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Police Pillar Plans

Started by starcross, Feb 13, 2012, 12:55 am

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starcross

Feb 13, 2012, 12:55 am Last Edit: Dec 03, 2013, 06:15 am by hb88banzai
I thought it was time to add some information about Police Pillars.
These were produced by Ericsson in 1931, and were installed until the PA No.2 Police Posts took their place in 1938.
The design elements of the Pillar were widely used in individual regional Police Box designs.
Most notably the Lantern and the speaker phone, which are still on surviving examples of both Edinburgh and Glasgow Police boxes today.  

Basic Blueprints can be located for these Pillars.
4297698764_69c909773a_z.jpg Larger

Police Side
5331601364_b0a82bf4fc_z.jpgLarger
5330969735_5ecdec60ee_z.jpgLarger

Public Side
5331586462_b2ea5d50e9_z.jpgLarger
5330978241_579c62dba8_z.jpgLarger

Maintenance Side
5331584324_f48ce8dece_z.jpgLarger
5331046569_390f01a008_o.jpg

starcross

I plan on studying this object much more in the future and learning more about it. As I said I fully intend to get this modeled in 3D as well, then who knows what can be done. Maybe new 3D printed parts can be made for all those lanterns that are missing parts. Especially that PA1 Pillar in Hull needs to be repaired its entire top is missing. I can't wait to get this thing all modeled in 3D for Digital Preservation Project.

The larger versions of photos are on my Flickr.

The lantern itself is complete, and actually disassembles mostly becuase someone greased all the screws. But the dome nut and the lower screws for the mesh are locked tight. I'm going to soak them in lubricant and hope that they will release in the future.
8832861612_c802e80572.jpg

The amber lantern glass I don't think is original. Its made of amber tinted glass and is very light, compared to my clear glass version that was spayed with coloring agent on the inside. The amber glass is thinner as well, I'm not sure by how much but  1/8 of an inch plus the bulge is hollow when its just a small indent on the clear glass.
8832825386_6d3188b71b.jpg

This is where the clapper unit would have been. Judging by the rust in the screw holes and the lack of a strike point on the dome i doubt that there was ever a unit used in this lantern. Of note is the original GPO mark indicating that the paint is original even if the red paint is not. Also the casting number 2562 is interesting, I've never seen it before on other examples.
8833009482_2074274c97.jpg

This is the ring where the mesh attaches and the lantern glass top supports the upper dome. Its almost comical how weak the supports are considering how much that top dome weighs. But I suppose they never planned on them rusting to nothing or having the lantern glass shatter. I suspect this is the reason why we see so many of the bases remain when the entire upper portion is missing. Sadly one of the small brackets snapped during shipment, oh well I can have it repaired I think.
8833094606_be4a7a8662.jpg
8833170584_3afc485d5a.jpg

Looking down towards the mesh. It took me 15 minutes of spinning that mesh to find the join point in the diamonds. I wonder if anyone else can spot the difference?
8833138932_cc79790ff0.jpg

Here is the light socket. I'm going to have to replace it with a standard NA socket to use it as a lamp here, but it's still niffy to have. I'm not entirely sure its legal to wire something like this for 120Vac even if there were bayonet style bulbs available. I might bring it to a lighting shop here in town just to mess with the sales staff.
8833221422_a99d1634f4.jpg

The bottom, with the screws holding the mesh to the base. I'm hoping to be able to get lubricant through here to loosen the screws. It will make studying the object much easier if it would let go, as I would never use destructive techniques to get rid of the screw. I wouldn't be able to replace the screw as it would be antique BSW threads.
8833191428_2aaaceeeb6.jpg

DoctorWho8

Lovely find and research!
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff

starcross

Mar 12, 2017, 04:54 am #3 Last Edit: Mar 12, 2017, 05:53 am by starcross
It's been a long time since something about the PA No.1 Police Pillars has shown up. That changes today However, as the THGR database has records of the Blueprints for this Police Pillar.

Compared to the PA No.2 that replaced it, this is a fairly complicated set of Castings.
According to Avoncroft Museum signs there were only 1000 made, of which I know of less than 10 that survived the years.

As the Speakerphone panel in the Triangular Body is dimensioned, it also doubles for the Panels used in many Regional Boxes such as Glasgow and Edinburgh. So it is a great find to have.

There were also enough custom screws and fasteners used on this Pillar that they have an entire sheet devoted to them. The interesting part here is that the odd Triangular bolt heads needed a special screwdriver. It's possible with this drawing to have a new version of that tool made.

PA No.1 - THGR Drawing List.jpg

Again, since these are likely under some form of copyright, I've only posted the thumbnails to allow us to see what the drawings are and to allow for proper discussion.

DRG 61533, Showing the General Arrangement of all the Parts.
DRG 61533.jpg

DRG 61534, Showing the details for the Pillar.
DRG 61534.jpg

DRG 61535, Showing the Triangular Body.
It's very confusing with dimensions all over the place and the projections are at angles.
DRG 61535.jpg

DRG 61536, Showing Details for the Roof, First Aid Door, Police Door, and the Electrical door.
DRG 61536.jpg

DRG 61537,  Showing the Public and Maintenance Doors.
DRG 61537.jpg

DRG 61538, Showing all the special Hardware, screws, and hinges.
DRG 61538.jpg

DRG 61539 Showing the Boards used to mount the Electrical Equipment and the Cabling inside the pillar.
DRG 61539.jpg

DRG 61540, Showing the folding Police Writing Shelf.
DRG 61540.jpg

starcross

Mar 12, 2017, 05:47 am #4 Last Edit: Mar 12, 2017, 05:50 am by starcross
Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:54 am
DRG 61533, Showing the General Arrangement of all the Parts.
DRG 61533.jpg


I've started translating this set of Blueprints into a 3D model. I've used a material called "Light Red" for the outside, and a material called "Rubber - Green" to match the real colors as close as possible. Again I've used the "Rusted" material for everything below ground, although I think they used to paint that part Black before installation.

So far it's looking okay. There are a few odd things about this that the computer just doesn't like the 3/8" molding around the Electrical Door the that Octagon. Too many curves and angles, it's being a bit annoying I haven't figured out how to do it yet. The same goes for the First Aid compartment, Its an awkward shape and curved on top of narrowing.

Otherwise the rest of the Pillar is externally complete, and I'm working on the Triangular Body now. It gets a bit complicated so I might be a while at it. So enjoy this mock up of everything next to the 6ft tall man for scale.

Assembly - PA No1 Police Pillar.jpg

hb88banzai

Mar 12, 2017, 08:06 am #5 Last Edit: Mar 12, 2017, 08:10 am by hb88banzai
Very nice work, as always.

Looks like that special tool for the triangular head security bolts has its own drawing listed:

CN 2079   Key, Pillar

THGR seems to have two of the issues for this - Rev D from 1951, and Rev E from 1973, while the original was apparently from 1937.

Here's a photo of two versions --

GPO PA Pillar Key - photo of 2 versions.JPG

galacticprobe

Mar 12, 2017, 03:47 pm #6 Last Edit: Mar 12, 2017, 03:48 pm by galacticprobe
This topic is amazing, as is the research going into making it. I've been especially interested in the lamp and the Phone and First Aid panels since I became fascinated with the Edinburgh-style box last summer, and those boxes use the same ones as these Pillars.

Reading back through this thread was captivating, especially the part about working on being able to 3-d Print parts of the lamp. (Any luck with that project, starcross?)

Great research! Keep it going!

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

starcross

Mar 12, 2017, 04:45 pm #7 Last Edit: Mar 12, 2017, 04:52 pm by starcross
Quote from: galacticprobe on Mar 12, 2017, 03:47 pm
I became fascinated with the Edinburgh-style box last summer, and those boxes use the same ones as these Pillars.

If you haven't seen it there is a drawing that also goes with this is the Relic Topic for my Speakerphone panel. Eventually these will compliment each other as I work out the 3D models.

Quote from: galacticprobe on Mar 12, 2017, 03:47 pm
...able to 3-d Print parts of the lamp. (Any luck with that project, starcross?)


I have yet to actually 3D print a single thing, although the ability has been available for most of this decade. Shapeways is one option for those without access to a 3D printer. However I've only just been able to make 3D models as of this summer in Autodesk Inventor, which can be exported into the file format the website needs.

Another option was the fact my local library had a makerspace installed in the last few years. Sadly both of the 3D printers there are broken, But they wanted to get a new one. So I might eventually make miniature or full size replicas eventually.


That said I've done a lot of research on my Lantern while it was on my desk these last five years. Although I have yet to translate it into a model, I'll have to get around to it now that I have these blueprints. The Post will look right silly without the Lantern in Place. Although historically the Pillars did go Lampless there was a few styles of caps to bolt into place.

Like this one found many years ago on Flickr:
3070575709_5e4a94f70b_o.jpg

You will notice that it has a Cast Letter sign, that is what we assumed was a Middle Era Sign, but the Blueprints may change that assumption. The Blueprints are dated 1936, but have a Revision in 1954. AS far as I remember Edinburgh had the system first and used Painted Signs, then we see this Cast Sign with Straight words and then curved, and then Finally the Red Enamel sign we are familiar with.

Here is an example of the first style with the Painted lettering in at C25 in the Edinburgh Haymarket.
C25 - Haymarket Crossing (Pillar) - Close up.jpg


Here is the Hull Pillar with the Cast Curved Lettering:
4536192194_8252983bfa_b.jpg

I'd love to be able to go to Hull and get a mold for the Cast Lettering.
I tried once but it didn't work out as Hull is a bit too far to travel off the main motorway.
It would be cool to have though, and it would be possible to work out he Straight patter with a mold of this curved version.  
Its on my Bucket list...

And the final style the Enamel sign that ended up in most places.
This one is from Amberley Museum.
P1040936 - Rotated.jpg

As you can see that one part has had a variety of designs over its 40 year service life, but the blueprints don't have any of it documented. At least no documentation that we have found yet. The THGR database may yet give up the drawing for it.

galacticprobe

Mar 12, 2017, 05:35 pm #8 Last Edit: Mar 12, 2017, 05:41 pm by galacticprobe
Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:45 pm
If you haven't seen it there is a drawing that also goes with this is the Relic Topic for my Speakerphone panel. Eventually these will compliment each other as I work out the 3D models.

I think I have seen it, but now I'll have to go look to refresh my memory.

Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:45 pm
I have yet to actually 3D print a single thing, although the ability has been available for most of this decade. Shapeways is one option for those without access to a 3D printer. However I've only just been able to make 3D models as of this summer in Autodesk Inventor, which can be exported into the file format the website needs.

That's what I was referring to - the files and whether you'd gotten round to modelling the lamp. I know getting the actual thing printed full-scale wouldn't be easy, but having the STL files waiting in the wings would be a good thing to have.

Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:45 pm
That said I've done a lot of research on my Lantern while it was on my desk these last five years. Although I have yet to translate it into a model, I'll have to get around to it now that I have these blueprints.

Okay... that answers my question. At least now you've got the blueprints which should make modelling it easy (or easier). At least you can model things. While my son is great at modelling things, I just can't get the hang of it. Nothing ever came out like I intended it to, so after too many failed attempts and building frustration levels, I gave up. Now I just sketch it out the old fashioned way (pencil and paper - depending on what it is), give it to my son, and ask him to model it... which takes forever.

Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:45 pm
Like this one found many years ago on Flickr:

I'm loving these photos! Great sharp images (mostly) that I've never seen clearly. Thank you for posting them and posting the link to them on Flickr.

Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:45 pm
I'd love to be able to go to Hull and get a mold for the Cast Lettering.
I tried once but it didn't work out as Hull is a bit too far to travel off the main motorway.
It would be cool to have though, and it would be possible to work out he Straight patter with a mold of this curved version.  
Its on my Bucket list...

Maybe you could get a few pointers from Matt (Sanders) now that he's poking back into action again. He made some amazing casts of parts of the Crich box - like the pebbled glass panes. They're pretty vertical like that door, so maybe he'll have some advice for you on how to make the mould. (Then it might be worth the drive off the main motorway?)

Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:45 pm
As you can see that one part has had a variety of designs over its 40 year service life, but the blueprints don't have any of it documented. At least no documentation that we have found yet. The THGR database may yet give up the drawing for it.

I've always hated it when someone makes changes to something, but never notates it on the blueprints. I came across this far too often when I was in the military: try to run a cable through a bulkhead, can't locate the bulkhead opening; it's on the blueprints for the ship, but it's not in the bulkhead. Poke around long enough to find out that opening was closed years ago because nothing was going through it, but no one noted it on the blueprints. "Break out the hole saw; we're cutting through!"

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

starcross

Mar 12, 2017, 06:32 pm #9 Last Edit: Mar 12, 2017, 06:42 pm by starcross
Quote from: galacticprobe on Mar 12, 2017, 05:35 pm
Maybe you could get a few pointers from Matt (Sanders) ... on how to make the mould.
(Then it might be worth the drive off the main motorway?)


When I say Too far off the motorway I mean that as in literally I wasn't able to stop without falling behind schedule. Traveling from London to Edinburgh, it was Hull or the Railway Museum in York. I've chosen York Twice and it was never long enough. I'd love to dig around in the drawing archive there, absolutely no chances to do so over the years. One of these days maybe.


As for Matt He uses a liquid silicone to make his molds, which is pretty awesome. I think I'd just make a mess trying to do that in the field.
I don't use that method. I use a two part silicone putty to make my mold one blob at a time.

Since I'm Canadian I only get to do this if I have a holiday in the UK which, with the money values being what they are, doesn't look likely in the near future. That said the putty travels well, and as far as I know doesn't get me arrested at the border because I've hauled ten pounds of it around in a suitcase at times. Liquids make airlines nervous these days...

The Putty will make small, large, and curved molds etc...
It works best in March/April when the air is about 10C out. Although I've used it in July and it makes too many bubbles in the mold. I much prefer the longer work times in the cooler weather.

Mold of the Edinburgh Roof Edge, Castle, and Wreath
P1020053.jpg

They make these castings:
P1060779.jpg

Mold of most of the Edinburgh Window.
P1310143.jpg

So, as you can see the putty does pretty good, I've gotten better at having less bubbles form but if I had more time I could just add more putty and fix them on the object. Usually time is not my friend on these trips. Almost as soon as the putty sets we rip it off and have to leave.
The Window was done from about 10pm to 1am one night because it was so blistering hot in July the putty was setting in my hands. So I had to wait until after sunset to get working. It took a long time, and I wish I had covered more, but we had to sleep to drive to Wales the next morning. That was a crazy tight trip, never enough time to really do everything.

What I really need is UK based partners to help with the field work.
A day trip for someone in the UK would be so much easier to fund that my own Transatlantic Expeditions.

starcross

Mar 13, 2017, 09:30 pm #10 Last Edit: Mar 13, 2017, 09:52 pm by starcross
I've done Quite a bit more 3D work, and I've managed to make most of the Cuts to carve out the Triangular Body. I'm starting on the doors next, but they are more complex than I thought.

So in the mean time I added a bit of a background to the Pillar by making a 3D model of Avoncroft Museum. It turned out quite well I think, even the signs are there since i learned how to "Texture" with an image. I imagine I could also make the Building as well using the same trick, but I never took any nice straight on views when i was there all those years ago.

Imagine what I could do with real photos and measurements eh?

00 - Site View - 3D Models - Small.jpg

Assembly - Avoncroft Collection - PA1 Police.jpg
Assembly - Avoncroft Collection - PA1 Public.jpg
Assembly - Avoncroft Collection - PA1 Comms.jpg

starcross

Dec 30, 2017, 05:09 am #11 Last Edit: Dec 30, 2017, 05:12 am by starcross
Quote from: starcross on Mar 12, 2017, 04:54 am
DRG 61540, Showing the folding Police Writing Shelf.
DRG 61540.jpg


This blueprint makes the writing desk for these Pillars. I spent the last few days putting the plans into 3D. It was quite infuriatingly written with tolerances. So I had to make all sorts of Angry Red Markups to produce an Asbuilt. I picked Standard Imperial Fractions, none of this decimal Shenanigans.

I cheated a bit on the Desk itself, it supposed to be bend sheet metal. I could have made the model that way as well, but I just went ahead and made it using solid extrusions. A bit of a cheat, but the results look good, and it didn't take me a week to figure out how to make sheet metal make a cup for the notepad bar at the bottom. The Cup should be deeper I think, making that side bracket sit a little straighter or at least at a shallower angle. Maybe later. 

Still I think my effort went well. Here are a few pictures of the Real Object, and my 3D model.

Avoncroft PA1 Pillar - 2010
Police Door - Interior - Shelf - DSCF5211.JPG
Police Door - Interior - Shelf - DSCF5212.JPG

3D Model - 2017
Assembly - PA No1 Police Pillar - Desk.jpg

Mark

Just a thought here.

The picture of the phone panel which you say is the first "painted" version, could it in fact be a pierced stencil like the original "Police" top sign on the prototype Trench boxes?

Nice work on the virtual models by the way.

starcross

Quote from: Mark on Dec 30, 2017, 10:35 pm
Could it in fact be a pierced stencil like the original "Police" top sign on the prototype Trench boxes?


No I very much doubt it was ever a design consideration. The Jack-in unit that sits inside has a "Tropical" option. It leads me to think that the door is there to protect the electronics as much as advertise its use. If it were open stencil style it would let water end up on the speaker "paper"  and it would likely disintegrate instead of vibrate.


Quote from: Mark on Dec 30, 2017, 10:35 pm
Nice work on the virtual models by the way.


Thanks, it's lots of fun working on them. I'm working on translating the GPO Lantern to 3D now, its been a project for nearly 5 years. Its coming along well I should be finished by the new year. It won't be perfect, but it'll be close enough. I'd need to destroy a few screws to get it perfect, and I don't want to destroy any part of an antique like that. 

I really would like to try 3D printing a miniature model of this Pillar when its all complete.
Perhaps 1:6 scale, in some sort of metal would be best?

starcross

Jan 01, 2018, 08:17 pm #14 Last Edit: Jan 01, 2018, 08:22 pm by starcross
Quote from: starcross on May 26, 2013, 05:24 pm
I plan on studying this object much more in the future and learning more about it. As I said I fully intend to get this modeled in 3D as well, then who knows what can be done. Maybe new 3D printed parts can be made for all those lanterns that are missing parts. Especially that PA1 Pillar in Hull needs to be repaired its entire top is missing. I can't wait to get this thing all modeled in 3D for Digital Preservation Project.

The larger versions of photos are on my Flickr.


Well its been forever and a day since I touched this but I've got it all disassembled on my Desk as I measure and build a 3D model. After a good week, I have this progress to Share. It will likely stay about here for a while until I can get back to it.

Some basic details, the casting seems to be about 1/4" normally. It Goes about 3/16" her and there, and the thinnest rings are 1/8" thick mostly for drip edges or what not. I guessed mostly on the Rounding of edges by eye rather than measurements. There are any number of small details to add, but the basic structure is there now to work off of. If I don't like it I can always edit the feature later, I love parametric modeling!

Enjoy.

Assembly1 - GPO Lantern 2.jpg

Assembly1 - GPO Lantern.jpg