Willis Lamm's Traffic Signal Collection
Information Sheet

Collecting Traffic Signals
Restoration Tips

This feature is presented primarily to benefit new signal collectors who may be undertaking some more challenging restorations. It can be extremely rewarding to restore some ancient traffic signal to like-new appearance and operation, however some of the processes can be a bit tricky.

My first advice is to start out simple. Develop your restoration skills on signals that aren't in real rough condition, and develop techniques that work well for you. Recognize that sometimes the most important "technique" is patience. Whenever I've messed something up and caused myself a bunch of extra work it's because I rushed part of the process.

I will be adding more tips to this section as I have time to photograph the processes and compose web documents. Here's what I have completed so far.

Safely Removing Old Paint
  • Tips on safely removing layers of old paint from signals for repainting without damaging the aluminum finish.
Safely Removing Stuck Parts
  • Tips on safely removing stuck screws, nuts and chase nipples when restoring old signals.
Restoring Lenses
  • Tips on safely removing layers of film and haze from old lenses.
Restoring Gaskets
  • How I restore worn or missing rope and rubber gaskets for signal doors.
Replacing Visor Rivets
  • An effective way to replace bad or missing visor rivets.
Other features coming soon -
  • Repairing bent or damaged visors

  • Safely rewiring "antique" sockets

  • Repairing "body damage"

  • Removing frozen screws and bolts

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