Step 5: Make the base rung.

assembling the base rung
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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Thread together the seven pieces of the base rung. Stand it on your work surface and compare its width to that of the stretcher rung—they should be the same. Spin the T fitting on one end and then the other, a full rotation at a time, until both fittings line up with those of the stretcher rung, as shown. Repeating this for each stage will give you a straight ladder.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      measuring tape
    • hand clamps
      clamps
    • straightedge guide
      straightedge
    • Painter's Tape
      painter's tape
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • random orbit sander
      random-orbit sander with 100-, 120-, and 180-grit discs
    • drill
      drill/driver
    • Lag-screw driver bit
      driver bit
    • belt
      belt
    • Rafter Square
      rafter square
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      -inch bit with countersink
    • combination square
      combination square

    Shopping List

    Butcher-block countertop.
    Get one 25-by-96-inch piece IKEA.
    (Note: The size of the gas pipe has been corrected from the print edition.)

    ½-inch iron threaded pipe.
    Get one 36-incher, six 18-inchers, two 12-inchers, four 6-inchers, six 5-inchers, two 4½-inchers, and six 2-inchers.

    ½-inch iron threaded pipe elbows. Get two.

    ½-inch iron threaded pipe flanges. Get eight.

    ½-inch iron threaded pipe tees. Get 14.

    1x10 oak board. Get one 8-footer.

    Wood glue

    1-inch No. 10 flat-head wood screws for securing the flanges and shelf boards casters. Get four.

    1-inch No. 10 pan-head wood screws for securing the casters

    Beeswax

    Mineral oil