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[TowerTalk] Mast Steps

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Mast Steps
From: "Jim Thomson" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 19:08:00 -0800
List-post: <">>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 11:48:45 -0600
From: "Chuck" <>
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?


Chuck W5PR

##  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"{6015AF15-D95E-4DC7-9683-57DA7649F268}&PartNo=DXE%2DSDS%2D200P
    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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