Step stools

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Project by RS Woodworks posted 04-25-2011 10:16 PM 2937 views 23 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey all. Here is another little project that I completed recently. A woman I work with asked for a couple of step stools for her girls. They come in handy for brushing teeth, washing hands, helping mom in the kitchen ect. I wanted to make them unique and interesting, yet at the same time sturdy and safe. These are plenty string and sturdy, and all edges are rounded over to prevent scraping a shin in case of a slip. The top step is curved inward at the front to allow a bit more room for little legs, and also kids like to use these to sit on, so there is room for them to sit on the lower step with the upper step conforming around their back a bit.

Made of purpleheart and maple, I inlayed a 1/8” thick heart (solid purpleheart wood) into the sides of each stool. I also inlayed the girls’ names in the tops. The sides are two 6” boards glued up. The steps are solid single boards all cut from one large board I had picked up. The top step is joined with miller dowels, 3 per side, and the lower step is also doweled into the sides with hidden dowels (3 per side). They were finished with 4 coats of gloss WOP. Dimensions are approximately 12” deep, 17” wide, and 14.5” tall. I’m quite happy with them and so was my co-worker when I delivered them to her yesterday.
Thanks for looking and commenting.

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

9 comments so far

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3721 days

#1 posted 04-25-2011 11:19 PM

Well done! Great inlay and design!

-- christopheralan

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2987 days

#2 posted 04-25-2011 11:37 PM

Nice stools. Care to share your technique for the inlay?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View ChefHDAN's profile


1062 posts in 2850 days

#3 posted 04-26-2011 01:16 AM

WOW! I would love to have you describe the inlay method, they look awesome!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Geedubs's profile


143 posts in 3230 days

#4 posted 04-26-2011 05:11 AM

Agree with the above. More info on the inlay method please. Thanks!

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3252 days

#5 posted 04-26-2011 03:58 PM

Thanks for the reply’s guys. Sorry ‘bout the lack of info on the inlay techniques. It’s just regular inlay tho, nothing that special.
For the hearts, I just cut one heart out of a chunk of 8/4 purpleheart, sanded the sides, and then placed it where I wanted on the board, traced around it with a very fine pencil, then routered out the recess for it with a small router. Used a 1/4” bit for the bulk of it, then a 1/8” bit to get up to the lines. Then cut slices of the heart off on the bandsaw, and glued them in the recess.

For the names, it’s basically the same, except i used a template of the name printed off to the right size on the computer. Glued that to the purpleheart board, and carefully routed out the name with a 1/8” bit, making sure to only go about 1/16” deep. Then it’s just a matter of spreading in the wood filler, let it dry for a day, and then sand it all flush. There are many things you can use for inlay. Some people use powders like turquoise or mother of pearl, i used maple colored wood filler. But the technique for inlay is all pretty much the same.

Hope that helps!

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2987 days

#6 posted 04-26-2011 08:16 PM

Thanks for the reply. I thought that the names were a wood inlay. I now know it is wood filler. Looks great either way.
Thanks again

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3036 days

#7 posted 04-28-2011 03:11 AM

Beautiful…! I really like the inlay!!!!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View florentin's profile


65 posts in 2319 days

#8 posted 02-07-2012 06:08 AM

Added this to my favorites list.
This is one thing that is on my to-do list.

Thanks for sharing.


View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2357 days

#9 posted 02-07-2012 10:51 AM

Very nice…

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

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