Willis Lamm's
Traffic Signal Collection

  Mounting Signals for the Collection

I've been asked on occasion what I use to mount the signals for the collection. An indoor display doesn't often use span wires and mast arms. Here are the different ways I mount the signals for display.

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Eye bolts through I-beams.

Most signals are hung directly from I-beams and other steel structural members by means of eye bolts. A shackle is passed through the eye bolt and the shackle bolt goes through the hanger on the signal gooseneck. I check the weight ratings of the eye bolts in order to determine the proper size. I typically prefer a 3 to one ratio of the eye bolt rating to the actual weight of the signal.

Chain around structural brace.

In some instances a short chain around a structural brace can be held together by a shackle, the bolt of which passes through the hanger on the signal gooseneck.

Span wire hangers and all-thread.

Signals with span wire hangers can be hung by anchoring a piece of all thread with two eye bolts. The diameter of the all-thread is basically the largest size to fit into a particular hanger. To prevent sagging I cut the all-thread just slightly longer than the hanger. Nuts are attached at both ends of the all-thread to keep it in place and keep it taught.

All-thread between members.

All-thread can be used to span short distances between structural members. I generally use the largest diameter all-thread that will slip through the gooseneck hanger or I will use inch all-thread and hang the signal from it using a shackle.

Pipe mounts.

I have seen on occasion in the steel building where the building vibrates during windstorms and signals hung on all-thread would start dancing. Therefore except for signals suspended very close to a rigid structural member, I have replaced all-thread with pipe that is firmly clamped to rigid members. The signals hang from tees in which plugs are threaded that have holes drilled in the centers for heavy eye bolts. The eye bolts are secured with nylon lock nuts. The signals can be hung from the eye bolts by suitable shackles or balancers.

Mounts on wooden walls.

Regular mounting arms attached with carriage bolts work pretty well. For stability I usually place a 2x6 behind the wall paneling through which the carriage bolts pass. For lighter signals (such as the beacon) a floor flange is adequate.

Mounts on steel members.

Regular mounting arms attached with carriage bolts work very well. When drilling through steel members I try to keep all holes centered in order to minimize the impact that drilling has on structural strength.


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