Screwing a temporary ramp into wooden steps. Update: now with pictures. :Now Solved!

NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
edited March 2018 in Help / Advice Forum
So my wife has a broken leg and we need a ramp for our apartment. I can get a collapsible ramp because we only have two steps, but it needs to be screwed in on the top step with two screws as the steps are wooden. I've got approval from the landlord. I don't know how to choose what screws to use, although I do have a power drill which should help. The landlord said I need to fill in the holes after my wife's leg is healed and the ramp is removed. What do I use to plug the holes with?

I hope this is simple. I'm so far out of my element with this kind of thing. I'm heavily intimidated by it.

I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Nobeard wrote: »
    So my wife has a broken leg and we need a ramp for our apartment. I can get a collapsible ramp because we only have two steps, but it needs to be screwed in on the top step with two screws as the steps are wooden. I've got approval from the landlord. I don't know how to choose what screws to use, although I do have a power drill which should help. The landlord said I need to fill in the holes after my wife's leg is healed and the ramp is removed. What do I use to plug the holes with?

    I hope this is simple. I'm so far out of my element with this kind of thing. I'm heavily intimidated by it.

    Did the ramp come with screws?

    Can you take pictures?

    If it's wood you can usually just get some wood hole filler and sandpaper and call it a day when you need to take them out.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    ElvenshaeFiendishrabbit
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    I think you'd want to use mounting screws, these tend to have a rounded off head on the top side as opposed to wood screws which are designed to be drilled down to be flush with the surface. You may need some washers if the holes on the ramp are bigger than the heads on your screws.

    To repair the holes, get a small dowel rod (just a little smaller than the screw holes), coat the end in wood glue and slide it into the holes. Cut it off as close to the porch as you can then sand it flush once the glue has dried.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    Maguano
  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    edited February 2018
    What, precisely, is wood hole filler? What would I ask for at, say, Home Depot? I think I know what a dowel rid is. Is it like those things I would use when assembling something from IKEA?

    EDIT: I just googled wood filler, and it seems incredibly simple.

    Nobeard on
    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Also, you'll probably want to pre-drill the holes in the wood. Most screws will make it directly into wood with enough force, but it can cause your wood to split.

    You want to find a drill bit that's the about the size of the shank (ie, don't include the width of the screw threads) of the screws your using, or maybe a bit smaller. I just eyeball it holding the bit up to the screw, you don't need to bust out the calipers or anything.

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  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    Today, I have learned a new meaning for the word "shank".

    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
    AiouaBouwsTAbdhyiusBolthorn
  • ThroThro [email protected] Registered User regular
    Would you be able to give a guess as to how thick the wood you'd be drilling into is? Also, does the weight of the ramp sit on the steps or does it hover over them?

    I'm only asking because two screws on my steps wouldn't work at all unless I put them in a stud, since my top step is my porch, and my porch is basically wood flooring. You're fine if you're drilling into a solid chunk of wood.

    When you buy wood putty, get the kind that's paint-able or stain-able, so it can be made o look like the rest of the steps easier.

    bowen
  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    edited February 2018
    I have not actually seen the ramp. The ramp has a lip on it that allows two screws to be put in place at the top of the stairs. This may all be a moot point because the HMA (consisting of a man and his wife) is kinda being difficult. We are getting the ramp from a non-profit and they need exact wording in the letter of approval to avoid liability. I'll find out Monday if we get the ramp or not and I need to jump through some more hoops.

    Nobeard on
    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Nobeard wrote: »
    What, precisely, is wood hole filler? What would I ask for at, say, Home Depot? I think I know what a dowel rid is. Is it like those things I would use when assembling something from IKEA?

    EDIT: I just googled wood filler, and it seems incredibly simple.

    Wood filler is a putty that you use to fill holes in wood. It's available in pretty much every DIY warehouse (like for example Home Depot, and Wood filler is what you ask for).

    If it's a tiny hole or painted wood you can pretty much just fill the hole with wood filler, let it try, sandpaper off the excess and there you go.
    If it's oiled wood then you should find a wooden plug that closely matches the grain of the wood used, put some wood filler in the hole and press the plug into it, let it dry and then sand it off and slap on another layer of oil.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    The top step is a solid piece of painted wood. I don't know if I will be required to paint the wood putty or something. If I am, I'm even more clueless there.

    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Nobeard wrote: »
    The top step is a solid piece of painted wood. I don't know if I will be required to paint the wood putty or something. If I am, I'm even more clueless there.

    You just...repaint the staircase. You ask the landlord where he got his paint (if he wants the exact same colour), then you buy a bucket of that paint for outdoor/indoor use (depends on where the staircase is). Then you clean the staircase carefully, and use a brush to apply a new coat of paint.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    bowenmRahmaniElvenshaeAbdhyius
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Hell unless you are drilling big honking screws in any green that is close to the color will match fine. Just rub some dirt on it

    camo_sig.png
  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Got a 10 foot collapsible ramp. These pics show what I am working with. The top lip of the ramp will not go even with the top stair due to the curb of the parking lot. I don't know what to do here. The gap in the lip is almost an inch, about 2mm, the hole is about 1mm.
    y1fnfnqsyx0m.jpg
    kr3dtka0thfa.jpg
    ei6csuqogp3c.jpg
    [\spoiler]

    Nobeard on
    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    as long as you go slow, that should probably be fine. that thing looks pretty heavy duty

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Nobeard wrote: »
    Got a 10 foot collapsible ramp. These pics show what I am working with. The top lip of the ramp will not go even with the top stair due to the curb of the parking lot. I don't know what to do here. The gap in the lip is almost an inch, about 2mm, the hole is about 1mm.
    y1fnfnqsyx0m.jpg
    kr3dtka0thfa.jpg
    ei6csuqogp3c.jpg
    [\spoiler]

    You can always go for a ramp extender, A small lag through bolt could be used to hold it to the wood.

  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    The thing I can't figure out is if I should put the screws in at an angle or straight down.

    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    That is suboptimal because that ramp is designed for slightly higher stairs. I'd brace the stairs on the ground instead if at all possible. Nothing you do with the top half will be great.

    Maybe put the screws in just to stabilize it.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    It's heavy as hell, and the weight of a person holds it in place. We did a test run with my brother in law in the wheelchair, no problem. I think screws would be a mistake at this point.

    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
    XaquinFiendishrabbit
  • BouwsTBouwsT Wanna come to a super soft birthday party? Registered User regular
    Nobeard wrote: »
    It's heavy as hell, and the weight of a person holds it in place. We did a test run with my brother in law in the wheelchair, no problem. I think screws would be a mistake at this point.

    Agreed, especially as a temporary concern. If you're worried about it walking away (theft) just bring it out as needed, but screwing the thing to your deck is just causing you more headaches than the effort is worth.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Depending on the width of it, cinder blocks or sandbags on the ground to keep it from wiggling or sliding away from the step would be better than screws. You could try some clamps from Home Depot at an angle on the outer edge of the top as well.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    or a couple pieces of rebar/rod hammered into the ground on both sides. I think if anything side to side movement will be the problem.

    if you are handy you could put a piece of wood cut to an appropriate angle underneath the top bit to fill the gap, but its probably not worth the effort

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  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    Are there any holes at the bottom of the ramp? Perhaps look into hook tent stakes.

    Izuela.png
  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    I've been tinkering with similar things - making a concert venue wheelchair accessible - and this looks a lot like the same kind of design we've got for our ramps that we move about as needed. They're meant to work well with just being placed down without any extra fastening.

    How does the other end look, the one in the ground? Is it just sitting on the shingle? If you could brace that end against something, I'd call it properly over-engineered and rock solid. But since it's 10 feet long, I doubt that would be necessary. As you said, you've tried it.

    The benefits of screwing it into place would be that it won't wander, though. As in, laid like that, I'd roll a piano up it no problem. But it could happen that one day it's wandered backwards and the lip slips off.

    ftOqU21.png
  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    The other end has small flexible plates so they can be flush with the ground. They are sitting on the asphalt of the parking lot. My situation is terrible for installing a ramp.

    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    If you can say for certain that the person for who the ramp is for will almost never be alone, I'd just have somebody up top with a foot on the edge to make sure it doesn't slide around.

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  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    We have successfully used the ramp for my wife to go to the doctor. No nails or drilling required. Hardware took it like a champ.

    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
    davidsdurionsGrobianLord Palingtondispatch.oL Ron HowardBouwsTBolthorn
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