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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  1. I LOVE the ships ladder! It's so cool. I think the dutch door will be a nice touch to finish it off.

  2. Mimi, I cannot believe how often you post the exact project I need to build. Thank you AGAIN! This will save me a lot of googling!! lol

    I need to buy that pocket jig.................

  3. These are fantastic! My son has a cubbyhole in his room. We placed his bed next to it so he can climb in and out. I thought about stairs but they take up so much room. This would work. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I have been following your reno and think the Dutch door is a great idea.

  5. Thanks for stopping by Quirky Vistas. I left you a comment there and I'm now following you. Hope you'll come and follow as well. Just have to say how cool your place is. I've only seen a couple of your posts so far, but I can tell I will like them all. I was just looking at ships' ladders at this great nautical salvage place we have down here. I am fascinated with stairs and ladders so I was wanting one they had at the salvage place, and then you just went built your own. Bravo!

  6. Those ARE really fun! What a creative idea! So cool looking..

  7. Now following, come visit me sometime :)

  8. I think your ships ladder is really cute! I can't wait to see the door!


  9. The ship ladder fits perfectly there! I think the dutch door will be the perfect finish for it!

  10. I love the ship ladder- such a great touch and I think the dutch door will compliment the area perfectly!

  11. Mimi - I love it! Super cool and perfect! I'm going to include a link back in this week's highlights. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity. Now...I'll be back to catch up and see more this weekend! ;)

  12. I love the ship's ladder, but think the Dutch door is a good idea - if nothing else for safety from the office side going into the kitchen. I think a fun colour would be great and could be picked up in either the colour of the shelves you hang over the built-ins or in the plates and dishes or art you hang there.

  13. IT's terrific, creative and looks wonderful too. xo

  14. I Love It ! I wish I had a random door to put a ladder in !


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