ft tall. Like most lower quad semaphore signals in  NSW, this signal has been removed.

I would have usually had the kit etched in 0.3 mm brass sheet, but this kit is etched in 0.3 mm nickel silver and from feedback that I have received, it makes for a stronger end result that is much easier to solder, clean up and generally work with. While the cost of nickel silver compared to brass is minimal, it is well worth the effort to use this material.
lets have a look at the etch.
I think it may be a good idea to give  the modeller a little insight into the etching process so that they can fully understand the process and the ideas behind some of the design work that goes into an etch.

The process is simple, a Photo Tool (Image of the etch) is made on 2 pieces of film, a view from the front and a view from the rear. depending on what is required to make the etch work. The film is registered (both side EXACTLY in the same position ) and located on both sides of a sheet of material (in this case nickel silver), and under vacuum and light, the film is exposed to a high intense light source that leaves the film image on the treated material.  The film is then sent through a photo developer that removes the portions of the etch that are required to be etched (Black above) and leaves the portions of the etch that need to kept (White above).

You will also notice that the above image on the left is reversed on the (rear) and also has tabs to hold the parts in place through the etching process, so that you do not loose anything into the bottom of the etching tank.

In the next instalment, I will go through the etch and indicate the parts for construction of the kit, and the methods used.

Regards Keiran Ryan.