Monday, August 10, 2009

Stern Ladder Project

Rail seats and ladder mounted
draggin a rail in Kaneohe Bay

Painted aluminum awlgrip gray

Finished, painted, assembled ladder and rail seats with 3M nonskid.

Awlgrip gray on ladder steps and rail seats

sanded and etched ready for paint

Dry fit after cut and sanding ends

Old ladder and new aluminum rods next to it.

I just like building stuff. Even If it isn't that cost effective, there is satisfaction in knowing "I did That". This project is my stern ladder. My old one was hollow stainless tubing. It bent under the weight of heavy guests. I decided to rebuild it better with solid aluminum rod. I ordered two 6 foot long aluminum rods from Mc Master -Carr. They are 7068 aluminum alloy. They are the strongest grade of aluminum you can buy. Which validates the $101 a piece price. With shipping $244. I went to the hardware store and bought a 1/4" tap, (2 )#7 drill bits and stainless 1/4" pan head screws for assembly. I'm using left over G10 for the steps. They will be painted gray Awlgrip and have non-skid tread on them to help when you climb in and out of the water. The old one hurt your feet due to the narrow rungs. The new ladder will be 8 inchs longer. The old one was a touch too short when in the water. I'm also fabricating "legs" to protect the fiberglass and keep it oriented sraight up and down. I'm using my toolshop to cut and drill and tap and sand everything. Without it, I would've never been able to drill and tap the ends of the rungs correctly. Can't wait till its done.