Re: drop rung ladders - a better way?

Schuyler Larrabee

Greg says I have a better way . . .


Well, he had to put up with my whining while I did them, so at least he’s heard me about this challenge.  By the way, the side parts of ladders are stiles, not styles.


For the cars side ladders, I drew a line down the side at the “right location” for the left side of the ladder.  Then, after calculating the distance between the rungs (several times until I got the same answer . . . 8^/ ) I also used a divider to mark off the locations.  The dividers I used have a VERY sharp point on one side, and I made a tiny dimple at that point.  Then I used a straight pin to make that a bit deeper, then the No. 80 drill.  I did the Greg Martin trick of cutting off (in my case) the right hand leg of the rung by putting it through a hole in a piece of .030” styrene, and then pressing the styrene down so the legs were extended as far through the styrene as possible ( for uniformity).  Flush cut nippers did the trick.


After putting the grabs in, I used thick ACC on the inside of the car.  NEXT time, I will do something more: I’ll bend the grabs inside the car, and use 5 minute epoxy inside so as to gain a mechanical advantage that will increase the likelihood that the grabs will not rotate.  You can guess why I thought about this . . .


The ends . . . (sigh) . . . this was not easy.  I had braced the bulkhead inside with some .040” square styrene, so to drill through for even one side was a challenge, but I did, mostly, dill through for them.  A few, I just drilled in far enough to be able to have one leg IN the end, and used ACC to glue it in.  I glued the 1x2 styrene strip for the corner stile on, then allowed the rungs to tell me where the stile closer to the centerline should be.  The true pisser was when I managed to break a drill bit in the corner stile, close enough to the surface that there was NFW I could get it out.  That one got it’s right leg drilled in and the left one cut off.


All in all, these are just miserable things to have to make, IMHO.  BTW, I managed to run out of commercial drop grabs, so had to make about half the grabs on the model from wire.  Which reminds me I should order some more.


The end ladders have me thinking that maybe these could be printed parts, especially after seeing Jack Burgess’ superb clinic at Cocoa.  I should look into this on my other list (of interest to this audience) the 3DSTFC list.  I may be the owner, but I am NOT an expert at it, not at all, but still . . .






Subject: Re: [STMFC] drop run ladders - a better way?




I will give you my solution and Craig Zeni has another and Schuyler Larrabee has another.


I used a jig to create the holes as they need to be the same on the sides as the ends. For the styles I used a thicker Aluminum foil. This left me with a nice thin style. The real secret is to NOT drill holes for both sides of the drop grabs, dill only one and clip the run shot to match the opposing side. This eliminates the possibility of the grabs from becoming crooked.


I am sure there are other solutions and Schuyler did use styrene.



Greg Martin


Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean


In a message dated 1/18/2015 4:43:59 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, STMFC@... writes:


I’m slowly working through the 2014 Shake and Take project and have come up against the end ladders.   I’m looking for suggestions others have tried to improve the looks of the finished product.  Mine come out looking like the years have service included a couple of collisions.


The approach I’ve tried is to mark the ladder styles on a sheet of .015” thick styrene, including both vertical and horizontal centre lines for each hole to be drilled.  Then use a pin to create a dimple at each +, and drill through with an #80 bit.  I find it hard to create a dimple in the material at the exact correct spot,  so my drilled holes are imperfect.  The pin is thick enough and creates enough shadow that it looks like it is on the +, but it is imprecise.


Is there a better idea?  Maybe a jig that is practical?


Rob Kirkham





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