How to Make a Wooden Ladder

Written by amy kingston
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How to Make a Wooden Ladder
Ladders are used to perform various tasks around the house. (house with ladder image by jimcox40 from

Ladders are commonly used to perform tasks such as roofing and painting. They are indispensable tools for homeowners, handymen and do-it-yourselfers. A sturdy, straight wooden ladder can be constructed by the average woodworker in several hours.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2 pieces 2 x 4-inch lumber, 12 feet long
  • 4 large clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • 2 pieces, 2 x 3-inch lumber, 8 feet long
  • Wood glue
  • 36 deck screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Water sealant
  • Paint brush

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  1. 1

    Lay two 2 x 4-inch boards side by side on a flat surface. Align the edges and clamp the boards together with four large clamps.

  2. 2

    Place the tab of a tape measure on one end of the boards and extend the measure to 8 inches. Mark with a pencil. Repeat to mark the opposite end.

  3. 3

    Place the tape measure on the first mark and extend it to 16 inches. Mark with a pencil. Continue to measure and mark 16-inch sections until you reach the last mark at the other end of the boards. Measure 1 1/2 inch on both sides of each mark for the offset required to cut notches.

  4. 4

    Set the depth of a circular saw to 1 1/8 inches. Cut the clamped 2 x 4-inch boards at each mark. Use a hammer and chisel to remove the wood and smooth out the notches. Remove the clamps.

  5. 5

    Cut the two 2 x 3-inch lumber into nine pieces, each 19 inches in length. These are the rungs.

  6. 6

    Lay the two 2 x 4-inch boards on a flat surface and put wood glue into each of the bottom notches. Place a rang into each notch. Tap lightly with a hammer, if needed. Use the chisel to remove pieces in the notches if necessary. Repeat to attach the remaining rungs.

  7. 7

    Secure each rang by placing two deck screws into each end with a screwdriver.

  8. 8

    Apply a waterproof sealant with a paint brush.

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