Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 11:48:45 -0600
From: "Chuck" <email@example.com>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Mast Steps
W9IIX no longer makes mast steps. I used to have a listing of someone who
makes aluminum mast steps, but I can't find it. I need about 4 steps for a 2'
mast. Does not have to be aluminum. Any ideas of where I can get them?
## I made 8 x hb mast steps recently, for a 2" chromolly mast. I used 2" x
2" x 14" long x 1/4" thick 6061-T6 aluminum angle. To attach the angle to
the mast, I used a DX eng "super duty saddle clamp"
This is the 2" super clamp.
At each end of the angle aluminum, I installed a single 1/4-20 SS bolt from
below...and a SS nylock on top. [use never seize] OK, then I know where the
edge of the step is on each side. 1.5" bolts are plenty long enough.
The super clamps from DX eng are superb. They are textured on the insides,
instead of smooth. [my buddy sez they have been sand blasted]. The pair of
3/8" armour plated G-8 bolts, etc are plenty
strong enough to do the job. Our local hardware store sells this sticky-back,
non skid stuff, like sandpaper, in rolls. You buy it by the foot. The back
side is all marked off like a grid. It comes in
1"-2"-3" widths. The 2" wide stuff works beyond perfect. I applied this
non skid stuff to the entire width of the angle, and stop when flush to the
riser bolts at each end. This is one continuous piece.
[The portion you stand on.] I also applied it [this time in 2 x separate
pieces] to the vertical portion of the angle AL. These pieces start at the
extreme outer ends... and stop at the clamp.
Now that provides a solid, non skid surface for your feet...AND for your
hands ! IE: You reach up, and wrap your fingers around the step above your
head, and the backside of each step also has the non skid stuff
on it. There is NO portion of the mast step [ v and h surface] that does not
have the non skid stuff applied. Then your fingers won't slip, and neither will
your feet. You can' step off into mid air, since you can easily
feel the SS 1/4-20 bolts /risers at each end. Those dx eng super clamps
provide a massive amount of surface area [a full 2" on either side of the
mast.] They make the super clamps in only 3 x sizes, 2", 2.5" and
also 3". They won't slide down the mast, and they won't rotate on their
axis either. I use em on everything from mast steps to boom to mast plates.
You can even use em to attach the boom to the plate if you want. I buy em by
the case load.
Just make sure the mast is clean, no grease, debris, etc, where the mast step
is to be installed. And ditto with the textured surface of the super clamps.
The last thing anybody needs is an un-safe mast step. I wouldn't
trust muffler clamps, U bolts etc, for this application. Too bad we can't
post pix on this site. I have a 1/2 doz steps in the shop right now.
later... Jim VE7RF
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