My favorite tool? Our yellow baker’s scaffold because of the versatility and jobsite organization it provides. A disorganized site drives me crazy, and I have been known to show up on a jobsite and immediately start stacking tools and supplies. Our baker’s scaffold helps me satisfy this obsession.
Metaltech ScaffoldBench. Of course, we also use our yellow scaffolding when working at height, such as when we need to rough-in ceiling boxes or tape drywall. Earlier this year, when working in the high-end home of one of our frequent customers, who wanted more lighting, we needed to hide some new wiring in a soffit box about 14 feet above the floor. This was a bit out of reach from our single section of scaffold, so one of our crew members checked his Home Depot app and found a Metaltech 4-in-1 ScaffoldBench in stock at a nearby store. Although made by a different manufacturer, the Metaltech scaffold was sized to fit on our Werner scaffolding and could be broken in half to give the crew the additional height they needed.
The ScaffoldBench has a 1,100-pound capacity and can be used in the traditional 6-foot-high configuration, with the ability to be stacked up to three levels high. But what makes it different from standard scaffolding is its ability to become a miter saw station. Just flip the platform over (with the plywood facing down) to reveal rails that accommodate a set of four universal brackets (also included). These brackets fit different manufacturers’ saws and come with uprights to help support the material that’s being cut. To clear the space needed to bring long material in to your saw, simply remove the top half of the frame on the bench.
The scaffold also comes with a set of 200-pound-capacity rails that span the width of the frame, and a wire mesh platform that sits on the rails to provide another shelf. The rails are light and fold in half for easy transportation. Unfortunately, we found the mounting hooks for the wire mesh were not very sturdy, nor was it practical to cart the mesh around from job to job. So we tossed the mesh but still use the rails for a work shelf, placing long-handled items or sheet goods on it. There’s nothing wrong with our ordinary baker’s scaffold, but this Metaltech scaffold has been a good addition to our jobsites, giving us a little more height while having a couple of features the standard yellow frames don’t have. It costs $350. metaltech.co.com
Gorilla multi-position ladder. I can’t discuss working at height without mentioning my ladder of choice, a Gorilla GLMPX-22 multi-position ladder that I always have with me in my truck bed, tucked safely underneath my cap. As I’m the business owner, my job typically involves doing whatever is needed to get the job done. I may need a ladder to complete a punch list task, or look at a customer’s roof, or help the guys set a window. I like the versatility of having a single ladder that can do most of these tasks, by functioning either as a stepladder with a 13-foot reach or as an extension ladder with about a 22-foot reach. I also like that it weighs only about 40 pounds, even though it’s a type IAA ladder with a 375-pound capacity.
All of my employees have their own multi-position ladder with them on-site, and 90% of the time, that is sufficient. Working with the ladder they have with them is more efficient than having them drive back to the shop to pick up one of our specific A-frame or extension ladders. Made of aluminum, the Gorilla GLMPX-22 is slightly lighter than any of the equivalent multi-position ladders I’ve tried from other manufacturers, and it also has the most ergonomic locking handles. I’ve been using mine for the past couple of years, and it has proved to be durable and reliable. That’s why it has become my go-to ladder. It costs $250. gorillaladders.com