Monthly Book Giveaway - January 2023

Reaching New Heights

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Having a loft can be great for storing lumber. Yet, it poses a challenge retrieving the stuff. Stairs might be a solution, but they take up so much room. And having to move shop furniture around to climb on can be most frustrating. There had to be a way to reach my lumber loft that was safe, convenient, and did not take up a lot of precious floor space. Duh, use a ladder! But aesthetically, there was no way introducing some gaudy aluminum ladder would suffice. It needed to fit in with the shop decor, looking like it had been there for at least two hundred years.

After watching The Woodwright’s Shop (season 8, episode 1), I decided to try my hand at Roy Underhill’s famous folding ladder. This compact folding ladder closes into an unobtrusive wooden shaft. Ladders, such as this, were frequently used in libraries in the late eighteenth century. Although the design’s origin is unknown, Thomas Jefferson noted seeing “a folding ladder” in Bergen, Germany, during a trip there in 1788. Tradition has it that upon his return, Jefferson had such a ladder built to reach the great clock in Monticello’s Entrance Hall for its weekly winding.

Wasting no time, I selected some clear maple and fashioned six 10-3/4-inch long rungs.


Then, after boring a series of holes 11-inches apart, I ripped an 84-inch long 2×4 to obtain the ladder sides.


Opposing “ramps” were cut into the sides to bury the rungs, “half-in-half-out” between the previously bored holes.


After fitting each rung to its respective ramp with oak pins and being unable to leave well enough alone, I added a bit of decoration.


Now that I can easily peer into the loft, I can see that I need to make a lumber run!


Thanks in advance for hitting the thumbs-up!

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor

20 Comments

there is the normal way and then there is the aylor way ! 😁

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

LOL! If it is worth doing…

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor

do it right !

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Cool ladder, and fancy with the carving. I use a extension ladder to reach my lofts.

Even your Shave Horse is sweet.

Main Street to the Mountains

Nicely done, Ron! It does look a little empty up in your loft at the moment of that picture.
Now that's my kind of ladder. Well done sir.

Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

Nice looking ladder. I like the storage with the labels
Nicely made, great carving, and very functional. A+ for your efforts.
Question; do you find this ladder is fairly stable in use? 
👍,🦆...

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Exceptional!

I just stack milk crates, makes fetching planks more interesting.
Thanks, Guys!

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor

Oldtool, you wrote:

Nicely made, great carving, and very functional. A+ for your efforts.
Question; do you find this ladder is fairly stable in use?


In this application yes, it is quite stable. 

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor

 and being unable to leave well enough alone, I added a bit of decoration. 

That's an understatement! Cool concept and beautiful as well!
Thanks, Steve!

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor

Amazing! Very cool!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Thank you, Ryan!

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor

Nice! But I already have an aluminum stepladder. I have wood on two sheets of plywood up in the rafters, and more on some hanging shelves. Getting low.

Steven- Random Orbital Nailer

Steven, I have stock all over the shop. The loft is where I keep the stuff that hasn’t spoken to me yet!

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor

Great work!
I have great respect for your hand tool ethic. I’m also a big fan of having beautiful shop furnishings and hand made tools.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Thank you, Paul!

Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself. - Ron Aylor