Scrap Wood Foot Stools

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Project by MJCD posted 09-26-2018 02:27 PM 2213 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a departure from my usual work; and is intended more as an exercise in utilizing shop-scraps. Perhaps the most expensive foot stools ever made.

I recently upgraded my shop’s main equipment, and needed a non-commission focus for the get-acquainted period with my new equipment – I upgraded to a sliding table saw (from a Delta cabinet saw) and a jointer/planer combo (in lieu of my old 6” powermatic jointer and DeWalt 735 planer). A sliding and j/p combo requires very different methods of work.

A few years ago I built foot stools for both my daughter and wife – both of the stools were deemed ‘too niece’ to use for painting and rough duty work; so, I decided that scrap plywood and waste hardwood pieces would yield functional stools – both readily available within the shop.

The two sizes are meant for different end-users: the smaller one can easily support my daughter, and the larger one is for my frame and weight.

Construction is 3/4” plywood tops, Sapele legs on the smaller one; Ash on the larger, with Maloof/Taylor stopped-joints throughout – no dominos, screws of other hardware for the assembly. All sides are further supported by 1” stiffner.

So…, if you have the need for a functional project to utilize scrap wood – I’ll offer this. My next work will be a contemporary end-table; and, my equipment is now ready for prime-time.

Everyone, Do Take Care.

8 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


7090 posts in 3121 days

#1 posted 09-26-2018 08:31 PM

nice stools and quite an upgrade in the shop.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Hawaiilad's profile


3386 posts in 4520 days

#2 posted 09-26-2018 08:43 PM

Nice tables. They seem to walk all over the place

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Andre's profile


5298 posts in 3305 days

#3 posted 09-26-2018 09:31 PM

Funny how my eye see’s weak point but my mind tells me plenty strong?
May have to build something with similar design to test my theory?
Amazing how good Plywood can look sometimes!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View MJCD's profile


628 posts in 3870 days

#4 posted 09-27-2018 01:00 AM

Andre: I’d appreciate your thoughts… I’m always looking for improvements.

The Maloof/Taylor joint would be the ‘weakest’ point that I can think of. At the corners, I’ve doubled-up the 3/4” (making it 1.5”), with a 3” x 3” plywood block; since the joint consists of three sections (an upper and lower inset from the Legs into the Seat blank; and one inset from the Seat blank into the Leg – the tongue), I make each section 1/2”. As a design element, you don’t want to make any of the joint section too thin, as this would weaken the overall joint.

Each leg section is cut from a single blank; that is, I haven’t glued-up thin pieces to make a leg blank – the leg blanks are approximately 2.25” x 6” (for the larger stool). I suppose you could create a composite blank – it being long-grain to long-grain – but I don’t.

Again, I would appreciate your thoughts.

Everyone, Do Take Care.

View Ivan's profile


17331 posts in 4366 days

#5 posted 09-27-2018 06:24 AM

That’s very creative what you have done with scrap wood…outstanding joinery.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View PCDub's profile


408 posts in 1743 days

#6 posted 09-27-2018 06:29 AM

Nice tables. They seem to walk all over the place

- Hawaiilad

Yes, they do look like they are “walking” ! Very nice

View MJCD's profile


628 posts in 3870 days

#7 posted 09-28-2018 05:11 PM

Thanks… All.

A private message asked me for the finishing details… which I’ll share below.

For the top: The raw plywood is successively sanded to 400: 600 for the hardwood; then, 2 coats of Zinnser (sp) seal coat (sanding with 600 in-between and final); then 4 coats of Deft Water-based Acrylic: sanding with 400 In-between; then, 600 final.
The underside receives a Seal Coat and two layers of Acrylic.

If I can provide any additional details, please let me know.

View Sanmatisse's profile


7 posts in 3762 days

#8 posted 11-01-2018 01:15 AM

Nice work.

-- Sanmatisse

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