Stepladder: Episode 8

Stepladder 8 Keyframe

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The last part of the construction is to fit the lock down lattice. First it is hinged and then the teardrop and stop are fixed in place to add solidity and security. Once it has been sanded and necessary refinements made, the finish is applied.

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  1. António on 25 October 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you for such a great series!
    Learned a LOT!

    Looking forward to see what the ‘changes in the backdrop” will bring!

    All the best!

  2. fudoka on 25 October 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Not impressed with the new downloading pop-up window. It doesn’t make it any more accessible, just adds a new gimmick, and it leaves the downloading/progress image in the middle of my browser window even when I switch to another tab. I had to close the tab to get rid of it.
    We are working on KISS principles for the woodwork, let’s apply the same to web design please.

  3. robertparsons81 on 25 October 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Many Thanks To PAUL and THE TEAM great project looking forward to making it soon. I am still watching and learning looking forward to the NEXT . All the very best.

  4. David Marienau on 25 October 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Really enjoyed the step ladder series. I was very pleased to see the mahogany after you applied the water bases finish. It really turned out nice.

  5. bobeaston on 25 October 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Watch out Grandma. I’m comin’ after that table.

    Beautiful result, and THANKS for all the techniques!

  6. woodruss on 26 October 2017 at 1:54 am

    Very enjoyable series, well made professional videos are a pleasure to watch.
    I am about to build a bed headboard with pine and this looks like the ideal finish,
    You said it was water based but what is it called when I go to buy it ?
    many thanks
    Russell (Australian fan)

    • joeleonetti on 26 October 2017 at 4:51 am

      I was thinking the same thing.

      • Philip Adams on 26 October 2017 at 4:27 pm

        Hi Russell and Joe, it was a water based varnish, so nothing particularly special and should be widely available.

        • woodruss on 26 October 2017 at 11:46 pm

          Thanks Phillip,
          The different types of finishes are confusing for us amateurs.

        • joeleonetti on 30 October 2017 at 6:12 pm

          Thanks Philip for the follow up. Also thank you and Paul for using a different finish. I am quite find of shellac and wax based on what Paul has demonstrated over the years. To that end I am happy to see another finish so that I can learn how to apply them.

          Some key takeaways from this (that I didn’t know):
          1. It goes out cloudy but dries clear so don’t panic
          2. Since water based, may get some tiny air bubbles that may make the finish feel rough. Just run chisel gently along surface to fix.
          3. If there are globs of finish that are missed, just remove with a chisel and it will finish up fine next run.
          4. A paper towel is a good way to sop up and spread out any runs as they happen.
          5. Each coat gets progressively easier to apply.
          6. Like shellac, th coast build luster of the underlying wood. Look to see how many coats you need as you go. Liked somewhere between three and five.
          7. With shellac you need to worry about pulling your prior coats of finish, doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue here but still don’t fuss about too much.

          Without Paul’s instruction I wouldn’t have known this. I look forward to other finishes over time as they make sense. On my wish list are ebonizing and fuming oak. I am sure there are others as well.

  7. Alexey Pyzhov on 26 October 2017 at 12:02 pm

    thank you, Paul and Team!

  8. Antonio Santos on 26 October 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Why does Paul sometimes uses an awl, and sometimes screws directly to the wood? What’s the criteria?

    • billg71 on 28 October 2017 at 12:09 am

      I can’t answer for Paul but for me it’s whether or not the positioning is critical and the project. On a jewelry box, display cabinet, etc. you want everything to be perfect so careful screw location is important. In hard woods you’ll want to drill pilot holes to prevent splitting or breaking screws.

      But this is a stepladder, no one’s going to be judging it for precision. As long as it stands up when you want to climb up and the hinges don’t fall out you’re pretty much OK. And it’s made of a relatively forgiving wood so splitting isn’t a consideration.

      It’s just saving a little time considering the end use for the project.

  9. Antonio Santos on 26 October 2017 at 5:44 pm

    And why not applying shellac instead of a water based finish? What’s the difference and what was the criteria?

    • billg71 on 27 October 2017 at 11:57 pm

      Shellac isn’t very durable compared to modern finishes, especially for something like a stepladder that’s going to be walked on, drug around and otherwise generally abused.

      You have to be careful when sanding between coats, if you sand through the finish to bare wood you’ll see it when the next coat has dried since(unlike lacquer or shellac), the new coat doesn’t dissolve into the finish under. You can’t touch up a damaged spot that has gone through the finish, you have to remove all the finish on the damaged face and re-coat.

      For a project like this I would use a water-borne floor finish. My personal choice is Pallman Pall-X, it’s available in the US as well as Europe. It’s on just about everything in my shop.

      • Ed on 28 October 2017 at 12:19 am

        I like to think of it as wiping rather than sanding, especially on the first coat. One gentle wipe from one side, starting inside the edge and coming off before the other edge. If there are inside corners, like the ladder rungs, glue paper to a block, place the block into the corner and pull away from the corner. One swipe, move over, repeat. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect: There are more coats to go on and, once there’s some thickness to the finish, you can be less reserved, flirt with getting closer to corners. On a first coat, I’d probably do 600 grit, 300 if I felt it was a good solid coat (which it often *isn’t*). As Bill said, you do not want to cut through.

        In the US, I like General Finishes High Performance for a water borne finish.

  10. rnieuwenhuijs on 26 October 2017 at 7:18 pm

    I really enjoyed following this project. So many techniques that can be applied in all kinds of settings, and I really love the design.

  11. gabrunet on 27 October 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Hi, great project I love it !
    I have question; during the fastfoward we see Paul with a iron and a rag on the wood. What he doing exactly ?


    • Florian on 27 October 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Alexandre,

      he is removing defects in the wood that were caused by compression.

      I thought there was a video in the tools and techniques video archive but I couldn’t find it.

      Here it is on youtube

      I don’t know if the link works, if not just search for ‘fixing common dings and dents paul sellers’.

  12. Farred on 28 October 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. The teardrop is supposed to be there to “add solidity and security”. I assume Paul decided this during the prototype, but I can’t see how it adds much. Can you elaborate? Thanks for the demo on water-based finish. I was disappointed with my one experience with it because it looked plastic. I’ll have to give it another try.

    • Philip Adams on 30 October 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Glad you like it. The teardrop is the stop for the top lattice that stops the ladder from collapsing until you firmly pull the lattice up.

      • joeleonetti on 2 November 2017 at 8:11 pm

        Thanks Philip. There are a couple of times (not many) in this series where I have a hard time visualizing some items. The brass wear plate was another example. If there is a prototype available, it may help some of us watching if Paul can put that to camera and point out what it does (assuming it’s on the prototype). It’s possible due to time constraints some of that info or more detailed explanation may have needed to be edited. From my perspective, it’s mostly for things that are new and different from what has done before. Just a though. I am very happy with what Paul does as is.

  13. donhatch on 8 November 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I just got to the part where I am adding the teardrop to my stepladder. Paul mentioned He had to be careful because the end of his teardrop was so thin. So I made mine a little thicker. That was a mistake. It needs to be as thin as Paul’s because it has to fit between the tray and the rail of the back. Just thought I’d give everyone a heads up.

  14. drdee1280 on 17 November 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I always update the devices automatically, but I double checked and I do have the latest updates installed. The problem still happens even when I’m connected to very high speed lines (30 megabit per sec lines). It does seem to be an Apple issue, since it doesn’t seem to be a problem with my new Microsoft Surface tablet.

  15. drdee1280 on 17 November 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I did leave a message to Vimeo, but try getting a human to respond to you. I wonder if they still actually have any humans working in their service department?

  16. Michael Ostrander on 17 January 2018 at 5:09 am

    This was a lot of fun to watch. I’ve watched quite a few of these project videos and, while I have learned some new ways to do things that I’ve done for years with power equipment, this is the first video where I learned something completely new, “scotching” a hinge.

    Thought I’d seen and done just about anything you might do with a hinge but this was new to me and I can think of some other applications for it as well. Thanks for all you do Paul. Great stuff as always.

  17. dovetails on 8 June 2018 at 2:58 am

    Finally made it to the last video with my build. I finished just installed the hinges for the lattice. Next will be to shape the teardrop and install the front lip. I’m excited to see the finished product. I build mine from Cherry and it has been an incredibly fun build. Wish it hasn’t taken me over 6 months of sparse shop time… but nonetheless, the end is near.

    Thanks for this project.

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