Ladders which will be much exposed to the weather should be kept well painted, especially at the ends of the rungs, which are their most vulnerable points. If a ladder is so long that it cannot be housed under cover, it should be hung on spikes driven into a wall, and protected from the rain by a roof of matchboarding. Provision should be made for securing it with a chain and padlock, or in some other way, so that burglars may not find it useful.
A ladder light enough to be raised by a single person should have the foot placed agarnst the wall or other firm object, so that the ladder, when partly tilted, may not tip up. When erect it can easily be carried into the desired position.
A heavy ladder will require the assistance of a second person, who should place one foot on the bottom rung, grasp the second rung above this, and throw his weight backwards. His companion raises the other end above his head and works along under it, keeping it at arms length. As it rises, the weight of his helper has increasing effect. Should the ladder be exceptionally heavy, a rope passed down from an upper window, tied to the top rung, and hauled on, will make things much easier.
A ladder is lowered by reversing method of raising.
When a ladder tall enough to touch a gutter is put into position, care must be taken to bring it into contact gently, to avoid cracking or displacing the gutter.
The safest angle of slope for a ladder is one of 75 degrees to the horizontal. If the foot of the ladder is away from the wall, etc.. a distance equal to one quarter its length – or, if the top reaches beyond the point of support, to one quarter of the distance between the ground and that point – the angle will be approximately correct.
It is dangerous to set a ladder on ground which slopes away from it, or on uneven ground which leaves one side in the air; or on soft ground, into which the sides may sink unequally. If there is any risk of movement, the ladder should be roped. A ladder resting against a smooth gutter is more likely to shift sideways than one with its end against a brick wall.
In carrying a heavy ladder tLe person at the smaller end of it should be nearer the middle than his companion to get his fair share of the load.
For gathering apples, pears and other fruit there is nothing to beat the cherry-pickers ladder, with very widely splayed base which makes it very stable laterally. A first-class ladder of this type is very light for its height, and yet strong.
Extension ladders, in two sections, such as window-cleaners use, are very handy for use about a house, as they can be easily housed – in a garage, for instance – and are quickly raised and lengthened. Either section can be used separately for jobs requiring only a small reach. It is worth while paying a little extra to ensure the ladder being light relating to its length, which means the use of the best quality of timber.
An easily made. The following contrivance will be found useful for harrowing lawns to rid them of moss and weeds.
Procure eight 3-foot lengths of 2-inch by 2-inch wood. Nail four together, two on top of the other two, to form a 3-feet-square frame. The other four pieces are then equally spaced between the two on what will be on the underside of the harrow. Four-inch wire nails are then driven 3 inches apart through the six bars, to project 2 inches and act as teeth. A diagonal bar across the top, running from corner to corner, prevents the harrow changing its shape.
The harrow is dragged by a rope attached to one corner.