My convertible "Nursing Stool"

  • Advertise with us
Project by skone posted 07-07-2011 03:08 PM 4147 views 7 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Let’s get this detail out of the way: A nursing stool is a dedicated footstool for use by a breastfeeding mom. It goes under the feet, pushes the knees up and shifts the babe into place. Less back, shoulder and arm stress for the mom. You could use a stack of books, yeah, but people like these and the angle is key for a person who is sitting.

Okay, then! I’m a father of two. That explains my exposure to this type of thing. There are three manufactured competitors—all made in Malaysia and China and assembly required and MDF, etc. So, I figured let’s do this right.

I went through about 6 months of prototypes. Working off MDF templates I created. I think I netted out with about 10 or 12 prototypes to get to my final design. Lumberjocks was a huge help as I tapped my fellow jocks for what to buy as my first ever router for the template routing and also what materials to go with for template making. (MDF was key as I went through a lot of it ((price!)).)

The design that I came up with is solid wood, of course. The hinged, moving parts are strictly floating dowels – no metal hinges. It has a moveable top so that it can convert into a step stool as well. The rest of the joinery is dowelled, glued butt joint, except for the top which has 3 finish screws underneath. Screw on rubber feet were also a necessity.

Cost control was tricky in that it took about 15 hours to do one stool. To widen the variety for the customer, I went with painted clear pine for the stool bases. It was also easier to route given all the curves and as you know, less expensive. The paint: non-toxic milk paint. The hardwood tops: maple, cherry or walnut with danish oil topped with beeswax.

Pics shown here include a green milk paint and cherry version that is assembled -and- a walnut version milled and ready for assembly. Also you’ll see a my prototype #1, about the right size for a breastfeeding squirrel.

I waited a while to put this post up in thinking that I wanted to have a chance to sell these stools before I dropped my design into a forum. But really, I can’t quite make these profitable. I will say though, that despite the money and time this was an enormous learning opportunity. I added a router and a drill press to my shop and learned how to handle them both. Well worth the time and money!

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

6 comments so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3291 days

#1 posted 07-07-2011 03:35 PM

Great idea, since I became a great-grandpa again less than a month ago and my grandaughter is nursing
the new addition, I am going to have to attempt to make one of these, and since she is just a little
vertically challenged the step stool part will come in handy also. Thank you for sharing, and I hope your
two children are doing great and creating many fond memories, along with all those other memories
that quickly fade when you hold them and they grin at you.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Richard's profile


297 posts in 2743 days

#2 posted 07-07-2011 04:27 PM

Looks great…
Yep… necessity is the mother of us all.

-- 'I sand, therefore, I am'. Richard. PNW.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2899 days

#3 posted 07-07-2011 04:33 PM

It’s very handsomely constructed. I like the tasteful muted milkpaint. Well done!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Skylark53's profile


2678 posts in 3266 days

#4 posted 07-07-2011 04:35 PM

Very good, practical idea and design. Adding the feature of converting to a step stool was a smart move. Whether or not it is ever something that will have broadbase appeal or become marketable, you should take great satisfaction in this job-very well done. Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2899 days

#5 posted 07-07-2011 04:39 PM

Rick mentioned “marketable”. I think it’d have a second market with secretaries/transcriptionists, who are always propping their feet up on something. Just a thought.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Bricofleur's profile


1459 posts in 3399 days

#6 posted 07-07-2011 07:16 PM

This is great. I particularly like the design. It could be very useful in the shop for long sessions sitting down at the scrollsaw. Favorited to become one of my future projects. Thanks for sharing.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics