How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

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Captain Kernow
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How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Captain Kernow » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:34 pm

I'd be very grateful for any advice on how to model a typical M.R. lever frame, as per this one in Settle Jct signalbox:
DSC01227.jpg
DSC01227.jpg (69.18 KiB) Viewed 10380 times


I've used the Smiths etched levers in W.R. settings hitherto, and have now had it pointed out to me that this is wrong for my current project, a 3-window ex-M.R. box. Well, of course I know it's not the right type, but I don't know of anyone who does the correct components, and I'm not particularly confident that a scratchbuild wouldn't look pretty messy...

Thanks.
Tim M
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Mike Garwood
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Mike Garwood » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:43 pm

Tim
Don't Wills do an interior for a signal box. It's whitemetal as I recall.

Found one here: http://www.gascupboard.co.uk/signal-box ... -6841.html

regards

Mike

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Captain Kernow
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Captain Kernow » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:55 pm

Bless you, Mike, for pointing this out - unfortunately I don't think that the Wills product is 'right' for a MR frame - this is what I'd done, but it's based on a W.R. frame (Smiths etched levers):
IMG_9901.jpg
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Tim M
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grovenor-2685
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:08 pm

Having stirred you up on this :) I must admit that my boxes are currently empty due to this very problem. Part of the reason for stirring being the hope that something good will come out of it.
I have some cast. so called levers which are all of the 'through floor' design and pretty crude as well so have not been used.
Do you have any of the Smiths components unused that you could scan or photo, maybe we could see a way to use them. Plasticard strips could perhaps raise the floor plates to the right height off the floor.
Regards
Keith

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Tim V
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Tim V » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:52 am

The levers aren't bad, but crucially it's that barrel base, shouldn't be too difficult to scratch that?
Glendon4.jpg

This shot of Glendon box may give some clues.
Tim V

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Captain Kernow
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Captain Kernow » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:56 am

Hi Keith,

I had a long think about this last night, and decided to scratchbuild a M.R. lever frame 'base' from plasticard, and (having more or less finished that now - just waiting for some Mek to harden off as I type this) am planning on glueing individual Smiths levers into the base. This really is becoming a labour of love :) , as each lever will need to have a line of holes drilled in it's appropriate position in the frame, and then fixed in place with epoxy. I've also had to cut the tops of the Smiths levers off, as the M.R. 'hand-hold' was shorter than the W.R. equivilent.

I'll have a go at scanning in what's left of the Smiths fret and posting it up later.

You were quite right to point out that the frame was not a M.R. pattern, it's just that I'd spend a pretty fraught afternoon a couple of days ago, soldering it all up! Having said that, it's possible that the work is not wasted, as there is a GWR box to build for the next layout project in due course...

Further to Tim Venton's useful photo, posted while I was writing this - the example showed seems a tad higher than others I've seen (and which I have now modelled) - but yes, Tim, it was essentially an exercise in cutting and glueing (small) bits of plasticard.
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:29 am

Further to Tim Venton's useful photo, posted while I was writing this - the example showed seems a tad higher than others I've seen (and which I have now modelled) - but yes, Tim, it was essentially an exercise in cutting and glueing (small) bits of plasticard.

Depending on age there were Midland tumbler fromes, Midland tappet frames and LMS standard frames but I don't think any differences in height or width would be significant in 4mm scale. One significant difference is that older ones had levers on 6 inch centres but the later LMS ones had 4 inch centres which let you get more levers in a given size box. Also as the frames got longer the number of locking bars increased so you would have a wider locking tray at the back.
Midland record No.2 has a cross section drawing, not dimensioned so would have to be scaled off from the few known dimensions of the box.
Regards
Keith

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Russ Elliott
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Russ Elliott » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:49 pm

Didn't the levers on some tumbler frames 'pull over' much more than other frames? Or I am thinking of another frame manufacturer?

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:23 pm

Midland frames in general had more leverage that most other designs, and with a much shorter lever the angular movement was greater. But you may be thinking of the turnover frame rather than the tumbler which was only diffferent in the actual locking.

See http://www.signalbox.org/frames/mid.htm for pics of tumbler locking and
http://www.signalbox.org/frames/lms.htm for a turnover frame.

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Keith

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Captain Kernow » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:11 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:older ones had levers on 6 inch centres but the later LMS ones had 4 inch centres which let you get more levers in a given size box

I've spaced the levers at 6" centres. Got about half glued in now...
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martin goodall
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby martin goodall » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:23 pm

I thought I heard sonmewhere that Midland boxes had their frames facing the back of the box, although the photos of ex-Midland boxes posted here seem to show the frame facing the track.

GW boxes generally had their frames facing the track, although there were exceptions (such as Totnes).

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:34 pm

I thought I heard sonmewhere that Midland boxes had their frames facing the back of the box, although the photos of ex-Midland boxes posted here seem to show the frame facing the track.

Could be either way round, fashions changed, older ones tended to face the windows, more recently they were back to windows so the signalman had a clear view and good access for flagwaving etc. And sometimes if the frame was replaced the new one was put in the opposite position to the original so it could be installed prior to changeover.
Keith

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:36 pm

Got about half glued in now...
Sounds like I'm to late ;)
But here is what I could glean from the Midland Record drawing.
midlandframe.pdf
(35.18 KiB) Downloaded 437 times

midlandframe2.gif

Regards
Keith

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Captain Kernow » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:06 pm

Hi Keith,

That's a very useful diagram and thanks very much for posting it.

Yes, it is just too late for the levers, but checking the dimensions of my new frame against the drawing, most of the main dimensions do seem to check out, which is pleasing for something that was gauged purely by eye from photographs.
IMG_9916.jpg
IMG_9916.jpg (43.49 KiB) Viewed 10288 times


I will admit that this is a simplified version of the steel base of this kind of frame, and when checked against the drawing, the levers that are back 'in the frame' appear to be slightly too far back, as have the levers that have been 'pulled', although the angle ratio between them seems to be reasonably consistent with the drawing.

So, not perfect and if I'd waited half a day before assembling the thing, I could have gotten the angles more precise, but in the context of what I had before, I'm happy with it (I can't adjust the angle of the levers now without ruining the whole thing, because the interior of the base frame has been flooded with epoxy to hold the levers in place).

It's now been primed and is drying off at the moment.

Also attached for information is an example of the Smiths etched levers (my last remaining one!). Apart from cutting off the curved sections at the bottom (which represent the top of a 'GWR frame' above floor level), I also cut down the handles to something more approximating M.R. practice (again based on photos).
IMG_9918.jpg
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:20 pm

Looking good, it will look the part OK when installed.
Those levers do look much better than the various cast efforts on offer, must look out for some.
Regards
Keith

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Captain Kernow » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:58 pm

I'm sure (I do hope!) that they're still available, Keith - I'll ask in my local model shop next time - I need to stock up again myself...

Here is the lever frame in primer in the box - it just fits in the original space (not fixed finally in place yet), although I'm minded to move the gate wheel assembly back to make it look less cluttered.
IMG_9924.jpg
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IMG_9923.jpg
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:03 pm

it is looking good but i think you should move it a bit back from the windows, there should be room for the locking fitter to walk between the back of the locking trays and the windows, otherwise he can't maintain it . Evident on the drawing.
Cheers
Keith
ps. I thought you were your local model shop ;) or do we have multiple Kernows?

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Rod Cameron
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Rod Cameron » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:38 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:ps. I thought you were your local model shop ;) or do we have multiple Kernows?


In some ways the former is correct for a number of us ;) but it's not that one! The latter is also correct!
Rod

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby barrowroad » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:50 pm

I have just picked up on this thread and most timely it is too. I have been building Lawrence Hill Junction Signal box for the past few weeks and am just about to start on the lever frame.
I have chosen to use the Masokits levers and frame but think they will need some mods to conform to Midland LMS practice. This box had a replacement frame in 1936 around the time Barrow Road Shed was modernised with mechanical coal and ash plants.
From photos I now believe the frame was positioned at the rear of the box and it is good to see Keith's comments about repositioning upon replacement. In the photos I cannot see the instrument shelf at the front altough there is evidence of the end of it at the rear. A photo of a nearby box, Barrow Lane, clearly has the frame at the rear.
Box + 6 rows of tiles 006.jpg
Lawrence Hill Junction Signal Box. Part build and test assembled
Box + 6 rows of tiles 006.jpg (137.12 KiB) Viewed 10253 times

Thanks for the drawing Keith, all I need to do now is solder up the 45 levers :!:

Can I pose another question regarding the roof. Did Midland boxes have ridge tiles?

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:52 am

Did Midland boxes have ridge tiles?

Not as standard, plenty of photos to show this. There were the odd exception following repairs or alterations*. But I believe they had some special design of bedding the slates in mastic of some sort along the ridge. Seems to have worked well so always a bit puzzling that it was not a more widely used technique. There is a section of flashing under each finial that shows up on photos probably because of the different texture.
*'The Signal Box' has a note in relation to Stourton Jcn. that ridge tiles were added by BR(NER) and the finials removed. And a photo of bradford Forster Sq. seems to have had the same treatment. The Stourton one looks to kave the ridge tiles down to the corners as well but Bradford only on the top ridge.
Regards
Keith

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby barrowroad » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:53 pm

Following all the useful information provided by Tim and Keith I have modified 5 Masokits fame & lever etches to produce what i think is a reasonable representation of the 47 lever frame for Larence Hill Junction. Here is a shot of progress so far with just the remaining 37 levers to add.

47 levers & interlocking covers 002.jpg
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47 lever frame & interlocking channel 003.jpg
47 lever frame & interlocking channel 003.jpg (563.83 KiB) Viewed 10152 times


I am also working on the instrument shelf and supports at the moment - can anyone give me dimensions of the Block instruments, repeaters etc for the Midland Railway?

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Tim V
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Tim V » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:28 pm

Are you sure you have the catch handles on the right side?
Tim V

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Captain Kernow
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby Captain Kernow » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:16 pm

Tim V wrote:Are you sure you have the catch handles on the right side?

I trust that this is a Venton witticism!

Here again is my prototype picture (Settle Jct):
DSC01227.jpg
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The catches are on the back of the lever, as the signalman stands facing the frame.
Tim M
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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:24 pm

Are you sure you have the catch handles on the right side?

As shown in the pics the levers are all in the reverse position, obviously the locking has not been installed yet :)
Hence you are looking at the frame from the rear and the catch handles should be towards the viewer.

Incidentally, Captain, I had a look around the preserved box at St Albans last weekend and the locking frame there is right up against the windows, the fitter would have to open the windows and go out on the walkway to work on it. So as long as your box has an outside walkway you don't need to leave access space behind the frame on the inside.

St Albans has a full set of block instruments etc. including both BR and MR-Rotary types so a visit or an enquiry with an offer of a small donation should elicit the dimension data. See http://www.jo37.btinternet.co.uk/sigbox/index.html
Regards
Keith

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Re: How to model a M.R. lever frame in a signalbox

Postby barrowroad » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:25 am

Hi Tim,

As Keith and Tim have rightly noted the 10 levers shown are all in the reverse position and are the correct levers for a train on the down main into Temple Meads and the Up main off shed.
The remaining 37 levers are now in position at the normal side of the frame, all will become obvious when installed at the rear of the box.

Cheers,

Robin


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