How To Build Wooden Ladders



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Building A Wooden Ladder

1.All ladder components should be made of construction grade lumber, #1 structural grade, or better. See Figure 1 below.
2.Side rails for ladders up to 4.9 metres (16 feet) should be 51 millimetres by 102 mm (2 inches by 4 inches nominal) and side rails for ladders between 4.9 m (16 feet) and 7.3 m (24 feet) should be 51 mm by 152 mm (2 inches by 6 inches nominal). The dimensions of a 2 inch by 4 inch stud are 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. A 2 by 4 inch stud is not deep or wide enough for a side rail. A larger piece of lumber must be cut down to two inches of depth and 4 inches of width.
3.Cleats for ladders up to 4.9 metres (16 feet) should be 25 mm by 76 mm (1 inches by 3 inches nominal) and side rails for ladders between 4.9 m (16 feet) and 7.3 m (24 feet) should be 25 mm by 102 mm (1 inches by 4 inches nominal).
4.Do not notch the side rails to receive the cleats. Nail the cleats to the narrow edge of the rails. Close fitting fillers should be used to fill the spaces between the cleats. The fillers should have the same thickness as the cleats.
5.The distance between side rails should be between 381 mm and 508 mm (15 inches and 20 inches).
6.Cleat spacing should be at 305 mm (12 inch centres).
7.Two 57 mm (2 1/4 inch) nails should be used to nail each end of cleats made of 25 mm by 76 mm (1 inch by 3 inch nominal) wood.
8.Three 57 mm (2 1/4 inch) nails should be used to nail each end of cleats made of 25 mm by 102 mm (1 inch by 4 inch nominal) wood.
9.Make all of the side rails, cleats and fillers before the ladder is assembled. Nail a filler at the bottom of each side rail first. Nail the ends of a cleat to each side rail above and in contact with each filler. Nail the next two fillers and cleat and so on. The ladder will be complete when a filler is nailed at the top of each side rail. The ladder begins and ends with a filler. A ladder made with ten cleats will be ten feet plus the length of a filler in length. One foot (305 mm) equals the sum of the length of a filler and the width of a cleat. A ten cleat ladder will also have two rails and twenty-two fillers. A ten foot ladder is actually nine feet plus the length of a filler in length or ten feet minus the width of a cleat.


                                       Figure 1 Wooden Ladder with Side Rails, Cleats and Fillers










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Ronald Hunter
           
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