Flip Back Step Stool

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Project by kryptix posted 11-10-2016 10:31 PM 2134 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made this flip back step stool for my girls, and they’re really enjoying it. Unfortunately my joinery was a lot gappier than I anticipated because I’m an idiot.

This started out as 2 red oak boards I got at a garage sale, and a piece of what I’m thinking is sapele or african mahogany. I planed them all flat and designed it based on scaling up something from popular woodworking, but decided that rather than dowels, I’ll make it with wedged through tenons. Since I was getting the cross braces from off cuts from ripping the side pieces for the back brace, they were a bit small to look good if I cut a traditional 1/3 size mortise so I decided to just ignore cutting shoulders and to put the whole thing through as a tenon then wedge it. Unfortunately I forgot about that when sanding and so the fit ended up leaving something to be desired. The wedges solved that but I ended up putting in a decent amount of glue and saw dust (gorilla glue to expand) to fill the gap.

Back stop was shaped by ripping off a wedge with a hand saw and then a combination of chisel and spindle sander. Its got dados chiseled out to lock into the sides of the seat. Unfortunately I assembled a week after I milled and its twisted by about 1/8th. With felt pads on my 90 year old floors though it doesn’t rock.

A shelf project convinced me I needed a drill press, so the heart cut outs here were a result of having a drill press and wanting to test out my new carbide forstner bits from grizzly.

Used cut nails with big holes drilled through the seat to secure the seat, should account for wood movement (1/4 inch holes through the top).

I played around with the finish, the back rest was treated with baking soda for a nice aged look on the quartersawn wood, but baking soda was turning scrap from the seat yellow, so I went with vinegar and steel wool on the seat. Looks like I incorporated several more species in there now :).

8 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2125 posts in 550 days

#1 posted 11-10-2016 11:22 PM

Another fine job … keep it up! Good job on the wedged through tenons … time to tackle dovetails.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View NormG's profile


5900 posts in 2906 days

#2 posted 11-11-2016 12:34 AM

Looks great, awesome colors of the woods used, I am sure they will use it often, thank you for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View majuvla's profile


11660 posts in 2770 days

#3 posted 11-11-2016 10:16 AM

Beautiful work on details and design of such common object, nice work.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2246 days

#4 posted 11-11-2016 03:19 PM

looks great

View cebfish's profile


153 posts in 2591 days

#5 posted 11-11-2016 05:42 PM

I just built one simalar to thar for my brothers grand daughter. she likes it better than most of her toys

View helluvawreck's profile


30112 posts in 2769 days

#6 posted 11-11-2016 06:05 PM

This is a very nice practical stool.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View kryptix's profile


83 posts in 494 days

#7 posted 11-11-2016 07:34 PM

Thanks everyone! Just for some additional info, it’s bigger than the popular woodworking version, 15 inches wide and deep by 10.5 high. Clear coat was a layer of pure tung oil, poly, naphtha blend and then 8 coats of wiping poly most of them hanging from the ceiling. Seat was nailed on after the second coat. Buffed it out with a car buffer and compound.

View bushmaster's profile


2696 posts in 2185 days

#8 posted 11-12-2016 01:16 PM

Great project, If you are a idiot as you say, I must say you are the most intelligent one I have heard of.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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