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Switch Stand Assembly



1:20 Scale Pettibone Mulliken switch stand assembly instructions  

Tools recommended: A fine tooth hacksaw, dikes, pliers, pin vise, small hand drill or even better a small drill press. Drill bits #55, .062 (1/16) .125 (1/8) soldering iron and solder. Please read these instructions before you begin.


            Compare the above photograph with castings to identify various parts. From left to right, mast extention and main mast tube, 2 brass pins and stainless steel retaining ring, spru with throw rod, throw foot, handle sockel and handle Round target and main stand.

             The above photo shows the cast parts cut from the sprues.           

Start by cutting the V sprue from the base of the main switch stand casting. File the base flat. Next cut the throw rod, lever handle, handle socket and throw foot from their sprue. Clean up any rough edges with a file. The throw rod has holes cored but they need to be cleaned up. The “forked”end should be drilled to #55 for a brass pin and the “eye” end drilled 1/16 to fit over the throw foot pin. Clear the 6 holes in the base with a #55 bit.


The handle socket is cored for the main mast but will need to be cleaned up with an 1/8” bit to fit over the main mast tube. The handle socket casting also needs to be drilled for the handle pivot pin. Look for 2 dimples. These should be drilled with a #55 bit . The same 1/8 bit is also used for clearing holes in the top and bottom of the main switch stand casting and the throw foot. Drill slowly using pliers or a small vice when drilling. Fit the handle into the handle socket using the pivot pin provided. Cut off the end of the pin leaving enough to solder or rivet over with a small hammer.      


A length of 1/8 OD brass tube is supplied for the lower mast tube. Make sure the brass is clean for a better solder joint. Slide the handle socket with hollow “U” side down onto one end of the brass tube. Leave 1/16 of tube above the rounded top. Solder the handle socket to the tube. For a stronger joint use silver bearing solder. Cleanup any excess solder then test fit the tube into the main switchstand casting. The tube needs to be a loose sliding fit when it is in both holes.


Position the throw foot on the switchstand bottom plate and slide the brass tube thru. Make sure the handle socket is between the 2 stop bumps on the top of the switchstand and that the throw foot is between the 2 rod keeper fingers on the base of the stand . Now that you can see how the assemble fits together, slide the throw foot up enough to slightly squish the tube using small dikes right where the throw foot will go. This will allow the foot to stay in position for soldering.

With the mast back in position slide the throw foot down over the crimped area and check that the foot and handle are in the correct position, 180 degrees from each other, and that the mast rotates freely.

Slide the mast up again as in the above photo and solder the throw foot to the mast. The mast can now be slid into position and the stainless steel retaining ring slid over the mast tube on the bottom of the main stand. To do this drill an 1/8” hole in a scrap piece of brass, aluminum or hard plastic.


Slightly chamfer the hole so that the retaining ring will sit with its sharp side in the chamfer. Also chamfer the bottom end of the mast tube so that it will better fit into the retaining ring. Position the switchstand assembly with mast tube over the ring and gently tap the tube into the ring, but not so far as to jam it on to the bottom of the main casting. There needs to be a little clearance for easy rotation. Now all that is left is to solder the round target onto the upper 3/32 brass mast. Leave a little of the upper mast above should you want to add a lantern.( Ozark miniatures has a nice 1:20 scale casting)


The upper mast tube should be slightly bent to stay in the lower mast tube. This makes replacement easier should it be kicked or bent by the wayward hand or loco. These switchstands can be “high star” that were about 6 Ft to the mast top, or “low star” with the round target set right above the main casting. Targets were usually painted red and positioned to show red for the siding or non main route.