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View Full Version : How to build steps to zipline platform?


Dargo
06-22-2010, 10:31 AM
I've slowly but steadily been working on finishing the zipline I put in and now need to consider how I'm going to build the steps going up to the launch platform. Even though it starts on a hill, the platform/deck is about 9' high. Shockingly, this project is over budget. :hammer: So, I'm not wanting to go really fancy on the steps, but I want them solid and safe.

I am going to have rails on both sides of the steps and there will be rails around the sides of the launch platform. I thought about buying a couple of treated 2X12's and cutting in the zigzag treads for the steps. However, even if I keep the steps to only 30" wide (will that be wide enough?), do I need a 3rd stringer down the middle? I'm going to have two 4X4 posts at the start, one on each side of the steps, and another couple of 4X4 treated posts about half way up, not only holding the steps, but also providing a solid mount for the side rails. I was going to use 2X10's for the stair treads.

Now when I add up my lumber and fastener list, these darn steps are going to be rather expensive. Is there a better/alternative way to make these steps? Also, what is the steepest angle I can make them without them feeling like they are too steep? I'm kind of scratching my head on the steps but I'll be needing to build them either this coming weekend or next week, so I need to figure out what I want to do. Thoughts? Ideas?

PBinWA
06-22-2010, 10:37 AM
If you build steps they are going to take up a lot of real estate. Why not just bolt a ladder to it? That's what my neighbor did and it works great.

Dargo
06-22-2010, 11:48 AM
If you build steps they are going to take up a lot of real estate. Why not just bolt a ladder to it? That's what my neighbor did and it works great.

I thought about that, but I'm going to have a wide variety of people using the zipline. Space isn't an issue. It starts on a hill on the far side of my lake and the trolley actually travels right at 345' according to my rangefinder. It's not an especially long zipline, but it seems to be longer than a lot of them installed at homes. I have a harness etc., where someone can ride it all the way across the lake and just land on terra firma. I had a 71 year old take that ride yesterday. The most difficult part by far is my ladder that is in place now. That's why I'm pretty set on building steps. I'm just not sure on exactly how yet.

PBinWA
06-22-2010, 11:54 AM
I don't know - I'd prefer the ladder as a means test. If the person can't climb a ladder then they shouldn't be using a zip line.

Do you want some old fat person having a heart attack while on your zip line?

Otherwise, I think you would be OK with two 2x12's but you may want to go for three.

jpr62902
06-22-2010, 01:19 PM
What about a pre-fabbed spiral staircase?

thcri
06-22-2010, 01:58 PM
Drive your new RV up to it. They could go up the back ladder, walk across to the front and step over to the zip line. Hell they could even sit on top of the RV and drink a beer or two before going down the line. :whistling::whistling::whistling: Ok dumb idea :yum::yum:

bczoom
06-22-2010, 02:10 PM
I'm using a tree stand as my platform.

It's been working well.

http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/attachment.php?attachmentid=37482&stc=1&d=1251051119

Erik
06-23-2010, 10:54 AM
ladder was my first thought.
30" wide should not require a center stringer, especially if you inset the stringers 6" on each side.
16' 2x12 will make for a steeper than ADA staircase, but not too bad. If you're worried about strength, glue & screw a 2x4 or 2x6 to the 2x12 so that it rests right under the notch - this will take a LOT of flex out of the stairs. (we did this with our basement stringers)
if you can set the stairs on the uphill side of the platform, it'll make your life a bit easier, too.

muleman
06-23-2010, 01:40 PM
I built my outside stairs with 3 stringers and trex boards for treads. Kids have a bad way of congregating on stairs to fun stuff and it is not that much more to add one.

bczoom
06-23-2010, 01:56 PM
I built my outside stairs with 3 stringers and trex boards for treads. Kids have a bad way of congregating on stairs to fun stuff and it is not that much more to add one.
Good point.
Not sure what direction the stairs will be on approach to the landing but you'll want to make sure that other kids aren't in the way or below the platform on launch. Ummm, we've had kids fall off right after take-off due to grip issues. Wouldn't want them landing on anything or anyone.
Also be sure that you have a way to keep your return line clear of snags.

Dargo
06-23-2010, 06:08 PM
Also be sure that you have a way to keep your return line clear of snags.

No return line with it being about 350' long. I have 2 trolleys and we just have to run them back around via 4 wheeler or by walking. I have employees in all week for re-training, so I'm not going to get to do anything until Saturday.

rico304
07-07-2010, 10:57 AM
I was going to put a zipline up from inexpensive parts.... some cable I already have, a handle to a pull down machine, and I purchased a heavy duty pulley... will the pulley work or do I need to double pulley????:unsure:

TOMLESCOEQUIP
07-22-2010, 02:44 PM
I've slowly but steadily been working on finishing the zipline I put in and now need to consider how I'm going to build the steps going up to the launch platform. Even though it starts on a hill, the platform/deck is about 9' high. Shockingly, this project is over budget. :hammer: So, I'm not wanting to go really fancy on the steps, but I want them solid and safe.

I am going to have rails on both sides of the steps and there will be rails around the sides of the launch platform. I thought about buying a couple of treated 2X12's and cutting in the zigzag treads for the steps. However, even if I keep the steps to only 30" wide (will that be wide enough?), do I need a 3rd stringer down the middle? I'm going to have two 4X4 posts at the start, one on each side of the steps, and another couple of 4X4 treated posts about half way up, not only holding the steps, but also providing a solid mount for the side rails. I was going to use 2X10's for the stair treads.

Now when I add up my lumber and fastener list, these darn steps are going to be rather expensive. Is there a better/alternative way to make these steps? Also, what is the steepest angle I can make them without them feeling like they are too steep? I'm kind of scratching my head on the steps but I'll be needing to build them either this coming weekend or next week, so I need to figure out what I want to do. Thoughts? Ideas?

Being a tractor & heavy equipment owner.......

surprised you didn't think of this............:wow: