Monday, May 7, 2012

I Built a Ships Ladder

Check another one off the list.  My Kitchen/Dining room's to do list has a lot of items on it.  I think these stairs are number 42 of 500.  If you've been following for awhile you know the story.  If you're new here well let me just say our house is not your typical house. 

A while back I posted about how I ripped out the old stairs that were here and added the built-in cabinets shown above.  That left a doorway floating in the middle of the wall.  We didn't really need this entrance to the office since there's another one on the other side of the kitchen but we didn't want to close it off either.  I decided I wanted ladder stairs.  I think they are fun and quirky and they don't take up a lot of space.  When I googled for research on how to build them I learned the proper name for them is actually a ships ladder. So fancy.

Honestly the only person who will probably use these stairs is the cat. (of course I have gone up and down them at least twenty times just for funzies.)

I decided on 2 x 8 boards to make my stairs. I found the angle I wanted by simply leaning a board at the angle I liked.  Then I took a 2 x 4 and laid it on the floor and drew a line.  It ended up being approx a 70 degrees.  Then I cut it with the skill saw. 

I cut the top of the board to fit the bottom plate of the doorway. I could have left it straight but then they would have stuck out farther.

To find the spacing of the steps I measured from the bottom plate to the floor following the angle and divided by four.  Here's a link I found helpful that shows recommended measurements for ship ladders.   

To attach the tread to the stringers I drilled three pocket holes on each side of the treads and attached with glue and screws.  The holes are underneath so you cant see them.

I decided to use a dark oil based stain to match the top of the built-ins and kitchen island.  Then two coats of oil based polyurethane. 

I will bolt the stairs into the door casing once the floor is fixed.  For now it's just screwed.

I painted the doorway trim white to match everything.  I'm still planning to build a new deeper shelf to go above the built-in's.  The black isn't working anymore.  Maybe we'll take it down when hubby gets home tonight.  It's bugging me.

Here's a sneak peak at my next project.

I'm going to be honest here and tell you that the upstairs office is always a mess.  My plan is to add a dutch door so when we have guests they cant see into the messy office.  Most of the time we will leave it part way open for the cat to get to his food.  I want to paint the door a fun color.  I used Ipiccy's layering function and added a rectangle shape to get a feel for what it will look like. I hope it looks better then this photo I have limited skills in this department.

So what do you think?  Is it weird, or quirky and fun?  Have a great week!

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