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walnut step stool

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Project by mattstott posted 01-07-2013 07:15 AM 1642 views 5 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first piece of furniture ever, so I decided to start simple with a stool. After our recent move, my wife and I realized that many of the cabinets/shelves in the new place are too high for her to reach, so a stool was made (using my new bench-shaped table!). I wanted it to be sturdy enough to kick around the kitchen floor and tip-proof (don’t need my wife falling with armfuls of plates).

Made of 2” walnut, with a maple stretcher and ebony pins. The wedges on the through tenons are also maple. Finished with watco danish oil. All hand tools used, still trying to figure out how to sneak power tools into a small apartment shop without driving my neighbors to homocide.

I learned a LOT making this- mostly what not to do, and why certain things are the way they are. I hate the “oooh, that makes sense” moments- especially when they only come to me after a project or step has been completed.

I will do lots of things different next time, and hopefully pull it off a bit better- I am not too happy with the form/shape, and the joinery leaves a LOT to be desired- all for the next project.

Matt





18 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3365 posts in 1471 days


#1 posted 01-07-2013 08:13 AM

Nice job on the stool. I like the walnut.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View redryder's profile

redryder

2160 posts in 1759 days


#2 posted 01-07-2013 11:20 AM

Well, you could offer it up to the neighbors and then make yourself a better one. Two birds with one stone.
I think it looks good….....................

-- mike...............

View alekhine's profile

alekhine

49 posts in 1216 days


#3 posted 01-07-2013 11:21 AM

This is really one nice looking stool made with an impressive piece of wood. Very well treated, keep going Matt.

-- Efe Yaparoglu ,Izmir.... Not getting what u wished is a sign that there is something better behind.

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1048 posts in 677 days


#4 posted 01-07-2013 11:25 AM

Great looking project, and beautiful work. I love the wedges on the one leg turned 45 degrees. It adds a bit of whimsy to a very stout piece of furniture.

View snowdog's profile

snowdog

1132 posts in 2640 days


#5 posted 01-07-2013 01:07 PM

Looks like a well done project. Not sure I like the maple stretcher (color) but that is more personal color preference. Maybe if there was more heart wood in the walnut it would blend better for me. But well done for sure, something to be proud of.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

88 posts in 943 days


#6 posted 01-07-2013 03:22 PM

Wow awesome stool, love the stretcher and the tenon wedges. It’s looking pretty sturdy from here, should last for years and years!

-- Chris, Long Island

View david38's profile

david38

1075 posts in 1001 days


#7 posted 01-07-2013 03:36 PM

nice looking stool

View YoungWilly's profile

YoungWilly

98 posts in 727 days


#8 posted 01-07-2013 04:00 PM

Matt, very nice stool! One question: I noticed the legs on your stool are angled outwards; how did you make the holes for passing the stretcher? I’m planning on making a very similar stool and what’s been bugging me are the angled mortise holes in the legs for the stretcher… Any advice would be VERY welcome, thanks!

-- -- Measure twice, cut once; why, did the wood grow?

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4142 posts in 1514 days


#9 posted 01-07-2013 05:06 PM

That is a great stool
It has presence

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View mattstott's profile

mattstott

4 posts in 635 days


#10 posted 01-07-2013 05:39 PM

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement everyone! This project became an exercise in problem solving- that and tenon gap filling. The weight of the stool is my biggest concern- I have not put in on a scale but it is too heavy for my liking (an elephant could dance on top of it, though).

snowdog: I had two stretchers made- one maple and one walnut. I went with the maple, but not after a LOT of back and forth. The color of the photos is not very true, but I definitely get your point.

youngWilly: The legs are angled outwards in both directions (they are “A” shaped). I used one angle for everything on this project, so I needed to set my sliding bevel one time. Both the top mortises and the leg mortises are angled cuts- and getting these correct was the hardest part of the job (well, that and getting the wedges cut and sized properly). I had a scrap piece of wood (2×2x6”) that I cut to the same angle- I then clamped this piece on top of the legs to use as a guide for chopping the mortise. I can take a photo later tonight to clarify some, but it was a really simple setup. And I need to get a couple of proper mortise chisels.

Thanks,

Matt

View YoungWilly's profile

YoungWilly

98 posts in 727 days


#11 posted 01-07-2013 07:13 PM

I think I understand what you mean by using angled scrap wood, but I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures!

Thanks,

Will

-- -- Measure twice, cut once; why, did the wood grow?

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

1261 posts in 1842 days


#12 posted 01-07-2013 07:16 PM

I really like the design and wood choices. The wedged tenons look great, though something about the non-conforming X instead of + bothers me :) . The ebony pins are a nice touch.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2346 days


#13 posted 01-07-2013 09:48 PM

Beautiful stool sample !
Is the “X” your signature ?
I think the Maple stretcher adds a lot to this piece..

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

1469 posts in 1805 days


#14 posted 01-07-2013 11:08 PM

Beautiful piece! It’s almost a shame to stand on it! Some polyurethane on the top might protect it better. Can apply right over the top of the Danish oil.

Livin’ and learnin’—that’s the key to life. Keep up the good work!

-- Dean

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10900 posts in 1348 days


#15 posted 01-08-2013 02:44 AM

I REALLY like it: a beautiful design skillfully crafted of nice woods. I personally like the contrast of the curly maple stretcher.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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