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Old 07-01-2009, 12:24 PM   #1
OldCarGuy
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Default Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

I built 32 running feet of 16” deep shelves 13' high for storage on one wall of my 30' by 50' motorhome garage. Getting tired of getting out a step ladder ever time I need something off the upper shelves. I finally finish a rolling ladder. Since I first built the shelving I have been scavenging around for the components to add to some OldCarGuy's gold (junk) that I have accumulated over the years for this build. And literally didn't have any out of pocket expense. My biggest find was a 14' section of discarded aluminum extension ladder. It was a wee bit bent; but didn't take too much to straighten it.



I started out with a piece of 3” diameter Nylon that was about 14” long to make four the top running rollers out of. That will run on some old 1 1/ 2” EMT conduit I had laying around.

I chucked the Nylon rod in my lathe. And used a live center on the far end for stability. I set my Monarch radius turning attachment that I purchased off Ebay a while back to fit the outside diameter of the conduit,, 7/8” radius. No need for this gadget today with CNC lathes. But it was the best way to turn a radius in my day!



With a cutoff tool, I cut 1/8" wide grooves and about 1" deep. Then turned the Nylon stock around and machined the last radius making the fourth roller.



Next I drill a 19/32” hole through the center. Leaving 1/32” for reaming to size



Then reamed the hole .005 over 5/8” diameter. Clearance for a 5/8” shoulder bolt, commonly called a stripper bolt. I'm sure that Kevin54 would know what they are.

Shoulder bolt. 5/8” diameter by 3” long body with a 1/2” -13 thread on one end and a large head on the other.



Reaming operation, taking it slow not to build up heat.



Finished cutting off the wheels. Three saw-cuts and I have four separate rollers.



Then faced off the two end to make the radius on center and making the overall length 2.938”.



Four finished Nylon rollers with shoulder bolts.



From some old angle iron I made a bracket to hold the rollers. Drilling and tapping holes for mounting the wheels. And two mounting holes to attach it to the top of the ladder. A lock nut was added to the shoulder bolt as a safety from it unscrewing..




This is how the rollers will ride on the top rail.




The top rail was made from 10 foot lengths of 1 1/2” EMT conduit that I had stashed away for years. I made a setup in my mill to drill 3/8” diameter mounting holes 24” centers, starting and ending 12” from each end. I held the conduit in the machine vice. And rested the conduit on two parallel made of 1x2x3 blocks set on top of 2x4x6 blocks. After the first 3/8” hole was drilled 12” from the end. I installed a 3/8” bolt in one of the parallels that was exactly 24” from the spindle. Drilled that hole and moved to the right. Until I had five mounting holes aligned and precisely positioned.



Cut an old piece of 4” by 4” angle iron into twenty 1 1/2” widths for top rail support bracket. For the repetitive saw cuts, I clamped a piece of steel for a stop. The saw came with a swing away stop attachment. But it gets in the way more often than not. And it's more bother to put it on than just clamping a metal stop.



Drill mounting holes in brackets in Bridgeport.



Power tapping 3/8-16 NC holes for screws that mount top rail. Beats doing it by hand.



From an old section of 3/8” black pipe, I cut 20 spacers for top rail support



Assembly view. A 3/8”-16NC by 5” long hex bolt through a cut off section of 1 1/2” EMT conduit. With spacer between angle bracket and conduit.



I bolted two old stationary caster wheels to the bottom of the ladder..



Bolted the top rail to the shelving. Installed ladder section on the top rail. And we're in business...







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Old 07-01-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
Art From De Leon
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

From OCG "My biggest find was a 14' section of discarded aluminum extension ladder. It was a wee bit bent; but didn't take too much to straighten it."

Was it made by the same company that made the ramp for your car hauler?

Last edited by Art From De Leon; 07-01-2009 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Very cool

Brad
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

You do very good work Sir!

Very very inspiring to see you sharing your skills and abilities!
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Really nice and thanks for posting the steps used to make it. I just need to figure out a way to talk you into making me a set of those rollers....

R1chy
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

That's slick as hell!
-Brad
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Very slick - does it feel safe and sturdy though?
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

First I have to say "Well Done", second you have more stuff than the law allows!
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art From De Leon View Post
From OCG "My biggest find was a 14' section of discarded aluminum extension ladder. It was a wee bit bent; but didn't take too much to straighten it."

Was it made by the same company that made the ramp for your car hauler?
Now that remark surely gave me a laugh!


Quote:
Originally Posted by R1chy View Post
Really nice and thanks for posting the steps used to make it. I just need to figure out a way to talk you into making me a set of those rollers....

R1chy
We can talk about arranging something..

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislehr View Post
Very slick - does it feel safe and sturdy though?
I find it to be more than sturdy. Having soft wheels on the ground. The ladder doesn't roll and stays put with my weight. Though I have to pick things up one-handed and hold onto the ladder with the other...

Quote:
Originally Posted by porschedude996TT View Post
First I have to say "Well Done", second you have more stuff than the law allows!
That's what 50 years of uncontrolled collecting will do for you! But I didn't know that I was breaking any kind of law though.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Congratulations on being able to put your dreams into reality. (NOT meant to be sarcastic).

I collected about 10 pieces of old farm machinery, because the small machines from the 1950's not only represented what I grew up around, but because the small machines were usually the first to be scrapped, buried in a ditch, or shoved up into a pile, as equipment got bigger, and more modern.
It turned out that the hunt became more enjoyable that the thought of actually restoring them.
The companies making some of these have been out of business for 40 years or so, parts are obviously NLA, even from John Deere, because they are long obsolete, and the machines I brought home have the correct mounting brackets and attachments that were specific to that model to allow it to be mounted on the tractor that I have.
Now that I am having to sell my house, the scrapper is coming next week, and there will be even fewer of what were hard to find when I went looking.
I built, and equipped a shop to do this, and am having to face the fact that there was absolutely NO point in doing what I did.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Beautiful Rolling Ladder, and the collection of materials and equipment that went into making it. I too would be more of a collector if i had space to keep it. Great posting.

Just because I can not tell you today what I will eventually use it for, does not diminish the value of the item (other guys junk).
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Super job!
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

My what a timely thread. Currently putting up my wall-o-shelves with the
stuff I drug home from the Crane Cams auction. Just so happens I also
have some nylon laying around too,where should I send it?



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Old 08-08-2009, 09:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCarGuy View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by R1chy
Really nice and thanks for posting the steps used to make it. I just need to figure out a way to talk you into making me a set of those rollers....

R1chy


We can talk about arranging something..


I too would like to talk to you about making me a set of the rollers as well. That is my missing link for my ladder.

Thanks for the inspiration.

John
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Very nice.

How about mounting the bottom casters on spring loaded brackets? If you size the springs right they'd support the weight of the ladder until you step on, then ladder's feet would bear on the floor.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

OCG
you have good ideas and the tallent to pull it off
love to see your posts

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
Very nice.

How about mounting the bottom casters on spring loaded brackets? If you size the springs right they'd support the weight of the ladder until you step on, then ladder's feet would bear on the floor.
I chose not to spring load the ladder wheel for two reasons. First it involved a lot more work installing the wheels. And I would also have to make the top rollers slide. Rather than stationary. The ladder works just fine the way I put it together...


Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNMAN View Post
I too would like to talk to you about making me a set of the rollers as well. That is my missing link for my ladder.

Thanks for the inspiration.

John
Send me a PM and we’ll see what we can work out.

.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

Another beauty. I wondered how you were going to get at all those empty Tupperware containers!!!

The best part for us non-machinist types is to see how and what some of those tools are for. I've asked before, but have you considered trying to sell some of your content (writing, videos, how-to) to anyone? There are so many online sites begging for content: Popular Mechanics-types, DIY-types, etc.... Food for thought, especially since you like doing it and as you said in your post in the Retirement Dream thread, we could all use a little top up!!
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:06 PM   #19
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Default Re: Adding a Rolling Library Ladder to storage shelving..

I am definitely jealous.

But it seems like a case of using thousands of dollars worth of equipment to make tens of dollars worth of parts.
Library ladders are pretty common on the DIY sites.

But if I was in your shoes, I would do the same thing.
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