How to make signals for your layout


A series of photos which are almost self explanatary for making signals


make signals for your layout

make signals for your layout

make signals for your layout

make signals for your layout

make signals for your layout

make signals for your layout

Big thanks to Peter – a fantastic ‘how to’.

Please keep ’em coming. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

And don’t forget, the Beginner’s Guide is here if want to take the first few steps.



27 Responses to How to make signals for your layout

  1. Hi Peter,
    I was impressed with your photos of the making of the signals. I guess these signals are in fact “HO” scale, do you know the measurement’s for these signals if one wish to make some for an “N” scale layout and I guess the globes would be wheat grain, Red and Green, the power would run off the points, I suppose.
    Anyway thanks for sharing this segment, as I know a lot of modelers will be sorry they missed it.

    Best Regards,

  2. john creasey says:

    Great how to peter, i must try it……later

  3. Thomas Meleck says:

    Very clever and well done. Thanks.

  4. Dick says:

    Hi Peter,
    Very nice photo tutorial. It took me several passes to figure things out, but when I did, it all made sense. Stemar has a good point. Dimensions would be helpful so he could calculate his needs for N gauge.


  5. Ray Appenzeller says:

    Very creative and detailed steps without even saying a word. Good job! Thank you for sharing! Regards, Ray Appenzeller

  6. Tom says:

    Job well done Peter.
    Thanks for sharing


  7. Roland Burch says:

    Very good job, Peter.

  8. Ben Zalewski says:

    Thanks for the how-to.
    I’ll give it a try. Need to find where I can get the ladders.
    –Ben Z

  9. Ray Suckling says:

    Excellent photos but could we have a few words to explain the process and a list of stock and where to obtain it , particularly the ladders. I really do like the finished product and would like to try to build it up for myself.

  10. Ray Suckling says:

    some dimensions for HO would also be handy.


  11. Manie says:

    quit nice.thanks for the tip

  12. THOMAS says:


  13. Lionel Boutin says:

    would bw nice to have some measurements for N scale, was looking for something in this category to make.

  14. Ken Hecker says:

    When I did some construction of mockups of locomotives in my youth (for HOn3 gauge) I would use brass and silver solder. To clean it up I used a Dremel tool with a composite abrasive wheel (sort of a rubber eraser thing). It would clean off all the solder not in the joints, leaving a very smooth surface.

  15. Desert Rat PHX AZ says:

    I`m with the rest of the bunch I love what you have done, BUT I have questions. I assume the material is brass? Also I sure would appreciate a scale, I model N gauge. some measurements would be very helpful. I have a idea I think they could also be made from styreen All those pcs are available in that at the hobby stores. Strange I have been working on some traffic lights very similar with coffee straws and plastic parts i have in my srcap. I sure appreciate your advice and pictures it will help me a lot. Tom DRRR

  16. dangerous dave says:

    Nice job and explanation on how to Peter ….Dangerous Dave

  17. Hemi says:

    NICE work on the brass signals!!!! I too make them the same way, (very similar just different “signal type”)…. NICE choice, GREAT set-up for cutting, ALL is done well! Just call you “Johnny Jig” with the jig you made to make multiple sections of each part to the signal……

    I’m impressed!!!! GREAT work! ~Hemi

  18. Jim says:

    excellent, with the jigs you can make lots! Curious how you wired it. did you make the whole assembly a common cathode or did you run two wires to each lamp?

  19. Robert Brady says:

    Like your patience and and structure work,I can’t match that if i tried,Plus don’t have a dremel tool nor a place to get tubing and or that light block.So with that said my signals will be purchased on ebay. Thank you very much!

  20. Mike from N.C. says:

    These can be converted to N scale (if those dimensions are for HO) by simply taking the existing dimensions and multiply those by .55%. That will take you from HO, 1:87, to N scale, 1:160. Yeah I know it is actually 54.4% but .55 should get you close enough. Alister, I really enjoy your website and I am truly amazed by all of the beautiful layouts that have graced its pages. Best regards to all!
    Mike from N.C.

  21. Jim Brichan says:

    the greatest help you can find is to locate a hobby shop that has a well stocked RR dept. Usually they have a knowledgeable person in the dept.

  22. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool.!!! I don’t have the patience do small like that.

  23. wayne watts says:

    well done. I will put this on my to do list. Not ready for this yet. Thank you for showing how to do it.

  24. Tom says:

    Source the ladders?

  25. patrick says:

    Great photo’s however I guess I must be the only one that need instructions not just photo’s

  26. William Orton says:

    Agree with those who commented above:
    1 how wired
    2 source for the ladders
    3 how soldered…torch or iron
    Great work. Pls let us know. I would make these for my layout.

  27. william j plmer says:

    nie builld looks great

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