Ships Ladder

 
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Ships Ladder


On the current project I am doing there is a bedroom with a loft in it. It is also the access to the attic door. The plans called for a full set of stairs but these stairs were going to take a large chunk out of the room. I went to talk to the building department and they gave me the OK to install a ships ladder.

This is going to work much better in this space but I don't have experience in building them. I know the angle should be around 68 degrees and the risers have to be very large in comparison to normal stairs. I think a rise of 11 or 12 inches is required.

Does anyone have experience with these?
Any pictures?

I don't want to spend a thousands on material and many hours of labor only to find out what I built is not comfortable to walk on.

Dave
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Ships Ladder


Never built one but have used many. A stringer on each side with one in the middle. The 68 degrees sounds about right as well as stair heights. Just need to stagger each side evenly.

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Old 12-05-2009, 05:09 PM   #3
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Re: Ships Ladder


http://
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:10 PM   #4
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Re: Ships Ladder




I found this picture on line. I like the fact it has a hand rail. But I still don't have dimensions.

Gene, did you build that one you posted? Do you know what angle it was built at? Looks like it has rather large risers.

Dave
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
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Re: Ships Ladder


Yes Dave, i field built that one, there where alot of field conditions that determined the pitch, and the customer dictated the riser ht based on her comfort, Stringers are double 5/4 oak as are the steps, GMOD
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: Ships Ladder


crovello


How come your steps are so close together in that pdf? Looks like the potential for a lot of ankle banging goin on. although there's no dimension noting individual tread rise.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:59 PM   #7
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Re: Ships Ladder


I need to get some pics of these but I built a set a few years ago with 3 stingers and staggered treads.

As I remember The rise was a normal 7-8". The staggered tread allows for more room for your foot on the way down. You can face forward as you go down. They are fairly comfortable considering they didn't use much floor space at all. I want to say that they only had 4 inches of run, not sure though.

I am going to see the builder on Monday, I'll see about getting in that house and getting all the specs along with some pics.

They work really well though
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:02 AM   #8
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Re: Ships Ladder


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Originally Posted by A W Smith View Post
crovello


How come your steps are so close together in that pdf? Looks like the potential for a lot of ankle banging goin on. although there's no dimension noting individual tread rise.
That PDF is something a stair guy provided me. I think it is all wrong and that is why I am asking your opinion. I think the minimum rise needs to be 11" or more.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:16 AM   #9
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Re: Ships Ladder


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Dering View Post
I need to get some pics of these but I built a set a few years ago with 3 stingers and staggered treads.

As I remember The rise was a normal 7-8". The staggered tread allows for more room for your foot on the way down. You can face forward as you go down. They are fairly comfortable considering they didn't use much floor space at all. I want to say that they only had 4 inches of run, not sure though.

I am going to see the builder on Monday, I'll see about getting in that house and getting all the specs along with some pics.

They work really well though
thanks Gus, I am curious to see the specs on that but the architect is looking for a ships ladder that looks somewhat nautical since this house is on the ocean and the owners are into sailing.

I have gone through the Mass code book for hours trying to see when a non code conforming staircase is allowed and it does not seem to be black and white. It seems to be a matter of asking the inspector and hoping for the best. Is these something that is normally allowed in your area?
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:25 AM   #10
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Re: Ships Ladder


This link has some demensions, thought these are osha demensions not building code demensions.
http://www.scaffolds.us/products/ste...ps_ladder.html

Here is another picture with some.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:33 PM   #11
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Re: Ships Ladder


I was able to get in that house today. My good camera needed a battery charge so you'll have to deal with the phone pics, sorry.

This set has a total run of about 60" and a rise of about 106".

The owner says they are so comfortable going up and down this that he often does it with his arms full, hands free. He says you are better off doing with your eyes closed so your mind doesn't play tricks on you. He would recomend this for anyone up to the age of 65 or more as his parents are that old and have no trouble.

Needless to say he is a big fan

Ships ladder-1.jpeg

Ships ladder-2.jpeg

Ships ladder-3.jpeg
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:12 PM   #12
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Re: Ships Ladder


I guess you'd have to be right footed on the way up and left footed on the way down.

Looks good but seems a little odd with the staggered treads,but I see your reasoning.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:20 PM   #13
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Re: Ships Ladder


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Dering View Post
I was able to get in that house today. My good camera needed a battery charge so you'll have to deal with the phone pics, sorry.

This set has a total run of about 60" and a rise of about 106".

The owner says they are so comfortable going up and down this that he often does it with his arms full, hands free. He says you are better off doing with your eyes closed so your mind doesn't play tricks on you. He would recomend this for anyone up to the age of 65 or more as his parents are that old and have no trouble.

Needless to say he is a big fan

Attachment 26101

Attachment 26102

Attachment 26103
very cool, GMOD
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #14
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Re: Ships Ladder


while doing a google image search for both, loft ladder, and loft stair, i came across this interesting version. instead of three stringers, they just cut away lefts and rights of alternating steps.

http://www.countryplans.com/alt_stai...ter%5B1%5D.jpg

here's a scary looking one which comes up as the first result for loft ladder, instead of three or two stringers it has,, one, in alternating step design.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ol-i...dimsladder.jpg


what I did notice was almost all result examples had riser heights far exceeding your pdf example from your "stair guy"
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:07 AM   #15
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Re: Ships Ladder


[quote=Gus Dering;824438]I was able to get in that house today. My good camera needed a battery charge so you'll have to deal with the phone pics, sorry.

This set has a total run of about 60" and a rise of about 106".

The owner says they are so comfortable going up and down this that he often does it with his arms full, hands free. He says you are better off doing with your eyes closed so your mind doesn't play tricks on you. He would recomend this for anyone up to the age of 65 or more as his parents are that old and have no trouble.

Needless to say he is a big fan

I like that you don't have to go down facing the stiars. That is the one thing I don't like about the other type of ships ladder. With your hands on the rail and facing the ladder you will never be able to carry anything.

Thanks for posting. I will approach the architect with this idea. When I first saw this type I did not like them but they are growing on me.

Dave

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