February, May 2007
A long while ago I bought a woodworking book called The Complete Book of Woodworking and found the information and projects inside to be quite interesting. I found one project in particular on page 204 called the "Two-Step Stool" which I thought would be fun to build. I picked it because it looked simple enough to try yet nice enough to actually use. I ended up building two of them. One of them was a step stool for my son to help him reach the sink to brush his teeth and wash his hands. The other I made for my Mom for Mother's Day. She has an oak kitchen so the natural oak finish worked well.
The overall dimension of the stool is 18" L x 15"H x 17"D but I imagine with some creativity it could be modified to accommodate any space. As the plans suggest I used a standard 1" thick oak stair tread as the treads on this step stool. I used a whole saw to cut out the twp ends of the large handle on top and cleaned up the handle with a jig-saw and drum sander.
The painted step stool (top) was constructed from birch plywood while the oak-stool (bottom) was constructed from red-oak plywood. I wanted to try so veneering so I needed to veneer all the exposed edges. This actually proved to be quite easy to do and the results were that it looked like solid oak. Instead of plugging screw holes and sanding them flush, I decided to use "buttons" which I think make it look a little more interesting and finished.
The sides of the stool kind of have this angled front and cut-out along the bottom for feet. They are easy enough to rough cut with a jig-saw and trim up later however I decided to make a template with another piece of scrap stock. This way I can make two identical sides. I simply rough-cut the outline with a jig-saw and then use a flush-trim router bit to clean up the edges nicely. Plus it makes it very easy to to make more of these stools very easily without having to layout the angles for each side each time.
It was a fun project and one which we use in our household everyday.