Category Archives: Wood Step Ladder

Ladder Complete

I have finally completed the kitchen utility ladder. The final finish on this was shellac. On quartersawn white oak it looks very nice. The ray fleck common in quartersawn oak looks great.

So here are some pictures of the finished product.

Full view from side.

View of pinned, shouldered lap joint and the step shape.

Brass hardware.

Folding top step.

I have a couple of projects lined up for the summer. The first two are requests from family for a slide viewing box and another for a kitchen prep table. Then I will be doing a restoration on a Martin 000-1 acoustic guitar that has seen better days. Really looking forward to all three but the restoration project has me tingling with excitement.

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All Together

Got the ladder glued up this past weekend. After cleaning it up I pinned the lap joints and rounded the top corners.

The glue up.

Here is the completed ladder in the folded position.

And in the open position.

And a close-up of the pinned joints.

All that is left is to do some sanding and put some finish on it.

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Routing the Track

Finally got this task done. Seemed like it took me forever plus a day to do it. Every time I went down to the workshop I was thwarted somehow and had to put it off to the next weekend.

So here I am with some pictures of routing the track and seating it in its correct position when in the folded position.

My trimmer and the template. I am using a 1/2″ pattern bit. I like to use hardwood for my templates as they tend to hold their shape well.

This is the track routed on the inside of the outer legs.

Here is a front view of the ladder in the open position.

From the rear.

And down the middle.

Once that was done I needed to cut a recess into the inside legs so the ladder can close fully. For this what I need to use is a 1/2″ roundover bit, which I don’t have. So I had to cut it flat-bottom and then use my 1/2″ ball to round it on the inside.

Here is the flat-bottom cut.

I don’t have a 1/2″ with a roundover so I had to make do. I instead used my 1/2″ ball bit to make the back edge of this cut round.

Here is the result. Not bad, though I got some chip-out.

And here is what this was all about.

And again this is what I am after – a kind of shadow line that is level across when the ladder is in the folded position.

Now that this is complete I can look forward to glueing up this project next weekend (in the event nothing gets in my way).

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Adjusting for Level and Tracking

Got a little more work done on this step ladder I am making. It is progressing slowly as I haven’t had much time recently.

Yesterday, once I had set the level of the top step with the ladder in the open position I was able to drill my peg holes in the side of the step.

Once that was compete I inserted a mock-up peg in the holes allowing me to mark the bottom position of the peg. From that point I taped a piece of pencil onto the peg and made a mark for the correct arc.

Using a piece of 5mm ply inserted between the peg and outer leg to get that arc marked.

Here you can see the pencil mark clearly.

However I don’t need, and neither want a complete arc. Rather I want an arc just up until the arc reaches the apex. From the point the apex breaks and the arc moves inward I want a straight line so that the ladder closes on itself when the spread legs are pulled together. I will clean up this template a little more and then glue it to a piece of hardwood to make a perfect template from which I can route out the tracking on the legs of the ladder.

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