I found this amazing, dingy old ladder in the trash around the same time I discovered half-price bookstores. I can't bring myself to buy those canned pressed-wood department-store bookshelves anymore and I need space for my Lemony Snicket collection. Hence this project!
-wood for shelves (I used 1/4" thick red oak planks, backed with 1/4 - 1/2" thick red oak for support)
-wood for cross bars (I used 1/2"x1.5" red oak)
-shelf brackets (< 1.5", to support cross bars, need 8)
-shelf braces (look for 'mending plates' - straight brackets to support cross bars, need 8)
-wood finish (I used 50/50 tung oil/mineral spirits)
-1/2" - 5/8" wood screws
Not having a table saw or planer, I used craft wood that has already been (mostly) squared and nicely planed. I chose oak. This project could be built for much less $$ if you have the ability to cut and plane your own boards!
Step 1: Prepare the ladder
I wanted to see what was underneath all of the grime and paint. I sanded with 60, 100, and 150 grit and discovered some lovely
oak pine. This part took forever.