Telescoping ladders?

Hi all,
I have been given some s/h telescoping ladders and they seems like some sections are stuck somehow. You *can* release each section and most sections will slide open and closed reasonably well but some are very stiff / stuck.
I think they might be an earlier version of these (but look to be the same mechanical design):
http://prodec.uk.com/products/access/telescopic-ladders/
I can't see any obvious signs of damage or distortion, except some sections seem to have a light vertical score down the outside as if some screw or pin might have been set or moved too far in on the collars?
There is also what looks like be the remains of some white paint on the back of a couple of sections and I'm sure that wouldn't 'help'?
I was wondering if anyone had seen similar 'sticking' and knows if you can take such things apart to clean / lubricate / service etc?
My interest is mainly for that, for the s&g's. If they do respond well and appear 100% I might keep them for my own low level use (excuse the pun) but I didn't want to scrap them if there was a chance they could be fixed (properly).
Cheers, T i m
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On 3/17/2016 8:48 PM, T i m wrote:

Possible cause is corrosion products and/or scoring in small clearances. I would start with WD40 or any similar penetrating oil spray, and much jiggling.
Not sure if they are dismantlable, but I would start by taking the rubber foot off the big end, and see what is visible. You might find that each section has a collar on it which stops it being pulled out of the next size up.
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On Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:45:24 +0000, newshound wrote:

Yes, it did seem quite 'precise' for something that might see some 'rough service'.

I was just concerned that because of the plastic components that I didn't apply anything that could make matters worse. Like using oil on a lock etc.

Good idea.

That makes sense. I'll give it a look.
Cheers, T i m
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On 3/18/2016 3:52 PM, T i m wrote:

I think people worry over-much about using oil on plastic or even rubber. None of the common plastics are much affected by mineral oil (most are very resistant).
With rubber, it's a bit more complicated. Nitrile (the most common O-ring material) is resistant to oil. Other common rubbers will absorb mineral oil causing them to soften and swell. But it's reversible, up to a point. Certainly a spray of WD40 won't normally cause much trouble. If you need to be on the safe side, the thing to use is the silicone spray or liquid oil used for assembling plastic pipe fittings and gutters, this is also good for cleaning and lubricating plastic curtain rail. Toolstation do a cheap aerosol spray. Most spray furniture polishes are almost as effective and I would expect them to be safe too.
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On Fri, 18 Mar 2016 15:52:22 +0000, T i m wrote:

<snip> >> Not sure if they are dismantlable, but I would start by taking the

I managed a quick look earlier and all I can see is what looks like a large split-nylon bush that pretty well fills the bottom tube.
I'd like to think that because these things didn't just grow like that but were made from individual parts that they couldn't be dismantled, refurbished and remantled (< I got that word from someone here and like it) again. ;-)
I think the tubes that make up the main ladder uprights may be anodised so there probably isn't much that could be done with them, outside removing any burrs and ensuring they are generally clear of any foreign [1] objects or other obstructions (like paint).
Then an application of a suitable lubricant but I don't know if that should be one for metal to metal contact, metal to nylon / plastic or if it might attract more dust / dirt than being run dry?
There is something on the outside of each collar but I'm not sure what it is (like a grub screw). I don know they are different sizes (smaller towards the top) and rusty (so a steel) but they may hold the key.
If it comes to it I guess I could cut off bottom section and see if that gives up any clues re how it is held together and I can always 3D print up some new feet / caps for the new 'bottom' tubes.
Cheers, T i m
p.s. I have emailed the supplier to see if they can email be a copy of the instructions to see if that mentions anything about lubrication.
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On 3/18/2016 7:31 PM, T i m wrote:

Agreed. Presumably they start with the smallest (top) section and insert that into the next one down. Then, something like a bottom bearing must be attached so that it won't pull out again. That could either be removable (grub screw?) or semi-permanant, like the spring clip in pushfit plumbing or the clip which holds on buggy wheels, or very permanent (like swaging the inner tube to a larger diameter). And there must also be a clever device to hold it extended when you climb it, either a positive lock (like a bolt) or a self-tightening friction clamp.

Agreed

I'd bet it isn't user-servicable (Elf and Safety) and the materials will be chosen not to need lubricating. It doesn't do a lot of sliding, and the load while sliding is very light, so nylon or any number of other plastics should be OK against aluminium.

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On Fri, 18 Mar 2016 22:25:28 +0000, newshound

That sounds reasonable.

I'll have to investigate the holes that look like they could be grubscrews the next time I get to the ladders (they are round Mums).

I know the type.

Yes, that was my worst fear.

It's a pair of spring loaded bolts (/step) by the look / feel of them.

<snip> >I'd bet it isn't user-servicable (Elf and Safety)
That was another thought / fear.

From what little I've seen / used of these ladders they do usually slide pretty freely and look pretty dry.

Agreed.
I think the bolts or pawls are possibly self locking (they engage further / harder when under load) so in theory, as long as you have the ladder extended whole steps at a time, it should be pretty reliable. The only risk with how it is at the moment is ensuring each step is fully extended so that both the latches engage.
Cheers, T i m
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On 18/03/16 23:30, T i m wrote:

You might find a few pointers here
http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1686294.pdf
Use and Care Instructions: Youngman Telescopic Ladder
--
djc

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<snip> >You might find a few pointers here

Thanks. ;-)
These bits could be especially pertinent:
"Do Keep your ladder clean occassionally wipe tubes with a clean dry cloth. Paint should be cleaned off immediately as it will impede telescoping action. If stiffness develops wipe tubes with a clean cloth and apply a small amount of silicone spray wiping any excess with a clean cloth Do Store your ladder indoors to avoid damp conditions which could make the ladder difficult to operate."
Cheers, T i m
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newshound wrote:

I had good results with the Screwfix no nonsense penetrating fluid last week, when I used it to free up a kitchen extractor fan which had a seized motor shaft from crap in the bearing. Got away without dismantling the whole assembly and the fan runs like new now.
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On Fri, 18 Mar 2016 17:39:47 +0000, Capitol wrote:

'Crap in the bearing' and from the kitchen, not toilet extractor fan you say? <weg>

I might try that (or a light oil at least) on the wall fan in our kitchen as that seems slow to spin-up, for probably the same reason. That said, I (fairly) regularly take it down, to bits and wash all the plastics and grills in the sink but forget to lighten the lube in the bearings (that are probably being lubed with airborne cooking oil that becomes a heavy grease).
Cheers, T i m
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I do mine in the dishwasher, beats that otherwise filthy job.

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On 17/03/2016 20:48, T i m wrote:

The most important thing is to check that the catches that prevent the ladder from telescoping when you're on it are working properly.
Bill
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On Sat, 19 Mar 2016 12:10:19 +0000, Bill Wright

Understood Bill. I wouldn't even climb up it myself unless I was as happy as I could be (with such things) that the latches were latching properly.
In fact, from the quick play I have had so far I'd say the issue was more to do with getting the latches unlatched. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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On 19/03/2016 13:16, T i m wrote:

Spawn of the devil as TMH would say.
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On Sat, 19 Mar 2016 15:12:04 +0000, Stuart Noble

Whilst I think I would agree in (mechanical) principal, they do have their virtues (I think, never owned any myself).
If you want to be able to carry some *ladders* around with you , in the boot of your car or van for the occasional / unplanned use then I can see them being a real boon. Or even getting about with 'some ladders' on public transport. Or having to store same in a small shed or under the stairs possibly, the same goes.
However, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't replace conventional steps, sectional or multi-purpose ladders for anything in actual use though, in the same way an adjustable is no replacement for the ring spanner you actually have with you. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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