7 Step Ladder!




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...

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:


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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


    1 year 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
    Yolo Pigeonkeets

    Reply 1 year 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

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

    Sebastiaan Mollemakeets

    Reply 1 year 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.

    Sebastiaan Mollema

    1 year 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.