The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Ship's Ladder

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Marius, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Do any of you learned folks know where I can find a basic plan for a ship's ladder? I need to build one to access an 8'-0" tall platform.
     
  2. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I suggest searching the internet for manufacturer's of ship's ladders and ship's stairs.

    You should also check through the OSHA website. It looks like OSHA doesn't regulate them, but OSHA doesn't appear to like them either.

    (Me - I don't like them, never liked descending them.)

    (I am assuming that your question is for a production, not a permanent fixture.)

    Joe
     
  3. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Yeah, it's for a show. There just isn't enough room behind the platform for a staircase, and they only have to get up quickly, not down. I'm not a fan of them myself, but Mongo only pawn in game of life.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,561
    Likes Received:
    2,560
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    I've built many escapes using the following technique and the beauty of it is you can adjust it to fit just about any space. I don't see any reason you couldn't adjust it to use as a steep ships ladder either. Use two 2x8's as the sides of your steps. Secure the 2x8's to the back of the set and to the ground, parallel to each other. Cut 2x3 blocks and mount them on the inner edges of the 2x8's with a couple of 3" screws. These blocks are what your steps will sit on. Be careful about keeping them level to the ground, level to each other, and also about horizontal placement to evenly divide up the horizontal distance your steps are covering. Cut 2x8's to be steps... for a shallower stair I've used 2x6's in the past... I have the feeling this would work for you as well. Screw 2x8's down to the 2x3 bottom support blocks and also through the end from the outside of the main 2x8 beams with 3" screws.

    I don't see any reason this basic technique couldn't work for you with some adaptations. For a hand rail I bolt some 2x4's to the sides of it and build a rail. That isn't going to work for you. I suggest you look at mounting some schedule 40 pipe in place perhaps. You need some serious hand rail.

    Another alternative that just popped in my head would be to get yourself a 16' extension ladder, take it apart into two sections and attach it to the set so it can't move. That might be a lot safer still.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    1,133
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    What's your total platform height, and measurement from the back of the platform to the wall of the theatre. If you give me those I can draw you a ships ladder to fit. What Gaff has described is exactly what to do, it's just getting the treads level and evenly space that's the issue. Do you have a set of stair gauges for your framing square ?
     
  6. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
  7. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    The height of the platform is 8'-0", and I have about 6'-0" upstage of it to work with. And I think I have a set of stair gauges somewhere.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,561
    Likes Received:
    2,560
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    If you've got 6' you should be able to build a pretty steep but safe stairway. I just built one that's 8' high and 8' long and it's quiet comfortable to go up and down. You should be able to use 2x6 treads and actually have a stairway that is fairly normal. It would not be the greatest for going down as the treads will be very short horizontally but a fairly normal vertical step height is possible. Making it easy to go up quickly and doable if you take your time going down... not nearly as much of a ship's ladder as you think.
     
  9. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Sounds like a good idea. Thanks. :)
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    1,133
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Sorry for taking so long life is a bit crazy right now.

    EDIT:
    Why I did what I did with this design.
    I'm used to working equity, any crossover needs a minimun of 3' width. < 3'-6" in larger houses or different contracts> so the ladder or staircase cannot run right into the wall for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that it would make mounting the stairs difficult.
    Another option would be to build a standard staircase and turn it 90 degrees with a landing, if you have room for it backstage.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2008
  11. Marius

    Marius Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    You rock, thanks!
     
  12. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    1,133
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Me ? No. I Roll.....:mrgreen:
    You're very welcome, feel free to hit me up for clarifications, I did that real quick and dirty like.
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    4,424
    Likes Received:
    2,814
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Has anyone outside of Las Vegas ever heard, what in the theatre we would call an escape stair, a "get-away"?
     
  14. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,561
    Likes Received:
    2,560
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Nope. You Vegas people have to make everything a little bit snazzy don't you.

    Do "get aways" have neon on them so you can see the steps? ;)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice