Intro: 7 Step Ladder!
Hi all! This is one of my smaller and simpler projects. But nontheless relevant or interesting. The thought behind this was. Why buy a aluminium ladder if I could make one specific for my requirements and whishes.
Here in the Netherlands buying a ladder is not cheap, the most simplest ones are 40 euro's (about 40 US dollars). And those are at a specific tool store. At a home center it's a bit more.
The wood for this project was about 10 euro so that was one big motivation.
If you are interested I have Free plans available from this ladder on my website:
Step 1: The Materials
So my ladder needed to be 2.4 meters tall, about 95 inch. I used 3 pieces of dimensional lumber. 44 x 69 mm or 2 by 3 inch. 2.4 m long or 8 feet. The third piece I cut in four evenly spaced segments.
Step 2: Process the Treads
So my 4 pieces of lumber will become the treads. I sawed them in half with my table saw. A bandsaw would be quicker and cleaner. They had to pass twice through the saw in my situation. Or you could buy half a thin piece of board and not needing it to saw through.
Afther my saw action I grabbeb my plane and planed the pieces flat and even. This step was about 30 minutes of a workout so I could skip my upperbody fitness that day :P.
After that I round over the sharp edges. This is smart to do because otherwise those edges will splinter off after use.
Step 3: Layout
The two stretchers or uprights are placed on the ground. And the threads are evenly spaced on them. at that point I checked if the angles and proportions are okay.
When I was happy enough, I came around and measured and marked where to put the treads.
Step 4: Sawing to Length
In my design the legs are at an angle of 2 degrees. So I checked my layout with my protractor. Then I could set up my chop saw and make those treads to length.
A handsaw would work fine but take a bit longer.
Step 5: Glue and Screw
The treads are made to length and angle. Now I could place them on the layout. I predrilled than put on the glue and screwed in 4 screws per tread. This bond is plenty strong. The woodglue is stronger than the surroundiing wood and there are 2 steel screws keeping everything in place.
in the video this step took a bit longer because I screwed on the 2 treads of the 7 and then took field measurements of the treads before cutting them. At the start of this project I didn't have plans or schematics.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
The ends of the uprights will get a beating so to prevent splintering or delamination of the wood I made a generous chamfer with the handplane around the ends there.
For finishing I put on two thick coats of grey exterior stain. This was oil based and gives a proper protection from the elements. This ladder will spend most of it's time outside.
Step 7: Done!
So now my ladder was done. Finally I could do some maintenance on the roof of my workshop ;)
I hope you could enjoy this project!