A Ship Ladder for the Hot Tub

I finally got around to building a little step for the hot tub. 

It will be a year this May since the hot tub was built. Currently we are relying on this Aluminium painting ladder to get in and out of the tub, which is a very inelegant solution to say the least, never mind that this is terrible for my ladder.  
It is my personal feeling that almost all built-in deck surrounds around cedar hot tubs are hideous. For this reason, I tried to keep our deck as small as possible. (A surround is necessary for ease of getting in and out and to hold the cover when the tub is in use). So with that in mind, I wanted to keep the stair as minimal as possible.   

To that end, I thought that a step which leaned against the surround would be better than a stair which was integrated and ran up the side. I said the painting ladder was inelegant, but in truth its step height and proportions were pretty much perfect -especially for climbing out of the tub and swinging one's legs around (while seated) to step down. The ladder's low top step pretty much forces starting the decent from a seated position (which is obviously safest). I copied the height, width and angle of the aluminum ladder for my little wooden one.  

I am going to honestly report that building this thing was an exercise in frustration. I used some monster 12" pine lumber which was pretty wet and cupped. I originally thought that I'd inset the step into the rail using a router, but because there were no square and true edges to use as a reference (this girl needs a jointer and a table saw), there was no point. 

Instead I used some major screw action and some wooden brackets for additional strength. It feels pretty rock solid. 

Pine is prone to rotting; for this reason I am varnishing the shit out of it and sealing the top and bottom end grain with enamel paint. I'm going to give it like 6 coats of each. No joke. 

*I've also decided that I'm going to let the potato vine climb on that surround. I'll use some fine wire and keep it well pruned. Right now I'm waiting on the wood (which is now stained from nail bleed) to be replaced by the builder. He also built the slats too tight, they grew in the moisture and are now buckling. Derp. 

**I'll be posting some final shots in a new post once the stained wood has been replaced and I've finished vanishing and painting the step.


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