Step Stool #4: Making Progress

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Blog entry by Eric posted 07-05-2008 11:56 AM 1322 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Slight Design Modification Part 4 of Step Stool series Part 5: First Hand-Cut Tenon »

For most woodworkers, especially those with the convenience and expedience of power tools, a step stool is a weekend project, if not a half-day project. For me, it’s looking like it will be a 2- or 3-weekend project, if I’m lucky. But I am really enjoying the process and continue to learn every time I approach the piece.

Today I cut the dovetails. I had already marked them last week so it was just a matter of putting saw (and chisel) to wood. I was quite pleased with how they turned out:

stool dovetails

I then started on shaping the legs. I only had it in me to do one side, since my coping saw is a real piece of junk and I don’t know if it can do any more. After cutting a squiggly line with the coping saw, I cleaned it up with my spokeshave, and here’s what I got:

stool dovetails

You can see the little arc on the bottom that I will cut out next. Then to repeat all that on the other side, and finally to do the wedged mortise and tenon for the center support.

-- Eric at

7 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 07-05-2008 12:36 PM


This is coming together pretty well. Even though this is not a complicated furniture project putting together something like this using only hand tools and skills is pretty impressive.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3696 days

#2 posted 07-05-2008 07:13 PM

Thats look real good, Eric.

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#3 posted 07-05-2008 09:16 PM

Those dovetails turned out great!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 3649 days

#4 posted 07-06-2008 03:21 AM

Nice hand cut dovetails. Looking good man.

-- Steve-o

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3791 days

#5 posted 07-06-2008 03:33 PM

great job on the dovetails! i have that same problem with my coping saw, its a piece of junk but here the spokeshaves really cleaned up that curve and it looks great! thanks for the post!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3897 days

#6 posted 07-06-2008 05:54 PM

Great job on the dovetails. You are doing nice work, keep it up.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3897 days

#7 posted 07-06-2008 06:24 PM

This is a neat project, I am glad you are blogging the process. Its great to see what you can do without power tools! It really makes the rest of us check ourselves and not take the electronics for granted. Those dovetails look great.

-- Happy woodworking!

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