How to Use Two A-Frame Ladders for Scaffolding

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You can create a scaffold by spanning across the length of two A-frame ladders with a sturdy plank of wood. Use extreme caution if you stand on this scaffold.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 2x4 framing studs
  • Sheet of plywood, minimum 3/8th-inch thick
  • Circular saw
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • 2 A-frame ladders
  • Place the ladders in the desired location. Make sure they're close enough to each other so that you can comfortably span across them with a board. Any ladders that are safe for regular, everyday use are acceptable.

  • Spread the legs of the ladders, and ensure that they are on level ground. If the ladders shake or wobble, even slightly, move them so they do not wobble. Spanning across two ladders that are even slightly wobbly is dangerous.

  • Measure the distance between the two ladder frames, spanning the distance where you want to place the scaffold.

  • Measure the width between the frames of each ladder.

  • Cut a strip of plywood that is about half an inch narrower than the width of the most narrow ladder frame. Use a circular saw.

  • Place two 2x4 planks of wood on their side. Place these on the ground or on your normal work surface, and distance the 2x4s at a width equal to the width of the plywood that you cut in the previous step.

  • Attach the plywood to the two 2x4s with screws. This is your new scaffold platform.

  • Place the platform between the two ladders on the desired steps. Do not place the platform above the step that is second from the top. Placing a board above this height increases the instability and danger.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use extreme caution if you choose to stand on the makeshift scaffold.
  • Set up the ladders only on level ground.

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References

  • "Fall Protection and Scaffolding Safety: An Illustrated Guide"; Grace Drennan Gagnet; 2000
  • Photo Credit Tony Garcia/Lifesize/Getty Images
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