Step Stool

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Project by DragonLady posted 01-01-2011 03:50 AM 2726 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Small project, but learned a lot of things.

For some reason or another, I often find myself sitting on the floor of my shop. Which is in the basement, and sitting on cold, sawdusty concrete is not my idea of a good time. So I made this step stool to sit on. At 7 1/2 inches high, it should still get me low enough to work on floor level stuff, yet keep my bum from becoming flat and cold :)

I’m still VERY new, so this only my 4th major project or so.

First time doing these things:
1. Cutting out shapes on my bandsaw
2. using my 4×36 belt/disc sander
3. using a roundover bit
4. counterboring and plugging screw holes
5. using any type of clear finish, which was wipe on poly in this case

Things I learned:
1. the bandsaw is awesome, see my icon :)
2. Stack-sawing parts is also awesome
3. how to change the belt on the sander (I bought it used, no manual, and no longer supported by WMH for online manuals)
4. I tend to go too slow on the router table. I got better results using the roundover bit when I moved the pieces around faster.
5. I’m not a fan of finishing…takes too long, and I don’t really like sanding all that much.
6. Need to be more careful when I’m counterboring holes, see the last pic. Only a couple of my plugs came out really nice and smooth.
7. Remember to put ALL the notes on the pattern. I remembered at the last minute to put the bevel on the top of the legs, but forgot the bottom. Have marked the pattern part for future reference.

Got the pattern/plan here. Except that I didn’t do pocket holes, I screwed from the top.

The third coat of wipe-on poly is drying right now, and I don’t think I really like it. But it’s just shop furniture, so it will do. I do like the shape of the step stool, though. I think it’s rather cute.

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

12 comments so far

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2734 days

#1 posted 01-01-2011 04:12 AM

Nice work, your well on your way to woodworking heaven.
I don’t think anyone likes sanding.
And pine, or any soft wood, is easy to get tear out when trying to cut plugs.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 2817 days

#2 posted 01-01-2011 06:34 AM

Wow I really like the grain look nice work!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 3981 days

#3 posted 01-01-2011 08:05 AM

It is a cute design!
keep it up!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10877 posts in 3018 days

#4 posted 01-01-2011 02:01 PM

ceep up the work D.Lady
the best thing about the stool is how much you have learned
and ceep it ,you will treasure the stool in the future many years from now :-)

take care

View helluvawreck's profile


30112 posts in 2770 days

#5 posted 01-01-2011 03:09 PM

D.Lady I think that you did a great job on that stool and I’m glad that you learned a lot. I hope that this project fires up your spirit even more because everything that you do will generally teach you something new.

-- 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 workerinwood's profile


2716 posts in 2971 days

#6 posted 01-01-2011 05:07 PM

Nice work!! We learn with every project. What’s next?

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2742 days

#7 posted 01-01-2011 05:26 PM


-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Verna's profile


202 posts in 2677 days

#8 posted 01-01-2011 05:31 PM

I second rivergirls’: YOU GO GIRL!!!!

It looks great, it’s functional, you learned—it was a great day in the workshop!!

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

View rimfire7891's profile


123 posts in 2806 days

#9 posted 01-02-2011 03:45 AM

Hi DL,

Like the design. Just the right height for someone to reach the top cupboards when necessary.
The tie underneath the top would be better with grain running the other way. The tie is in tension so the grain should run run with the direction of the force when you put weight on the top. If the top bends, how you have it now, the tie will most likely split.

Keep up the good work.
Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2921 days

#10 posted 01-02-2011 04:45 AM

I remember a similar stool as a child that my dad made for us kids, however he put a slot in the middle of the stool to make it easy to pick up and carry to next place. Just a tip for future ideas. You did fine for only a few projects, a few more and you will be a pro! Just keep doing better each time. You say you don’t like sanding? Well change your thinking and accept that it goes with the territory if you don’t want splinters in your butt! :-)

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 2910 days

#11 posted 01-02-2011 08:09 PM

Thank you all for the kind words. Sat on it yesterday, and I think it will be just perfect! Plus, it’s just the right height to get me up to a comfortable level when changing the tension on my bandsaw. Short person + bandsaw with riser= trouble

Rimfire, thanks for pointing that out. You are entirely correct that the grain should run the other way for strength, and it’s something that I didn’t even think about when I was laying out the pieces. I just put the pattern down on the wood the way it would fit. Need to start thinking like a woodworker!! :)

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View jack1's profile


2099 posts in 3931 days

#12 posted 01-02-2011 09:51 PM

Nice. Looks real sturdy too. I don’t think it’ll split.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

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