For reaching up high on stairway walls - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-21-2020, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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For reaching up high on stairway walls

You've probably had to reach way up in a stairwell where ladders just don't reach. (painting, etc. )
This is not a new idea, many have been made over the years, but this one is adjustable for different stairs and you can position a standard 6 foot ladder forward or sideways. The base fits 2 steps, but the top (not finished yet) will allow you to fit the ladder either direction. I'm making it in 2 parts, the base and the top or platform with a fold out back step so it can span 4 steps. Most standard 6 foot ladders measure about 20" wide and around 42" when open front to back. After arguing with my son about the front step, the one at the high point on the steps we decided to leave it out since the step itself is already there. The rear step, the lowest point on the steps will extend out 12" with legs to fold down to grab the bottom step .
The platform is removable so the whole thing doesn't weigh 100 pounds and can be easily moved from job to job by one person.
Ideas? Suggestions?
(handmade nobs with t-nuts..
Oops, had the wrong picture initially..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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Last edited by allpurpose; 07-21-2020 at 02:05 PM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-21-2020, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Absolutely brilliant! I had the base just outside the garage door just as the sky decided to open up with rain.. Not that I'm completely opposed to moisture, but not on plywood..twere about 3 minutes..maybe I got lucky..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-22-2020, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Rain definitely didn't help, but it wasn't catastrophic. We tested it and it will hold a 6 foot ladder in both positions. Still, lessons learned from the first version. I need smaller nobs to adjust legs and different bolts that won't spin to tightening. The folding legs must be aligned better and perhaps a different type of hight adjustment more similar to furniture leg adjustments, but won't dig into the surface below.
The original version used construction grade plywood which makes adjustment difficult at best and finally I need a way to attach the top platform to the base and still make it removeable.
Still not a difficult build nor particularly time consuming once I know exactly where I'm going with everything and it's not particularly expensive to make. Once every detail is nailed down I figure the cost to be less than $50, possibly much lower.
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I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-23-2020, 07:19 AM
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I assume it is upside down in the photo. Is it relying on the clamping force to maintain being level on the stairs?
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-23-2020, 07:28 AM
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Mark me as puzzled how you would use it, any pics on stairs with a ladder on it? I would be concerned with using it on hard surface stairs.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-23-2020, 09:35 AM
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I could've used something like this (however it works). Trying to reach the ceiling or top of the wall above my basement stairs is nearly impossible and there's really no place to put a ladder. It's not something I would need to use often so I've never really thought about building anything.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-23-2020, 11:08 AM
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I would not trust my life on those slotted connections. A series of fixed holes would be better ... can offset a row or two to allow for closer vertical hole spacing.

Ken
Everything works out in the end. If it's not working, you're not at the end.

Last edited by hoowasat; 07-23-2020 at 11:11 AM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-23-2020, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoowasat View Post
I would not trust my life on those slotted connections. A series of fixed holes would be better ... can offset a row or two to allow for closer vertical hole spacing.
agreed. i wouldn't trust my life to a slide joint with small fasteners. the platform overhang also scares me. if your making the platform big, make it cover 3 steps. use the fasteners to lock it in and then use 3 screws at each joint to secure it.

i wouldn't use it, but you obviously will. my tips may prolong your life
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-02-2020, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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I did change the adjustment mechanisms to threaded rod with 1" oak dowel on one end and a piece of hardwood screwed into the sides and the threaded rod into them.. Much more stable. Works good. My son is doing a lot of painting in these huge houses with huge staircases. The steps vary from house to house so it had to be adjustable. The only part bugging me is the top platform and the leg on the bottom step. There's a slight overhang so if he puts too much weight on it the platform is liable to go flying down the steps. So far it's just a screen door hook holding it and it seems to work well so far. He has the whole thing at a customers house for now. But he's able to use the step ladder in most any position. It's tough to explain without pictures of the whole thing set up on a nice wide staircase

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-02-2020, 04:35 PM
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They have stairway ladders. little Giant makes some I believe.


http://https://www.homedepot.com/b/B...s/N-5yc1vZasew
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-03-2020, 08:17 AM
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I use an adjustable height scaffold, purchased from Northern Tool. Set one end short, and the other long, to get a level platform. Then work with a step ladder from it. I made some base plates on Acme threaded rods to replace the casters when using it like this. The casters are locking type, but I don't trust them when working on uneven ground or stairs, so I switch to the base plates, and adjust them for stability with an Acme nut and large washer under each leg.

Charley
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-04-2020, 08:51 AM
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We're not allowed to work from a ladder atop scaffolding because we we would then be positioned above the safety rails.

Ken
Everything works out in the end. If it's not working, you're not at the end.

Last edited by hoowasat; 08-04-2020 at 08:54 AM.
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