7 Step Ladder!

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About: I am a maker and here I am sharing the fun stuff of making and creating! Apart from fun my goal is to share knowledge and acquire it. My topics are woodworking, metalworking, maybe some composites, electron...

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:

www.seamm.nl

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!

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    6 Discussions

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    keets

    10 months ago

    This ladder is dangerous. The steps are just hanging on the (short!) screws, this is not strong enough to hold a person secure. The glue wil not hold either. The glue can be strong but if there is any serious force you have a step, with the glue and some wood from the vertical part.

    This is a good looking ladder for in the bedroom to hang your clothes on.

    4 replies
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    Yolo Pigeonkeets

    Reply 10 months ago

    i agree with this. i learnt it the hard way.

    i was using the ladder to climb over the fence and it broke into three pieces, causing me to fall 8 ft and land on my butt

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    Sebastiaan MollemaYolo Pigeon

    Reply 9 months ago

    Hi Yolo pigeon, thanks for sharing. I hope there were no permanent damage or problems for you?

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    Sebastiaan Mollemakeets

    Reply 10 months ago

    Hi thanks, for the input.

    So far it didn't break with me standing on it. The 4 screws can hold multiple persons if you only look on the shear strength of the steel. The holding capability of the wood isn't even taken in account here.

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    Sebastiaan Mollema

    10 months ago

    Hi all, this is little small tool or project. very handy and you don't need much tools. If anybody is helped with it I have free plans available.