Lars Walen

Step Stool

This stool was a Christmas present for my sister, who complains about being short a lot. It’s made of 1 inch thick cherry, with walnut dowels.

The top is a single wide piece, but the legs are each joined up from three narrower pieces. I made sure the lighter (sapwood) edges were on the inside faces.

The hole in the top was made with a router. I made a pattern of the same size out of some 3/8” plywood, used double-sided tape to stick it to the board. Then I used a flush-trimming bit to route the slot. The advantage of doing it this was is that the pattern was thinner, so it was easier to make perfect with sandpaper and files. I can also reuse it.

Everything was just glued together with butt joints, and when that dried I drilled through both pieces and glued in dowels.

The cross-piece gives the stool most of it’s rigidity. I would be nervous about the joints I did if it weren’t for this piece keeping the sides from splaying and breaking the joints.

I finished the stool with a coat or two of Danish oil. Then I rubbed on paste wax when that was dry. I’m not sure if this is ideal, since it feels a bit slippery. But my sister hasn’t mentioned it, so it seems to be fine.

If you want to build your own, or just want to see how it goes together, download this SketchUp Model (requires SketchUp 2013 or newer, which you can download for free).

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