#### Determining Rung Spacing When Scratch Building Ladders

Bill Welch

I have posted over on the Resin Car Works Blog an easy technique for figuring out rung spacing when scratch building freight car ladders: Resin Car Works Blog

Bill Welch

Jack Mullen

Bill,

This is a clear description.of a good method, which I'm sure is new to many. I think there's one small error though, which you may wish to check. I think you mean to lay out 7 spaces, not 8, for 8 rungs.

I very much appreciate all you've done to research and share your knowledge of the FGEX consortium. A BIG thank you, and hope to see the book soon!

Jack Mullen

Robert kirkham

OK, I’m always grateful to learn new tricks, but this one I do not follow.  Bill - what is the advantage you are gaining with the diagonal lines?  I do not see how drawing equally spaced marks on the diagonals is easier than doing so on the vertical line?  Clearly I’m missing something.  Can you explain.

Rob Kirkham

Scott H. Haycock

Bill's explanation was hard for me to follow, and I know the trick. I'll try to explain it by example.

I took an HO boxcar off my layout and, using a ruler, measured a side ladder. The top rung is 1-9/32". or 1.28125" from the bottom rung, center to center. There are 7 rungs in the ladder. 7 rungs means 6 spaces between rungs. The spacing between rung works out to .2135", an inconvenient measurement!

For this to work, you want to use a measurement that is less than the total (1.28125''). 6 times 3/16" equals 1.125", a lesser number.

Now, Take a piece of paper and draw 7 parallel lines, 3/16" apart. Take a piece of cardstock, and make a pair of small marks 1-9/32" apart along one edge. Align the bottom  mark on the cardstock, with the bottom-most line.Rotate the card so that the top mark lines up with the top line. This is where the angle comes in. Now all the other lines can be marked on the card, and they will be evenly spaced.

This is easier to do, than explain. Try it with my numbers, then you'll grasp the concept.

Scott Haycock

OK, I’m always grateful to learn new tricks, but this one I do not follow.  Bill - what is the advantage you are gaining with the diagonal lines?  I do not see how drawing equally spaced marks on the diagonals is easier than doing so on the vertical line?  Clearly I’m missing something.  Can you explain.

Rob Kirkham

John Barry

The technique works with notebook paper or any other set of parallel lines as long as they are spaced closer than your desired spacing.  You don't even need a ruler!  Just transfer the distance between the top and bottom to your cardstock, then place one mark on the first line, and swing the other till it is on the seventh line (or six or five for fewer rungs).  Mark the intersections on your template and you have your rung spacing.  If you really want it to the gnats a.., pick the distance off the model with locking dividers, swing those to the number of desired rungs, then butt your template edge against the dividers and mark or draw a line on the parallel lines and reset the dividers to the interval along the line.  What you are doing is using the equal interval of the parallel lines to divide the uneven distance.  It's a slick trick you can use for all sorts of evenly spaced layout tasks like gondola ribs, panel seams, window mullions, etc.

John

John Barry

ATSF North Bay Lines
Golden Gates & Fast Freights

707-490-9696

PO Box 44736
Washington, DC 20026-4736

From: "'Scott H. Haycock ' shhaycock@... [STMFC]"
To: Steam Era Freight Cars
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2015 3:26 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Determining Rung Spacing When Scratch Building Ladders

Bill's explanation was hard for me to follow, and I know the trick. I'll try to explain it by example.

I took an HO boxcar off my layout and, using a ruler, measured a side ladder. The top rung is 1-9/32". or 1.28125" from the bottom rung, center to center. There are 7 rungs in the ladder. 7 rungs means 6 spaces between rungs. The spacing between rung works out to .2135", an inconvenient measurement!

For this to work, you want to use a measurement that is less than the total (1.28125''). 6 times 3/16" equals 1.125", a lesser number.

Now, Take a piece of paper and draw 7 parallel lines, 3/16" apart. Take a piece of cardstock, and make a pair of small marks 1-9/32" apart along one edge. Align the bottom  mark on the cardstock, with the bottom-most line.Rotate the card so that the top mark lines up with the top line. This is where the angle comes in. Now all the other lines can be marked on the card, and they will be evenly spaced.

This is easier to do, than explain. Try it with my numbers, then you'll grasp the concept.

Scott Haycock

OK, I’m always grateful to learn new tricks, but this one I do not follow.  Bill - what is the advantage you are gaining with the diagonal lines?  I do not see how drawing equally spaced marks on the diagonals is easier than doing so on the vertical line?  Clearly I’m missing something.  Can you explain.

Rob Kirkham

Robert kirkham

Thanks for the explanation Scott (and Greg Kennelly of list).

Rob Kirkham

Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2015 12:26 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Determining Rung Spacing When Scratch Building Ladders

Bill's explanation was hard for me to follow, and I know the trick. I'll try to explain it by example.

I took an HO boxcar off my layout and, using a ruler, measured a side ladder. The top rung is 1-9/32". or 1.28125" from the bottom rung, center to center. There are 7 rungs in the ladder. 7 rungs means 6 spaces between rungs. The spacing between rung works out to .2135", an inconvenient measurement!

For this to work, you want to use a measurement that is less than the total (1.28125''). 6 times 3/16" equals 1.125", a lesser number.

Now, Take a piece of paper and draw 7 parallel lines, 3/16" apart. Take a piece of cardstock, and make a pair of small marks 1-9/32" apart along one edge. Align the bottom  mark on the cardstock, with the bottom-most line.Rotate the card so that the top mark lines up with the top line. This is where the angle comes in. Now all the other lines can be marked on the card, and they will be evenly spaced.

This is easier to do, than explain. Try it with my numbers, then you'll grasp the concept.

Scott Haycock

OK, I’m always grateful to learn new tricks, but this one I do not follow.  Bill - what is the advantage you are gaining with the diagonal lines?  I do not see how drawing equally spaced marks on the diagonals is easier than doing so on the vertical line?  Clearly I’m missing something.  Can you explain.

Rob Kirkham

Robert kirkham

Speaking of ladders and tools, for the origami brass ladders used in Yarmouth kits, I’ve used a scrap piece of styrene cut to a squared letter C shape.  Along the top and bottom of the C, I super-glue grab irons so the wire mounting arms are sticking up from the jig.   The wire arms provides 4 mounting points for the two ladder stiles, and makes it easy to glue the remaining rungs into place while keeping the ladder square.   One they are complete, the ladder is removed from the jig and the top and bottom rungs can be added.

Rob Kirkham

Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2015 4:23 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Determining Rung Spacing When Scratch Building Ladders

The technique works with notebook paper or any other set of parallel lines as long as they are spaced closer than your desired spacing.  You don't even need a ruler!  Just transfer the distance between the top and bottom to your cardstock, then place one mark on the first line, and swing the other till it is on the seventh line (or six or five for fewer rungs).  Mark the intersections on your template and you have your rung spacing.  If you really want it to the gnats a.., pick the distance off the model with locking dividers, swing those to the number of desired rungs, then butt your template edge against the dividers and mark or draw a line on the parallel lines and reset the dividers to the interval along the line.  What you are doing is using the equal interval of the parallel lines to divide the uneven distance.  It's a slick trick you can use for all sorts of evenly spaced layout tasks like gondola ribs, panel seams, window mullions, etc.

John

John Barry

ATSF North Bay Lines
Golden Gates & Fast Freights

707-490-9696

PO Box 44736
Washington, DC 20026-4736

From: "'Scott H. Haycock ' shhaycock@... [STMFC]"
To: Steam Era Freight Cars
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2015 3:26 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Determining Rung Spacing When Scratch Building Ladders

Bill's explanation was hard for me to follow, and I know the trick. I'll try to explain it by example.

I took an HO boxcar off my layout and, using a ruler, measured a side ladder. The top rung is 1-9/32". or 1.28125" from the bottom rung, center to center. There are 7 rungs in the ladder. 7 rungs means 6 spaces between rungs. The spacing between rung works out to .2135", an inconvenient measurement!

For this to work, you want to use a measurement that is less than the total (1.28125''). 6 times 3/16" equals 1.125", a lesser number.

Now, Take a piece of paper and draw 7 parallel lines, 3/16" apart. Take a piece of cardstock, and make a pair of small marks 1-9/32" apart along one edge. Align the bottom  mark on the cardstock, with the bottom-most line.Rotate the card so that the top mark lines up with the top line. This is where the angle comes in. Now all the other lines can be marked on the card, and they will be evenly spaced.

This is easier to do, than explain. Try it with my numbers, then you'll grasp the concept.

Scott Haycock

OK, I’m always grateful to learn new tricks, but this one I do not follow.  Bill - what is the advantage you are gaining with the diagonal lines?  I do not see how drawing equally spaced marks on the diagonals is easier than doing so on the vertical line?  Clearly I’m missing something.  Can you explain.

Rob Kirkham

gewaldphoto

It's a common trick from drafting to use a ruler or other object with evenly spaced markings on it to divide a line into equal units. The example in the blog post is more complicated than I remember the technique. Much easier than measuring to four decimal points and trying to get a spacing without a strange remainder left over.

No need for the parallel lines at 30 degrees in the blog post. I would recommend just making a right triangle where one side is the distance between the top and bottom rungs of the ladder. The other right angle side would be the bottom rung position on the ladder and would extend out as far as you need it to make the the long end, or hypotenuse, a convenient length. For seven steps that might be 1.5 inches with a mark at each quarter inch or it could be 5/16ths if that is easier, then use a T-square to transfer the marks on the hypotenuse over to the side that corresponds with the distance from the top to the bottom rung. In drafting we had triangle shaped rulers with inches divided in different ways on the 6 different edges. Much easier to use than a standard ruler in inches. One might be in 1/10ths of an inch, another in 1/12ths, another in 1/6ths and so on. Centimeters and millimeters might be easier than inches and fractions of an inch.

You can easily adapt this to any scale, just use bigger spaces on the ruler and angle it so you get enough divisions you need.

Garrett

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Tim O'Connor

hmmmm... I think micrometer or calipers (to measure the maximum separation)
then a calculator to determine the spacing (down to .001) and then the micrometer
again open to exactly that -- then set my locking dividers to that measurement.

then poke, twist, poke, twist, poke, twist, poke ... each rung is marked on a straight
line.

done.

Tim O'Connor

The technique works with notebook paper or any other set of parallel lines as long as they are spaced closer than your desired spacing. You don't even need a ruler! Just transfer the distance between the top and bottom to your cardstock, then place one mark on the first line, and swing the other till it is on the seventh line (or six or five for fewer rungs). Mark the intersections on your template and you have your rung spacing. If you really want it to the gnats a.., pick the distance off the model with locking dividers, swing those to the number of desired rungs, then butt your template edge against the dividers and mark or draw a line on the parallel lines and reset the dividers to the interval along the line. What you are doing is using the equal interval of the parallel lines to divide the uneven distance. It's a slick trick you can use for all sorts of evenly spaced layout tasks like gondola ribs, panel seams, window mullions, etc.

John

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