Orchard ladder

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Project by David Bareford posted 04-10-2015 07:09 PM 2675 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have several fruit trees, but the ground around them is uneven and often sloped, making regular ladders really unstable. I came across this design in a great book called Farm Woodwork, published in 1919. It’s available free on Google Books, and since it was written before the advent of widely-available power tools, it’s perfect for a galoot like me.

This ladder proves to be super stable, even when I raised one of the legs 4 ” higher than the others! The rungs are narrow—only 10-1/2” wide—but that forces climber to center themselves in the middle of the tripod. I have never seen this kind of design for sale anywhere; certainly not at the big box stores. It just goes to show that sometimes the best designs are the ones we have forgotten.

The wood was all Craigslist salvage and the metal brackets were custom made by a friend. Total cost for hardware (including all the screws): $17.50.

4 comments so far

View Von's profile


238 posts in 2419 days

#1 posted 04-10-2015 11:24 PM

I see one or two of these in my future

View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 2376 days

#2 posted 04-11-2015 01:04 PM

Hey David, do a search of Hasegawa ladders. These are Japanese ladders that have been around a long time. The ones you see now are made out of aluminum but I am sure they were designed from wood many years prior. What you have is a good design and I like that you gave the reference to where to get info on making one. This looks very sturdy and it will be handy in any garden. Thanks.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1382 days

#3 posted 04-11-2015 01:07 PM

Nice looking ladder.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View fuigb's profile


527 posts in 3163 days

#4 posted 04-11-2015 09:49 PM

Well done. I’m also going to run this down: damn dwarf apple trees are a lot taller than I’d expected.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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