Primitive Ladder

by Bob Gillis




The photo above is of an early indigenous ladder displayed at the Oakland Museum in California.


I made a similar wooden ladder from a recycled 8" by 8" redwood beam.


We used a bandsaw to remove the bulk of the notches. The detail and finish work was done with a small adze. Other woods would work including sections of logs. Try to find well seasoned wood (standing dead for a long time) to reduce checking (large cracks forming in the wood - most extreme when green or freshly cut wood is used).


The finished ladder has a pleasing, sculpted look and is quite functional.



E-mail your comments to "Bob Gillis" at

PrimitiveWays Home Page

We hope the information on the PrimitiveWays website is both instructional and enjoyable. Understand that no warranty or guarantee is included. We expect adults to act responsibly and children to be supervised by a responsible adult. If you use the information on this site to create your own projects or if you try techniques described on PrimitiveWays, behave in accordance with applicable laws, and think about the sustainability of natural resources. Using tools or techniques described on PrimitiveWays can be dangerous with exposure to heavy, sharp or pointed objects, fire, stone tools and hazards present in outdoor settings. Without proper care and caution, or if done incorrectly, there is a risk of property damage, personal injury or even death. So, be advised: Anyone using any information provided on the PrimitiveWays website assumes responsibility for using proper care and caution to protect property, the life, health and safety of himself or herself and all others. He or she expressly assumes all risk of harm or damage to all persons or property proximately caused by the use of this information.

© PrimitiveWays 2013