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Author Topic: A STEP UP THE LADDER  (Read 1933 times)

Bluebird v2

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« on: September 26, 2007, 03:20:39 PM »

Hello one and all

Whilst on the subject of  how do we do stuff, sometimes when I am in the right frame of mind not often I will produce my own ladders.

Its a very simple jig - I was shown how to make this a long time ago:-

One little piece of ply about 2" wide by about 6" long

Two pieces of square wood (approximately 1/4" square)

One piece of wood which you make to fit the required scale of the ladders you are producing.  This becomes a wedge shape.

As you can see, I have attached a scribble and a photograph.  Self explanatory really, two pieces of plasticard strip at the size you require for the scale to produce the outer legs of the ladder.

The third piece of plasticard you cut to the width of your ladders.

The angle on the wedge gives the angle on your step, you glue your first step in and let it dry, move it back the required distance and glue your second and third, and fourth in....and when its all dry there you have it YOUR LADDER  O0 O0

john e


  • Guest
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 08:47:21 PM »

The best ideas are always the simplest ideas. :)

Well done john e and thanks for sharing it with us  O0 O0 O0




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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 09:45:49 PM »

One thing I had to think about with the Ben Ain model was how I was going to deal with the ladders as supplied with the kit. They were supplied as cast white metal items which therefore had a few inherent problems.

Unfortunately being cast they were not a very crisp finish, the edges were not parallel or square and a lot of time was going to be required to file out the centres of the steps to make them look even presentable. Other concerns were that, being white metal, the bond to the bulkhead was not going to be the best, even with Araldite, and they were actually going to weigh a significant amount when all seven of them were fitted.

So, never having taken the easy path with any part of this model so far, I decided to make up my own and started to experiment with bits of wood, possible construction methods and a few sketches.

I started with my supply of 5mmx1mm strip lime which I had been using for planking the decks and decided that it was a suitable match for the components of the steps. I cut the side runners using my cutting board to get the ends at the correct angles and made up enough for all seven sets of steps.

Next I made up a spacer piece from a scrap of wood to ensure the sides remained parallel and the correct distance apart and held a pair against it with a spot of blue tack. This enabled the top ends to be glued to the bridge assembly bulkheads and ensure they remained in the correct attitude while the glue set and also allowed me to place the steps exactly where I wanted them with respect to the other deck fittings.

I then removed the spacer and fitted another wooden spacer, using the original white metal steps as a pattern, between the sides which was used to set the vertical step spacing.

Then it was a slow process of adding a step, letting the glue set, and moving the spacer up a step until they were all fitted. One large set of steps took an hour and a half to make this way which was probably not a lot more than it would have taken to dress up the original items but the result was a lot more crisp and neat. It also ensured that the bond to the bulkhead was extremely strong which, as the steps have to remain in place when the bridge assembly is removed, is very important. After all four sets of steps were fitted to the bridge assembly I removed the unit and confirmed that everything still came off and went back on again successfully.

I am very pleased with the way the steps have turned out and after a lot of messing around with jigs I think the build them in situ method has worked very well.

"Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack, Butting through the Channel in the mad March days"
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