Couple of ideas:
1) Use an upturned milk crate, (the ones that hold nine milk cartons)
**, it's about 13 inches square and fairly stable and strong. Do not
try and use two, one on top of t'other!
Afterwards it can be up-righted and used as a caddy to take away the
remains of whatever one was working on.
2) Found a damaged aluminum step ladder. Cut off the top 18 inches or
so, that's one step and the top, drilled and bolted the 'stays' so it
no longer folds, to make a substantial step-stool. Very lightweight,
can be hung on nails on the wall. Fits in trunk of many vehicles, or
back of pickup.
Problem is that my 76 year old knees and ankles now appreciate help
from the arms stepping up (or down) anything. So may add a vertical
post or handle to item #1 as a hand assist. Possibly a bent loop of
Al. conduit, bolted the the base?
** Here where we adopted two litre milk cartons many years ago, the
milk crates are a little smaller than in days of yore. Back then,
before metrication, the milk crates were just the right size to hold
phonograph albums! Ok, ok what's a phonograph ...... ! And some DJs
(Disc jockeys) would arrive at a 'gig' such as a wedding reception
with several heavy boxes of them. IIRC the discs were 13 inches
diameter. These days the DJ just cues up the next tune/song on his
laptop! Or has it all stored on a 'stick' of memory! After sending
this must go and measure a record.
Eh, I'd spring for one of the purpose-built stepstools with the top
loop. Available online, or at most janitorial supplies. If you add a top
handle to your cut-down step ladder, that is a pretty long lever on a
small base. If you put much sideways load on the handle, the thing is
liable to topple on you. The real thing may be a little more cumbersome
to move around, but it will be harder to tip.
About five years ago, my father was your age, and tripped over a floor
fan in the back room with the blueprint machine, and broke a hip. It
took a long expensive time to heal. Before he got home, we had a
through-the-wall exhaust fan installed, and the next trip down, I
quietly threw away several of the more rickety things used for climbing on.
I like those, too, as you can actually lean on them to steady yourself, and
they feel solid underneath you. I know they're just meant to steady you,
but some are more substantial than others and the geometry of them is
slightly different. IIRC, a sheetrock friend of mine had one of the most
solid ones, but don't know if it was specifically a rocker's stand or just
one he had.
I have few step ladders around house. I am very safety conscious.
In my active working days, safety engineer could have you fired on the
spot if you did stupid things. There is no such thing as over safety.
There is no subtitute for a sturdy ladder. Anything else is asking
for trip to medical. Every homeowner should own a few sizes. Yeah,
I'm guilty of using a chair instead of a step stool, never a 5-gallon
on 9/29/2009 11:44 AM (ET) Phisherman wrote the following:
5 gallon buckets, like those containing sheetrock spackle, are
remarkably strong. If at immediate hand, it can be used as a temporary
step. If one had to go into the garage to get the bucket, pick up the
step ladder instead.
On Tue, 29 Sep 2009 11:44:01 -0400, Phisherman wrote:
I'm sure the buckets could be stacked, pyramid-style, to give a variety of
Never tried the bucket trick myself. Old metal-framed chair works for
low-down work, home-made 8' ladder for slightly higher stuff, and the 24'
aluminum extension ladder for anything bigger.
I still can't get to the top of the barn roof, though, and that'd need a
*lot* of buckets ;-)
I did stand on a chair today, to put the cover back on a
door closer. I'm guilty.
The scouts have some thing they do, with a couple ropes and
hold the bucket to their feet, and walk with them. Looked
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