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Classic 7 ft step ladder updated January 21

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Project by Willy Cordero posted 01-16-2017 11:53 AM 1675 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a classic design of a wooden step ladder, decided to follow the advice of a friend and instead of buying aluminium or fiber glass, went ahead and made my own. It is made of JATOBA (Brazilian cherry) and a few pieces of Tigerwood and therefore is kind of heavy (21 kgs or 46 pounds), it is a little bit over 7 ft tall (around 2.15 meters). Construction is very simple a lot of glue and screws. The mobile section includes a bushing fit into the wood and a bolt inside the bushing to allow opening the legs. Right now does not have a spreader (because i have not been able to find a kit here in Brasil) and how far the legs open is controlled by the small cut made on the wood (shown on picture 4). The legs will not open more than the cut allows, but i am planning to put a spreader for safety or at least a piece of chain.
Since Jatoba is very hard, all holes are predrilled and also WD40 is applied before driving the screws to reduce the chance of splitting the wood.
The best part, I had fun over the weekend building it and will have a ladder for many years

UPDATE

The ladder was missing the spreaders, I had planned to put them up, but had no idea how important they are to increase the stability of the latter. I was not worried about the legs “opening” too far, but the spreaders really increased the stability of it.

Even though I received some good suggestions in the comments about what to use for spreaders, I decided to go with the traditional metal ones, so after looking at some pictures over the internet, i took a trip with my friend Barboza to the junk yard and we picked up some stainless steel for the spreaders and for a can crusher we want to build.

With the needed pieces we went to the shop of the sawmill where we work and completed the spreaders. Barboza is really a handyman and a master on welding. Following are some pictures of the process and final product.

We had no lathe so he used the drill to shape the center pin of the spreaders. We used a press drill, a vise, a grinder and a welding machine.

-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil





14 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10876 posts in 2782 days


#1 posted 01-16-2017 12:31 PM

Niiiice tool for the honey todo projects all over the house :)
is it me or the picture the steps seems to be on an angle when the latter is open
anyway congrat with the result :)
hope you will enjoy it in many years

best of luck to you and the latter :)
Dennis

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

2068 posts in 1949 days


#2 posted 01-16-2017 03:26 PM

A family heirloom, nice build with precious woods.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View pottz's profile

pottz

1625 posts in 651 days


#3 posted 01-16-2017 03:47 PM

very cool ladder better than anything you would buy at the orange box.i think your the first person i know thats built there own.great job.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Willy Cordero's profile

Willy Cordero

82 posts in 735 days


#4 posted 01-16-2017 04:51 PM

WOW many thanks for your observation !!!!, you are a great observer. Yes, indeed the steps have a small angle inwards


Niiiice tool for the honey todo projects all over the house :)
is it me or the picture the steps seems to be on an angle when the latter is open
anyway congrat with the result :)
hope you will enjoy it in many years

best of luck to you and the latter :)
Dennis

- Dennisgrosen


-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil

View LesB's profile

LesB

1274 posts in 3110 days


#5 posted 01-16-2017 05:14 PM

Great project but something is missing…..OH, it is all those safety warning signs.
I remember a commercial ladder maker being interviewed and saying he ran out of space on the ladder for all the warning signs various government agencies (and his insurance company) required.

I would add one more thing. Because I use my ladders outside a lot I have installed a board across each pair of leg bottoms to prevent the narrow legs from sinking into the dirt.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Willy Cordero's profile

Willy Cordero

82 posts in 735 days


#6 posted 01-16-2017 06:06 PM

thanks for your comment and…..about making my own: i had the lumber, i had a great weekend, had a chance to drink some beers and on top, i saved some money not having to purchase one


very cool ladder better than anything you would buy at the orange box.i think your the first person i know thats built there own.great job.

- pottz


-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil

View Willy Cordero's profile

Willy Cordero

82 posts in 735 days


#7 posted 01-16-2017 06:08 PM

great comment!!!!

this one will mainly be used indoors (put some anti slip tape on the leg bottoms), but will keep your idea in my mind for the future


Great project but something is missing…..OH, it is all those safety warning signs.
I remember a commercial ladder maker being interviewed and saying he ran out of space on the ladder for all the warning signs various government agencies (and his insurance company) required.

I would add one more thing. Because I use my ladders outside a lot I have installed a board across each pair of leg bottoms to prevent the narrow legs from sinking into the dirt.

- LesB


-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1334 posts in 314 days


#8 posted 01-17-2017 12:01 AM

Very nice!

... Right now does not have a spreader (because i have not been able to find a kit here in Brasil) ...

- Willy Cordero

You might consider leather straps … just a thought!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Willy Cordero's profile

Willy Cordero

82 posts in 735 days


#9 posted 01-17-2017 09:18 PM

Hi Ron, great idea, thanks a lot
Very nice!

... Right now does not have a spreader (because i have not been able to find a kit here in Brasil) ...

- Willy Cordero

You might consider leather straps … just a thought!

- Ron Aylor

-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1334 posts in 314 days


#10 posted 01-18-2017 12:27 AM


Hi Ron, great idea, thanks a lot

- Willy Cordero

My pleasure … let us know how it turns out should you give it a go.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Willy Cordero's profile

Willy Cordero

82 posts in 735 days


#11 posted 01-21-2017 11:30 AM

Dear Ron

Check the update on the spreaders. I decided to go with the traditional metal ones, at least there were made out of REUSED steel.


Very nice!

... Right now does not have a spreader (because i have not been able to find a kit here in Brasil) ...

- Willy Cordero

You might consider leather straps … just a thought!

- Ron Aylor


-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1334 posts in 314 days


#12 posted 01-21-2017 01:15 PM

Nice work! Quite the professional job. You should be proud. Now, package it up and send to Lilburn, Georgia. Thanks in advance! LOL!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115813 posts in 3244 days


#13 posted 01-21-2017 01:26 PM

Looks super,nice work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Willy Cordero's profile

Willy Cordero

82 posts in 735 days


#14 posted 01-21-2017 01:29 PM

No problem at all Ron…....but you pay for postage!!!!! jeje

Nice work! Quite the professional job. You should be proud. Now, package it up and send to Lilburn, Georgia. Thanks in advance! LOL!

- Ron Aylor

-- Willy, Costa Rica/Brasil

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