Ladder Stair

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Project by dynadeuce posted 09-20-2013 09:12 PM 1798 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Project done for a friends small cabin. Challenge, how to fit a stairway to the loft with 111 inches of rise and 38.5 inches of run. (note: this stairway is not to code, but the loft is not actually a ‘living area’ so code does not apply) They wanted a fixed stairway in their tiny cabin to access the loft for storage. I had seen ladder stairs before and was excited to give it a shot. The incline ended up being about 70 degrees. The alternating treads allows easier passage of your feet without catching your toes. Amazingly it is very easy to walk up and down without using the handrail, but getting used to starting with the proper foot everytime takes a few tries before its natural. The shot of it laying down is my ‘winter’ finishing shop, plastic over the pool table in the basement. The closeup of the tread shows fine white sand which was sprinkled on the first coat of wet polyurethane and then sealed in with a couple more coats of finish, I decided smooth wood treads on such a steep stair could spell disaster if climbed in stocking feet. The wood is framing grade pine, stringers are 2×6 planed down to 1 1/4” thick, the treads are cut from 2×8 also planed to 1 1/4” Assembled with glue and screws, the screws are covered with Walnut plugs which ended up blending nicely with the knots of the pine.

-- dynadeuce-- What will your legacy be?

6 comments so far

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 2695 days

#1 posted 09-20-2013 10:08 PM

I really like this. It appears to be very well placed in the small cabin and looks like an original part of the place. Excellent work & planning. Also love the sand idea . . . you’ve done well my friend!

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View Windowman's profile


4 posts in 2686 days

#2 posted 09-20-2013 11:17 PM

Neat project. I like the sand also. How did you lay out all the angles and cuts? Looks like more than a framing square.

-- Just when you think your 10' tall and bullet proof Life knocks your feet out from under you and shoots you right in the chest

View dynadeuce's profile


49 posts in 3617 days

#3 posted 09-21-2013 01:35 PM

I had help from the three internet resources. This article And also from The Woodwhisperer: this great dado jig video
I didn’t actually build his dado jig yet, but I built a fixed jig that was only good for the angle I needed. The angle was determined by fairly simple triangular geometry, I knew my height and base numbers on the triangle and had the first angle (90 degrees) and since I forgot more geometry than I remember I used this angle calculator to figure out the 70 degrees.

-- dynadeuce-- What will your legacy be?

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4161 days

#4 posted 09-21-2013 03:27 PM

Great work, Love the look of these…. Very functional as well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3148 days

#5 posted 09-24-2013 03:57 PM

Awesome stairs! Brilliant design especially the sanded treads. Great build which is perfect for limited space. Excellent job!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3839 days

#6 posted 09-24-2013 06:03 PM

Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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