Building a cedar ladder

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Ok so we got moved into our new larger cabin now, left the little cabin down the hill for guests and maybe a new community member in the future, if it is meant to be. We are now up one cabin on the homestead but lacking one ladder to access the cabins lofts. Both cabins have double lofts. So now we must produce a new ladder. On the homestead we practice self sufficiency. So I am making the new ladder and I have chosen to do so using the basic tools that you see in the picture above. We are off grid and we do not use any electricity, usually. So I am doing this all manually. So we have a bow saw, and 2 hatchets is all. I used sandpaper to smooth the rungs down some, but don’t think that is a tool. I have chosen cedar for my wood and have harvested 2 cedar trees of which I have collected two 8 foot poles about 8 inches round and from which I cut my 16 inch logs that my 6 rungs will be made from.

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In this picture you can see one of the 8 foot poles that I am using the bow saw and 2 hatchets to cut the notches with. Just some simple sawing about 3 inches wide a few millimeters apart and with the hatchet I am knocking out the pieces. One hatchet is the wedge, the other the pounding tool. I will have to notch 6 rung places on each of the 2 cedar poles. It is going in the new larger cabin and so it will smell very nice, as cedar always does!

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Notching is not hard work, but it has to be precise. So there is a bit of measurement and careful planning involved. My model is a prefabbed Amish made pine ladder that came with our 12×18 small cabin. All I am really following is the notches and the spacing for the rungs, it is obviously machine made. So the picture above is a good close up shot of the notches I am cutting with the bow saw.

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Here is a good picture of the 6 rungs I have taken from just three 16 inch cedar logs. Using the 2 small hatchets I carefully, split each log so that it was very straight and even and them sanded down both sides. The cedar split real well. The knots on those rungs will not be in the climbers way because it is as we like it here on the homestead, as natural as can be. They look great don’t they? We practice sustainable living as well as self sufficient living so, looks like there is two more cedar trees on our list to plant this spring! Once the ladder is all done as well as a few updates, as it comes along, I will be blogging it here, so if you will please click the follow button at the top left friends!

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