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Thread: Building a ladder

  1. #1
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    Building a ladder

    I want to build some new deer stands when the weather warms up a little. In the past I used treated 2x4's for the ladder sides and rungs. I would lag the rungs to the edge of the sides. I'd like to get away from this method because I have to re-tighten the lags every year. I was thinking about boring holes through the 2x4 sides and using 3/4 inch rebar for the rungs. Then I would use some threaded rod through the sides, below the rungs, to keep the whole thing from spreading out.

    Are the 2x4's wide enough to handle the load with a hole bore through them?
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  2. #2
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    Wooden step ladders have dadoes for the treads, and the threaded rod under each tread, with a metal offset tensioning piece under the middle of the tread on top of the rod. I'd dado them, and the rod can go under them. I use a similar method for building roof ladders, but since the load is not directly down on the tread, and weight is important, I use 5/4 treated treads in dadoes, and screws in from the sides, and that's plenty strong enough for that application.

    Rebar would be pretty uncomfortable climbing, or at least, for me they would be.

  3. #3
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    My solution for a ladder was to use 1-1/4" dowel, often cheap when bought as closet hanger. It is easy to drill a hole to hang the dowel. My ladder was a bit narrower than a standard ladder.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Our solution is to buy some "broken" extension ladders,and salvage what we can. You have to chain and lock them to the stand.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My solution for a ladder was to use 1-1/4" dowel, often cheap when bought as closet hanger. It is easy to drill a hole to hang the dowel. My ladder was a bit narrower than a standard ladder.

    jtk
    Thought about dowels but don't think they'd hold up to bring outside year-round.
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    Our solution is to buy some "broken" extension ladders,and salvage what we can. You have to chain and lock them to the stand.
    That's a good idea. Shouldn't have to worry about thievery, it's on private land.
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  7. #7
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    Look for a link to the San Francisco Fire Department ladder shop. AFAIK they still make their own wooden ladders.
    Bill D

    see link at bottom of page.
    https://sf-fire.org/wooden-ladders

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Bruette View Post
    Thought about dowels but don't think they'd hold up to bring outside year-round.
    How about pipe?

    Also it might be possible to put PVC pipe over the dowel. A couple of screws would keep it from spinning.

    If you can find broken ladders that may be the easy way.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    How about pipe?

    Also it might be possible to put PVC pipe over the dowel. A couple of screws would keep it from spinning.

    If you can find broken ladders that may be the easy way.

    jtk
    Pipe is my second choice, only because I'd have to drill an odd size hole, and it would be bigger than the rebar.
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Look for a link to the San Francisco Fire Department ladder shop. AFAIK they still make their own wooden ladders.
    Bill D

    see link at bottom of page.
    https://sf-fire.org/wooden-ladders
    Very cool. Thanks for the link.
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  11. #11
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    ALso look for a video on how they build and rebuild cable cars in SF.
    Bill D

  12. #12
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    You have to retighten the lags once a year? I'm thinking it aint broke.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Bruette View Post
    I want to build some new deer stands when the weather warms up a little. In the past I used treated 2x4's for the ladder sides and rungs. I would lag the rungs to the edge of the sides. I'd like to get away from this method because I have to re-tighten the lags every year. I was thinking about boring holes through the 2x4 sides and using 3/4 inch rebar for the rungs. Then I would use some threaded rod through the sides, below the rungs, to keep the whole thing from spreading out.

    Are the 2x4's wide enough to handle the load with a hole bore through them?
    Jerry, the easiest and most durable method that I know of to build a deer stand ladder is to make it from pressure treated lumber, designed like this one:

    Dust collectin ladder details.jpg

    This design is very simple, safe and durable. You can't see it but the steps are nailed into the jack studs below them, in addition to being nailed through from the king studs on the outside. The steps are installed at a slight angle too.

  14. #14
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    I have a fiberglass and steel extension ladder hanging from the ceiling in my garage. The car parks under it.

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