Help me find a replacement foot for a ladder.
April 27, 2016 11:52 AM   Subscribe

I've got a fiberglass extension ladder with a missing bottom rail bracket and foot. All the markings on the ladder have worn off. I'd like to be able to find replacement brackets/feet, but my searching so far has yielded nothing. I have pictures of the remaining part. Can you help?

The ladder in question is an older fiberglass extension ladder, probably a Werner, in a 24' size, with D-shaped rungs. It is orange. It is generally in good condition except that the rivets which hold on the bottom rail brackets have broken, and the brackets have fallen off (along with the feet, which attach to the brackets). One of the brackets has gone missing and needs to be replaced. Here are some pictures of the remaining foot and bracket: one, two.

I have been hunting around online quite a bit and sent out a couple of emails to some local ladder and scaffolding companies (which have apparently been ignored) but so far no dice. All the stickers which would normally give me the ladder's model number and therefore make this search trivial have long since worn away into blank patches of whiteness. I think the ladder is a Werner, but I'm not 100% certain. I do not know how old it is; it's old, but not so old that it doesn't pretty much look like a regular ladder the likes of which you could buy at the hardware store today.

I'd like to get a replacement part so that my company doesn't have to buy a whole new ladder to replace one that is basically fine and could be easily repaired if only we can find the right part for it. The new part doesn't have to be exactly the same, it just needs to be compatible. Driving out to the closest place that is likely to have a compatible part would eat up half a day's work, and this isn't high enough priority to justify that if we don't know for sure that they'll have what we need. We would prefer to be able to just order the replacement part from somewhere and have it come in the mail. Hivemind, I come to you. What can you find for me?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I guess this part is called a swivel shoe? Here's one for Sunset brand ladders
posted by Rob Rockets at 12:10 PM on April 27, 2016

that looks like a foot bracket for a werner fiberglass ladder, seen here:

Werner ladders last forever, but they have changed the designs and there aren't always parts for the older ones.
posted by bobdow at 12:17 PM on April 27, 2016

That is a replacement foot bracket for a Werner fiberglass ladder, but it doesn't look much like the one that I have which is why I haven't already bought it. If someone could reassure me that it was a compatible part, I'd definitely go for it. Finding a foot would be easy if I had a bracket to go with it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:21 PM on April 27, 2016

sorry, I didn't see that those were pins and not holes with rusty bolts in them

you have a 2 hole 2 pin foot bracket... I have never had a fiberglass Werner Ladder without 4 bolt holes in the foot brackets and they don't currently sell any... so yours might be a copy.
posted by bobdow at 12:35 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Question: could you 3D print another foot, or have one machined? Have you looked into Shapeways? Does your local library have a 3D printer you could use? The main concern I'd think would be traction, as some of the standard 3D printing plastic is kind of slippery, but you could end up with something that's at least the right shape. And I'd figure a shop that does custom work on, say, motorcycles could maybe do the metalwork for you...
posted by gusandrews at 1:32 PM on April 27, 2016

It might be better to spend $258.99 at Amazon on a new ladder, rather than risk a serious or fatal workplace injury by making a jury-rigged repair to your old ladder.
posted by monotreme at 3:26 PM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

As an example here are some workplace ladder safety rules from California OSHA.

If a ladder is so worn out that you can't even tell what brand it was, it shouldn't be used in the home or the workplace.
posted by monotreme at 5:26 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

On second thought, what monotreme said.
posted by gusandrews at 6:41 PM on April 27, 2016

I would echo the 'if it's broke, replace it."

You could take time to run down a similar ladder on craigslist to get the feet and brackets or order new feet but you are still left with good money spent on a ladder whose time has past.

OSHA could shut down your site for poorly maintained equipment and as you mentioned lost time is lost money.
posted by ashtray elvis at 8:14 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

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