Building Ladders/railing for the Douglas Greg - RC Groups
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Nov 01, 2009, 01:10 PM
Registered User

Building Ladders/railing for the Douglas Greg


I'm having a heck of a time soldering brass together to make ladders and rails for my Douglas Greg tug,any ideas on the best way? Was also thinking of using "G" gauge model rail road ladders and railings,if I knew where to look.

Anyone have any ideas?


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Nov 01, 2009, 02:06 PM
Brought to you by letter Arr!
mariner02's Avatar
I've lost my patience with this same process before, and have since switched to styrene- a lot less headaches, good-looking results, and quicker.
Nov 01, 2009, 02:55 PM
Registered User
H.Lauer's Avatar

It does take some doing, not a 5 min. project

A Hot soldering iron (I'm using a cheap Hobbico 60watt).
Clean and lightly sanded helps.... alot
Pretinning is a huge help
Heat sinks are a must (alligator clips work great)
premade spacers
clamp all your work (with wood clamps, ie clothspins)
solder in place (protect with heatsinks)
heat & prebend all parts that need it and leave em long.
Hope this helps a little. Harry
Nov 01, 2009, 04:20 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
A good flux goes a long way toward making soldering quick and easy.

A while back I picked up a canister of "Kester" Self cleaning Solder Past flux.
It came from the local electronic distributor.

I'll dip the ends of a rung in the past, then smear the daub onto the
rail of the ladder at the rung location. The rails are taped or pinned down, and
the rung locations are drawn on a piece of paper. (a jig can also be made by
cutting depressions into a piece of wood...)

I melt a little bit of solder onto the end of a 30 watt soldering pen, then
I touch that bit of solder to the joint. The flux melts, and the solder instantly
flows into the joint.

Sometimes, I will Silver solder three primary rungs into a ladder before
I tape or pin the setup onto my pattern or into a jig. Silver solder uses
a higher temperature solder, and requires a little torch work. But once
the silver solder is done, the other rungs can be worked without fear of
either of the first three silver soldered rungs coming undone.

Let's do a tutorial... shall we?
Last edited by Umi_Ryuzuki; Nov 01, 2009 at 07:31 PM.
Nov 01, 2009, 05:52 PM
If it ain't broke, fix it
hmmm could explain why i struggled the last tiem i did it. i should of know that standard electrical flux cored soldier wouldn't work properly.
Nov 01, 2009, 06:39 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Beautiful tutorial, thanks Umi!
Nov 02, 2009, 04:29 PM
Winnipeg, Canada
This is very good information.
Thanks UMI
Nov 04, 2009, 08:31 AM
Registered User

Ladders & Rails

due to size of boat 55" cg47MLB, I want to use either 3/16 or 1/4 " brass tubing. (Rod is a lot of weight). My problem is getting good 90 degree bends etc in the tubing.

Any suggestions.

UMI. The display was great. Keep it up.
H Laur What was the size of your railing on the tug?

Nov 04, 2009, 11:06 AM
Registered User
Guard-Officer's Avatar
Umi You make that look too easy,
i tried tat once anmade a horrible mess! Thanks for the tutorial though, my next attempt may actually be neat and clean looking. since were on the topic of brass fabricating, what do you use to cut plates of brass with? i have seen acid etching done, but thats beyond my tools. I used side cutters, and that wasnt very magnificent...

Nov 04, 2009, 01:45 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
A good straight edge or template on top of thin shimstock
will allow you to make several scores with a good knife.
The brass will part... And can then be cleaned up using
a file or sand paper block. "junk" scissors work also...
Thicker metals I cut on the bandsaw and then sand back to the line.

For etching, there was this Thread...

Nov 04, 2009, 01:46 PM
Registered User
Practice, practice, and practice some more. I find it easier if weights are used to hold items in place when soldering and clean the brass with a degreaser. Heat the part you are attaching first then heat the main assembly. This reduces the chance of other parts becoming unsoldered.
Nov 04, 2009, 01:48 PM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Nice work John,... The soda can must be huge!

Nov 04, 2009, 02:41 PM
r/c ships and workboats
Other thing I like is keep a sponge, q-tip, brush, cloth and some water near by. Once joint is soldered, "tin" it with one of the aformentioned items dipped in the water. Helps joint to stiffen fast and cool the parts so that the heat does not work it's evil magic on a finished item/section.
Nov 05, 2009, 10:55 PM
Just Limin'
laser110's Avatar
Aimee great tutorial. I was thinking about making 2 ladders for my Jim Wilder and wasn't really sure how to go about it, now I do.

Nov 06, 2009, 04:25 AM
Registered User
Beautiful job on the railings and ladder, H.Lauer!

Thanks for the tips, Umi Ryuzuki!

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