A T-Chisel Shaker Step Stool

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Project by SwedishIron posted 12-19-2008 04:34 AM 11939 views 20 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I received my new Fine Woodworking Magazine today in the mail and noticed Tommy’s (a.k.a. tchisel) article about building his Shaker step stool. Over the summer I had the opportunity to built the same project from the plans he has available and posted on his site. I noticed that he recently posted the same plans on Lumberjocks. Hopefully a few of you Lumberjocks will give the project a go and build it. I took me around 20 hours total, and that includes using mostly hand tools for the entire build.

Front View of the Step Stool

The step stool uses contrasting walnut and hard maple and is finished with two coats of Natural Danish Oil and three coats of blonde shellac. In between each finishing step I sanded over the surfaces w/ 0000 Steel Wool and 600 grit W/D sandpaper. The maple turned out to be a crazy grained curly/blistered hard maple with a light sprinkling of birdseyes.

Front View of the Step Stool

I deviated from the original plans a little bit since I cut the back cleat a 1/2” short of the proper length. I modified the design and joinery to incorporate a 1/2 blind dovetail instead of a through dovetail to attach the cleat. I’m happy with the way it turned out.

Front View of the Step Stool

Front View of the Step Stool

-- Scott, Colorado

17 comments so far

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 3390 days

#1 posted 12-19-2008 04:43 AM

Gorgeous! Nice work!

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View Gary's profile


1222 posts in 3901 days

#2 posted 12-19-2008 04:48 AM

Absolutely Beautiful!

-- Gary, Florida

View lew's profile


11502 posts in 3332 days

#3 posted 12-19-2008 05:57 AM

If a Shaker could get jealous, he certainly would after seeing this!

Fantastic Job!!

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

View David's profile


1970 posts in 3716 days

#4 posted 12-19-2008 06:34 AM

Scott -

Awesome! I love the wood selection and those crisp dovetails.



View Douglas Krueger's profile

Douglas Krueger

396 posts in 3300 days

#5 posted 12-19-2008 07:55 AM

A functional beauty, nice work.

-- I can so I wood but why are my learning curves always circles

View kenn's profile


810 posts in 3297 days

#6 posted 12-19-2008 08:31 AM

SWEEEEET! What a great job.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View CharlieM1958's profile


16258 posts in 3795 days

#7 posted 12-19-2008 03:43 PM

Beautiful piece of woodworking!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3462 days

#8 posted 12-19-2008 06:02 PM

Very, very, very nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Hutch's profile


138 posts in 3474 days

#9 posted 12-19-2008 09:57 PM

That’s a great looking stool!

-- We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give - Winston Churchill

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3373 days

#10 posted 12-19-2008 10:34 PM

I love the look of walnut and maple together. Great job.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Dusty56's profile


11807 posts in 3265 days

#11 posted 12-20-2008 12:33 AM

This is certainly a gorgeous piece but I could never use it as a stool : ) Happy Holidays !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 3305 days

#12 posted 12-20-2008 06:25 PM

Great looking stool.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View sharad's profile


1109 posts in 3381 days

#13 posted 12-20-2008 07:41 PM

A very good step stool with perfect dovetail joinery. Just one doubt. Is it not likely to topple when you stand on top unless it is kept against a wall? I may be wrong. Pl correct me if it is so.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View woodyone's profile


231 posts in 3168 days

#14 posted 12-20-2008 11:49 PM

Wow, very nice, Well done.


-- Woody, UK

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 3218 days

#15 posted 12-21-2008 12:33 AM

Thank you for your kind words. The project was really fun and I’m glad that I was able to put to good use the special maple board I had been hoarding for years.

The picture was taken with the stool positioned merely for the lighting, it was away from where it would actually be used. As with most step tools, it is top heavy and would most likely tip over if it were not used against a cabinet or wall. :)

-- Scott, Colorado

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