A friend of mine talked me into building a ladder. Saying yes was the
He wants a loft ladder, 8.5 ft tall (vertical which I don't like but
he insistented on).
Vertical means no shear on the sides so I figure 1.25 x 5 oak will
do. I think
1 x 3.5 oak for the rungs.
What I can't decide is how to tie the rungs to the sides. I've
tenons, wedged thru tenons, tenons with dowels on either side and a
other things. I'm mainly worried that the rungs will work loose. We
would prefer no mechanical fasteners.
SFWIW, I have built several ladders using construction grade 2x4s of
The rungs are 2x4x13-1/2
Dadoes are cut 1/4" deep, on 12" centers in the side rails.
I used a router with a home made jig to guarantee repetitive spacing.
Cut the dadoes on a 10 degree angle which means a left hand and a
right hand jig.
Trin the ends @ 10 degree angles.
Assemble with 3" deck screws, 2 per step on each side.
I wasn't interested in furniture, but a ladder I could use to lay
BTW, the ladder is 16" wide when assembled.
Length as required.
On Dec 17, 10:00 pm, email@example.com wrote:
I did a similar animal some years back, and I used wedged through-
tenons. Simple enough to do, they look great and are rock solid. For
the sides I used 5/4 oak that was, IIRC, about 2 1/2" or 3" deep.
From your description it's not clear if you're intending to have the
rungs skinny side up or have a broader base to step on. Be aware that
broader steps on a steeper ladder are not necessarily more
comfortable...unless you're bare footed or plan on hanging out and
admiring the view while you're halfway up.
broader steps. I based the step width on ladders I had.
Are you suggesting 2"/2.5 inch or so? My experiments (stepping
on things) gave about 3 1/2 inches as a little larger than the area
my shoe sole contacted.
I built a loft ladder for my little barn this fall. 5/4 rough white pine
(very soft). Both the treads an stringer were just over 4" in width.
The steps were attached with twin through-tennons, wedged and housed in a
shallow dado. The ladder is about 18" wide, including the stringers and
about 7' high. It's overbuilt and rock solid. Based on my experience with
pine, 1.25 x 5 with oak is way more than enough.
Whatever joinery method you use, I think wou want to carry the weight of the
tread (person) in a shallow dado. A simpler alternative would be consealing
screws beneath a plug, Just insert a wide dowel in the underside of the
tread to offer some side grain for the screw to bite into.
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
When I had need of one I used PT southern pine 2x4s for sides. Rungs
were the same ripped to1.5 x1.5 then routed round with a 3/4" round
over bit except for 1 1/2" at each end. The rails had notches cut to
fit the rung ends which were then glued and screwed into the rails.
Plenty stout. You could just glue in the rungs or pin with a dowel
Personally, I think round rungs are better but If you want the rungs
flat and wide I'd use sliding dovetails...easy to make and very
When I first built our garage, I built a "ships ladder" using pressure
treated 2x8's. I cut dado's in the side rails for each step, and used three
3" deck screws on each end of the step. It was very sturdy and lasted over
four years till I took it out and built a proper stairway.
If you want to avoid the screws, I suppose you could cut dovetails instead
of dado's and slide the ladder treads into place. Maybe lock them into
place with a dowel or something.
Or, just use screws and countersink them so you can cover them with wood
My Dad build a ladder for his dock out of PT 2x4, he used one on each
side then nailed short ones to that to hold the rungs, with each
running the full distance between the rungs. The part of it that's
below low tide has a lot of barnacles on it but it's still intact 30
years later. I think he learned to do it that way in the Seabees.
Wasn't elegant but it was strong.
Nevermind. I understand what you meant and I should have understood
it in the first place.
Note to self: Don't post after skipping breakfast. The blood sugar
is way too low and you'll post stupid things.
Print this out for future reference.
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