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Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jan 21, 15:24
by Darren Rogers
Just wondered if anyone could advise re below?

I am probably going to have to buy a new Stevenson screen and I am looking at the MET -01 which is the (now) standard issue Met'O screen and my basic concern and question is whether it will fit on the stand that I have at present.

My current stand/screen are an ex Met’O standard with dimensions for the screen of: width 572mm (22 ½ inch) and depth 395mm (15 ½”).

The MET-01 that the Met'O supply to their climat stations is: Width 567 mm x depth 390 mm x height 579 mm
They seem to give those stations a new stand to go with the screen, is this just because everything then is new or because it does need a stand with different dimensions?

The difference is basically 0.5cm width and depth, but can you confirm whether the MET-01 will fit onto the ‘old’ stands or not.
They are obviously a lot of £ and so I need to be sure.

Many thanks in advance and I much appreciate your help.

Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jan 25, 15:53
by Stephen Burt
Hi Darren - I can probably help here.

I purchased a Metspec aluminium-and-plastic Stevenson screen in 2011. I've been very pleased with it - and it's a boon not having to devote several days each spring and summer to maintenance, sanding and repainting my previous wooden screen. I would recommend them to anyone whose existing screen is coming towards the end of its life. To keep them spic and span needs only a wash once or twice a year and the occasional wipe-over with a damp cloth.

On the matter of the stand, I purchased a new one (as my previous screen was a large-pattern model, and obviously much too big for the new single-width screen). The dimensions are a few millimetres larger in both x and y than the screen itself. My screen's outside dimensions are 568 x 390 mm, which corresponds to the values you quoted. I'm sure it will fit on your existing stand without any difficulty, but there is one other thing you should be aware of - the screen is fixed to the stand in a different manner.

Existing wooden screens are usually fixed to the stand using small triangular plates located in the middle of the short axis of the stand. The screen is then retained in place by two screws located towards the apex of these plates which bite into the thicker bottom frame of the screen (and, in my experience, greatly enhance rotting at this point). Instead, the plastic screens are held in place by two large threaded bolts protruding through the floor of the screen and through a cross-member located between the midpoints of the short axis of the stand upper frame - see the two small photographs below. This is a much more secure fixing than the triangular-plate method, and has the additional benefit if site security is a problem in that the nuts provided can be replaced or augmented by locking nuts, which would certainly deter any attempts at casual theft.

2015 01 25 - 1516z - 004.jpg
2015 01 25 - 1516z - 004.jpg (6.82 KiB) Viewed 3544 times
2015 01 25 - 1517z - 005.jpg
2015 01 25 - 1517z - 005.jpg (8.56 KiB) Viewed 3544 times

If you decide to keep your existing stand, you'll have to add this bar and fix it in place. Hardware stores sell lengths of angled aluminum of the right length and gauge for just a few pounds; the dimensions are not critical other than providing a secure fastening for the fixing bolts. You'll probably also need to remove the existing triangular plates to fit the new screen in place, but neither operation should pose too much difficulty.

Let us all know how you get on, as I'm sure others may have similar questions.


Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jan 28, 14:50
by Darren Rogers
Stephen - thanks for the reply, this is not proving as easy as it should, but a couple of things:
When you say a 'MetSpec' screen, do you mean the MET-01 as sold by the weather shop? This seems to be the screen as used by the Met'O.
If not, can you advice from where you purchased your own.

It seems that the screen used by the Met'O varies slightly from the one sold by the Weather shop, albeit it comes from the same source, apparently only once person has the licence to produce these.
The Met'O pattern fixes to the stand in the way that you describe with the bar below - the weather shop screen is by the legs, with theirs having pre-drilled holes through the legs. They do not have the fixing bar option and do not sell it.
the stand that they sell has the pre-drilled holes by which to drop the screen straight in.
I can't see any holes that I could drill in my stand lining up with the holes pre-drilled into the legs - the solution as you describe is by far the easier and would be a straight drop in and secure.
The issue seems to be, will the weather shops screen has pre-drilled holes in its base, if it does I can find somewhere to fabricate one of those bars for me.
the lady at the weather Shop as kindly offered to speak with the person who makes these and seek his advice on what can be done - fingers crossed.

Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jan 28, 20:21
by Stephen Burt
Hi Darren -

I bought my screen from Weathershop (I assume you mean the outfit based in Sussex?), so as far as I can be sure we're talking about the same unit. The dimensions were certainly the same, anyway.

The screens are made by Metspec (Jonathan Wright) - more details on - that's who Weathershop purchase from (the only supplier in fact).

It may be that in the almost 4 years since I purchased mine that the mounting has changed so that they are fixed by bolts through the legs rather than clamped via the underside bar as in my photographs. If that was the case, then surely you would be able to drill holes to suit in your existing steel stand, and fix with suitable bolts? The pictures on the Metspec site suggest this is how they are fixed - but if so, I haven't seen one of this pattern personally. I'm sure Weathershop will be able to tell you, but of course they will want to sell you a stand too if they can!

One answer is of course to purchase the screen, then assess when it arrives whether you can adjust your existing screen stand to fit the new screen - by either drilling holes in the stand or in the screen base to clamp to an underside bar like mine if necessary. (I've just been out to look closely at mine, brr, that wind is cold - and the bolts fit straight through the screen base and a supporting spar that runs along the long axis. It would be easy enough to drill these holes yourself - if necessary I can send you photographs to guide you - and fix to an angled aluminium spar underneath like mine.)

I guess if it doesn't fit then the option of purchasing a new stand will still be there, but possibly a few weeks delivery (and two lots of carriage of course) - but I'd be surprised if it won't fit with minor adjustments.

If you were nearer I'd pop over and have a look myself, but at this distance that's not so easy to do!

Let me know how you get on.


Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jan 28, 21:40
by Darren Rogers
Stephen, a few years ago didn't I offer a night's accommodation for yourself and Philip Eden when you pop up for your tour of the mountain rain gauges, The Stye in particular - if I have the screen ready and waiting .......!!!
have also be meaning to e-mail you to let you know that I now have the BR Guides for 1860-1968 - trying to find 1969-91 is a virtually hopeless task.

anyway, I will contact Jonathan direct tomorrow and discuss with him, but quite agree that the bar is the best option and at the very worst I would have to tinker a little.
But surely they will be able to offer some quality customer service to sort me out?

Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jun 25, 20:43
by Darren Rogers
Well the screen finally arrived today - and it does look the part, double doors, thermom' stand, etc.

Just need to find the time now to swop over with the old one, but it looks relatively straight forward, probably be more awkward to get the old one off.

Also, Jonathan at Metspec has been superb, have had some good chats and seems thoroughly nice - would have to say that it would be better to deal with him direct as opposed to the company who buy them from him

Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jun 25, 21:33
by Stephen Burt
Great stuff! Was wondering whether you'd taken the plunge ... !

Let us know how the changeover goes, and please post a few photographs. I'm sure there are others out there who are wondering should I-shouldn't i. I'm delighted that I don't have to spend 3-4 days of my summer break every year sanding, filling, priming undercoating, glossing the wooden screen. It's coming up to 4 years old now, and still as bright and glossy as it was new - and just needs a wash twice per year to keep the dust and bugs at bay.

Good luck with the changeover, Darren ...


Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jun 29, 20:57
by Darren Rogers
Changed the screens over on Saturday and it was relatively straight forward. Taking the old screen (wooden) off was the harder task and definitely needed two people.
However, the new screen popped on dead easy and apart from the help of a steadying hand to pop it onto the stand to start with, you could do itself yourself.
I was even able to carry the screen 20 yards, through a gate and down an incline by myself as it is not too heavy.

the screen as fitted perfectly onto my old stand - no need for a replacement

Anyway, when the new screen comes it will be minus its roof and inside will look like this
s4.jpg (60.91 KiB) Viewed 3393 times

the roof just needs a 13mm spanner, pop the bolts out, roof on and bolts back in with the washer and fasten - best to put the roof on before you get it on the stand.
In the photo above, the bolts standing up are actually upside down which is merely for the purposes of postage/packaging - they need to be unfastened and turned around once on the stand.
these bolts also secure the base of the screen so when you take them out the base will drop down, so hang onto it.

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Before I put the screen on the stand I wrapped the legs in cardboard so that they did not get scratched as I lifted it up on to the stand.
The bolts from inside have been turned round and the base secured with nut and washer

s5.jpg (81.01 KiB) Viewed 3392 times

The photo above shows the key element to how the screen is secured.
The metal bar is then added to the bolt and secured with washer and nut - the bar is secured (pulled up) against the frame of the stand and hence it and the screen aren't going anywhere - neither screen or the metal bar are bolted to the stand in any way. clever stuff
I put the masking tape on the bar to protect it when tightening the nut

will finish tomorrow

Re: Stevenson Screen

PostPosted: 2015 Jun 30, 04:59
by Darren Rogers
Hopefully you then end up with something like this:
s8.jpg (89.33 KiB) Viewed 3389 times

I added the foam strips to the stand as the door drops fully down and this will prevent it banging against the stand and getting damaged.
the foam is used for lagging water pipes and is pre-cut down one side and fits over quiet neatly and secured with insulation tape - find it in all DIY stores.

s9.jpg (86.93 KiB) Viewed 3389 times

and that's about it - put the thermom's back.

Not sure about where to keep the measuring jar for the rain gauge now though - not that handy little recess that a wooden screen has