Amish Folding Step Stool

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Project by rmac posted 08-25-2011 08:37 AM 37599 views 78 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the 2011 version of a little step stool that I remember from the ‘50s kitchens of both of my grandmothers. I made it out of some oak from the bargain bin at the local Rockler store, and finished it with several coats of wipe-on polyurethane. I used some fancy through tenons to join the transverse stretchers to the legs, and floating tenons everywhere else.

There are a couple of drawings with basic dimensions for the stool on my blog.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

24 comments so far

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3237 days

#1 posted 08-25-2011 08:54 AM

Nice work.

-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View SafferinOz's profile


170 posts in 2873 days

#2 posted 08-25-2011 10:56 AM

As Wolf said above, really like the wood and the stool has been finely crafted.

-- Stephen, Perth Western Australia, My inspiration – the Carpenter from Nazareth!

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2496 days

#3 posted 08-25-2011 02:20 PM

A very handsome piece with crisp execution. Bravo.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Brit's profile


7376 posts in 2842 days

#4 posted 08-25-2011 02:31 PM

Wonderful step stool and excellent craftsmanship. One for my favourites. Thanks for sharing.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3501 days

#5 posted 08-25-2011 03:50 PM

Very Nicely Done Russ!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3675 days

#6 posted 08-26-2011 01:30 AM

Nice. We had one when I was a kid, but it was painted.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View RMP's profile


51 posts in 3144 days

#7 posted 08-26-2011 04:32 AM

Russ , very well done. I agree with Gene. Crisp and clean tenons, tight. Nice work.

View rmac's profile


206 posts in 3059 days

#8 posted 08-27-2011 08:22 PM

Thanks, everybody. This thing is for my shop. I hope it’s a long time before I spill paint on it.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3035 days

#9 posted 08-29-2011 02:01 AM

I really like this. Where did you get the plans?

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

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2639 days

#10 posted 08-29-2011 02:07 AM


-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View rusty2010's profile


150 posts in 2556 days

#11 posted 08-29-2011 02:13 AM

You know your good when you can post close up pics. well done

-- check, recheck then check again

View rmac's profile


206 posts in 3059 days

#12 posted 08-29-2011 04:48 AM

@rusty2010: LOL, and thanks. You also know that the other seven tenons don’t look as good as the one in the closeup!

@Cozmo35: I used these plans as a starting point to get the general idea and the overall size. Then I made my own plans in order to get rid of the dowel stretchers and make it look more like I wanted. My blog has a couple of drawings that show the basic dimensions of the stool as I built it, along with some construction hints. Please give a yell if you need more details than are in the blog.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3159 days

#13 posted 08-29-2011 05:34 AM

Nice step stool.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View helluvawreck's profile


31082 posts in 2865 days

#14 posted 08-29-2011 06:05 PM

Russ, this ladder is so nice and functional and you did a fine job on it. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2666 days

#15 posted 08-30-2011 05:23 AM

Nice job and craftsmanship Russ.
Good looking joinery, very crisp .
Full marks on all counts.


-- Kiefer

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