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Woodworking/wooden ladder


Hello Stuart,
I have an old wooden ladder in my house, used to access a sleeping/storage platform. It has wooden rungs (oblong in cross section, no metal wire) and they are loose as the little wedges pushed in the sides of the tenon presumably have dried. Would leaving it outside in the rain for a while be likely to work?

Hi Andrew

The short answer is yes but it won't fix the problem. What will happen is that it will swell then as soon as it's back inside the joints will dry out again. The constant wetting and drying will do more harm to the wood and the ladder. What I would recommend is use a product called Veritas chair doctor glue. It would work a treat. It comes in a kit and you inject the liquid glue into the joint. The product makes the joint swell, tightening and stabilising to prevent shrinkage. I have provided a link to the product.

Usually when I do repairs involving wedges I often find that I cut slightly thicker wedges and glue them in with a PVA type glue. I hope this helps you.

Stuart Mawle


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Stuart Mawle


Now been a carpenter & joiner for the past twenty years in the UK. I can give avice / help on carpentry & joinery, health & safety, woodworking machinery, power tools and suppliers.


I have served an indentured carpentry apprenticeship with a medium sized building contractor doing a wide range of domestic and commercial work. This has included office buildings, barn conversions, building extensions and renovations. During my career, I spent over three years as a wood trades technician at a college. My job involved joinery work, wood maching and helping CITB carpentry & joinery students` pratical projects. Spent three years as a accredited NVQ assessor covering site carpentry and bench joinery. Now I teach my skills to others.

Institute of carpenters

I have city and guild qualifications in site carpentry and purpose made joinery. An indentured apprenticeship Hold the equivalent of a master craftsman status.

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