constructing a wooden scaffold

I need to put up scaffolding around my summer house in Finland in order to do some work on the outside.
Since softwood lumber is plentiful and cheap there I was thinking of building it myself.
Has anybody tackled a project like this and if so would they have any useful links that explain how to go about it.
TIA.
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Frank

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On Sun, 6 Jun 2004 16:20:51 +0100, Frank Shute

I really wouldn't do this.
Steel tube scaffolding is quick to assemble and because it's re-usable afterwards, the cost is reasonable. A free-standing steel tower is even better.
For timber, then I know how to build semi-permanent staging. This is strong, safe, and perfectly adequate to work from. However it takes appreciable work to assemble it, even if the timber cost is free. There's no way I know to build something with the ease and low labour costs of steel tube and scaff clamps. I can do it, but not quickly.
If the timber is truly free, or if you're buying it anyway for some other reason, then maybe this will work for you. But I can't really see it, because of the extra workload and time involved.
It's also illegal to do this in the UK, unless it's entirely on your own property, it's more than some magic distance from the nearest public road, and no public or even other tradesmen have access to it. The rules changed a few months ago and any "scaffolding" must now be of approved design and checked by a qualified scaffolding rigger (NB - you can still assemble it yourself, so long as they OK it). Given the public hazards caused by some dodgy scaffolding in the past, then I don't have a problem with this ruling.
BTW - You might like to post in uk.d-i-y too.
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On Sun, 06 Jun 2004 23:24:00 +0100, Andy Dingley

Especially if it's rented. That's "hired" to some of you across the pond. <G>
Barry
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So it playing with high-rpm spinning carbide, but we all do it.
I built staging to help with my addition 2 segments, just under eight feet wide with crossbars at 4-feet and 7.5 feet high, so that I could change platform height. These segments were light enough that I could drag them around where I needed them. With the 2 segments and a platform in between I had about a 23' run.
X-braces (10' 2x4's) front and back provided stability and a good climbing surface to mount it.
Perhaps I cheated darwin :-)
I would not have attempted to go higher than that.
The OP did not tell us the scale of work that he had in mind.
-Steve
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Have you folks looked into renting scaffolding? YMMV but when I did it I figured it was cheaper than buying lumber.
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In my case, I doubt it. I used those babies for more than a year. It was a long project :-)
The I recycled most of the 2x4's. I believe that some of them became and outfeed table (OWWM).
-Steve

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On Mon, 7 Jun 2004 11:42:47 -0400, Stephen M wrote:

It sounds to me like you built something similar to what I want so maybe I'll cheat Darwin too :)

Picture of the house here:
http://www.esperance-linux.co.uk/photos/2/niitt_hse1.jpg
I'm only planning to go up one lift.
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On Sun, 06 Jun 2004 23:24:00 +0100, Andy Dingley wrote:

:)
The problem is that I can only manage to spend a couple of months a year there and at that rate I'll only be able to finish the work on the outside (re-clad and insulate) over a few years.

The timber is cheap and I can always use it on another project once the outside is complete. I understand what you're saying about time but cost is important to me whereas I'm not too bothered if the job takes longer..

This is in Finland so I can always plead ignorance ;)

Thanks Andy. I was thinking of which other groups to post to.
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I like the way you think.
Wes
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Whiskey Echo Sierra Sierra AT Gee Tee EYE EYE dot COM
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Frank, I built ladder type scaffold that I use over and over again. Consists of 7"-6" 2x4 posts. 5/4 x 3 1/2" x 30" horizontal members and 4pcs 1x3 X braces.The 2x4 posts are mortised 3 1/2" wide on 12" centers. The first mortise is 18" from bottom. I kept the total height under 8'-0" so I can use it inside a house as well. I keep a ladder nearby to climb up on scaffold. Total width is 30" ,height 7'-6". Nice and light to use,rigid if you brace properly.If you need more height an A frame type scaffold can be built. Does not allow for different heights though.
mike
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On 7 Jun 2004 14:56:39 -0700, mike wrote:

Sounds good. I don't suppose you took any photos of your erection? ...if you'll pardon the expression.
I think I get the picture. How did you tie the braces to your your 2 ladders though?
My main problem is that the ground around the house is uneven in parts which doesn't help matters.
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No pics Frank.The braces are screwed to the ladder frames, simple and easily changed from one length to another. I used 2" screws, flathead ,roundhead, whatever I had in my pocket.When the ground is uneven , take the time to place a short mudsill where the legs go and level it off. If your ground varys a lot in height you might be better off with a patent scafffold with screwjacks. I have set my scaffold on ground that varied about a foot in 8'-0". Takes a little work to safely level off the mudsills, maybe two or three minutes per section when the ground is uneven. mike
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pics posted to abpw.

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Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but there is a book published by Taunton Press/ Fine Homebuilding called _Working_Alone_ IIRC. In there I believe it explains how to do this.
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 09:09:06 -0400, Howard Ruttan wrote:

I got a post off-newsgroup from a guy who says that there is an article in "Fine Woodworking on Joinery" on building a scaffold in the Japanese style using posts and wire to seize them together. To quote my correspondent:
It shows how to use #9 annealed wire and 4-5inch poles for quick building. The article is by Len Brackett. He was in Japan and observed how they use this method for scaffolding. He used it to build a 2400sq.ft. sawing mill shop on site. The method is sound.
I'll definitely look into that.
Many thanks to all who answered. Assuming I get to build it, I'll post pictures on my site with a description of how to build it.
Despite frantic googling, I still can't find any decent articles on the web :(
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I just inspected a nice scaffold made by a friend of mine for work on a high interior ceiling in his house. He made it out of bamboo lashed together by filament tape (tape with nylon filaments in it). He harvested and cut the bamboo which is 3 to 4 in. in diameter. Works fine. The platform on which you stand is 10 ft. in the air. The scaffold did begin to lean a little so he straightened it by placing some wires inside the scaffold.
Not so surprising really, because in a lot of the world they use bamboo for practically everything.
Zaster Sap

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On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 09:58:15 -0400, "Zaster Sap"

In a lot of the world, it's as cheap as grass. You have no idea what we pay for a couple of sticks to hold up peas. Any suitable for scaffolding would require a second mortgage.
Bill.
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Bamboo will grow outdoors in Southern California. I never saw any as big as 4" diameter.
Brian Elfert
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 09:58:15 -0400, Zaster Sap wrote:

When I was in Hong Kong a few years ago, I saw bamboo scaffolds rising several storys.
It's not unusual for scaffold to blow down in high winds over here but in Honkers their bamboo scaffold seems to survive typhoons!
Unfortunately, bamboo doesn't grow too well in these parts...and even less well 400 miles south of the Arctic circle where my house is in Finland.
Pine, birch and aspen grow well though. I've had the forest harvested this year but I might consider cutting my own boards one year. I'm pissed off with spending a fortune on timber when I've got 30 acres of forest.
Anybody know what aspen is like for furniture making? I think silver birch is OK.
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I don't have links but you should be able to come up with something if your inate sense of proportion and reasonableness is not far off the mark. Many have an eye for what just isn't going to work and others do not. Have things you engineered in the past fell apart or held up? If they tended to fail then maybe renting scaffold would be the best plan for you.
On a couple houses I helped my brother build, we resorted to digging 5' deep holes and dropping tree's we cut into them for the vertical sections and then just slapping some 2x10's to sides with some osb on top to walk on. No railings but they could have been added. I *never* crawled up on them since my balance isn't perfect though my brother is a monkey when it comes to that. The tallest scaffolding was > 28' which we achieved with some 40 foot poplars we cut down off the property and used a back hoe to maneuver into the hole we dug.
Wes
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