My boys recently made me this wonderful quilt ladder, and I took pictures along the way in case anyone else would like to make one. I will warn you and say that this was not a cheap project. My husband bought really nice oak boards to make it strong and beautiful.
Four 1 inch x 4 inch x 7 foot oak boards
Eight 1 inch x 3 foot oak dowels
Sixteen 2 inch screws
Drill Press with 1 inch forstner bit
Large Glue Clamps
1. Determine the how tall you want your ladder to be. I wanted my ladder to be 79 inches tall so that it would fit in a corner of my basement with a lower ceiling. For a nicer look shave off a little on one end before measuring to the height you want. Cut all four boards at desired height.
2. Determine the width you want each side to be. I wanted to have 24 inches of the rod showing, so we cut my dowels at 26 inches long. Again he cut a little off one end before measuring the 26 inches for a cleaner look. (Be sure to cut off the painted side as the end of the dowel will show.)
3. Mark the center of where you want each dowel to be on your boards. I used one of my quilting rulers to do this. My first mark was 22 inches up from the bottom, then the next three were spaced 18 inches apart.
4. With some of your scrap wood, drill a practice hole to check the fit of your dowel in the hole. We had a very nice tight fit. (You may need to borrow the scraps from one of your helpers --Panda-- who has discovered how much he likes rhythm sticks.)
5. Drill the four holes in each board. Notice there is an extra board under the nice oak board. It helps achieve a cleaner cut. (Teenage helpers --Cheetah-- are great for drilling while you hold the board in place.)
5. Carefully tap the dowels into place on one board. A scrap board will help protect the wood.
6. Carefully add another board to the other side. (Quality control --Monkey-- doesn't like the noise.)
7. Repeat for the other side of the ladder.
8. Drill holes for the screws on the back side of the ladder. You may need two drill bits. One to countersink the screw, and another to drill deep enough. Oak is a hard wood and screws can break, so this is an important step. (You helper can blow the sawdust off for you.)
9. Immediately add the screw after drilling the holes, so the boards don't shift.
10. Repeat for all sixteen screws.
11. Clamp both sides of the ladder together with the backside (showing the screws) facing out. The smooth side will be facing each other as that is what will show. Determine where you want your four hinges to go.
12. Add hinges, pre-drilling the holes for the short screws. The top and bottom hinges were four inches from the ends and the other two evenly spaced between them.
13. Stand it up to see if quality control approves. (He said it was good, and we said no climbing.)
14. Oak has a nice natural finish, or you can stain the wood and add a polyurethane coating. If you add a coating you should wait a couple weeks for it to cure before adding quilts.
15. Add quilts to the ladder. (I plan on staining it darker a little bit later.)
16. And ENJOY!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions, I will ask Mr. Quilt Kisses for you.
P.S. I will be linking up with some of the fun linky parties on my sidebar. Check them out to see what other quilters are up to.