Reading Nook: Building the Ladder

With the bed frame now complete, it was time to turn my attention to the ladder. I based this off of an existing design done by 551 East as I thought it really looked sharp – that and the fact the bed frame is three feet off the ground (which is also what 551 East has done with theirs).

The ladder was created by using 2x4x92 5/8 framing lumber. Because it is fairly rough I spent some time concentrating on sanding it down after it had been cut to length:

  • 2 x 40 inches for the two vertical sides of the ladder
  • 3 x 15 inches for the ladder steps

The sanding and assembly of the ladder for Zach's reading nook

I sanded this with two grits – starting with a 60 grit and then moving to a 120. I found this left a really smooth-to-the-touch surface which is going to be important when the kids start climbing up and down it in their bare feet. Cause yah, I’m a dad who cares.

DeWalt the sander of choice

One extra step I took was to soften the edges of each piece, which was done quickly by just rounding the sander over each edge (almost as if the wood was being shaped), working my way up from bottom to top.

Now that the cutting and sanding were finished, it was time for assembly. Each time I do this a little voice tells me that I should be painting first. I know he’s right, but … Yah, let’s just forget about that and assemble first!

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have proper clamps to successfully complete this step (or any assembly for that matter). I used to try and get by without, but now that I have them it makes a world of difference. At any rate, pull out a calculator and do the math to figure out how the steps of the ladder should be evenly spaced apart. You should end up with something resembling what is pictured below, although perhaps your flower garden won’t look as nice (thanks to my father in-law for that!).

Finished ladder for Zach's reading nook

Now if only I had painted it first…

Last step was to attach this to the bed frame that was built earlier in the week. I used #8 31/2″ screws to attach this to the frame. I screwed from the rear of the frame into the ladder – using two screws for each ladder leg).

Ladder attached to bed from of reading nook

Ladder attached to bed from of reading nook

Next up is figuring out what to do with all that space underneath the bed frame. Maybe a bookcase?


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