final ladder shelf

So I built some shelv­ing out of a lad­der last week, and fig­ured I’d post some pic­tures, as well as a sim­pli­fied tuto­r­ial. The process was pretty sim­ple, and only took a few hours to build. It also cost me a whop­ping $2.50 for the whole thing, since I found two old lad­ders on Craigslist for 5 bucks.

Lousville Ladder Top Rung

The lad­ders were from Lousville Lad­der Com­pany, circa 1988. That offi­cially makes this shelv­ing only a few years younger than me 🙂

Chiseling off the rivets

After clean­ing the lad­der, I took off the top rung, as well as the metal attach­ment on the side hold­ing the lad­der together. This was done by chis­el­ing off the heads of the riv­ets. I just did this with a chisel and ham­mer, and made sure to wear thick gloves, because I like to miss and hit my hand from time to time.

Cutting shelves with a circular saw

Next, I mea­sured the width of the shelves, and cut some old weather worn boards into the cor­rect shelv­ing length. I made sure to use some thicker boards, to the mid­dles wouldn’t bow.

Leveling the shelving

Then, I put my lader into my inset upside down, and laid in the boards, get­ting them all level. This took a good bit of shim­my­ing on each end of the lad­der, as the rungs on each side were not the same height to begin with. Once I got them level, I marked the spots on the wood, and gave each a dot of wood glue, just to keep them from slid­ing. Not too much though, as I would like to have the free­dom to move this shelv­ing later.

That’s just about it. I dec­o­rated the shelves up with some plants and the like, and ended up with some pretty cool shelv­ing. Finally, as a bonus, I took the top rung that I had removed, and made it into a key hanger with some ran­dom hooks I had in my work­room. Now I just need to use the metal fas­ten­ers from the mid­dle of the lad­der for some­thing, and I’ll have used every part of the ladder!

Key hanger