Franklin Chair

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Project by Bill posted 03-02-2008 09:09 PM 17410 views 35 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my latest project, a Franklin Chair. This chair is attributed to Ben Franklin, or so the legend goes. Anyway, This chair will convert from a chair to a step ladder.

This chair was made from Pine, and finished with clear shellac. It is approximately 40” tall by 18” wide by 20” deep. The chair height is 19”, which is the one thing I would change when making this chair again. I would lower it an inch or two to be a more comfortable chair.

Actually, as it is the chair is comfortable to sit in. The hinges are not that noticeable, at least if you are not setting for a long time.

While it might not fit with my decor, it does make a handy step ladder or extra chair as needed.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

17 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4015 days

#1 posted 03-02-2008 09:12 PM

Pretty cool. I am actually in the process of making one myself.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4188 days

#2 posted 03-02-2008 09:14 PM

Thanks Gary.

I added the little “spurs” on the bottom of the legs, to help keep them aligned when closed. It does seem to help. They were sticky at first, but have become more smooth with time.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#3 posted 03-02-2008 09:55 PM

Looks great Bill. Nice job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#4 posted 03-02-2008 10:23 PM

I need to find the plans for one of these. They are so cool

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4112 days

#5 posted 03-02-2008 11:19 PM

I really need to build one of these for my wife…she is constantly asking me to come in and get something down for her. She is only about 5’3”. Looks good Bill. good design.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3848 days

#6 posted 03-02-2008 11:21 PM


This is a nice job and a very practical piece of furniture.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4009 days

#7 posted 03-02-2008 11:28 PM

I like it. do you have a plan or sketchup ?

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#8 posted 03-02-2008 11:30 PM

they could use one of these at Lowe’s.
Rick and I had to run into the store for something and while he was searching for whatever it was, I stood by the safety – sunglasses display. Great display! Each style of glasses shown nicely for easy comparison. Each attached to a “zinger” as I call them, so you could try them on but they’d go back to their right spot. Each section of the display had its own mirror. Really well thought out. But, I couldn’t even see the hair on the top of my head, the mirror was “so high” and it wasn’t movable. So I don’t know what I looked like with my chosen pair on my face. Couldn’t see a thing. I guess they expect woodworkers to be well over 5’ high.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3901 days

#9 posted 03-03-2008 01:03 AM

It looks great. I have never seen one of these before I joined LJ. I want to build one for my kitchen. Can you point me to a plan?

View grovemadman's profile


556 posts in 3798 days

#10 posted 03-03-2008 04:52 AM

I bet there might be one of these in my shop soon….LOL I might use barrel hinges though, the piano hinge don’t look too comfy. Thanks for the post Bill and the pics are very clear too.

-- --Chuck

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4057 days

#11 posted 03-03-2008 09:07 AM

Excellent work – I really like it – very practicle

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View woodup's profile


145 posts in 3969 days

#12 posted 03-04-2008 03:38 AM

I’ve been looking for ideas on this converting stepping stool but I didn’t know what it was called. Great Project.

-- Michael, Fort Worth, TX. "I wood if I could!"

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4188 days

#13 posted 03-04-2008 06:20 PM

Thanks for all of the comments.

The plan I used was from “The Essential Pine Book” which is available through Amazon or the Lumberjocks store.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4092 days

#14 posted 03-04-2008 06:38 PM

That is a neat chair/ladder. Thanks for point out the book – I’ll have to check that out.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4188 days

#15 posted 03-04-2008 06:42 PM

The book also has several more projects you might enjoy building, such as an outdoor planter bench, a sofa table, and even a blanket chest. There are 12 projects in total.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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