Making a trestle for stairs

I intend making a trestle for the stairs that I can stand a ladder on. Imagine a capital L turned through 90 deg to the right. That's the shape. I'm going to use 3" x 2" for the framing and thick floorboard grade planks to rest the ladder on. It will be a sturdy affair. I'm going to provide some kind of box or ledge for the ladder base to sit in.
Before I start, any tips?
A commercial product is available, called Stairmate, but costs around 75 quid.
MM
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:09:16 +0100, MM wrote:

Cross-brace the corners of the 'L'?
--
Peter.
You don't understand Newton's Third Law of Motion?
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theres ome coming up in aldi for £60 next week.
i paid £80 for one at wickes last week, and the stabiliser plates didnt fit how they were meant to in the diagram.
it only goes up about 4 feet, but was very useful puttin up boards in the kitchen much better than step ladders and tables...
PeterC wrote:

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whoops, maybe you mean this stairmate: http://www.ladderstore.com/stairmate-ladder-stabiliser-p-996.html not http://aldi.co.uk/uk/html/offers/58_9319.htm
george (dicegeorge) wrote:

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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 19:12:34 +0100, "george (dicegeorge)"

That's the one!

I already bought that one last year when Aldi last had it! It's very good for ceilings. (I think it was cheaper back then.)
MM
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 19:12:34 +0100, "george (dicegeorge)"

By the way, if anyone is contemplating buying one of these from Aldi next week in order to decorate up the stairs, bear in mind that the design of the feet is absolutely ludicrous.
In the advert on the web site it says: "Rung to rung adjustable for split-level working (e.g. decorating stairways)"
That's exactly what mine says on the package, too. But what you don't know until you unpack the thing is that the two feet (one for the base of each ladder section) are of different widths. While the shorter one is ideal for slotting into a standard stairway, the longer one is several cm longer and WILL NOT FIT BETWEEN THE STAIRS! (Unless one has unusually wide stairs). So this "decorating stairways" malarkey only works at the bottom and top of the stairs! If you want to position the contraption half-way up the stairs, you can't.
Anyway, I bought mine at the time specifically to do ceilings, so it makes no difference to me.
I bought the timber at B&Q and was pleasantly surprised at how cheap it was.
MM
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Just wait 'till you see how warped it is. That won't be so pleasant ;-)
MBQ
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On Tue, 31 Mar 2009 08:15:48 -0700 (PDT), "Man at B&Q"

It is most certainly NOT warped! I always check before purchase.
MM
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On Tue, 31 Mar 2009 08:15:48 -0700 (PDT), Man at B&Q wrote:

True - when I built me shed I could have save about £50+wrinlydiscount at B&Q but couldn't get enough of decent quality; went to Wickes (dropped lucky on some reductions) and didn't really have to sort the wood.
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Peter.
You don't understand Newton's Third Law of Motion?
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PeterC wrote:

That must be a first! I've often had to pull out a few to get a decent one.
NT
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Looks like a useful gadget.
Just how wide is the wide foot? I do have wide stairs, I wonder if it would work for me?
How high can you get with it? They claim a working height of 4.05m, but what does that mean in terms of the actual platform?
Thanks
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On Tue, 31 Mar 2009 09:09:23 -0700 (PDT), Andy Dingley

For you, Andy, I'll go and measure it...... back soon.
Okay. The short foot is 785mm, the long one 915mm. Each ladder section is 165cm long. The platform is about 150cm long.
NB: The 785mm foot fits nice and snug within my stairwell. This house was built in 2004 and was designed with old people in mind (light switches at wheelchair height, that kind of thing. So probably the stairs are "generous" of width.
Of course, I can't guarantee that the item which Aldi will be selling next week is IDENTICAL to the one I have, but it looks the same from the picture in the weekly Aldi brochure that I happened to pick up today at the Boston store.
The feet are constructed, like most of the rest of the scaffold/ladder, from aluminium, the wall thickness of the feet being not particularly great so that the longer foot could perhaps be shortened by 915 - 785 if one only wanted it for decorating stairs. However, in that case, an equal amount would have to be sawn off each side so that the bolt holes line up (the foot is pushed into slots in the corresponding ladder section and fixed with bolts supplied).
But if you or anyone else does this, don't come back to me and say I told you to shorten it, okay! ;)
For ceilings the thing is really useful. I haven't got round to it yet, but the gutter along the edge of the garage roof needs cleaning and the trestle will likely come in handy for that job as well.
Also, for trimming hedges, cleaning windows. It is quite a solid affair, so will probably last a lifetime with light domestic use. But they really cocked up the design of the feet for usage on stairs!

Dunno quite how they work that out, but from the pictures on the cardboard sheet that was packaged with mine there is a drawing of the scaffold in "H" mode (other modes are as a step ladder or as a normal striaght up and down ladder). Consider the "H" form and there are two meaurements shown: From the ground to the crosspiece of the "H" = 1m (1 metre). From the ground to the, I assume, ceiling = 3.1m. There is a stick man shown standing on the board between the trestles (i.e. at height 1m off the ground) and with an average man's height and reach, he appears to be able to cover up to the 3.1m shown. Now, I am a short, fat geezer, so my reach will be less than that of a 6' 3" Cambridge Blue!

You're welcome! Everyone often helps me with stuff in this ng! I'll be back in this group tomorrow with a question about upright Hoovers, as mine has started to cut out, but I have to back up my hard disk now.
MM
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I screwed a couple of brackets to the wall on either side of the stairwell and bridged them with a length of 2x4. Rest a short extension ladder on that from the stairs and I can reach anywhere within the stairwell including the ceiling. While I was up there I painted the 2x4 white and left it there for the next time someone wants to decorate. At my age it will certainly not be me.
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Thanks for that. I saw them today (masonry paint!) and will probably collect one tomorrow.
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 19:08:46 +0100, "george (dicegeorge)"

I might wait a few days and have a look at the Aldi offering. However, 60 quid buys a LOT of 3" x 2" !
MM
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:45:31 +0100, PeterC

Definitely. This thing will be s-o-l-i-d, trust me!
MM
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 20:17:47 +0100, MM wrote:

attaboy! BSE: Brick Shithouse Engineering.
--
Peter.
You don't understand Newton's Third Law of Motion?
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MM wrote:

sounds just right

You'd do better with a sheet material, half inch ply is plenty. Dont rely on t&g boards to load share, the tongues can break up and the planks under each ladder leg sag differently, sending you toppling.

a ladder applies a substnatial side load, which can easily topple these things. The simplest solution is a 2x2 sticking out each side to an adjustable extent, it simply rests againt the wall to prevent sideways toppling.
If you use hi-load metal brackets it will be well load rated and you can go high with it with confidence. Check carefully for timber cracks though, all holes should be properly pilot/clearance drilled to avoid these.
The simpler the main join, the easier and quicker it is to erect and take down, and the happier you'll be to use it. (Some) hiload brackets require 4 screws to dismantle, 2 each side.
A strip of 2x1 along the long edges of the working platform would stop a ladder if it began to slip.

Screwfix do a 4 section multiupurpose folding ladder for around 50, ont which you can put a board, but the result is nowhere near as safe.
NT
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:13:06 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Yeah, each side of the stairs has the "skirting" board. Well, it's NOT skirting, but I don't know what carpenters call that part of stair construction. Anyways, I reckoned on having the kind of side struts you envisage to jam tight against the "skirting". I've often used carriage bolts for making various clamps, including for use in bookbinding, and they are cheap and provide for considerable clamping force. So I could use such bolts somehow to force the struts against the sides.

???
I had planned on making glued wood joints, reinforcing with dowels, then applying strengthening brackets to corners. Not sure what kind of hi-load metal brackets you're referring to. Got a link? A picture is worth a thousand words!

I won't be "assembling" it as such. It will be constructed, then simply removed after use and stored in the garage where I have ample space.

Yep.
To be perfectly frank, the Stairmate doesn't exactly look as stable as I would like, even given that it has some kind of extender arm.
Thanks for your input!
MM
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MM wrote:

You need your sideways constraint to be at or near the top of your working platform, the skirting is down at the feet. Restraint at the base wont do much.

Metal brackets with 150kg rating and welded corners. Small London brackets work, but the big tough ones give you a stack of safety margin, theyre never going to fold up on you.

ok - but I wouldnt rely on the glue or dowel, so your brackets need to take the full load, which is 2 or 3 times your weight plus ladder.

http://tinyurl.com/cr5n7k the 8x8 ones preferably

right
Maybe gis a pic for the wiki when its built?
NT
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