0.005 in. brass would be hard to drill without distortion, it would be hard to mount grab irons without bending the stiles, and the stiles probably wouldn’t probably
hold their shape on the car. Any car handling could completely destroy the ladder. Stainless steel would be a better material for stiles that thin.
I had to replace the partial stile castings on several Sunshine SS boxcar kits with HO scale 1 x2 styrene strip material. Stiles for the end ladders had to be drilled
for 2, 3, or 4 grab irons depending on car class. Drilling the holes and installing the grab irons was tedious to say the least.
This raises the question, how much can you cheat on material dimensions where scale dimensions are too fragile in modeling practice? There must be a happy medium
between Athearn blue box sill steps and scale fidelity.
On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2019 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] grab iron ladders
The outer stile is 2" x 2" angle, which is pretty common for ladder stiles on freight cars. The inner stile is problematic, as it is 1/4" x 2" flat stock, so should really only be .003" thick in HO scale. .005" thick brass shim stock is
likely the best bet.