Garage stairs

Ken King

Member
Messages
103
Location
Bridgton, Maine
I bought my house 4 years ago this past December and immediately told my wife that the garage is mine. Well, we all know how that worked out, but it's safe to say that the garage is mostly mine. It's 24x27, uninsulated, no ceiling and wide open. Well, it was, four years ago. It's still uninsulated, has a ceiling in part of it, but it's far from wide open these days because I have lots of tools, hobbies and clutter. Since I've lived here I've wanted to make the "upstairs" a useable area to store some of the infrequently used things, and my wife's treasures. I finally started doing that this year, but it is a pain to carry things up a ladder, and I didn't want to sacrifice space for some stairs. Last weekend I finally hit upon the solution. I made these stairs which are hinged at the top (they pivot on a pipe) and powered up and down by a small winch.
Here's a crappy little video I posted on Youtube so I could share it.
And a couple of pictures.

Today I made a catch to make sure it cannot fall on me when it's up in the rafters.
stairs1.jpgstairs2.jpgstairs safety latch.jpg
 

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,287
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
I assume there's another route out of there? I'd hate to stub my toe real hard and be stuck sitting on my butt unable to reach the disconnect.

Cool job on the stairs, really rotates them up and out of the way nicely (y)
 

Ken King

Member
Messages
103
Location
Bridgton, Maine
I assume there's another route out of there? I'd hate to stub my toe real hard and be stuck sitting on my butt unable to reach the disconnect.

Cool job on the stairs, really rotates them up and out of the way nicely (y)
The winch is remote control, and the remote goes up with me. It's actually a Harbor Freight. 2500lb atv 12 volt winch I had lying around. There's a garden tractor battery on a maintainer that powers it. In an emergency I could climb down, but I would hate to have to.
 

Leo Voisine

Member
Messages
4,050
Location
East Freeetown, Massachusetts
I like the idea of stairs but I don't like the way they are built. ALL of the weight on every one of those stairs are bearing down on nothing but unreliable nails from what I can see. It's OK for a temporary measure, but you should either make stringers OR dado the treads into the stringers. What you have there is not really safe.
 

larry merlau

Member
Messages
18,340
Location
Delton, Michigan
and the hook looks like it could slip off if got bumpped with something below. the nails or screws could be replased with a couple structal screws that would be strong on the slats or bolts ran threw them.
 

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,287
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
ALL of the weight on every one of those stairs are bearing down on nothing but unreliable nails from what I can see.
Leo what would you think about driving something like three GRK structural fasteners into each of the support pieces? Those are pretty sturdy to shear forces and wouldn't have the potential pull out issues that nails have.

. In an emergency I could climb down, but I would hate to have to
Ah I misunderstood, this is to get to the area ABOVE the shop... I was somehow thinking that the ladder was the way into the lower area not vice versa and you could get trapped in the hole. Sorry for the confusion :rolleyes: (y)
 

Ken King

Member
Messages
103
Location
Bridgton, Maine
I like the idea of stairs but I don't like the way they are built. ALL of the weight on every one of those stairs are bearing down on nothing but unreliable nails from what I can see. It's OK for a temporary measure, but you should either make stringers OR dado the treads into the stringers. What you have there is not really safe.
There isn't a single nail in the entire thing, but each of those cleats is a length of 2x4 and is held on with 5 screws, each 3" long ... and there is also 2 of the same screws in each end of the sstep to attach it to the cleat for a total of 14 screws per step. I only use nails for buildings and things I won't be climbing on.
 

Ken King

Member
Messages
103
Location
Bridgton, Maine
and the hook looks like it could slip off if got bumpped with something below. the nails or screws could be replased with a couple structal screws that would be strong on the slats or bolts ran threw them.
It would have to be a big bump... there's a washer on the outside end of the bolt that the hook sets on that the hook would have to clear...and there's another hook on the other side of the ladder as well. And the cable that pulled it up would have to be broken for the ladder to fall. I'm pretty confident that it isn't going to fall unless the garage does. <grin>
 
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