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Frame and Finish a Sleeping Loft

Cut Dadoes for the Steps

To securely attach the steps to the stringers, cut 38" deep dadoes on the inside of each stringer. Use a router, or a circular saw and a chisel.

Do not rout freehand: Clamp a guide to the stringer. Our guide was a scrap of plywood, cut at the 12° angle used in the ladder.

For an accurate 1 12" dado, put a spacer next to the guide after the first cut. Cut the other side of the dado, and then clean out the middle with the router.

Place a 1 14" spacer against the guide to make a dado that's exactly 1 12" wide (dado width - bit diameter = spacer width).

A guide allows us to cut a dado with a circular saw. Set the saw to cut 38" deep, make multiple passes, and clean the bottom with a chisel.

Although you can't dado both stringers at once, the dadoes on both stringers should meet in the middle when the stringer fronts touch as shown.

Assemble the Ladder

Starting from one end, glue and screw the ladder steps to the stringers. Check that the ladder is square as you work. Drill pilot holes about 1 12" deep before screwing. Let the glue dry.

Clamp the ladder sides tight and fasten with 3" construction screws. Small countersinks will make the screw heads less obvious.

Attach the stringers to the frame and floor with 3" screws.



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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements © 2004 by David J. Tenenbaum. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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