Making a Small Step Ladder

In 1862, John Basely invented the first stepladder by putting a hinge at the top of two ladders so that they could be folded and easily stored. Born in Pennsylvania, Basely was a master carpenter and inventor, receiving the first US patent issued for a safety stepladder. Ladders had of course been used for millennia prior to his invention, but the changes Basely made to the design were hugely important, including the addition of hinges and using flat steps instead of rungs for safety. As you can imagine, he went on to become a very wealthy man.

This article will not make you wealthy, but it will give you a lift in life and an insight into the mechanics of making a stepladder.

I have at least 4 different stepladders ranging in height from 1-2m. Often when reaching heights for a project, a few extra centimetres make all the difference in reaching those hard to reach areas.   

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This article first appeared in The GMC Group publication Woodwork Craft 2018