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.
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.
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.
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