Two Step Ladder

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Project by Terry Ferguson posted 07-22-2012 01:15 AM 2667 views 11 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My work space ceilings are a couple of inches under eight feet and I store stuff all the way up, so reaching requires the services of the first two steps of my two foot aluminum folding ladder. A while back I limbed a few Juniper trees on my property and when I went back and looked at the stack, there was a nice, dead limb, gray as driftwood, solid as new inside, which looked like it could be the off-center support for a two step ladder something like the three step library ladder that Wharton Esherick made, so I headed off in that direction. Scraping the outer surface of the limb revealed a variety of rich color and, for the steps, some short pieces of 6/4 Oregon White Oak – their color and character a good compliment.

After some notches, creative shaping and wide chamfers, along with a few birch dowels, plus a total disregard for the beautiful dovetail joints and overall graceful lines of Eshericks ladder, I ended up with a set of steps that look like they would be most at home in Bibo Baggin’s pantry, but just as Esherick started rolling over in his grave, I had to respectfully remind him of his quote: “If it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth doing” and since, for me, dovetails are no fun, there ya’ go.

35 1/2” high with a 16” wide x 12” deep footprint, rasp, file, & scrape, no sandpaper, no hardware, no screws, some Danish Oil and some more WB Poly

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

20 comments so far

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 1070 days

#1 posted 07-22-2012 01:27 AM

I cannot express how much I like this. Not only have you used an easily discarded piece of wood, you have turned it into a work of art.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2083 days

#2 posted 07-22-2012 01:47 AM

Beautiful! I love your step ladder.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Roger's profile


16282 posts in 1650 days

#3 posted 07-22-2012 01:56 AM

A 2-step spiral staircase…. Way kool. That’ll reach those jars way up high in the cupboards.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View MonteCristo's profile


2098 posts in 1034 days

#4 posted 07-22-2012 02:35 AM

Infinitely nicer than plastic or metal !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 1513 days

#5 posted 07-22-2012 03:03 AM

I can’t believe I misspelled the title of this project: Teo Step instead of
Two Step. Does anyone know if there is a way to edit the title?

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View a1Jim's profile


113161 posts in 2423 days

#6 posted 07-22-2012 03:59 AM

Yes click on the red edit on the top of the post.

-- Custom furniture

View a1Jim's profile


113161 posts in 2423 days

#7 posted 07-22-2012 03:59 AM

Very cool step stool

-- Custom furniture

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 1513 days

#8 posted 07-22-2012 04:04 AM

a1Jim – thank you very much

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View Woodbridge's profile


3063 posts in 1264 days

#9 posted 07-22-2012 04:13 AM

You have quite a good eye for design. You have wonderfully built from the shape and form of the driftwood and added the steps to it in a way that looks very natural. Beautiful step ladder!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 1095 days

#10 posted 07-22-2012 04:45 AM

I love this nice save good work

-- Nimkee** Joe

View padric's profile


31 posts in 1077 days

#11 posted 07-22-2012 09:06 AM

This is way too fine a piece to hang out in a shop. It should be in a gallery.



View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 1343 days

#12 posted 07-22-2012 09:50 AM

That upper handle is a nice touch and must be nice to touch when helping your balance. I imagine your aluminum ladder is now consigned to all outdoor duties but this piece would also make a fine entry in the Personal Picnic Butler contest. Plate and beverage shelves and a place to hang your hat.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Lidiya Blaznina's profile

Lidiya Blaznina

876 posts in 1384 days

#13 posted 07-22-2012 12:56 PM

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

911 posts in 2019 days

#14 posted 07-22-2012 01:26 PM


-- Tim-; Twitter-@asliceofwood; Facebook-

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 1513 days

#15 posted 07-22-2012 01:43 PM

Gene -
Woke up this morning to find the aluminum ladder had made its way back inside and was standing next to the wood steps – poking at them to test their stability – after a few pokes, aluminum agrees with the hat rack idea.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

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