Overview

building a step stool overview image
Illustration: Carl Wiens
«»
The construction of this stool is very basic: two small wood panels slot together in an X to make the legs; a square of wood screws onto the legs to make the top. Since it will take a lot of abuse, it's best to make the stool out of a hardwood, such as oak or maple. However, hardwoods are more difficult to cut and screw together—you'll need to drill pilot holes for your screws or you risk splitting the wood. This may be a job for a parent, because drilling into the wood without breaking the bit can be a challenge.

Children age 7 and up should be able to use a random-orbit sander with a parent's guidance. Helping with measuring, painting, drawing the squares, and sticking on the antiskid tape are also great ways for kids to get involved.
Ask TOH users about Workshop Accessories

Contribute to This Story Below

    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