Shaker Style Step Stool

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Project by kenn posted 1653 days ago 3798 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a stool made from tiger maple for my son, Michael. I wanted to learn how to work the heavily figured tiger maple because I have bought a lot of it to make Michael several pieces of furniture. This project appealed to me as a good start. I followed Tommy McDonald’s plans, podcasts, Fine Woodworking article and website for the design – here’s a link and want to give him the appropriate credit. Thanks Tommy. The finish is a multi step process starting with medium brown dye stain sanded down, followed by amber dye stain sanded down and finished with early american wood stain, all were General Finished products from Woodcraft. I then put a coat of BLO on and followed with Garnetlac Shellac until I was satisfied.

The tiger maple takes sharp blades, fine cuts and patience. I’ve added a low angle #4 plane, also called a #164, and a toothed blade for my #5 plane to my arsenal to help deal with it. I did have some tear out but was able to handle it by the time I got to the end of this project. That makes this a success for me since the main purpose was learning the wood while making something useful.

I like the subtle curves on the front cleats and the overall dimensions. It has a good look and proportion to it. I think the next one I am making will have thinner pins and I’ll lower the rear cleat to 1/3 of the height instead of 1/2.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

10 comments so far

View Threeseamonsters's profile


66 posts in 2352 days

#1 posted 1653 days ago

Nice work, looks great. The dye adds a nice rustic quality to it… gives it some age.
I made this project as well, in Cherry. I keep it in the kitchen and my two children use it all the time to help out with cooking or cleaning. I love how stable it is.

-- jn

View Dusty56's profile


11638 posts in 2283 days

#2 posted 1653 days ago

You really nailed the “antique” look with your finishing routine…great project : )

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

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2040 days

#3 posted 1653 days ago

Very nice design & craftsmanship.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2268 days

#4 posted 1653 days ago

Nice looking step stool.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View bgilb's profile


20 posts in 1654 days

#5 posted 1653 days ago

My step stool looks very similar! No where near as good, but the design is exactly the same and I made it up.

View lew's profile


9937 posts in 2350 days

#6 posted 1653 days ago


Those dovetails look really great! Their contrast with the end grain really makes them the focal point of the project.


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

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 2236 days

#7 posted 1652 days ago

Your step stool turned out great.. Make sure to post some pictures on Tommy’s MLW forum, he is always happy to see other people being inspired by all his hard work. You should be proud of it..

-- Scott, Colorado

View LeChuck's profile


417 posts in 1657 days

#8 posted 1652 days ago

Very nice. Love the color on the maple.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1796 posts in 1786 days

#9 posted 1650 days ago

Great craftsmanship—-Great looking finish!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


1665 posts in 1704 days

#10 posted 1374 days ago

WOW! That’s really nice. Looks like lessons well-learned.

...what is the “207”?

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