How to make signals for your layout


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


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.



20 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.

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