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Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

Old 07-29-2007, 07:20 AM
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Default Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

Going to construct some 16-foot tall ladders for stands. 3' X 3' pallets will be used for the platforms. All the wood is already out on the property and steps will be 2 X 4s as will the supports and everything else.

I plan on using 1 x 2 on the face of the ladder between steps to space and support the steps. My question is whats stronger/better? Long drywall screws (square drive) or just 20p nails?

I want to get these out so the deer get used to them by arrow flinging time. They'll probobly come by and watch.
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:45 AM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

do a test take 4 1 ft sections of 2x4 and drive a nail in 1 and a screw in the other creating T shaped things then see which stands up to more damage and wear like seeing how many times hiting the T's takes to break them ext...
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

The long screws are better than nails anyday, and less likely to cause creaking, IMO
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:43 PM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

i have 3 stands i use one being a wood ladder stand, a climber, and a hang on stand with pegs. the wood ladder stand is a comfortable one with a lot of room but i find it nearly impossible to bow hunt out of because the deer are aware of it and are always watchin it. it works great for gun but for bow i would stick to a climber or hang on stand.
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Old 07-29-2007, 03:08 PM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

Better yet, get the cabinet screws instead of drywall screws. Dry wall screws really are not very hard or strong. All they need to do is hold up dry wall.

I recently got one of those sleep number mattresses and decided to build a frame for it, rather than pay 300 some bucks for a plastic platform! I basically built a waterbed type frame around it. Any way, when I was getting the screws the old man at the lumber yard told me to get cabinet screws instead, they are much stronger. They are designed to hold up a lot of weight unlike dry wall screws.

That being said I built my first two wooden ladder stands with dry wall screws and it worked just fine.

Nails may be faster and cheaper, but I doubt they are stronger. However I am sure they are strong enough. We assembled most of our blinds that are built with 2x4's and T11 siding with passload framing guns. There is NO give to these babies. The bases are 13 feet in the air and I have been in mine in 70 mile an hour winds with driving rain.

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Old 07-29-2007, 05:20 PM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

Don't forget, if it is the new salt treated yellow pine timber you are using, the salt based treatment will eat up screws and nails fast if they aren't dipped galvanized or stainless.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:10 PM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

Im not sure if you should use pallets. Our wodden stands are built out of treated lumber. They have lasted for over 6 years. They get a water treatment every year. They are still in great shape. We used 2x4's with lag screws. They are 16ft high and very sturdy with a built in seat and railing. Its not a problem to be setting and draw our bow or just raise the gun and use the old knee for a rest. On the platform we used 3in drywall screws.
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:37 PM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

Use both, thats what I do.
Screws won't pull out of the tree, but they don't have the shear strength, if you use screws everything will stay nice and tight, if you use nails they won't snap and leave you hanging; there is no reason not to use both and have the best of both worlds.
I was finishing this one up today, screws and nails:

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Old 07-29-2007, 11:54 PM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

We went a 3" drywall screw on the top and each side of each 2X4 step and a 3-1/2" galv nail on the bottoms. Each step was seperated 14" and a 2X2 was nailed in place between each 2X4 step for "sheer" reinforcement.

Just the 16-foot ladder piece was HEAVY when done. We beefed up the pallet's "header" with 2X4s and used 8-inch steel 90-degree angle brackets galv lagged to the pallet "deck" end and into the tree with (4) 3/8 X 4" galv lags.

The support braces were angled down with 4-foot 2X4 and each got a 3/8" lag. I will finish off the angle brackets to the tree witheither a 2-inch trucker's ratchet strap or steel strap down banding from my shop.

I'm telling ya this stand is in a sweet spot. It took alot longer than we anticipated today and out lag count was off which required a run to the hardware store we hadn't accounted for. But me and the nephew hit the woods with all the equipment and a cooler of ice tea and GOT ER DONE.

We have another ladder already constructed and a nother pallet set up to tie together. Final selection of a tree and install (next weekend?) is awaiting.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:33 AM
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Default RE: Wooden tree stand ladder question.....

I've built many similar stands. After tries with many different screws and nails, I have sound that decking screws work the best. They are made to stand the weather and seem to last longer in place than any other.
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