Building a scaffold (part 2)
(continued from part 1)

I drilled a hole between each set of rungs on the ladders for attaching the diagonal bracing.

I made an improvised drilling jig out of a piece of hard maple. This worked surprisingly well, though after using it for 28 holes, the guide hole had become a fair bit looser than when I started.


3.5" carriage bolts and wing nuts will hold the cross braces on.
I put one cross brace on each "ladder" while they were still lying on the ground.


These cross braces were very useful when erecting the scaffold.
The cross braces allowed each ladder to lean against the cross brace to keep it from tipping over.
After that, I bolted the cross braces to the other ladder. With just the first cross braces in place, the scaffold already held together. Out of curiosity, I climbed one of the ladders to the top. A bit wobbly, but it held.
 

Adding the second set of cross braces, further up.


Though not strictly necessary, I bolted these cross braces together in the middle as well. I figured this would give me some extra safety, just in case I'd inadvertently use the cross braces as a foot-step.


Four 2x4's make up the joists for the work platform. I made notches in for them to hook onto the rungs by making a series of cuts on the radial arm saw and knocking out the remaining bits with a hammer.



Then some used 1/2" plywood for the platform.
I nearly had an accident here. The step ladder started to tip as I, was
pushing the plywood onto the platform. Awkward situation. Fortunately,
I had a sturdy scaffold to hold on to. Disaster averted.

Testing out the platform. I was hoping the ladders wouldn't need any diagonal bracing themselves, but standing on the platform, I could noticeably rock it side-to-side.
I also realized I needed more guard rails around the platform. 10' (3m) is a long way down!



Looking down from the scaffold. You can see my homemade table saw hooked up to cheap dust collector. To the right of that a table I use as a workbench, and against the wall my mortise and tenoned workbench against the wall




I screwed a 1x4 diagonally against each ladder. That eliminated most of the side-to-side wobble.

The scaffold had gotten quite heavy at this point, but I was still, just barely, able to lift it by one side.


I decided to call it a day at this point, so time to put it away, sort of, and clean up the mess. I propped up one end on a moving dolly for moving.

I used a hand truck to lift the other side of the scaffold and, as such, it was pretty easy to move around the shop.


On my next trip to the shop, I added some fixed wheels to one end of the scaffold, and some handrails to the top.

With the moving dolly jammed under the middle of the opposite end to the wheels, it became quite maneuverable, and I used it to change the bulbs in three of the lights on the ceiling. It's hard to imagine using a stepladder to work on the lights, though they do make stepladders this tall.


Next: Motorizing the scaffold


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