DIY Garden 2 Stepper

You often need a step up in the garden to prune a tree, reach that lemon that would otherwise be just out of reach. The problem is that if you are on a small stepladder, the individual steps and the top step are narrow and unless you hang on to something, you could overbalance.

This handy 2-step/platform, made from offcuts from previous projects is simple, sturdy, and the top step is more of a platform – 450mm wide by 330mm front to back – and that means you have a lot of space on which to place both feet, and with room to spare position them about 300mm apart for better balance, and get your hands on that lemon without the danger of overbalancing. The top step is more of a platform than an actual step.

Caution: Even though this step/working platform is very stable, never try to over-reach; always move the unit to as close as possible directly under where you wish to work.
Note: If you are going to adapt the size of the top platform, err on the side of bigger really is better. The aim is to give your feet as much space as possible and hence give you as much stability as possible.

*Materials:
Treated timber: 22×69 – three lengths of 1800mm; 45x75mm purlins – offcuts totalling 2640mm. (Using the purlins is a bit of overkill as 22×69 will provide adequate strength, but I wanted to use them up.) To fix the joins, we used a total of eighty-two 40mm decking screws. These are highly corrosion-resistant and as the timber used is treated, this 2-step can live outdoors for ages.
*Adapt the measurements accordingly if you decide to make the step a different size.

Method:

  1. Apart from the ends of the slats for the step and the top platform, which are all 90°, the legs and struts are cut at an angle of 10°. This spreads the legs out, placing the top step/platform back from the front legs, which means you won’t overbalance forward. Here the legs are being cut; the main legs (4) are each 500mm, and the step legs (2) are each 250mm long.
    Garden Step 2 Step 1
  2. Cutting the two top struts from 22x69mm timber – each 290mm long along the top edge and 310mm long at the base (see illustration) and two bottom struts, each 570mm top edge and 590mm bottom edge.
    Garden Step 2 Step 2
  3. Having attached the top of the legs to the top strut, we attached the main strut to the legs at a height of 250mm, using five 40mm decking screws to secure the join, as shown here.
    Garden Step 2 Step 2
  4. The best way to make this 2-step/platform is to assemble one set of legs and then use them as the template for the second set. That will ensure they are identical. Then it is simply a case of attaching the two sets together by means of the two 22x69x450mm step slats, the four platform slats, and last the two 450mm cross-braces, the one attached to the step legs also serving to make the lower step just a little deeper – only by 22mm, but it helps. The four slats for the top platform are spaced about 16mm apart, to provide a total width of 450mm and total depth of 330mm
    Garden Step 2 Step 2
  5. Here you can see the two lower step slats (space 22mm apart and 22mm from the rear legs, and the front cross-brace, flush with the top edge of the step.
    Garden Step 2 Step 2
  6. A view of the front cross-brace; the front and rear cross-braces ensure that the whole unit is stable laterally. Total dimensions are: Width – 450mm; height – 510mm; total length, front to back – 670mm.
    Garden Step 2 Step 2
  7. In use to reach the top of a rainwater-storage tank.
    Garden Step 2 Step 2
  8. In use prior to doing a bit of pruning and tree-trimming.
    Garden Step 2 Step 8

Garden Step 2 Step illi

Panel:
These materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to the Mica store locator, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.

Project guide
TIME: 1 day
COST: R100 –R150
Skill: 2
Assistant: No

Tools required:
Jigsaw, drill, cordless screwdriver