Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Instructions _01

Howdy gang

So, you haven't purchased one of my "You Beaut" Ladder Forming Jigs ----- why not? Not only are they good for standard ladders but they are great for curved ladders as per the KRM HO 003 Water Gin Kit and bent ladders similar to that on a BMT milk tank wagon. The idea of the Jig came about when a mate (Ian Millard of Liverpool Range blog fame) showed me a simple jig years ago. It was made up of single units that I simply made into a single etch with 10 single units all together, so that they lined up to help build a ladder from stiles.

I am all for modellers learning new skills, that will then allow them to produce better models and learn new things.


Now what comes in the kit is the above etch and 6 lace pins. The lace pins will allow you to locate the jig on a piece of timber, you can purchase more lace pins for KRM. (KRM Misc 002).

The Timber Base.

Due to the need to use slightly acidic flux in the soldering process of putting you ladder together, I used to use a small piece of 9 mm craftwood, but this type of timber will swell up if the jig and timber are washed after every use. So what I now recommend is to make up a small piece of 42 mm x 19 mm pine, and seal it with a gloss clear lacquer. This will allow the jig and timber base to be washed after use, so that the jig does not become deteriorated. While this may restrict sales of the Jig , I am sure that modellers will appreciate this little tip.

Step 1.
Locate the jig onto the timber base with the text facing up, use a 0.5 mm drill to drill through the jig in the hole in the lower left corner. Cut a pin to about 10 mm long, and file a point onto the cut edge. Locate the pin into the jig and hole, and hammer the pin down to the brass etch. Do the same with the hole opposite the one you just drilled. If you have more pins or even wish to use track pins, you may. Continue by placing pins in the middle 2 holes of the jig and 2 more holes at the other end of the jig.

Step 2.

Locate a hobby knife blade under the front edge of the etched out pieces and prise the etch up 90 degrees to the etch plate, continue to do this for all ten of the folded pieces. (do not be tempted to over bend then bend back as this will ensure that the folded section will break, making the etch useless).

Ensure that the verticals sit at 90 degrees to the base. The slots in the jig will only accept 0.3 mm material, so anything larger will be too tight to fit. You will notice, that the slots which the stiles sit in, are marked 12 ---- 0 --- 10 ---- 15. This is simple to understand, if you locate the first stile into the slot marked "0", and if you wish to build a 10"  wide ladder locate the 2nd stile in the slot marked "10", or  15" ladder into the slot marked "15".
This allows you to build ladders of either 10", 12" or 15" in HO Scale.

Using the Jig

In this example I have used a set of stiles from the KRM HO_008 Lattice Post Signal Kit. They are made from Nickel Silver which is 0.3 mm thick. Ensure that the base of the ladder stiles are in the same orientation, as they are angled to the base of the silo. The top hole on this ladder is not used for fitting a rung. The holes have been drilled out to fit 0.4 mm however this makes the 0.4 mm wire just a little tight so I used 0.3 mm wire in this example.  Cut the wire into 8 mm - 10 mm long sections, and you will require 24 of these lengths. Place one length of wire in the bottom hole of the stiles and push it against the vertical part of the etch, this will assist in get the ladder square. You can hold the ladder in place with a couple of small pieces of masking tape if you so desire.
Locate rungs into any holes that are exposed and are not near any of the vertical sections. Using flux (Carr's Red in this case) solder one side only of the rungs, until you have all the rungs soldered in place. Before you solder the second stile into place ensure that the first stile is straight as any kink in the stile will show up in the final result. You should also continue to ensure that the ladder is square to the rungs before proceeding to solder the other side of the rungs.
The ladder now needs to be moved so that those rung holes that were too close to the verticals can be fitted with wire to build up those rungs, the gaps in the ladder below.
Once all the rungs are soldered in place (please ensure that they are all soldered), the ladder can be removed from the jig and cleaned up by removing the excess and sanding down the sides of the ladder.

 Using a good pair of side cutters, remove as much of the overhanging wire as close to the outside of the stiles as possible, leaving as little material as possible to be sanded down with a sanding block.

I find that simple sanding block (available for KRM --- $10 -- Tim made them) are the best way to sand the sides of the ladder stiles. I use a 320 grit block, and just rub the ladder (sides) until smooth, and then rub the face to remove any tab material that is still located on the edge of the stiles.

The end result is just a great looking ladder that is fine and make the whole model look fantastic. If you have not solder the rungs in well enough, they will become lose and fall out which is only a good idea if the ladder is on a dilapidated model.
Finally, wash the finished ladder in warm soapy water, and at the same time, wash and dry the jig and timber base, so that it does not wear prematurely, and is ready for work on the next model.

I hope that you understand this instruction blog and if you would like to have anything explained, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
"Happy to be part of the solution and only sometimes be part of the problem LOL"

Regards Keiran Ryan


Hi Fellow Modellers.

Welcome to the krmodels HO
Ladder Forming Jig Blog.

This blog will show the correct method of using the KRM Misc 004 HO Ladder Forming Jig, not that there is a correct method of using the jig, as individuals will develop their own "best way" of using it.

The jig is just simple etch,  which allows you to use the KRM HO 012 Ladder Stiles to form a very fine ladder with much smaller rungs, than the fully etched ladders available elsewhere. The different that these ladders make to a build, signal, or kit is remarkable, and even to the point of make the rest of any kit look good.

The ladder stiles are a scale 40 feet long and you can make up 2 ladders of this size. I am seriously thinking of redoing the jig and the stiles in Nickel Silver as the cost is not that much more than brass and the end result , ease of soldering and the rigidity of the ladders are much greater.

Until next time, we await the start of the Instructions

Regards Keiran