bunk bed ladder

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  • This topic has 16 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by RL.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #20511
    David R.
    Participant

    I had to make a new ladder after we put the bed back together as a bunk bed, since we threw away the ladder that came with the (used) bed a while ago.

    I thought it would be a good first practice piece, which is fairly simple, does not need to be perfect and has a practical use.

    timber:
    2 pieces of 7′ 2″1/4 x 1″1/2, planed

    tools:
    japanese hand saws (from a set of four)
    refurbished old chisels (mostly used a 3/8″ one)
    very simple and rough self made wood mallet (had to make do)
    stanley no 4
    veritas marking gauge
    diamond stones

    I started with two 3’4″ pieces for the sides. Then I made two rungs with a single tenon, but I didn’t take into consideration the size of the mortise ought to match a chisel width. So I changed plans to use a double tenon for high stability. At that time I didn’t think about the work chopping 20 mortises would mean.
    Anyway, after about 20 hours of work, I finished the construction part today. It has a lot of flaws, but it’s sturdy and I expect it to outlive the bed. When I get my clamps, I will glue it together and I plan to finish it with shellac.

    In hindsight, I would have cut the rungs at once and marked them together for perfect matching width. I would have honed the chisel more often and would have taken greater care with the mortises, especially the ends where my levering is very visible.

    I am content with the result. It was a good exercise and produced a useful piece of furniture.

    Thanks for reading.

    – David

    from Germany

    #20516
    George Bridgeman
    Participant

    Great work, David. I bet that’s a sturdy ladder!

    Sounds like you got some good experience making it, too. The next mortise and tenon project will be even better!

    Keep up the good work.

    George.

    "To know and not do is to not know"

    #20517
    Steve Follis
    Participant

    Nice job David, they look good. 20 mortises in 20 hours is not bad for a beginner, I think you are well on your way, congratulations!

    Memphis, Tennessee

    #20523
    david o’sullivan
    Participant

    nice job

    "we can learn what to do, by doing" Aristotle

    #20550
    humanic
    Participant

    Here I recognize the good sensations of build something by myself without nothing more that a piece of timber and small bunch of tools. Not screws, nor power tools, only my hands and my perseverance to build something useful. Make something for others who I love it’s the essential thing. Here is my soul. No more, no less.

    Good to know about it, @David,

    –Óscar

    With love, best regards from Catalonia.

    #20555
    Mark Armstrong
    Participant

    That is not bad going 20 mortises and tenons 20 hours well done. 😉

    Dagenham, Essex, England

    #20558
    jgust747
    Participant

    Looks like a fun project. Any strength concerns about just using mortise and tenon instead of the more traditional dado with mortise and tenon?

    Dallas, Texas

    #20559
    David R.
    Participant

    Thank you for the encouragement all of you.

    In regards to the duration of the project: I didn’t keep exact track of the time, but it should be approximately what I spend on it. Maybe a few hours for sharpening added.

    Looks like a fun project. Any strength concerns about just using mortise and tenon instead of the more traditional dado with mortise and tenon?

    I think it may eventually twist a bit due to the not 100% accurate mortises if the glue failed, but the double tenon works against it in contrast to a single one. I don’t think I could have motivated myself for another chiseling option added to the project. 🙂 Also, the tenons are vertically, which minimizes reduction of the profile – or so I figured. I consider the construction as a bit of overkill, actually, but my inexperience compensates quite nicely for that.

    – David

    from Germany

    #20843
    Mexiquite
    Participant

    Well done @davidr That double tenon idea is interesting. Thank you for sharing you project with us.

    Please don’t take this wrong way, just a suggestion. An idea for future tenons is to make a shoulder around your tenon so that when you put the tenon into the mortis there won’t be any gaps visible (while you get more accurate). So you’d cut a 1/4 or even 1/8 of each side of the tenon and make your mortice 1/2 or 1/4 smaller. Of course if you take 1/2 or 1/4 off of wood that would make your tenon a little weaker which I guess is the reason why you didn’t cut it.

    That picture is from finewoodworking.com

    #20877
    David R.
    Participant

    Please don’t take this wrong way, just a suggestion. An idea for future tenons is to make a shoulder around your tenon so that when you put the tenon into the mortis there won’t be any gaps visible (while you get more accurate). So you’d cut a 1/4 or even 1/8 of each side of the tenon and make your mortice 1/2 or 1/4 smaller. Of course if you take 1/2 or 1/4 off of wood that would make your tenon a little weaker which I guess is the reason why you didn’t cut it.

    I actually gave it a quick thought, but decided against it, in order to keep things simple, since I had cut only one tenon/mortise ever before. And after all it’s an object of utility, so I considered the gaps an acceptable trade-off.
    Nevertheless thank you for the specific suggestion. For another piece, I will surely do just that.

    Best regards,
    David

    from Germany

    #21040
    David R.
    Participant

    So here is another picture of the glued and finished ladder. I put on three layers of lemon shellac and finally smoothed it with steel wool.

    from Germany

    #21042
    Ken
    Participant

    Nice job David

    #21052
    Greg Merritt
    Participant

    Well done David. Thanks for sharing.

    http://hillbillydaiku.com

    #21063
    NikonD80
    Participant

    That’s really nice work David. It’s one of those projects that starts off as fairly standard and can then run away with you if you’re not careful. I speak from experience having built my son an attic bed out of white ash a few years ago. Very we’ll done sir.

    Keep Calm and have a Cup of Tea

    #21240
    Mexiquite
    Participant

    David, I really like how the ladder turned out. The lemon shellac looks great. Good choice.

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