Tuesday, July 14, 2015

DIY: Step Stool

My daughter will love me for this story later in life.

You know when you are potty training young children.  You're over the hump and past the hard part.  It would be smooth sailing if it wasn't for the fact the your little one isn't tall enough to get on the big person potty all by themselves.

Your also past the point of tolerance for dumping the training potty.

Yeah, that's how this project came to be.

DIY: Step Stool

Cut List

5 Top Slats @ 11" x 1.5" x .75"
2 Side Pieces @ 11" x 8" x .75"
2 Bottom Runners @ 9.5" x .5" x .5"


Wood Glue
1/4" Dowels (Optional)

 TIPS: The following measurements may be substituted.

1.5" = 1x2's
2.5" = 1x3's
3.5" = 1x4's
5.5" = 1x6's

Use caution working with solid lumber wider than 1x6's.  Especially soft woods such as pine.  I find they show a greater propensity to warp, twist and cup.  Gluing boards side by side, otherwise known as a glue up, will offer greater stability across the project.

Step 1

I used some scrap lumber left over from the chicken coop project in order to get a couple pieces wide enough for the two sides of the stool.

After sending the glue up through my thickness planer I cut the two pieces to length on the table saw.

You can skip those steps by simply visiting your local home improvement store.  Find a nice straight piece of 1x10 and have a helpful associate cut a couple pieces for you.

Now you are ready to shape the two sides as you see fit.  Having the tools that I have in my shop allowed me to easily shape these pieces to my liking.  However, a simple coping saw will also get the job done  without much hassle.

Some light hand sanding will clean up any edges your not comfortable with.

Step 2

Round over a few edges.  (If you like.)  Again a piece of sandpaper ran over the edges will take off the harshness and depending on how long you keep going will also round over the edges.

Step 3

After cutting the bottom runners to length you can simply clamp the runners between the sides of your step stool.  Some wood glue applied to the runners ends will be sufficient.

 Step 4

Add the top slats.  Again some glue and this time you can just set something heavy on top to weigh them down.  I used my tool box.

TIP:  I used a quarter inch spacer made from scrap wood to help me maintain even spacing between the top slats.

Final Thoughts

On an earlier step stool I built I came back after the glue had dried and added some dowels to add some visual appeal.  I suppose it also adds some strength as well.

I also added a couple coats of clear satin polyurethane to seal the whole project.

The one you see me building in the video got some cabernet stain for the top slats and a couple coats of honey maple for the sides.  Again, I finished it all off with two coats of polyurethane.

If you like this project be sure to subscribe for email updates by using the form to the right.  Also be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and never miss a new project video.  I try to post new videos every week usually on Thursdays.  Check me out on Facebook and Pinterest and until then.

Happy DIY'ing.

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