Puzzle Step Stool

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Project by rooster posted 1569 days ago 1313 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Happy 1st birthday to my little one! I built this puzzle stool as a gift for her. I used white oak with a natural finish and a shellac topcoat. I was unsure about what to use for dye on the letters. The wood dye seemed expensive, so I used food coloring. Then I used shellac as a topcoat for the letters as well.

I used the spray can of Zinsser shellac. It didn’t turn out bad, but it’s not great. The finish was more rough than I expected. When I tried to used 400 grit sandpaper to smooth it out, it just shaved off all the shellac and I had to repeat. Overall, I’m happy with it. Most important is that the wee one seems to like it!

5 comments so far

View swirt's profile


1937 posts in 1599 days

#1 posted 1568 days ago

Very nice looking design. I don’t see any fasteners, what did you use for joinery.

The food colored letters are pretty bright. It’ll be interesting to see how the color will hold up over the years.

-- Galootish log blog,

View rooster's profile


115 posts in 2564 days

#2 posted 1568 days ago


You are correct, there aren’t any fasteners. The stretcher is mortise/tenon. The top is attached to the base with dowels. I am a bit concerned with the top moving with humidity changes. I am also interested in seeing how the food coloring holds up. Hoping the shellac will keep it color safe, but if not…..rust-o-leum spray paint!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2401 days

#3 posted 1568 days ago

Very nicely done. You did a great job on it. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View workerinwood's profile


2708 posts in 1694 days

#4 posted 1566 days ago

I like it, nice design – good job!!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Lotidus's profile


110 posts in 1300 days

#5 posted 1200 days ago

Hope you dont mind I am going to steal part of your design. It looks awsome.

-- Lotidus

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