Ladder Modification?

I have a very awkward project location above the ceiling
joists (and gas pipe and electrical conduit) in my
garage. I don't get to move the location.
It would be very convenient if I could extend and
assemble my aluminum extension ladder (in place)
to a telescoping third leg for use as an 'agricultural'
ladder.
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That way, I could climb over all the obstructions
without disturbing anything. Note that there is not
enough clearance to use a step ladder in this awful
location and there is no safe place to rest the top
of an extension ladder.
My Google-Fu has failed to uncover a good answer.
This is as close as I have come:
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It looks promising but there is not enough information
for me to understand what this product does. I assume it
is only an accessory to their brand of ladder.
How would you solve this problem?
--Winston
(I want to clean up the hole I cut in the ceiling.
It's the right size and works great but it is not
super nice looking. I have the fan mounted in
anticipation of rain and I really don't
want to take it apart to access from the roof.)
Reply to
Winston
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Have you investigated these articulated ladders that can fold and latch in at least three places in the legs? I don't know the name or brand, but the guy who installed our latest over-the-air internet antenna used one and it looked pretty strong.
Paul
Reply to
Paul Drahn
The top of the ladder wants to be about 12' in the air. I suspect that would require an articulated ladder specified in the 28' region. Nearest I can find is this 26' unit. It is really nice but far more than I want to pay for a 'single use' tool:
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I guess what I would like to see is an adapter that bolts on to the top rung of my extension ladder using a yoke that adapts a piece of 2" conduit as a third leg. Perhaps aircraft cables from the bottom of the leg to the legs of the ladder for stability.
I could lean the (nearly) retracted ladder against a ceiling joist, climb it and fix the 3rd leg adapter over the top of the joist, clip the cables to the bottom of the ladder, then extend the ladder to working height.
What could possibly go wrong? :)
Thanks
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
I can't help your issue, but this is a standard orchard ladder. I have six of them in three different heights. I guess three leg ladders are too expensive for the public, you don't see them in the big box stores. But they are WAY better on uneven ground and far more portable.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Do you have enough of a footprint directly under the spot to use one of the small telescopic lifts? You could rent one for the weekend for less than the copay for the ER visit...
Reply to
Pete C.
If your WalletFu were strong, you could.
I've used these and they're just like step ladders with the exception that their far leg is single/narrower.
What do you have to do overhead? Can you toss a sheet of ply up there, brace the joists, and stand there while you do your work?
I'd move the crap on the floor and use a ladder. Got machine skates, dollies, and a hand truck?
FINALLY, he shares the reason for his need.
-- A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world. -- John Locke
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Theater lighting electricians (Gaffer, Best Boy) had A-frame based extension ladders.
Could you work off rented scaffolding?
I have extensible feet on my ladder to use it on slopes. The plaque warns not to extend both at once, and I tie the top end to trees and vehicles to keep it from falling sideways if the foot fails.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Howzbout the plywood on top of the ceiling joists with a stepladder on top of that, if you need the extra height? Rope it down as necessary for safety. I have 4', 6', and 8' stepladders and would use the one with the best fit. Stabilizing the joists can be as simple as wedging (or nailing on) a couple of studs below the center joist you'll be standing on.
Is that the same as "Hey, hold my beer and WATCH THIS!"?
-- A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world. -- John Locke
Reply to
Larry Jaques
They're also much better at encroaching into a tree's canopy. I borrowed one from my girlfriend when picking my apples, back when I had both.
-- A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world. -- John Locke
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I dunno, so you'd better set up a bunch of camcorders. ;-)
Have Fun! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise
In case you haven't solved this yet...
You might be able to lean the extension ladder against the ceiling joist and then lash that part of the ladder to the joist. Now pull one of your vehicles up to the bottom of the ladder, just butting the bumper up against it. That should keep the bottom from sliding out. Possibly lash the ladder to the bumper too, keep it from moving side-to-side. Pocket the keys to vehicle.
If you can't line up a vehicle to hold the bottom... Bolt the bottom to one of the pallets you recently procured and then load the pallet down, paving bricks ;-) , sand bags, heavy friend Bubba...
Slide the top portion up into position and have at it. The top should be okay without any support albeit a bit unnerving for those afraid of heights.
I'd come help you with it (sounds better than repairing, painting our garage) but it would be one heck of a drive.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
I hadn't thought of that. Thanks!
I would need a Bubba that was significantly more massive than yours truly. (The mind boggles.)
After looking at the ladder, I'm not left with the 'warm fuzzies'.
Here's why: When my extension ladder is used 'conventionally', constrained at the ends by Earth at the bottom and House at the top, the force of my Mass near the top is (at worst case) distributed among:
1) The latches at the top of the bottom section
2) The bottom of the top rails bearing against a few rungs of the bottom section
OTOH, Constrained against Bubba's mass x coefficient of friction at the bottom and the Joist near the bottom of the top section, my Mass is only distributed among:
1) About 2 sq. inches of 0.063" thick aluminum at the bottom of the top section bearing against about 2 sq. inches of 0.063" thick aluminum near the top of the bottom section.
2) The latches at the top of the bottom section
My admittedly creative 'minds eye' sees the ladder "unzipping" from the bottom of the top section as I do a face plant on the far side of the joist. Me no like!
That would border on the 'impractical', I agree. :) Esp. since it would mean I'd have to drive back to help with repairing and painting your garage!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
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Rent one.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
After I sent my "idea" it occurred to me you might have a wood extension ladder which wouldn't work very well for what I had in mind. I was thinking of the type 1A or 1 fiberglass or aluminum models that use an interlocking track the full length. Like this:
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You still should be able to make this work though, unless you can borrow a better suited model from a neighbor, relative...
Do what I said before (lash to joist and vehicle at bottom) then extend the top fly section to desired position. Then take some rope and tie the two sections together at the bottom of the top section. Keep tying until you feel comfortable that the two sections aren't going anywhere...
I'm pretty fit yet for a late middle age old fart, so doing things like that doesn't bother me a great deal. Of course I know people who wouldn't dream of trying anything like that, even when they were young and supple ;-)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
The pity is that I have a nice ag ladder that would work really well. It won't fit in the garage, though. :)
That lever arm still bugs me greatly. My ~300 lbs. dangling in space is gonna put some real torque on whatever tiny overlap there is, in a direction the ladder was never designed to handle. Short of full-length welds to hold the sections together, I don't see a way to keep the ladder in one piece through the operation.
Wayell, I was never fit, even as a young'un. I've been on the roof several times using my agricultural ladder to do my fan installation and that doesn't bother me at all.
I suspect that the quickest, safest, cheapest answer is just to jump back on the roof, remove the weather cap, impeller, motor and support frame on my fan and just tidy up the round opening underneath using some sanding cylinders. Reassemble everything and Bob's My Uncle.
Thanks for your thoughts on this Leon. I appreciate it.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
What would *I* do? 1. I'd stop looking at it. 2. I'd forget about it.
Tain't worth all the risk you're facing. How about just hiding it? Maybe put some lights on the bottom of the ceiling joists so you can't see above? Art
Reply to
Artemus
(...)
Yup. I believe that you are right.
The new hole I cut is actually more attractive than the random off-center trapezoid placed by the roofers, so I should stop stressing and move on to more important things. I thought about placing a grille but I didn't want to take the efficiency hit.
Thanks for your thoughts on this, Art.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
One last idea, take some pictures of your garage in the area you need to get at and post them some place that we can all look at them. If nothing else you should get lots of amusing suggestions. Some might even be doable ;-)
I weigh ~170 lbs (6ft 2in tall), maybe why I'm a bit more daring. I sympathize with your limitations in this area... I still think though that if the ladder is within its spec range lapping wise you should be okay. You could take some rope and basically make a whip stitch up both legs:
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Use a good rubber strap to tension the slack in the stitching. This would be pretty solid for a temporary setup.
If the ladder has to be extended that far above the ceiling joist though, I would think you would have room to lay a sheet of plywood on top of the ceiling joist and work off that platform with another step ladder or something (I think Larry mentioned this).
Well... think I've beat this one to death, unless you post some pictures or something :)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Apologies to all while I continue to lash the deceased equine.
(One man's 'daring' is another man's...) :)
Thank you Leon. :)
Nup. Ain't gonna do it.
I don't want my last thought to be "I *knew* it was dangerous"! Bending a fully extended ladder backwards is probably going to result in the failure of that ladder. The rope and rubber strap will only keep the pieces together so that the coroner can arrive at a conclusion (after he stops laughing). :)
The top of the 2 x's host the gas pipe and electrical conduit. Those're the things I don't want to disturb.
As Artie mentioned yesterday, the gain ain't worth the pain. I have many other (high priority) "honey-do's" on the list so I'm going to do them instead. :)
Thank you for your thoughts.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston

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