|Project by jistincase||posted 08-19-2010 01:27 AM||3498 views||7 times favorited||1 comment|
Remember that last time that you tried to reach something on the top shelf that was just our of reach? Standing on your tiptoes still wasn’t working so you started looking around for something to stand on. You don’t want to stand on your nice dining room chairs with your filth encrusted boots or shoes so you try and remember where you stashed the step ladder. You rummage through the closet and after tearing all the stuff out of the way still cannot find it. Finally you find it crammed in beside the refrigerator and as you are trying to pull it out it gouges the wall and leaves marks all over the paint.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have something that wasn’t so ugly that you had to hide it when not in use? Well Ben Franklin must have got the same argument from Mrs. Franklin in his day too so he came up with a cleaver design that would serve a dual purpose. This nicely crafted chair has the ability to turn into a step ladder when needed and look just like a nice piece of furniture when not in use so hence no need to hide it from site.
I made this from #2 pine that I carefully selected to avoid too many knots or defects that would weaken the structure of it. It is held together with just glue and screws and a piano hinge that runs the length of the seat to provide the pivot point. You could make this from just about any wood that you liked but some woods increase the weight to where it is cumbersome to carry around.
A person can vary the design a little to suit their own tastes but you must be careful not to weaken it too much in critical areas. I used a cherry gel stain to get the color that I wanted then covered it with a few coats of polyurethane.
It is a very strong design and the first time you step up on it you are a little hesitant, but it can handle probably close to 300 pounds. To make repeating the process easier for future chairs for sale I made some templates so that after roughing out the basic shape I can take the router and trim it to shape quickly to avoid a lot of sanding.
This was a very nice project to do and a very useful piece of furniture to have around.
-- If it doesn't work we will always wished it had.