After seeing scaffolding pdf free download much a builder wanted to do the job that gravity was already doing for free I decided to tackle it myself. Although the extension was only a single story and flat roofed it was awkward in just about every way you can imagine. Due to a major quirk with the construction the flat roof was anything up to 5m or 16′ above ground level and there were actually two complete roofs – a pitched roof internally and a flat roof externally.
Normally an extension like this would be taken down largely from above by walking around on the roof taking it to bits and throwing it over the side as you work. That wasn’t going to work here though because of how badly the roof timbers had failed. I opted to very carefully take it down from inside which meant I needed a moveable tower type scaffold. The Health and Safety Executive statistics shown that nearly a quarter of workplace fatalities are caused by falls from height. If you don’t feel you can complete a project like this safely don’t even start. Home made scaffolding is right up there with home made rocket cars in the danger stakes. I’ve tried to cram everything you need to know to complete this build into this instructable but it’s a big build with a lot of things to consider.
Before I decided to build my own scaffolding tower I did some research into towers that you can buy. I love building things but I decided that if I could buy a decent tower for less than I could build one then I’d do that. Old slot together steel pipe designs. These can be picked up for next to nothing but are an accident waiting to happen. Trade quality towers that are good for light to medium construction. As you can probably imagine the price goes up with quality. DIY towers are good for what they are designed for but they aren’t sturdy or stable enough for building work.
Trade quality towers with a working height of 3. Bargains can be picked up second hand, normally on taller towers, but then you have the problem of transporting it and getting spares. Before starting any large build I like get at least a rough design put together so I know I’m heading in the right direction. As safety was a primary concern for this build I went to town and produced a detailed design to make sure everything would work together. That’s not to say that everything I designed worked perfectly. There were a few modifications as the build progressed mainly caused by the fact the final structure was quite a bit heavier than I had expected. The screenshots shown here are the final design with all modifications included.
I also put together a set of drawings which are linked below. The drawings show enough detail to build the scaffold, they are what I worked from, but they do require you to think about what you are doing. The platform was my main concern as this was the first time I’d every built a structure that spanned a reasonable opening. The working platform is built like a floor in a house and so it seems reasonable that the calculations and tables used for floors would also work for my platform. My aim was to make the platform at least this strong. These are standard construction dimensions and so the maximum span can be looked up in a table. For these dimensions the maximum span is 1.
The surface area of the platform is 1. 2 which gives a maximum safe working load of 1. 230kg assuming it’s built to the regulations. Since my designed span is significantly less than 1.