Alan I have made ladders in the past by using light ply. cut two strips to over length. Join with double sided tape. Mark a centre line down the middle of one strip and carefully mark off the distance between each step. Use a small drill the same diameter as your chosen steps and drill through both strips. The best way is to make a small brass jig with two holes of the correct diameter and distance. Put a bit of step in one hole and use as a template to keep the distance equal. A strip of wood alongside the jig helps keep the centre line. Once all holes are drilled, seperate the two strips and clean up any residual stickyness. Place the steps in the holes and align the sides. A jig of the correct spacing helps keep all square. I use white glue or a spot of super glue to secure. Once dry lightly sand the sides flat. If you intend to stain the wood you will need to do this before you glue. You will need a jig to hold everything whilst you do this before glueing. Hope this helps Dave
Thanks Dave 👍 well explained 😁 I will use that method for the ladder that goes up the funnel. Perhaps my heading is a bit misleading, the others that I have to make have flat treads rather than rungs, I don't know but maybe this sort are called companionways, or something other than ladders. Thanks again Dave.
Hi Alan I did wonder but yes steps or companionways have flat treads.
You need to make the sides as for the steps but with no holes.
Get a piece of wood totally square at the same thickness as the steps. Make two 1/4" wooden side pieces and mount on a flat piece of wood to hold the square but allow it to slide. Remove the square piece and using a set square mark a line across both side pieces. Take a fine toothed saw and make an angled cut into both pieces. The angle should match the angle you require for your step. Use the set square to mark where you want your next step and cut another angle cut into the two side pieces. A simple wooden jig cut using the previous angle will help keep all square.
You now have a jig to cut the slots in the sliding piece of square wood. Best to just cut to the depth of your steps. Cut the first then put a piece of thin ply in the slot and using the adjacent slot in the side pieces cut another slot. move the ply to the new slot and continue until you have enough steps.
Remove the square slotted wood. Insert the steps into the slots and sand smooth at both ends then glue to the sides one side at a time. If like me the glue gets in the wrong place you can make the jig smaller. Do however retain the full thickness for some of the wood to allow you to sand the steps smooth on both sides.
Don't forget to add the antislip covering to the centre of each step!
Good luck and please let us know how you progress Dave
Thanks for that explanation Dave, your finger must hurt after that. It will be a while before I get to the stage of making them, I like to have things clear in my head well before hand, but I will let you know how I get on.