Rose Inlaid Toddler Step

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Project by Patrick Jaromin posted 07-20-2008 09:01 PM 3304 views 6 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just after our second child, Sean, was born, my parents came out for a visit. While they were here, my mother mentioned that she was planning to purchase a toddler step for my niece, Samantha. Apparently this has become something of a tradition for her. I promptly nixed that idea, insisting that I build one for her instead. 18mos. later, during another visit with my folks, I was reminded that the bench was yet to be delivered. Sigh.

The past two weekends I managed to scrape together enough hours to complete this simple bench/step. As my niece’s middle name is “Rose”, the plan was to inlay a rose into the top. I’ve done very few hand cut (see note) dovetails, so I figured I’d also take this opportunity to gain some practice. And while I’ve incorporated inlays into a number of my previous pieces, I always welcome the chance to gain some additional experience there as well. So a rather simple, blocky design was born. While it won’t likely win any design contests, I found cutting and fine tuning the dovetails very relaxing. It was also quite satisfying to assemble.

The sides are walnut, the top, is cherry. The inlaid rose petals are bloodwood and the stem is zebrawood. The finish is Watco Danish Oil, natural.

(full disclosure: by “hand cut” I mean using a bandsaw and chisels instead of a router template. If it’s good enough for David Marks... ;) )

I decided it needed a couple top coats of a tung oil-based finish. This added a medium sheen to the piece and I think improved the look dramatically. I’ve replaced the second and third pics with new ones.

(originally posted at

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

18 comments so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3338 days

#1 posted 07-20-2008 09:40 PM

Nice job. Actually a beautiful piece.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bigdogs117's profile


1864 posts in 2712 days

#2 posted 07-20-2008 10:43 PM

Great work. I really like the choice of wood.

-- Rusty

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3310 days

#3 posted 07-20-2008 11:25 PM

Nice job on the joints and the inlay. Great wood choice.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2795 days

#4 posted 07-20-2008 11:28 PM

Great table!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Betsy's profile


3156 posts in 2987 days

#5 posted 07-21-2008 12:02 AM

That’s destined to be an heirloom! Great job. I’m sure it will be cherished.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 2859 days

#6 posted 07-21-2008 12:42 AM

Very nice looking step stool. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 2814 days

#7 posted 07-21-2008 01:22 AM

The inlay looks great, it almost shouldn’t be stepped on, but the wear will add character to the stool for your niece.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Dusty56's profile


11781 posts in 2779 days

#8 posted 07-21-2008 02:38 AM

WOW !!! this looks fantastic and the rose is just fine : )

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

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 2815 days

#9 posted 07-21-2008 03:37 AM

Great job on the inlay Patrick…and also on the dovetails. Thanks for posting it.

-- Martin, Kansas

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1853 posts in 2763 days

#10 posted 07-21-2008 04:19 AM

It’s very David Marks!! Great job!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Grumpy's profile


20737 posts in 2942 days

#11 posted 07-21-2008 06:20 AM

Great job Patrick.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View EduWood's profile


57 posts in 2719 days

#12 posted 07-21-2008 10:23 AM

Very nice! I’m sure everyone agrees that it was worth the wait.

-- David, O.C., California

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

367 posts in 2924 days

#13 posted 07-21-2008 07:39 PM

I appreciate the comments.

Thanks, all!

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View benihun's profile


33 posts in 2739 days

#14 posted 07-22-2008 09:39 AM

The dovetails look awesome and the inlay is also very nice! The look of the whole piece is a pleasure for the eyes. Very good combination of woodtypes.
Thanks for sharing it!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2865 days

#15 posted 07-22-2008 10:53 AM

Hi Patrick

Exquisite detail and design as always. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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