Folding Step Stool

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 10-19-2013 06:14 PM 6905 views 13 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was wanting to make a folding step stool to get to the top of my car top carrier to unload it in Arizona this winter. I started with design that folded sideways and then looked on the internet for other ideas. This one is copied after an Aris stool made in Italy. I only had 2 pictures of it and had to reverse engineer the mechanism.

It is made out of a piece of ash from LJ Dingle…...Thanks, Danny!!

I was a amazed at how strong it is when you get all the pins hooked to the linkage.
The frame is 1” thick and the step treads at 5/8” thick . I used steel pins with gun bluing on them for the 4 main pivots and used brass pins for the sliding support pivot and 3/8” shoulder bolts for the end pivots on the sliding support. Inside all the pivot holes are brass cartridge casings. The main pivots are 44 mag. from LJ,Hillbilly Shooter…........Thanks John , and the sliding pivots are 30-30 shells. The last shot shows the 44 Mags being pressed into the holes

The one cross dowel was turned from that ash board too and I used EEE to polish it and it got darker than the rest of the pieces that are finished with 3 coats of Formby’s Tung Oil finish. This is the first time I used Tung Oil finish and I really like it!!!

It is almost too nice to use in the stones in Arizona. I may have to make another one that I can bang around down there!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

35 comments so far

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3837 days

#1 posted 10-19-2013 06:26 PM

Nice looking stool.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10265 posts in 4193 days

#2 posted 10-19-2013 06:31 PM

COOL lil folding Step Stool…!

You can buy USED shells? :)

Cool way of getting good pivot bearings!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View kdc68's profile


2689 posts in 2417 days

#3 posted 10-19-2013 06:38 PM

pretty creative design…well done !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2433 days

#4 posted 10-19-2013 06:41 PM

That is one of the best looking stools I’ve seen—great job of reverse engineering! Also, thanks for the shout out and glad to know those .44s came in handy. I never know what you’re going to come up with next.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View stefang's profile


15936 posts in 3475 days

#5 posted 10-19-2013 06:43 PM

Great design and build Jim!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MShort's profile


1791 posts in 3559 days

#6 posted 10-19-2013 06:54 PM

Wow that is a lot of pieces to assemble. The step stool is very neat.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Handtooler's profile


1626 posts in 2273 days

#7 posted 10-19-2013 08:44 PM

Super, outstanding design engineering and assembly on your part! The use of those casings is a marvelous idea. Guess I’d have tried something like bress or copper tubing or pipe fittings. Many thanks for you sharing it with us.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View doubleDD's profile


7697 posts in 2184 days

#8 posted 10-19-2013 09:15 PM

Very nice Jim. I think I would turn that into a folding table since it looks so nice and build something ugly for the stool.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Cliff 's profile


1298 posts in 1864 days

#9 posted 10-19-2013 09:41 PM

Another Beauty Jim. I particularly like the way you have laid out all the pieces, it gives the beginner such as myself the rare chance to actually view the construction process. So many Wood Magazines have how to do projects that I can’t make head nor tail of.
Great project and a very practical and functional stool.



-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View BusterB's profile


1970 posts in 2149 days

#10 posted 10-19-2013 09:52 PM

Sweet project Jim….Impressed you were able to duplicate that from only a couple of pictures…Nice job

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21275 posts in 3246 days

#11 posted 10-19-2013 09:54 PM

Thank you all for the nice comments!This was fun to build. I first made a 3/8 scale of the mechanism with sticks and nails but I did not make the sliding support arm and so I got the length too long and had to plug some holes and change that dimension on the 4 bar linkage. I had assembled it 4 times during the build process to check things out and every time I found something that needed changing. Now I have a nice drill fixture and drawings and I’ll bet I can build one in a day.

Hi Joe, I emptied the 30-30’s at the range. But you can but just the brass like John does!!

Hi John, those 44 mags wind up with a .430” dia pin in them and the 30-30’s fit a 3/8” bolt.

Hi Cliff. I quit my subscription to Wood magazine because I design stuff my self and never work from plans. I alter a lot of things along the way to make it look good in the end.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3643 days

#12 posted 10-19-2013 09:59 PM

Another Fine Build Jim, it looks like it would come in handy for a lot of applications!

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

View Cliff 's profile


1298 posts in 1864 days

#13 posted 10-19-2013 11:03 PM

Thanks for the advise Jim. I will keep in mind your method of designing and altering along the way as I progress.



-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View tyvekboy's profile


1807 posts in 3154 days

#14 posted 10-19-2013 11:51 PM

Very cool project. I could use one of those myself. Another thing to add to my list.

Did you make any dimensioned drawings of the parts? Sure would like some so I don’t have to reverse engineer it.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View luv2learn's profile


2847 posts in 2444 days

#15 posted 10-20-2013 12:48 AM

What a great mix of materials Jim. You amaze me! The stool has a real solid look to it and that is important. Great detail and design.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

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