DIY Plywood Scaffold Plank


Scaffolds come in many shapes and sizes, and sometimes the frames do not come with planks to provide a platform on which you can walk or work. At other times, there may simply be not enough planks for all of the frames, and more must be obtained in order to provide a safe working environment. Although you can usually rent planks from your local hardware store, these may not fit your scaffolding properly. Another solution is to build the planks yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4-inch plywood cut to size of scaffolding frame
  • 2-by-4 posts cut 6 inches shorter than the plywood
  • Tape measure
  • 10-penny construction nails
  • Hammer
  • Lay a length of 2-by-4 horizontally on the ground, the broad side facing down, and slide it alongside a wall. Place another length of 2-by-4 horizontally on the ground, the narrow side facing down, and slide it alongside the other length of 2-by-4, matching the ends. Secure the two 2-by-4s in this "L" shape by pounding in a nail at both ends, and also one per foot of length. Use the tape measure to space the nails appropriately. Repeat with the other lengths of 2-by-4s.

  • Lay two of the 2-by-4 "Ls" lengthwise along the length of a plank of plywood, one at each end, matching the ends flush. Twist the "L" if necessary so that both 2-by-4s of the "L" are touching the plywood, the narrow side of one, the broad side of the other. Face the broad side of one of the 2-by-4s facing out along the edge of the plywood.

  • Pound three to four nails through the bottom 2-by-4s of the "L" into the plywood. Do not drive the nails all the way in, but only far enough that the points stick through the plywood. This is best done on a hard surface like asphalt.

  • Flip over the plank, so the "L" is now underneath the plank. Drive nails into the 2-by-4s along the edge through the top of the plank. Start by driving in one at each end of the 2-by-4s. Then add one every foot, using the tape measure to distance the nails appropriately.

  • Drive three more nails through the top of the plank about four inches from the edge. Repeat with the other edge of the plank.

  • Flip over the plank and remove the partially pounded nails with the hammer. Wedge the hammer around the head of the nail and pry out the nail. Repeat until all the nails have been extracted.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most hardware stores don't charge much for cutting the plywood and 2x4s, but you can save this money by buying the raw sections and cutting them at home if you are confident enough to use your own tools.
  • Although wooden planks made to these specifications are very sturdy, they will deteriorate eventually. Replace any weak or rotten planks immediately.
  • Never run across or jump on a wooden plank.
  • Photo Credit scaffolding image by Svetlana Tikhonova from
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