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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I could test it if I had one, but I don't, so maybe someone could save me some time and/or bruises.

I need to sand the peak of an exterior wall, trailing an extension cord. Pretend like this "A" is my roof gable, and the space between the point of the A and the horizontal line inside the A is where I need to sand. The point is 12 feet up. This is the highest and hardest part of the job.

An 8-foot ladder is the perfect distance away from the wall from the medium heights so that I can stand on the correct rung and have my arms and eyes at the right distance away from the wall. But it is just about a foot too short for my sander at the peak, as I would have to hold the sander over my head and that doesn't feel right.

So my question is: If I use a 10-foot ladder instead of the 8-foot, is the top of the 10-foot going to be farther away from the peak than the 8-foot?
If it is, then I would have to lean into the peak, and I'd rather not.

If you get my drift....

Thank you.
 

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I could test it if I had one, but I don't, so maybe someone could save me some time and/or bruises.

I need to sand the peak of an exterior wall, trailing an extension cord. Pretend like this "A" is my roof gable, and the space between the point of the A and the horizontal line inside the A is where I need to sand. The point is 12 feet up. This is the highest and hardest part of the job.

An 8-foot ladder is the perfect distance away from the wall from the medium heights so that I can stand on the correct rung and have my arms and eyes at the right distance away from the wall. But it is just about a foot too short for my sander at the peak, as I would have to hold the sander over my head and that doesn't feel right.

So my question is: If I use a 10-foot ladder instead of the 8-foot, is the top of the 10-foot going to be farther away from the peak than the 8-foot?
If it is, then I would have to lean into the peak, and I'd rather not.

If you get my drift....

Thank you.
depends on how you place the ladder, if you open it parallel it will be the same, if you open it perpendicular, then the top of the ladder will be farther away from the wall..
 

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At that height I would fold the ladder and lean it against the wall. Pushing sideways that high up is asking for trouble. A short extension ladder would be my first choice
 

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You mean an A-frame ladder, right ? When you are standing on the ladder, you will be subconsciously leaning your legs against the ladder for balance. When you are standing on the top few steps, you will feel uncomfortable, unbalanced because you have nothing to brace your body against. I know this is not your question, but doesn't that task seem better suited for an extension ladder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, A frame ladderr. The reason I liked the trial feel on the 8' stepladder is because I COULD lean my legs against the ladder for balance. The feet of the ladder (in the perpendicular position) will be up against the wall; with me square in the middle of the ladder on the steps facing the wall, seems like no place for me to fall. It seems like the extension ladder would put me too close to the wall and no place to set down my sander if I had to, whereas the top of the stepladder is flat. I have to use both hands for the sander with my eyes the right distance away.

What's the difference between a folded A frame ladder and an extension ladder?

I have a multi-position ladder that I could turn into a step-off ladder. The hinged arm would be parallel to the ground at 12 feet of the extendsion ladder (probably less than 12 feet if I set the extension ladder at the correct angle). The step-off arm is 10" and I could maybe use that to put something on if I had to.

Whichever ladder, I would have to have at least 4 rungs (counting the top of the A) to feel safe when my hands are full.
 

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There are many way to get up there and safety has to be the top concern. A lift of staging with a platform would give you a place to stand and a more comfortable place to work. I have a couple of rental places that I like to use, costs are not high and they usually have the equipment I need. Look around your house, inside and out, and decide on which ladder will be used more, Then rent some staging, or whatever they have, for the one time use.

Bud
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll be using a 5" disk sander. I need to use both hands. I would love to rent scaffold but it'd cost too much cuz I'd have to pay someone to set it up and take it down and it would take a couple of weeks with the best of weather by the time I did all the prep work and stained it. It's just those few square feet at the peak that I'd really need the scaffold for.

I already have an 8' stepladder, a 12' extension ladder, and a 16' multiposition ladder, the latter of which I could turn into a stand-off ladder at 12- feet, with that arm 10" off the wall. I'll send a picture tomorrow. The electric wire running from the pole to the house is a foot or so above the peak so I don't want my head to be too high.
 

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Your multiposition could also function as another 8' stepladder, then the twp 8' step ladders might serve as a poor mans scaffold. Just set them up a couple of feet away from the house and feed a 2x12" through the steps. It would look like a capitol "M" but separated in the middle. To avoid this being a hazardous contraption, you brace and tie this off so it won't go anywhere. Again, the trick is securing everything.

Bud
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That M just might work. I know I would have to drill holes in each end of the 2x12 and tie it to the ladders, but would I somehow need to brace the two ladders together? I guess the point is to secure each ladder to the ground.
 

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If you are good at tying knots no holes would be needed.
Left and right the assembly should be stable. It would be to and from the wall where you would add bracing. Primarily away from the wall since it will be fairly close to it. With a couple (few) of 2x4's, 8 or 10' long, you could anchor them into the ground at an angle and tie them to each ladder. At the ground level the normal anchor is to drive a vertical stake where they are anchored.

Bud
 

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I would suggest that you set that plank up on a couple of cement blocks on the ground that are roughly the same distance apart as the ladders will be. Then practice walking and standing on it. If you are not comfortable on it, you definately won't be when it is 6 ft off the ground.

I would not use anything less than a number one grade plank for it. If you lumber yard sells a proof tested or laminated scaffold plank, that would be even better.

Personally, I would rent the scaffold/staging and work off of it. When you compare the rental cost vs the costs of a bad fall, the rental is pretty cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is setting up/tearing down a one-person job? Maybe I could do it. What is the standing width on a 2-level? One foot would be like a tightrope with my hands full. A ladder won't be much better, but I could hang stuff on the arm, whereas with the scaffold, I couldn't put anything on the plank. (I paint better than I photograph).

Besides the wire above the 12-foot peak, coming out of the ground is a pump pipe (covered by bucket) and a fuel line (right) if that matters.
 

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You'll laugh when you discover how easy staging is to set up. Now, there are all sorts of staging, I have Lynn but you would want to talk to your local rental shops.

Now that I see what you are working on, your 8' ladder will probably do just fine. At the very highest point, you can improvise some braces to make you feel more comfortable, but by the time you get up there I bet you will be confident enough to just go for it.

They also make stabilizers for your extension ladder that would hold you away from the wall and add stability.

Bud
 

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Is setting up/tearing down a one-person job? Maybe I could do it. What is the standing width on a 2-level? One foot would be like a tightrope with my hands full. A ladder won't be much better, but I could hang stuff on the arm, whereas with the scaffold, I couldn't put anything on the plank. (I paint better than I photograph).

Besides the wire above the 12-foot peak, coming out of the ground is a pump pipe (covered by bucket) and a fuel line (right) if that matters.


Yes, one person could easily set up a 2 tier scaffold in just a few minutes. From a rental shop they will give you 24" wide walking decks. And they could be placed at 1 foot increments from 10 feet and down (most likely).
I just use 2 x 12 Lumber, When I get uncomfortably high I use 2 side by side.
But I agree with Bud, after seeing the pics, your ladders will be fine.
You might however invest $50 in a 1/4 sheet palm sander. This will leave one hand to hold on or stabilize your self when at the highest point. A 40 grit open grain cloth or paper should work fine to start. And then maybe finish with a 60 or 80 grit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll check out the staging. Two levels sound worthwhile but it would have to go all the way across. I do have a stabilizer bar for my extension ladder that I haven't tried yet, but I'd probably have to move that heavy thing a few times, so now I'm leaning toward staging -- pardon the pun. Thanks again.
 

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If the peak is only 12' up, then you would only need one lift of 6' staging. The 24" wide aluminum decks are great and with 2 of them on top you will feel plenty safe and you will be able to reach everything. The staging is 5' wide and 7' long.

One lift comes with 2 end pieces, 2 cross braces, and 4 feet.

Since you have a stabilizer bar I would suggest you try it. The amount od sanding you will have above what you can do from your ladders is minimal.

Bud
 
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