DIY Scaffolding

Nearly every update I’ve done recently has been focused on my apartment build-out project, so I took a break from building walls to build some scaffolding!…with which to build walls… I’m terrible at taking breaks.

diy-scaffolding-03 Although I’d purchased most of this lumber for a dining table project (stay tuned). I knew I would need first as scaffolding. There are 4x4s for posts, 2x10s for the platform, and 2×4 for bracing. The white 2×6 pieces are actually salvaged wood from the demolition in day 2 of our initial framing (I’ll have scrap lumber for many projects to come!)

diy-scaffolding-10 I got started by laying out the platform of 2x10s, and used this to determine the spacing for the posts, which I placed on either side. I made a frame with the posts and the 2x6s leaving one side of the 2×6 hanging off the back. This would allow the scaffolding to be pushed up close to the working area. I realized very quickly that since this was a temporary construction, I could be more loose with the tolerances (not to say that I got sloppy, just less stressed about making it all look good;)

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I also realized that I was going to want some serious cross bracing. Luckily, I had some leftover metal shelf rails. To keep the structure from swaying, I needed a way to actually pull the rails tight. The perfect fastener for the job turned out to be one of the most common, the wood screw. The straight part of the shank would provide more sheer resistance than if the whole shank were threaded. More importantly the tapered screw cap would wedge into the rail as it went in, pulling the rail tightly into place.

diy-scaffolding-18After repeating those steps to build a second frame, I stood the two up next to each other. I assumed the scaffolding would at some point need to be moved, and when I addeed the platform I expected it would be heavy. To minimize damage to the floor, I taped some sections of cardboard over the bottom of the posts. I also made a habit leaving the nail heads just barely proud of the wood for easier disassembly.

The next few steps required the help of my roommate. We turned the frames towards each other and installed 2x4s as lateral ties. With the basic box now built but still very wobbly, I tried first installing some simple knee bracing. After installing the platform pieces, I climbed on top to try it out. It held my weight just fine, but wobbled way to much for me to feel secure. It needed a diagonal cross brace, so I resorted to using one of our few remaining 10 ft 2x4s. I’d been trying to conserve these for the framing, but the payoff of that brace was well worth it. As soon as I added it, the whole structure locked into rigidity. A little extra nailing to secure the platform to the frame and this scaffolding was ready!diy-scaffolding-33