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Franklin Chair

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Project by sbrader posted 11-17-2015 09:08 PM 944 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife is quite short and has a hard time reaching items in our wall cabinets. She has kept a cheap plastic step stool around for years so she can reach beyond the front of the bottom shelf. She fell in love with a plan for a Franklin Chair in one of my woodworking books, so we built it together.

A Franklin Chair, for anyone who doesn’t know (I didn’t until I saw it in the book) is a small chair that the front flips up to turn it into a step stool. I probably should have taken the step stool photo from the side more so you can see how it angles back. My photography skills are somewhat lacking, I’m afraid.

My wife immediately put it into the step stool configuration and put decorations on the various steps, so I don’t know if she will ever actually use it as a stool or if it will remain a decoration. Either way, she is happy so I am happy.

The chair is made from Southern Yellow Pine. The treads fit into dadoes on the sides and are glued and screwed with two inch stainless steel screws for strength. The finish is two coats of General Finishes Java Gel Stain with three coats of Satin Arm-R-Seal as a topcoat.

-- Scottie McScottie





13 comments so far

View Stonekettle's profile

Stonekettle

135 posts in 2364 days


#1 posted 11-17-2015 09:18 PM

That is darn nice work. My wife is pretty short too 5ft, I tell her she’s like a real wife, only smaller :) So we have the same problem here. Maybe I’ll give this design a go.

Also, really like that floor.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View sbrader's profile

sbrader

25 posts in 470 days


#2 posted 11-17-2015 10:07 PM

Thanks, Jim! I was in your neck of the woods a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to leave. I have tried to talk my wife into moving up towards Fairbanks for years. She’s not so keen on it. I was in Anchorage for a trade show/conference. I took an afternoon to drive up to the Eagle River Nature Center for some hiking. I also headed up to Wasilla and Willow. I’m kind of into the Iditarod, so I wanted to see some things associated with that.

We are hoping to get back up there (maybe as early as March to see the start of the Iditarod). I’m convinced that my wife will fall in love with the area as much as I did.

-- Scottie McScottie

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

1342 posts in 1743 days


#3 posted 11-18-2015 04:38 AM

Never knew what the name of this chair was, made several for gifts. This your design is like the ones I have made, laminated sides I think. Had wanted to see a side view. Very nice job.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View RalphCompton's profile

RalphCompton

80 posts in 2109 days


#4 posted 11-18-2015 04:41 AM

Very good idea! My wife needs one also. Sure would like to see some additional photos.

View sbrader's profile

sbrader

25 posts in 470 days


#5 posted 11-18-2015 02:45 PM



Never knew what the name of this chair was, made several for gifts. This your design is like the ones I have made, laminated sides I think. Had wanted to see a side view. Very nice job.

- bushmaster


Very good idea! My wife needs one also. Sure would like to see some additional photos.

- RalphCompton

Thanks! I’ll work on getting some additional photos. Hopefully, they will turn out a bit better than the others.

-- Scottie McScottie

View Babieca's profile

Babieca

120 posts in 964 days


#6 posted 11-18-2015 03:00 PM

Looks great!

This one is definitely on my to do list. My mom is under 5’ and can’t reach anything in our cabinets when she comes to visit.

I always have trouble finishing pine. Did you use a wood conditioner or is the Java just dark enough to hide some of the blotchiness you can get with pine?

View sbrader's profile

sbrader

25 posts in 470 days


#7 posted 11-18-2015 03:07 PM



Looks great!
Did you use a wood conditioner or is the Java just dark enough to hide some of the blotchiness you can get with pine?

- Babieca

Thanks! The Java hid much of the blotchiness. I usually spray a 1-1/2# cut of dewaxed shellac before staining, but my wife preferred the look of this without it, so it’s just the stain right over the bare wood. The gel stain is almost like painting the wood. Applying it according to the directions resulted in a very dark finish that hid most of the grain. I applied it a bit differently to get the look she wanted. I really rubbed the finish in as I applied it and immediately wiped over it again with shop towels to remove any excess. This approach worked well to get the look she was hoping for.

-- Scottie McScottie

View Woodtodust's profile

Woodtodust

35 posts in 1297 days


#8 posted 11-18-2015 03:11 PM

Hi Scottie,
The chair/ladder came out great. What woodworking book did you use for the plans? I’d like to build one of these for my daughter-in-law. She asked for “some kind of stool” and I think this would be perfect.

Thanks,
Bill…

-- Bill...Richmond Hill, GA--"83% of all statistics are made up."

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

385 posts in 2073 days


#9 posted 11-18-2015 03:20 PM

Great work, thanks for posting.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View sbrader's profile

sbrader

25 posts in 470 days


#10 posted 11-18-2015 03:21 PM

The base for the plan came from Popular Woodworking Traditional Country Furniture book. I made a few minor modifications, but it is pretty close.

-- Scottie McScottie

View oltexasboy1's profile

oltexasboy1

240 posts in 1164 days


#11 posted 11-18-2015 05:07 PM

The chair looks good, I just bought the book , what “minor mods” did you make ?

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

View sbrader's profile

sbrader

25 posts in 470 days


#12 posted 11-18-2015 08:29 PM



what “minor mods” did you make ?

- oltexasboy1

My wife didn’t particularly like the shape of the sides so she reshaped them. I also extended the seat a little from their plan to give a more space when it is flipped up to the ladder configuration. I will try to get some pictures from the side when I get home this evening to help show the design better.

-- Scottie McScottie

View sbrader's profile

sbrader

25 posts in 470 days


#13 posted 11-19-2015 01:14 PM

A couple more photos. Thanks for all the good feedback!

-- Scottie McScottie

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