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Build your own wood ladder

This is a simple project that should only take a couple of hours to complete.


You will need
2 - 12' 2x4's (uprights)
2 - 8' 2x3's (rungs)
Exterior wood glue
36 - 2-1/2" Deck Screws

4 Clamps
Measuring Tape
Circular Saw
Drill with countersink and screw bit

Start by clamping the two 12' - 2x4's together with the top edge and ends flush. Stand them on edge. The rungs are notched into the 2x4 upright 1-1/8" so we need to mark out notches. The top and bottom rungs are 8" from the ends, place a mark at 8". This is the top of the upper rung and the bottom of the lower one. Offset these marks 2-1/2" (the width of the 2x3 rungs).

Now measure out for the rest of the rungs. Lay your tape measure on the 8" mark made earlier and measure 16" increments. These marks represent the center of the intermediate rungs. Offset these marks 1-1/4" on either side.

Using your square, square off the marks you have just made down the face of the 2x4 uprights 1-1/8" deep. Square your marks across the top edge of the uprights as well.

Now it is time to cut the notches. Set the depth of your circular saw to 1-1/8". Start by making the cheek cuts of the notch then proceed to make a series of cuts about a 1/4" apart through the rest of the notch. Do this for all the notches.

Before removing the clamps use your hammer to break out the wood in the notches and clean up each notch with your chisel.

Unclamp the two uprights and set them aside. Now cut all the 2x3's into 19" lengths. You will get 5 out of each 2x3 but since we will only need 9 rungs you will have 1 extra. Each rung is attached to the upright with exterior wood glue and deck screws. You will need to drill two countersinks on each end of the rung (so 4 per rung).

Now attach them to the uprights starting with the top and bottom rung. You might need to use your hammer to "convince" the rungs into the notch. Don't force them into the notch if it too tight. They should only need to be tapped in not beat to pieces.

Put some of the exterior wood glue into both notches and insert a rung. Make sure the rung in flush to the outside of the uprights. Secure in place with 4 deck screws (2 on each end). Continue this for the reminder of the rungs.

Protect you ladder with a durable finish like paint or stain.


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