Who doesn't need a reliable ladder? With the right tools and some woodworking experience, you can build your own wooden ladder for under $20. Your ladder will be sturdy and the exact size you want. Just follow these instructions and you can build a wooden ladder. We'll be building a 12-foot (3.65-meter) ladder.
What you do:
- Clamp your 2-by-4 boards side by side, making sure they're lined up exactly.
- Make a small mark 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) from one end of each 2-by-4. Each mark should be in the center of each 2-by-4. These marks will be the center-point of the top rung of your ladder.
- Mark the center point of the rest of the rungs. The rungs need to be 16 inches (40.64 centimeters) apart.
- Cut out notches for your rungs around the marks you made. You'll need to cut out 2-by-3-inch (5-by-7.6-centimeter) rectangles 1 1/8-inches (2.9-centimeters) deep. Keep the notches centered and even. Having your 2-by-4 sides lying next to each other makes this easier.
- Cut each 2-by-3 board into five 19-inch (48.25-centimeter) lengths for the rungs. You'll have nine rungs for your ladder plus an extra length of wood.
- Put some wood glue inside the notches. Insert the rungs, one at a time. Make sure the rungs go all the way in and that the two 2-by-4 sides are parallel after all the rungs are in.
- Secure the rungs with deck screws. Use two screws on each side of each rung for maximum support.
- Paint or stain your ladder to protect it from the outdoor elements [source: Dave, Wandel, Williams].
You can adjust the measurements to make a longer or shorter ladder.