Kids Step Stool

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Forum topic by thrax posted 03-31-2013 03:38 PM 1096 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View thrax's profile


10 posts in 2544 days

03-31-2013 03:38 PM

I wanted to build my son a step stool and my wife really liked this one that she saw on a web site.

I decided to just buy the plan so I would have the shape of the turtle rather than draw it myself. However, I don’t really like the joinery they use for either of the steps. For the small step they are screwing a cleat in for the step to rest on and for the top step they are simply screwing the top down into the sides.

I want to limit any mechanical fasteners. My first idea for the small step was to use a mortise and tenon. This is all 3/4” lumber so the mortise would be about 1/2” deep and 1/2” thick. Would this been strong enough for a step or should I so something else?

I am not really sure what would be best for joining the top step to the sides. I thought possible a mortise and here as well, but it would be really close to the edge of the step and really long. The only other thing I could think of is dowels. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

5 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2351 days

#1 posted 03-31-2013 04:54 PM

Wedged dowels would be one solution.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2836 days

#2 posted 04-01-2013 12:39 AM

I built something just like it and used dowels for both the top and step. Wish I’d seen this though, would have copied the paint job.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1954 days

#3 posted 04-01-2013 04:25 AM

I agree with Rev. Russ. Dowels and glue. Simple, fast, strong.

View thrax's profile


10 posts in 2544 days

#4 posted 04-02-2013 12:16 PM

I think I will use dowels to attach the top. Would mortise and tenon be viable for attaching the small step to the turtle head? The mortise would only be around 1/2” deep and 1/2” thick by 3” wide.

View Craftsman70's profile


244 posts in 2125 days

#5 posted 04-02-2013 01:00 PM

When I built a step stool for my daughter I just used glue and an shot brad nails since it was going to be painted. Its held up fine.

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