Introduction

building a step stool
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Age Range: 7 and up

For kids who live in a grown-up world, reaching things isn't always a matter of stretching their hands up—sometimes they need a boost to get to adult level. This light but very sturdy step stool is a perfect way to help little ones think big, whether they need to wash their hands, put away games and toys, or get to their favorite book. The same antiskid tape used on ladders and stairs adorns the top and makes it safe to use. Plus, its checkerboard design puts the "fun" in functional—the stool can be used for checkers or chess when work is done. Set aside just a few hours for this project and you'll have a step stool of your very own in no time flat. It's so easy (and handy to have around) you may want to make one for every room in the house.

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    Tools List

    • 100-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • framing square
      Framing square or ruler
    • bar clamp
      Bar clamps
    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 3/32- and ¼-inch drill bits
    • random orbit sander
      Random-orbit sander or sanding block
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • paintbrush
      2-inch paintbrush
    • utility scissors
      Utility scissors

    Shopping List

    1. 3-foot piece of 1x12 oak or maple

    2. 1-inch finish screws

    3. 60-grit sandpaper

    4. 120-grit sandpaper

    5. Stainable wood glue 6. Stainable wood putty

    7. Water-based stain or latex paint

    8. Nonskid tape

    9. Nail-on furniture glides