Railing and Ladder jig

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by MikeBer, May 15, 2008.

  1. MikeBer

    MikeBer Member

    Here is a jig that I made for making the railings and ladders on my scratch built Titanic. It may be of interest to card builders instead of using thread etc.

    Railing & Ladder Jig.

    The main frame consists of three pieces of wood. The two sides are curved along the top edge, allowing the top piece to be curved from end to end.

    The tensioner is a car handbrake cable tensioner (used when the cable has stretched too much to adjust).

    Tensioner view from underneath.

    Jig view from underneath.

    A drawing of the required railing is generated using MS paint or similar, printed out and glued to the railing former using a glue stick (Pritt).

    Electrical or telephone cable is then wrapped around the former, following the outlines of the stanchions.

    The former is then fitted over the locating pins on the jig.

    Wires are then fitted for the required rails (in this case three rails), between the tensioner and rear tie off.

    The ends of the wires are tack soldered to stop them unravelling and wooden wire spacers are fitted.

    The tensioner is tightened to make the wires taught. The curvature of the jig ensures that the rail wires are pulled down onto the stanchion wires.
    The wires are adjusted to lie over the lines of the drawing and then tack soldered at each end.

    Solder flux paste is brushed over the wires.

    The wires are then soldered using a fine tip on the iron.
    Put a small amount of solder onto the tip of the iron and then put the tip on the wire joins. The flux will allow the solder to flow from the tip into the join.

    When all joints are soldered, check all joints with a magnifying glass. Any over soldering can be drawn off with the soldering iron tip. Any dry joints can be re-fluxed and soldered.

    When satisfied, reduce the tension and cut the wires from each end.

    Cut the wires along one edge of the former.

    Remove railing from former.

    Trim off with knife.

    Ready for painting.
  2. David H

    David H Member


    And that gentlemen is how we do that.


  3. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Nice... my only issue would be the waste of wire, note the amount of wrap around to get the vertical portions.
  4. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

    I like it! And it includes great pictures as well. Thanks MikeBer!
  5. Nemesis7485

    Nemesis7485 Member

    Excellent stuff, Mike. Well impressive! :thumb:
  6. I love a guy who is inventive as well as creative. This is a great idea. Great tool and ingenuity to adapt something we would prbably just throw away into somehing very useful. I think modelers in general think out of the box.
  7. kneedeep

    kneedeep New Member

    nice but i would prefer to see how card modelars do this in card, on a card model forum.:cry: didnt lex have a tutorial on this?
  8. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Curious... I had an idea rattling around, how well would this work with fishing line and crazyglue?
  9. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    Wire jig comments

    1. Wire is cheap; hang the waste!
    2. Card modeling does not necessarily mean everything must be made from paper. But the answer to the question posed is two-fold: 1. You laboriously cut everything out. 2. You purchase laser-etched card railing.
    3. Can't do this with monofilament and CA. The monofilament has no rigidity to it.
    4. You can do this with sewing thread and CA. The only modification is separating the thread from the drawing with Saran wrap so the CA drenched thread does not stick to the drawing.
    5. You can also print the drawing on clear acetate, but it looks like you printed something on clear acetate. Nuff said about that.

    The jig is genius! You can use any gauge wire to obtain the desired scale. I'm gonna make me one!

    NULLMOON Member

    NICE :thumb:i was planning on doing something simmalar but instead using superglue to fix the wires
  11. MikeBer

    MikeBer Member

    I wouldn't advise using superglue - not enough surface area where wires cross for a decent glue bond. a decent solder joint will hardly be seen and will last a lifetime.
  12. belg

    belg Member

    Mike, love the creativity I think the tensioner really is slick. I would like to see a way to make the vertical wires more consistent, the spacing is a little off and at our scale this will show up like crazy. Perhaps drill some holes at the required spacing, using a precise piece of stock to get repeatable spacing. I just read a how to a couple of days ago where the poster used small nuts to keep the sides of a ladder in O scale perfectly aligned. Pat
  13. MikeBer

    MikeBer Member

    This was just a test piece I made for the post. Here is a pic of the railings that I made for my Titanic (1:200). To the right, you can a ladder made with the same jig.

  14. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Scratchbuilt 1:200 Scale Titanic Model and Soldering Jig

    Hello MikeBer,

    You scratchbuilt the ENTIRE Titanic in 1:200 scale? Now THAT´S really impressive - my hat is off to you!

    Equally impressive and ingenious is your self-made railing/ladder soldering jig. I have been thinking about how to solve this problem for the Gomix-Fly Model Titanic 1:200 scale Titanic card model (and perhaps also the 1:350 scale Minicraft model, by the way). There are some generic photo-etched brass railings in a similar scale for the large card model but I would like to be able to actually DO railings, stairs and ladders and solve some minor details myself.

    Thank you so much for sharing this excellent hands-on tutorial and the detailed photos.

    Very best regards,
    Bengt in Stockholm :thumb:

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