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Old 05-15-2012, 05:24 PM   #1
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Steps-repairing ladder

Mashed my ladder, twice (replaced by shop first time), my wife has already discussed it with me so I do not need discussion; I need help! She will not foot for another new ladder and I don't like the idea either. I can effect a repair for under fifty bucks including shipping but:

I am splicing a four foot section into the ladder. I will move four steps from the old ladder to the new; thats the problem. Or more accurately roll pins are a problem for me.

The steps are secured with roll pins and I cannot seem to get them out. I have been working with one step which I freed from the ladder.

The roll pin is quite hard so I stopped trying to drill it out due to lack of progress and not wanting to slip over into the aluminum step and do more damage.

I have tried driving them out by gripping, perhaps squeezing them together, with a needle nose vice grip and hitting with a rubber mallet; it will not budge under reasonable force.

So what is the secret? How do you get these roll pins out? Any help will be appreciated. Is there a prefered effective method? Thank you.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
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Assuming a "roll pin" is like a "pop rivet", I have had a problem drilling out pop rivets at times; other times they drilled out easily. The next time I have difficulty, I will ensure that my drill bit is sharp and a good quality bit.

The last time I had trouble was with one on the awning arm. I drilled, pinched, twisted, and pounded to get it out. I think the drill bit was dull.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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A roll pin is varied as to length and diameter; these are maybe 1 1/2 inch long and 1/16th round. They are small cylinders with a split down the side. They get driven into the step I assume with an air tool or perhaps a mallet. I get the impression that they expand when driven home.

I'm going to try some solvent but I am not hopeful. I think there must be a method, a tool etc; maybe someone knows. Thanks for responding.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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Problem solved: I'll post this in case anyone else needs a solution. A liberal soaking with liquid wrench is the key. The roll pins only go in one side so you have to get them out the same hole. After soaking I held the step in a vise down low to prevent downward movement. I reached in the hole where the ladder side rail runs through the step. I grabbed the pin at the top with a needle nose vice grip, then hit the vise grip with a hammer. You have to have the vice grip as tight as it will go. It move the pin out far enough for you to grab it on the protruding end and wiggle it out. The roll pins are tough and do not collapse so I think I can use these over no problem.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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Now that you described a "roll pin" I recognize what it is and can see why they may be hard to remove. It seems like I have had to deal with them at some time in my lifetime... seems that a pin punch may be the tool to use; if one has the correct size punch.

Glad to see that you solve the problem...
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:28 AM   #6
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Thanks Romeo, in this case they only drive from one side so a punch would not do.

I didn't know what they were called so had to look it up before I posted.

Now I just have to get the steps off the ladder, can't do that with a pin either. Fortunately where the steps are it is waste so I can just cut the ladder with a tube cutter and bang away with my technique (or the lack of it).

Appreciate your response.
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