The LOBRO2 Stepstools

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Project by lobro4 posted 11-23-2014 06:08 PM 1619 views 7 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a set of stepstools made for my brother. There is a mantra in woodworking that how the customer wants something built is not necessarily the way you would build it for yourself. Such is the case here because he wanted the stools pieced together from “whatever scraps you have around and put a clear topcoat on it.” Okay….this should be interesting I thought. So I headed to the parts pile and this is what he gets.
The first stool has uprights made from Mahogany and Sassafras. The kickers under each step are Purpleheart. The bottom step is White Oak and the top step is Walnut. The pegs are Red Oak dowel. The second stool has uprights made from Spalted Maple and Canarywood. Again, the kickers are Purpleheart. The bottom step is Sassafras and the top step is Walnut. As before, the pegs are Red Oak dowel.
The general idea for the build came from a handyman magazine he had. There are important things to consider with a build such as this. First, it must have a wide enough footprint so that it is not unstable when all the weight is on the top step. Thus, these are 16” deep and 16” wide. In addition, cutting out the bottom to create four feet is more secure that a long, flat edge. Second, stairs by convention are built with a rise of 7” to 8” so it follow that the steps here are 7” and 14” respectively. The run standard run on a stairstep is 11” to 12”. Here the front edge of the top step is set back for the front edge of the bottom step about 5”. You can get away with this variance from code as the back of the bottom step is open to allow his size 14’s a place to stick out! For added strength, the kickers and bottom step are set in to 3/8” deep grooves.
All the wood is ¾’ finished thickness 4/4 stock. Sanded to 150 grit. All the exposed edges are eased with a ¼” roundover. Since all the joints has at least one component of end grain, I used liquid nails as the adhesive and doweled the joint. Finished with three coats of ArmRCoat satin with a 400 scuff sanding between coats.
Final dimensions: 16”w x 16”d x 14” h.

-- Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU!!

3 comments so far

View Silverhill's profile


101 posts in 3135 days

#1 posted 11-23-2014 07:41 PM

These could very well be the best thought out step stools I have ever seen. I may have to copy many of your features and build a set myself. They definitely look to be very stable, in addition to being attractive. Well done.

-- 1st Cor. 15:1-4

View Bobsboxes's profile


1674 posts in 4155 days

#2 posted 11-24-2014 02:48 AM

Nice looking stools, great design.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3498 days

#3 posted 01-02-2016 06:05 PM

Looks good !
Good choice making the footprint deeper than the top step. So many time I see stools made where the footprint ends in a straight line down from the back of the top step, sometimes creating an unbalance situation when someone is standing on top..

You could have easily added another lower step on the other side, that way he could have used it from either side and the footprint would have remained the same.

And I DOUBT anyone is gonna ever say “You used all scraps? EEWwwww ! “

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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