DIY Scaffolding Towers

Written by corey morris
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DIY Scaffolding Towers
Scaffolding towers can make any home project safe (scaffolding image by Adrian fortune from

Whether you would like to complete repairs to the inside or outside of a structure, the assistance of scaffolding can make just about any job easier. Scaffolding is a device created from metal poles and lumber pieces that can be assembled so that maintenance can be done safety and at high distances. One of the main causes of accidents is from working on scaffolding, so it's crucial that safety is at the forefront of any project.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 pump jacks per column
  • Two 12-foot, 2-inch-by-4-inch boards per column
  • Two 14-foot, 2-inch-by-4-inch boards per column
  • Two 12-foot, 2-inch-by-4-inch boards per platform
  • Six 2-by-4-inch board braces for platform spacing (18 inches each).
  • Two column-to-house braces for each column
  • Plywood (24-inch by 12-inch) per platform
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Screws
  • Tape measure
  • Rope
  • Assistant
  • Flat surface

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  1. 1

    Assemble together the number of columns and platforms as desired. Set one 12-foot and one 14-foot 2-inch-by 4-inch board vertically together on a flat surface to make a column. Overlap the second 12-foot and 14-foot column with the first to make a 26-foot column. Drive one-inch nails about every two inches up the column for support. Set two 12-foot 2-inch-by 4-inch planks on a flat surface vertically to make the platform. Nail braces perpendicular to sides of the boards. Cut a sheet of three-fourth-inch plywood to fit over the 2-inch-by-4-inch frame. Screw the plywood to the platform frame.

  2. 2

    Slide the pump jack over the column and make sure it is secured near the bottom. Slide roof brace rods over the column and secure in place. If creating a simple single-platform scaffold, place columns 12 feet apart. For longer scaffolds, create a 10-foot space so the middle platform rests on the outside ones. Place the column bottom outside of the base and tie a rope near the top of column. Ask an assistant to raise the column upward. Once column is vertical, lift it carefully and set it onto the base. Repeat this for each additional column.

  3. 3

    Secure both columns to the roof. Use a level to make sure the columns are exactly level. Align the roof brace rods in a "V" shape and screw the rods into the roof with exterior screws. Place mid-column braces on the scaffolding. These braces make the columns set sturdy and safer. Attach braces to the columns and building with exterior screws.

  4. 4

    Install the platforms for scaffolding. Place the assembled platforms on the pump jack used in Step 2. Leave an approximately two-inch overhang. Pump on the pump jack's lever with your foot to either raise or lower the platforms. The brace around the column allows the jack to move up and down. While this might be faster with someone on each side of the platform, it can be easily done with only one person moving back and forth.

Tips and warnings

  • Use hard fir or a similar wood for the columns and platforms. Wood like pine will not allow the jack to work properly, because it will only dig into the material.
  • For a long scaffold system, space the middle columns closer together so the middle platform(s) can rest on the outside platforms.
  • Use at least a four-foot level when checking columns to ensure that they stay straight.

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