The hickory gel stain was curing on the yet-to-be-assembled pieces of Marcia’s new quilt ladder at the end of last week’s cliff hanger episode. (Vendor and product names property of their respective owners, duh!) Here’s the rest of the story, in pictures:
The glue-up was straighforward. A dollop of glue (Titebond III) in each dowel socket, a bit of assembly, and a bunch of clamps. After thinking about it for a bit, I decided to back up the glue with a #6 x 1-5/8″ finish trim screw through the rail into the end of each dowel. Some fastening is good, more is better.
Applying the finish to a single ladder nearly 8 feet tall would have been a pain. So would have been moving this piece around. So the initial design involved two-part construction that permits the ladder to be handled in two parts. Makes finishing a lot easier, too. A clamp at the end of each rail, at the overlap point, holds the ladder sections vertical while I applied the finish to most of each section. Then rotate, and do the leftover bit, followed by rinse and repeat (with two or so hours in between each finish application) In this project, I used two coats of Minwax Water-based Oil Modified Polyurethane. It really brings the hickory gel stain to life.
The quilt ladder’s home, at least for the time being, is in the front foyer of the house. We had a couple of framed pieces on those walls, but they’re already re-homed. Details: The feet are cut at a 6 degree angle, to configure a safe leaning angle for the ladder. A couple of small rubber bumpers are affixed to each foot to prevent slide-out. And I think that the ladder looks pretty good, if a bit lonely…
Four quilts currently adorn the ladder, and Marcia professes to like her new quilt display device. She’s been after me to build her something like this for years. Finally, I found the inspiration.
The biggest single direct cost of this project were the dowels for the ladder rungs, at a bit over $20. The rails were fabricated from shop scrap. All the other costs were for materials of which I only used a little bit for this project: I either already had some around (glue, finish) or have lots left over for future projects (sealer, stain). I made one tool purchase: a 1-1/8″ forstner bit was something I previously lacked in the shop.
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Our condolences to the family and friends of Maj. John D. Gerrie, 42, of Nickerson, Kansas, who died on Jan. 16, in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, from a non-combat related incident.