The free deer stand plans included here are for a ladder stand.
If you choose to build a ladder stand based upon these plans, you assume all risks during construction and use.
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16 Foot Ladder Stand
The ladder stand requires welding so you can either get a friend to weld it, weld it yourself, or pay to get it welded.
The ladder can be constructed from steel [cheaper but heavier] or aluminum [more expensive but lighter] – it is your choice. We will use the word steel for the instructions, but replace it with aluminum if that is what you choose.
The seat and footrest can be constructed from either plywood or steel/aluminum mesh – again your decision based on cost.
Welder [gloves, helmet, safety glasses]
9/16″ open ended wrenches
5/16″ open ended wrenches
2 x small G clamps
15′ x ¾” x ¾” 16 GA [gauge = 0.065 wall] steel square tubing
55′ 2″ of 1″ x 1″ x 16 GA steel square tubing [3 x 16′ lengths and a 7′ 2″ length]
4′ x 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ 16 GA [0.065 wall] steel square tubing
2 pieces of flat steel plate 6″ x 1″ by 1/8″ thick
4 x eyebolts with hex nut [9/16″ diameter and 1 – 5/8″ shaft length]
2 – short ratchet straps [adjustable up to 6′]
2 – long ratchet straps [adjustable up to 20′]
8 – 5/16″ x 2 ½” carriage bolts [if using plywood not mesh for seat/footrest]
5 – 9/16″ x 2″ nut, bolt and washer
2 – 9/16″ x 1- ½” nut, bolt and washer
Using the ¾” x ¾” square steel tubing, cut 11 sections of 1′ 4″ long each and using the angle grinder, smooth the cut ends. These are the rungs for the ladder.
Using the 1″ x 1″ square steel tubing, cut 2 sections of 16′ long and using the angle grinder, smooth the cut ends. These are the 2 side rails of the ladder. Mark one end of each length as the bottom, and then starting at the bottom end, use a tape measure and put a mark 1′ up from the bottom. Then using the tape measure put a further 10 marks on the rung at 1′ 4″ apart. That will leave 1′ 8″ between the last mark and the top end of the rail.
Using the 1- ½” x 1- ½” square steel tube cut 4 lengths of 6″.
Using the 1″ x 1″ square steel tubing, cut 4 lengths each of 2′ 4″. Mark one end of each piece as the ‘rail end’, and measure 10″ along from the rail end and place a mark.
Using the 1″ x 1″ square steel tubing, cut 2 lengths each of 1′ 7″.
Using the 1″ x 1″ square steel tubing, cut 4 lengths each of 1′ 2″.
Using the 1″ x 1″ square steel tubing, cut 2 lengths each of 2′ for bracing
Using the 1″ x 1″ square tube cut a length 2′ long.
Using the 1- ½ ” x 1- ½” square tube cut a length 2′ long
Using the two pieces of 6″ x 1″ x 1/8″ flat steel, drill a ½” hole approximately 1″ to the center from each end.
Rungs and rails
Lay the 2 rails on the ground approximately 1′ 2″ apart at both ends. Using the rungs and starting from the bottom, place the first rung on top of the rails so the top edge of the rung is lined up with the mark you placed on the rail. That means measuring from the bottom end of the rail it should be 11-1/4″ up to the bottom of the first rung [allowing ¾” for the rung before you reach the first mark at 1′]. Then continue to place the next 9 rungs at the 1′ 4″ marks so that the top of the rung is adjacent to the mark. For the last rung at the top, place the rung so that top edge is adjacent to the mark so there is 1′ 8″ between the top of the rung and the top of the ladder.
Once these are in place, use the clamps to hold them and tack weld them.
Then continue to tack the rest of the rungs until completed. Now check the measurements before final welding. The gap from the top rung to the top end of the rail should be 1′ 8″.
Now starting from the bottom end of the rails, measure up 5′ 4″ and place a mark on one rail, and then do the same on the other rail. Now using a hacksaw cut through the 2 rails on these marks. The piece from the bottom up to the first cut is Section 1.
Now using the remainder of the ladder, start at the end of the rails you have just cut, and measure a further 5′ 4″ up the 2 rails and then cut them also at this mark. This is Section 2.
The remaining piece is Section 3 which has the top of the ladder at the end.
At the top end of section 1 rails, place the 6″ cut sections of 1- ½” x 1- ½” square tube over the ends of the rails to act as a joiner for the base of Section 2 rails to fit into. Weld the 2 pieces onto the rails of Section 1 so they act as a sleeve to put the bottom of section 2 into them. Now do the same to the top end of the rails of Section 2.
Put Section 2 base into the 1- ½” x 1- ½” tube on the top ends of Section 1. Now drill a 5/8″ hole through both the joiner and the tube inside the joiner so that a bolt/nut can be inserted through the hole to hold both sections together.
Lay 2 of the 1″ x 1″ x 2′ 4″ square tube sections on a flat surface with the mark you made at 10″ from one end, on the top side so you can see it. Put the 2 sections parallel about 1′ 2″ apart at both ends. Put the 2 ends you marked as the “rail end”, so they are at the same end. On the other ends that are not marked “rail end”, place a 1″x 1″ x 1′ 2″ section between the 2 ends and weld in place.
Now get another 1′ x 1″ x 1′ 2″ section and place that between the 2 marks you made at 10″ from the rail ends. The section can be placed so that the middle of the square tube is opposite the 10″ mark. Weld in place.
Now get the remaining two 1″ x 1″ x 2′ 4″ square tube sections, two 1″ x 1″ x 1′ 2″ sections, and weld as above so that you now have two identical shapes that you can place one on top of the other and should match.
Now use the two 1′ x 1′ x 1′ 7″ sections. With the 2 sections above placed on top of each other to match, lift one of them up and place the 1″ x 1″ x 1′ 7″ section on one corner between them at the opposite end you marked “rail end”. The other section is similarly placed between the other 2 corners of the 2 welded pieces.
The seat section can now be welded to the Section 3 of the ladder. The 4 open ends of the seat frame which are marked “rail end” can be placed against the rails so that the top of the seat section is flush with the top of the 2 rails. The 4 seat ends can now be welded to the 2 rail sections.
The two 2′ x 1″ x 1″ long brace sections can now be placed on the outside of each side of the seat and rail frames, then the overhang cut off so it is flush with the rail and seat base, and then welded into place.
Take one of the 1″ x 6″ flat pieces of steel and the 1″ x 1″ x 2″ square steel and weld the steel to the middle of the flat steel forming a letter ‘T’.
Take the second piece of 1″ x 6″ flat piece of steel and the 1- ½” x 1 ½” x 2′ square steel and weld the square steel to the middle of the flat piece of steel.
Using the flat plate with the 1- ½” x 1- ½” square section welded to it, hold the flat steel plate against the bottom rung of Section 2 of the ladder. Center the plate and then using the holes drilled in the ends as a guide, drill 2 x 5/8″ holes to match through the ladder rung. Now place the 9/16″ x 1- ½” bolt through the hole and attach the nut and washer.
Now using the other piece of flat steel tube with the 1″ x 1″ tubing welded to it, insert the steel tubing into the larger steel tubing just bolted to the ladder rung of Section 2 so that one section slides into the other section. Ensure the flat plate at the end matches the flat plate bolted onto the ladder rung [ie should be horizontal to the base of the ladder so it can be placed against the tree trunk].
With one section fully inside the other, choose either the top side of the square steel or the side of the steel and drill a 5/8″ hole 1″ from the end of the open end [non-welded end] of the 1- ½” x 1- ½” square steel, so that it passes through both pieces of square steel. Now withdraw the 1″ x 1″ square steel tubing which should have a hole drilled in it near the welded end. Starting from this hole center, measure and mark every 2″ back from this hole towards the open end, and drill a 5/8″ hole through the tubing on these marks.
When completed, slide one section inside the other again and ensure the holes can accommodate a 9/16″ bolt through both sections so the sliding section can be adjusted to suit distances between 2′ and 4′ to the tree for bracing.
Attach one of the small ratchets into one hole on the flat plate on the tree trunk side of the brace. The ratchet goes around the tree and attaches back onto the hole at the other end of the flat plate so that it binds the brace to the tree.
The seat can be made from plywood or steel/aluminum mesh. If it is made from mesh or ply, you will need a piece 1′ 6″ by 1′ 2″. If it is mesh, it will be welded onto the seat frame. If it is ply, you can attach it by drilling 4 x 5/16″ holes in the frame and ply and using 4 – 5/16″ x 2 ½” carriage bolts.
The footrest can also be made from plywood or steel/aluminum mesh. You will need a piece 10″ x 1′ 2″ and cut a 1″ square piece out of each corner at the front to fit around the ladder rails. If plywood is used, it can be similarly attached using the carriage bolts as described above for the seat.
Drill 2 holes 5/8″ diameter at each end of the rung [next to rail] containing the brace. Drill the holes on the top side of the step. Insert 2 of the eyebolts and tighten.
Next drill 2 holes 5/8″ diameter on the rear seat frame vertical bars that will be up against the tree. Drill the holes on the outside face of the 2 upright bars about the middle of the bar. Insert the remaining 2 eyebolts and tighten.
The long ratchet straps attach to the eyebolts in the seat, pass around the back of the tree and attach to the opposite side of the ladder at the brace eyebolts on the rung.
The easiest way to assembly the stand, is to assemble the first 2 sections on the ground and attach these sections to the tree using the brace on the ladder rung. Then make sure the ratchet straps are attached to the back of the seat, and are hanging loosely down. Climb a few steps up the ladder and attach section 3 with the seat. While on the ground, hold one of the loose hanging ratchet straps and walk behind the tree and attach it to the opposite side of the ladder brace. Then do the same with the other loose hanging brace, and then tighten them both up. The 2 braces from the seat should pass behind the tree and then descend down to the brace on the ladder rung.
Now climb the ladder and attach the final short ratchet strap at the back of the seat around the tree and tighten.
If you wish to get some hunting blind plans, we have deer ground box plans [1 and 2 person], a deer tower box plan, and 2 types of duck hunting blind.