Craftsman Step Stool

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Project by iamcliff posted 271 days ago 1546 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this little step stool for my daughter. Actually I was wanting to build a project that would let me practice mortise and tenon joints. I also wanted something to try through tenons with. This stool has 14 mortise and tenon joints with 4 of those being through tenons. I also wanted to try SketchUp out. I ended up with this little stool.

I used an old 4×4 post I had for the legs; I just cut it up on the tablesaw. The spot I cut through had this brownish red streak which ended up on all 4 legs (the dark streaks you can see in the pictures). It doesn’t look too bad. I bought a piece of scrap pine for 50 cents out of the cull lumber rack at HD for the top. All of the other parts are from a 1×4 that I got for a couple of bucks also from HD.

I used a gel stain (aged oak color). I didn’t realize how messy gel stain could get. I wish I would have prestained everything before glue-up. It was so hard to get the stain out of all of the nooks and crannies, especially since this is such a small project. I finished it with 3 coats of wipe-on poly.

I hand chopped all of the mortises with a chisel & mallet and I cut the tenons on my table saw. The through tenons were only difficult because of how soft the pine was. It was hard not to dent the edges of the mortise on the show side. I tried to lever off of my finger, but nevertheless I did dent them a little and the stain got down in those little dents. I think in a harder wood it would not have been an issue. One day I will graduate to using nice wood for my projects.

My daughter likes it:

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

16 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


4482 posts in 917 days

#1 posted 271 days ago

Very attractive stool—nicely done and obviously a big hit with your daughter.

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

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2863 posts in 1112 days

#2 posted 271 days ago

cool stool!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View iamcliff's profile


467 posts in 777 days

#3 posted 271 days ago

Thank you for the nice comments!

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View gwolfe1977's profile


224 posts in 435 days

#4 posted 271 days ago

I like it! The gel stain gave it a kinda rustic look. Nice design and good work on the mortise and tenon joints. Even cheap wood can be made into beautiful projects and I think that you just proved it. Nice job

-- Gary,Nebraska

View iamcliff's profile


467 posts in 777 days

#5 posted 271 days ago

That’s what I thought about it. It has more of a rustic/country look than I was going for. But what did I expect with some knotty pine? I was going for Stickly, but got Cracker Barrel. I might as well put a rooster figurine on top of it.

Even though the stain didn’t come out like I wanted, the construction of the piece was fun. Working with small parts like this can be challenging, but it was a good learning experience for me.

I appreciate your kind comment!

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View schroeder's profile


667 posts in 2750 days

#6 posted 270 days ago

Great! – nice job on the M&T, I like the design as well, your daughter will prolly be giving this little stool to her daughter some day! Nice job!


-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

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691 posts in 376 days

#7 posted 270 days ago

oh the stain looks fabulous cliff, stop being so humble. This stool is bad-freaking-@$$. Bravo!! Now I gotta go chop some mortises…. thanks a lot! ....

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA,

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112010 posts in 2202 days

#8 posted 270 days ago

I like it Chris a good sturdy build and a darling little daughter too.

-- Custom furniture

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1492 days

#9 posted 270 days ago

You did a fine job on that stool.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View iamcliff's profile


467 posts in 777 days

#10 posted 270 days ago

Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. I do like the thought of making things that will hopefully be around long enough to pass on to the next generation. One day when I have developed some skill I would like to make things for those who don’t have anything at all. One of the goals I had when I started woodworking was to be able to make nice furniture for those in need and give it to them at no charge. I’m quite a ways off, but that is what I’m working toward anyway.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

View AngieO's profile


1135 posts in 772 days

#11 posted 270 days ago

Nice step stool. Looks great.

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Marty Smoley

167 posts in 345 days

#12 posted 270 days ago

Love it. Looks great. I like your idea of helping less fortunate too :)

-- Marty,

View iamcliff's profile


467 posts in 777 days

#13 posted 270 days ago

Angie & Marty: thank you both for the comments.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

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4088 posts in 1629 days

#14 posted 269 days ago

You did a wonderful job and she likes it

-- Norman

View gwolfe1977's profile


224 posts in 435 days

#15 posted 269 days ago

Well as far as making furniture for the less fortunate, what’s the hold up? You have what it takes, just make it happen!!!! At your own pace of course.

-- Gary,Nebraska

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