How to Build an Above Ground Pool Ladder

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Learn how to build an above ground pool ladder. This ladder is for hard-rail above ground pools. Get a DIY satisfaction and customize the ladder for the height of your pool. This ladder is light weight and made from basic materials.

Things You'll Need

  • 1.5-inch aluminum tubing
  • Manual pipe bender
  • MIG/TIG welder
  • Two cup mounts for 1.5 inch ladder tubing
  • Two tennis balls
  • Brightly colored non-slip coating (like tool handle dip)
  • Measure the height of the swimming pool wall and add at least 4 feet to this for the total length of pipe. Make sure that the pipe is 1.5 inches in diameter.

  • Cut two aluminum pipes to the measurement obtained from the pool (wall height plus 4 feet).

  • Bend the pipe at the top. Use a pipe bender 1 foot from the end of the pipe. Give the bend a 6-inch radius and the bend angle 145 degrees (35 degrees shy of all the way around). Repeat with the exact same measurements on the other pipe.

  • Bend the lower end of the pipe that touches the ground. First, measure the distance of the newly formed "hook" shape to the end of the pipe nearest the bend in the hook. Add this measurement to the measurement taken for the height of the pool. These two measurements combined are equal to the distance from the bend (in the hook) to where the base of the ladder where the last bend will be made. Make the last angle at a 55 degree angle from the vertical part of the ladder. This angle will make the pipe lay flat (on level ground). Next, flay out these supports at the bottom of the ladder to the sides at a 45 degree angle to add stability to the ladder before welding on the rungs.

  • Attach the rungs at 12-inch intervals to within a foot from the top bend. Cut enough rungs from aluminum pipe 1.5 inches in diameter and 2.5 feet wide. Use a MIG-welder on 14 gauge aluminum or TIG welding if the gauge is smaller. If you're not in the mood to learn welding or rent/buy equipment, hire a professional to do a few quick welds for you so that the rungs are attached. File down any sharp edges.

  • Mount the pipe into 1.5-inch ladder mounting cups positioned at the edge of the pool to fit the width of the ladder. Drill a 1/2 inch hole into the pipe 1/2 an inch from the end. Attach tennis balls by cutting an "X" in them that matches the diameter of the pipe so that it slides onto the pipe. Cut a hole into the ball so that it matches the location of the hole on the pipe. Use a bolt to fasten the balls to the pipe by slipping the bolt into the pipe and out through the hole. Slip the tennis ball over the bolt and then squeeze it over the end of the pipe so that it fits snug. Screw on the nut to hold everything in place and weld a small spot on the bolt. Place the bolt tip down into the dirt from the pipe for extra grip (or trim it short).

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