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Old 01-02-2015, 20:55   #1
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Mast Steps/Stairs

I'm going to attach aluminum steps up each side of the mast. I have made and tested some of 1/8" x 1- 1/2" aluminum and they seem strong enough but I would like verification. Does anyone have experience building mast stairs/steps and will 1/8" x 1-1/2" be stiff enough or should I go with thicker metal? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-02-2015, 23:04   #2
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Why not test fit a couple of them to a 4 x 4, and see how they feel to you? Not knowing how heavy a person you want to have using them, nobody can, without risking liability, tell you what stock to make them from.

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Old 01-02-2015, 23:10   #3
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Did that but I'm just looking for additional information from someone who has been there.
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Old 01-02-2015, 23:50   #4
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

I'm assuming that you bent them into the typical triangular type pattern? If so, do you have a way to put the strength/heat treatment back into the aluminum? As when metal is bent severely, into the plastic range (to where in aluminum, it begins to turn whitish), the metal is changed at the molecular level, & loses a good bit of strength.
Thus my curiosity as to how these were fabricated. Also, what's your plan/intended usage for the steps?

And I hate to be a wet blanket, but a proper, safe, mast climbing system is what I favor.
Even with steps you'll need a safety line or two.
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Old 02-02-2015, 00:28   #5
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

I'm not sure why you want to amke these yourself. You can buy these for 9 bucks a pop

Fixed Mast Stair - Aluminum - Mast Plates & Steps - Spar Hardware - Sailboat Hardware & Rigging - Downwind Marine

I have a 16 meter mast and plan to mount these and will need around 50, so the total expenditure will be $350.

Can you even make them yourself for that?
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:38   #6
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Uncivilised makes a good point about heat treating ...

You could do it in your oven ... seems that it's not too hard::

Aluminum Workshop: Achieving T6 designation for 6061 - TheFabricator.com
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:56   #7
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

980 degrees F is rather hard to achieve in a household oven- you might want to reread your link.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:27   #8
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

No way for us to tell without knowing what you did jashe...

There is a ton of difference between alloys 1100, 5052, and 6061... or any of the other 25 you could have... temper/annealed before bending... step span, angle, radii of bends...
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:37   #9
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Anything but folding steps are a waste of time and money.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:49   #10
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by highseas View Post
Anything but folding steps are a waste of time and money.

In YOUR not so humble opinion?
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:55   #11
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by highseas View Post
Anything but folding steps are a waste of time and money.

Why do you say this?

you can slide off folding steps, where the enclosed ones keep your foot on the step even as the boat heels.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:57   #12
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

I put stainless steps on my Morgan. I weigh 240 lbs so had trouble pulling myself up with a halyard. They never caused me any trouble in ten years. Mac
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:10   #13
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Windage,halyards catch on them,chafe,safety.A harness is still required even with mast steps.Enclosed stainless can be sharp on the foot,when you DO slip.
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Old 02-02-2015, 16:54   #14
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

Carstenb
Thanks for the picture. Each of my steps will take about 20" of material. The aluminum (5052) I am using costs about $1/ft so making them is considerably cheaper and really pretty easy for me since I have a shop.
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Old 02-02-2015, 17:29   #15
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Re: Mast Steps/Stairs

I won't even LOOK at buying a boat w/ mast steps. Hate the ugly things.
Or in mast furling. But that's just me. And I DO understand why one would want them.
Still don't like them.
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