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Hello,

I'm getting ready to build my first ladder using my router. I plan on building a simple ladder to my crawlspace using Doug Fir (2x10s) for the stringers and probably 2x6 for the treads. I'm planning on routing a 1/2" dado for my treads to fit into. I am building a jig and doing my layout on the stringer stock with a framing square and stair gauges.

Does 1/2" (treads glued and screwed) sound like a good depth? My 2nd ladder will be hardwood so I figure I would start by building something that is more utilitarian first and see how it goes.

Many thanks to the kind folks here who share their knowledge.
 

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JB I'm not sure I have the right picture in my mind of what you are doing but it sounds like serious overkill. I built a tree stand for our archery club about 20 years ago. It is 8' off the ground and 2 people can stand and shoot from the platform at a time. 4 people can easily fit as long as they aren't drawing bows back. The ladder is a pair of D fir 2 x 6 with 2 x 4s for rungs. The 2 x 4s are on edge. I can't remember how wide I made the ladder but maybe 4' wide. The rungs are fully set into the stringers which aren't quite straight up. Maybe a 10 degree angle. I couldn't tell you how many people have been up and down that tree stand since I made it. Hundreds for sure. It's just now getting to where it may need some refurbishing. That's after 20 years but with a good coat of outdoor stain on it. It's not in the sun so that helped.
 

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I'd go 3/4 or thicker for the tread and put a cleat under the ends and a truss under each step. As you shift you weight upward, you are really loading each step, Another option is to add steel under each step to keep the sides from spreading outward. A half inch dado doesn't have much of a grip. You could also anchor the step by putting a couple of Kreg pocket hole screws through the top of each tread, into the long sides. I'd consider making the steps from inch thick Oak treads you can buy at HD. This thing is going to be heavy.
 
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