LumberJocks

Sitting Bench Step Stool #1: History, Templates and the Initial Leg Shaping

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by thewoodwhisperer posted 756 days ago 4965 reads 7 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Sitting Bench Step Stool series Part 2: Top, Stretcher, and Assembly »

After all of the support I received during our recent website troubles, I knew I had to come up with a special way of saying thank you. I considered sending out cards or personal emails, but I ultimately decided that the best way to show my appreciation would be to build one of the most requested projects ever: the Step Stool Sitting Bench. The reason this one gets requested so often is because it happens to be featured in our show’s introduction.

The Past
This particular stool was actually a failed prototype. The reason I consider it “failed” is because I just couldn’t produce them fast enough to sell at the desired price point. Here’s the story. When I first moved to Arizona, I needed to come up with ways to make extra money while getting my woodworking business off the ground and I decided to make a few items to sell at a local swap meet. My goal was to create something that was small, elegant, useful, well-built, batch-able, and cheap. And while I really liked the design of this little multi-purpose stool, I just couldn’t figure out a way to make them fast enough or in high enough number to justify a low price. So the prototype went to my mother-in-law who has been enjoying it for years.

The Present
Now that I get another crack at the design, I can’t wait to dive into the details. I doubt that I’ll overcome my previous issues, but I can certainly make some improvements on the original. In fact, this is another one of my classic “design on the fly” projects. I’m going to extract all the basic elements from the original, keeping the fundamental dimensions and angles. But I think we can do some additional shaping that will really make this piece stand out. So let’s embark on this design challenge together and create the coolest sitting bench…..step stool…thingie….ever!

To make this project, you’ll need to cut your materials into blanks of the following dimensions:
Top Blank – 1 3/4″T x 7″W x 16″L
Leg Blanks – 1″T x 7″W x 11 1/2″L
Stretcher Blank – 1 1/4″T x 1 3/4″W x 11 1/2″L

Note #1: The 1″ thickness of the legs is a bit of a necessary evil. We are cutting a lot of stock away so in order to have a thick enough leg when it is all said and done, the 1″ thickness is a necessity. You can use 3/4″ stock, but I don’t think it will look as good or be quite as strong.

Note #2: The curves in this project are all subjective. I can’t send you my templates so I encourage you to get some bending strips out and create your own curves. Experiment, play around, and have fun with the design process.

Get ‘Er Done!
Use a 1/2 spiral bit , router and edge guideto create the mortises in the underside of the top blank.
Cut a 15 degree bevel on one end of each leg blank to establish the top of the tenon.
Use a tenoning jig to hold workpiece at 75 degree angle and cut tenon with dado stack.
Cut the 15 degree bevel on the bottom of each leg.
Use template to mark the face curve profile on each leg and cut at the bandsaw.
Smooth the surface using a rasp, a spokeshave, a scraper or a sander.
Cut side profile of each leg leaving a 4″ long tenon at the top.
Shape leg to personal taste.
Cut the tenon shoulders with a hand saw, clean up with a chisel, and round over the tenons with a rasp.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com



15 comments so far

View Hartmann's profile

Hartmann

38 posts in 1488 days


#1 posted 756 days ago

Sorry but the video doesn’t work…..

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

601 posts in 2783 days


#2 posted 756 days ago

Seems ok on my end.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

View seriousturtle's profile

seriousturtle

93 posts in 1929 days


#3 posted 756 days ago

Video works, and I’ve been enjoying your vids for years now mark. Thanks

-- ~the turtle

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4137 posts in 1550 days


#4 posted 756 days ago

Works for me.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Enoelf's profile

Enoelf

192 posts in 862 days


#5 posted 756 days ago

Video played fine here…
Like this project! Nice stool, bench, thingie…..
Thanks for sharing.
Well done.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

253 posts in 1839 days


#6 posted 756 days ago

Marc,
Thanks for this! The video works fine, and I know 3 people who would KILL for a gift like this stool

Nicely done!

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View Alexandre's profile

Alexandre

1417 posts in 790 days


#7 posted 756 days ago

Works for me..
Like your shirt..

-- My terrible signature...

View Julian's profile

Julian

488 posts in 1289 days


#8 posted 756 days ago

Great video. I’ll have to try the angled tenon technique one day. Looking forward to the second part.
Thanks.

-- Julian

View jacob34's profile

jacob34

454 posts in 863 days


#9 posted 756 days ago

I always enjoy your videos, question though my attention was drawn to your clock in a couple of the shots does the second hand just not move or is it just me?? either way can’t wait to see the next vid.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

601 posts in 2783 days


#10 posted 756 days ago

Thanks guys. As for the clock, we’ll just have to let that be one of the world’s great mysteries. :)

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14590 posts in 2275 days


#11 posted 756 days ago

Great vid Marc!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2247 days


#12 posted 756 days ago

nice video Marc.

rasp work is tedious, I was surprised you went for so much material removal with it – touche!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View thewoodwhisperer's profile

thewoodwhisperer

601 posts in 2783 days


#13 posted 755 days ago

I actually love the rasp for work like this. I don’t find it tedious at all. In fact, the slower speed allows me to relax and think about what I’m doing before going too far. Quite enjoyable.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out http://www.TheWoodWhisperer.com

View nobuckle's profile

nobuckle

1120 posts in 1360 days


#14 posted 755 days ago

This is great little project. Thanks for posting it.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1104 posts in 2013 days


#15 posted 751 days ago

Looks like a fun small project. Thanks for posting Marc.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase