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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Default Fort Ladder / Merging Threads

Pulling together some other threads on the building of this ladder for my granddaughter's elevated fort.

Circular Saw Plunge Cuts

Circle/Radius Cutting Jig

With the handholds done, I've turned my attention to the ladder rungs. I had planned on making the rungs fro 2x6 lumber with blocks of 2x4 under each end as support. Then I decided that would make the rungs unnecessarily wide and I switched to 2x4 lumber for the rungs. Ended up not liking that width, so have settled on ripping down the 2x6 lumber and trimming the back edge at the same angle as the ladder. And using a router made recess pocket of the rungs on each side. Even though I used scrap stock to test the jigs for making the pockets in the stringers, I had to fill the first one in the first stringer, due to the change in the rung width.

I used a 1/4" round over bit on the 90º corners of the rungs, to match the pocket corner radii. That was nice as it made all of the corners exactly the same. Progress has been slow, mostly because there has been a lot of snow to shovel and blow at my daughter's. More to go, but there is light at the end, snow is supposed to slow up a bit in the next week, so maybe I'll get a little more shop time.

Rick
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"Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."

Last edited by RickKr; 01-19-2020 at 10:22 PM.
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickKr View Post
Pulling together some other threads on the building of this ladder for my granddaughter's elevated fort.

Circular Saw Plunge Cuts

Circle/Radius Cutting Jig

With the handholds done, I've turned my attention to the ladder rungs. I had planned on making the rungs fro 2x6 lumber with blocks of 2x4 under each end as support. Then I decided that would make the rungs unnecessarily wide and I switched to 2x4 lumber for the rungs. Ended up not liking that width, so have settled on ripping down the 2x6 lumber and trimming the back edge at the same angle as the ladder. And using a router made recess pocket of the rungs on each side. Even though I used scrap stock to test the jigs for making the pockets in the stringers, I had to fill the first one in the first stringer, due to the change in the rung width.

I used a 1/4" round over bit on the 90º corners of the rungs, to match the pocket corner radii. That was nice as it made all of the corners exactly the same. Progress has been slow, mostly because there has been a lot of snow to shovel and blow at my daughter's. More to go, but there is light at the end, snow is supposed to slow up a bit in the next week, so maybe I'll get a little more shop time.

Rick

You're going to need some bracing to keep it from racking...

What is your plan for keeping the stringers from spreading...?

Just looking at the angle and the hand-holds, you might check that the hand-holds are not too far out for comfortable climbing...it almost looks like a child going up might be leaning too far back to hold the stringers...just wondering...

Lookin' good...

Nick

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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 10:52 PM
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To prevent spreading, you could drill holes through side, just below the step. Top, Middle and bottom. Use threaded rods with bolts on each side tightened to keep it together. Some diagonal bracing would keep it from racking. That bracing can be pretty light weight material, even aluminum bar 1/8th thick will do, and its thin enough so it can cross in the center, with a small nut and bolt through that point. That brace will prevent racking. Or you could simply put a sheet of quarter inch ply on the back. Or even small sections of ply screwed into the back of the ladder.

Not going to get a lot of stress on that ladder, but with any ladder, you want it overbuilt.

Your project is looking very good so far. Hope the snow lets up so you can get it done.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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You're going to need some bracing to keep it from racking...

What is your plan for keeping the stringers from spreading...?

Just looking at the angle and the hand-holds, you might check that the hand-holds are not too far out for comfortable climbing...it almost looks like a child going up might be leaning too far back to hold the stringers...just wondering...

Lookin' good...
I had not considered racking. It will be mounted permanently at the top with two 1/4" lag bolts on each side, about 18" apart. I don't see much opportunity for it to rack. I could add a cross brace, if it becomes a problem.

I was assuming the screwing and gluing the rungs every 12" would keep the stringers from spreading. Three pocket hole screws from the underside on each end of the rungs plus gluing them in place. I decided on the pocket hole screws so the screws would not be going into end grain as they would if screwed through the stringers into the rungs. I could add a couple of those too, which I considered, but dismissed as being overkill and unnecessary.

You may have a point about the handholds causing a child to be too upright. I will not be surprised if the kids ignore the handholds and just grab the rungs when climbing. If it looks awkward, I'll encourage her to use the rungs. If so, the handholds will just become decorative I put the same 1/4" radius roundover on the rear/top corner in anticipation that the rungs would be used instead of the handholds.

Rick
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"Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."
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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 11:12 PM
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I had not considered racking. It will be mounted permanently at the top with two 1/4" lag bolts on each side, about 18" apart. I don't see much opportunity for it to rack. I could add a cross brace, if it becomes a problem.

Rick
ornate gussets under the treads..
solves racking and spreading in one shot...

Nickp and MYB like this.

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

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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ornate gussets under the treads..
solves racking and spreading in one shot...

I like the look of the wooden gussets much better than the blocks I originally was thinking of. I might actually do something like these. I've got extra boards of the rung stock, which would be perfect and consistent with the rest of it.

Thanks.

Rick

"Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 01:14 AM
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I like the look of the wooden gussets much better than the blocks I originally was thinking of. I might actually do something like these. I've got extra boards of the rung stock, which would be perfect and consistent with the rest of it.

Thanks.

Rick
ascetically clip the points and they will look like they'll belong...

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

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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ascetically clip the points and they will look like they'll belong...
Not entirely sure what you mean by clipping the points. Do you mean radius them, sort of like a round over? Use the same radius as the handhold and edge round overs?

Rick

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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Default Rung Pockets Done

Results of tonight's work, finished the other 15 pockets. I had to flip the fence on the pocket routing jig for the opposite stringer, to have mirror images.

As I was working on the second stringer, the bit seemed to be dulling, requiring more pressure to move it through the wood and having tear out on the exit, which I really hated as it is the upper side where little hands might scrape. It wasn't until I got finished and inside and saw the photos I took. One, showing how the new dust hood completely encloses the open side of the router base, revealed what I think was the cause. The speed setting had gotten turned down to "5", visible in the photo I was going to post about how much I liked the new dust hood. Both symptoms make sense now and the bit is probably not nearly as dull as I was thinking.

Hardly any dust/chips escaped, except at the start when the opening in the base overhung the fence, allowing a little bit to escape. I had noticed yesterday that chips were flying out of the 3/8" edge guide rod mounting holes. I plugged them with 3/8" dowel.

I was thinking it was ready for screws and glue, but now I want to think about making gussets.

Rick
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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 01:48 AM
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the bit is probably not nearly as dull as I was thinking.
clean dress the bit anyways....

and this is what I mean by clipping...

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

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 01-20-2020 at 01:55 AM.
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