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Making a 1:24-scale ladder from square brass tube

Discussion in 'Tutorials and how to's' started by johnpipe108, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. johnpipe108

    johnpipe108 Scale Model Member

    Jul 8, 2011
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    I have shown this ladder recently on my recent updates on the fleet boat, but I felt that making a small metal ladder wants its own post.

    I have to make seven ladders for my submarine miniature; I was going over ideas in my head, when I decided to start and figure out how best to make a small ladder. A WWII sub ladder is 12in between the uprights, which on those I measured were 1/2in x 2in cross-section, and about 11-1/8 to 11-1/4in rung pitch (hard to measure exactly on corrugated treads on Balao class boats).

    I decided that the simplest way at this scale would be to use 1/16" square tube, and 1/32" rod for the rungs. If I wanted to make the later-style square treads, I would probably connect them with 1/32" round rod for joiners to the uprights.

    My first difficulty on the first tube was adequately marking the narrow tube cross-ways for the rung positions, and being able to see the marks for punching the drill-indents. On the second tube, I reinforced the cross-marks with a scribe and small precision machinist's square, so I could feel the cross-marks more precisely with the 3/16" machinist's scriber that I use for punching indents on this very small and thin tube (a little too small to comfortably use my Starret 1/4" punch).

    I don't have an illuminated magnifier, nothing but cheap reading glasses, a real disadvantage for miniature work.

    I used a dial-caliper to mark the tube; if you don't have one, you might come up with a jig to hold a scribe at a fixed distance, and run the tube along it to mark the central-axis for drill positions.

    I only drilled one side of each upright, and this did make it difficult to put two sides together, as the holes are, and must be, exactly wire size (took me an hour to get two sides mated)! I may have to drill two sides of one upright on the remaining ladders, and use a jig to space the uprights; then I could insert straight through one upright, and into the other, one rung at at time.

    Here's the first attempt:


    One other little bother, since it was difficult to get the pieces mated, I could not use any adhesive. However, the friction holds it pretty good, and once it is installed, it wont be able to move. I did try to "jam" CA down the ends, to the top spokes, with a piece of the wire; don't know if it worked!

    Here's where I added hand-rails, but I got them too short by a rung or so; I will correct all these issues on the remaining ladders, and, if necessary, I'll put the first one in the least visible position on the boat!


    HTH, Regards,


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