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Apprentice Member
rplantz3
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-16-2009
0

Building a wooden loft ladder

the internet is full of designs for building loft ladders.  Virtually all I've seen suggest the long rails should be notched to accept the rungs.  Somehow that doesn't seem very safe.  If you use a 2X4 for the rail and pieces of 2X4 for the rungs the notch in the rail will leave only two inches of support left.  But then another guy says don't drill through the rail into the end grain of the rung (this without using notches).  Anybody have any advice?

Honored Advisor
stick48668
Posts: 11,254
Registered: ‎01-15-2010
0

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

[ Edited ]

1/4 to 3/8"notch...

pull the two stringers together with all thread directly under the treads and centered.....

put a small block centered on the tread between the tread and the all thread...

 

think old time wooden step ladders...



this would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
if only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Apprentice Member
rplantz3
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-16-2009
0

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

Thanks Stick.  The last part of your last sentence in your reply got lopped off.  Could you repeat please?

Bob

Honored Advisor
stick48668
Posts: 11,254
Registered: ‎01-15-2010
0

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

think old time step ladders...



this would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
if only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Honored Advisor
stick48668
Posts: 11,254
Registered: ‎01-15-2010

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

Bob...

 

Welcome to the forums...

(the gladiators and lions will be along shortly without warning and under separate cover)...

 

There is a tremendous amount of information, help and technique contained in these following links...

Whatever your likes that may be, they are/will be generously covered there...

So explore to your heart's content...

 

http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-plans/

 

http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tips/

 

http://www.woodstore.net/

 

http://www.woodmagazine.com/promotions/free-production-information/

 

http://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/

 

http://www.woodmagazine.com/photos/

 

Need inspiration and even more ideas???

Have a look see...



The PHOTO GALLERY pages.

 

Hopefully Hank will be along to expand on this and your horizons even further...







this would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
if only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Apprentice Member
rplantz3
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-16-2009
0

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

Thanks Stick.

 

 

The sentence reads "put a small block centered on the tread between the tread and the all thread . . ."

 

What's the rest of the sentence after "thread?"

Veteran Advisor
TxMoose.
Posts: 444
Registered: ‎10-24-2009

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

Bob,

I'm going to attempt to add some pictures here

the 1st one is my take on Stick's suggestion

STICK.JPG

 

This next option is the way I built a access ladder for myself

 

OPTION.JPG

 

I also used glue along with the screws

 

 

TxMoose

Senior Contributor
habitatsupplie1
Posts: 746
Registered: ‎07-04-2011
0

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

You can place a pulley at the rear of the loft, tie a rope to the ladder, and run the other end to a hand crank to lift it up and out of the way. Works great!

Old Woodie
Apprentice Member
rplantz3
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-16-2009
0

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

Thanks TX Moose.  The diagrams were very helpful,  I guess the solution is to use a shallow notch and then screw and glue the treads to the rails.  I like Stick's approach but it seems more complicated than what I need.  Thank you for making the effort to explain the answer.

Bob

Veteran Contributor
Bill Z.
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
0

Re: Building a wooden loft ladder

[ Edited ]

To keep the look of an old loft ladder, but add more strength than the Pioneers could, use the best of both worlds.

 

  Like the even more shallow inset that a door hinge sets in, that shoulder really support most of its weightl while the wood screws mostly hold-in the hinge.  For the long rails, think about using a half-lap on their edge.  On the rungs, use a half lap on each end so the rung extends out flush with the outside of each rail. 

 

  Before you begin assembly, use table saw passes and cut a slightly wide groove on the bottom edge of each rung so you can use a 3/16" diameter brass/steel all-thread that's recessed in that groove you cut in each rung.  Some nickel size brass or stainless flat washers (heck, even nickels' themselves) are used to spread the clamping power of some dome-top brass or stainless "Acorn Nuts".   Remember to cut the all threads to their final length allowing for them. That  almost hidden steel threaded rod will add alot of weight carrying ability that you might need when you consider that it's your weight plus the weight of what you take up to the loft, is really what each rung has to support....:smileyhappy:

 

On the rung/rail half lap joints, a good glue like Titebond II will make a solid joint, but instead of using plain hardwood dowels as reinforcement fasteners, consider using a pair of #8 or #10, 1-1/2" wood screws in a shallow 1/2" diameter countersunk holes on each joint.  When they are covered with either flush wood plugs or short 1/2" dowels so they give the look of a peg joint, the screws with give added strength to not only the half-lap joints, but also across the grain of the rails.

 

One or two other things to consider, is doubling the width of second/third rung from the top rung as they are the first ones you foot touches going down, and consider doubling the first or second rung at the bottomfor the same reason. It gives some added foot stability as you begin to carry odd weights and shapes up to the loft.  Not knowing the floor surface the loft ladder is on, consider "Something that grips the floor/floor covering" on the angle cut ends of the ladder rails.  I've read that the highest numbers of accidents in a home are now being cause from all the laminate wooden floors.  Their hard 50 yr. finish becomes super slick when unnoticed overspray from non-stick cooking sprays or from aerosol furniture wax when dusting.

 

Lots of "details" to think about, so as always, change/use what will work for you....

 

I, for one, would enjoy seeing some pics of how it works out when you get it finished...  Good Luck on your project.

~Bill~
Be not the first on which the new is tried
Nor the last to lay the old aside.

 

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