My Third Dovetailed Step Stool

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Project by Dan posted 12-15-2010 06:18 PM 5712 views 6 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the third step stool that I have made. This one like the last was made for a family member with young kids. Dovetails were done with a router and my Leigh jig. Stool is made all out of Basswood and finished with a few coats of shellac. These are really fun to make and make great gifts for people with kids..

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

13 comments so far

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 12-15-2010 06:22 PM

I just realized the picture of the back of the stool was taken in between finish coats so that is why its a bit sloppy looking in the pic.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Brandon's profile


4234 posts in 3719 days

#2 posted 12-15-2010 06:29 PM

Nicely done! Those look like some very thick and sturdy dovetails.

Any particular reason for making it out of basswood? I’m asking because I don’t have much experience with basswood.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 12-15-2010 06:53 PM

Brandon – I have a stack of maybe a few dozen rough sawed basswood boards that I got from my dad who had them milled years ago. I am assuming basswood trees are common in my area as I see it around here often. So to answer your question there was no particular reason other then I have a lot of it on hand.

I do like working with Basswood though. Its usually rather clear and very easy to cut and carve. I got a lot of practice using my hand planes on basswood.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3816 days

#4 posted 12-15-2010 07:05 PM

Very nice.
I have been doing wood working for many years and I still to cut my first dovetail.
May be one of this days.

-- Bert

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3634 days

#5 posted 12-15-2010 07:08 PM

That’s a nice stool. Good work!

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Brandon's profile


4234 posts in 3719 days

#6 posted 12-15-2010 07:17 PM

Thanks for the response, Dan. I’ve seen a lot of people carve with basswood, but I don’t see too much furniture made from it. Perhaps I’m not looking the right places. ;-) But the basswood on your step stool is beautiful and I can see why you would use it.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3648 days

#7 posted 12-15-2010 09:13 PM

Brandon- Basswood although considered a hardwood is very light weight and soft. This makes it a great carving wood but not so great for fine furniture. So ya its most common for carving but it can be used for anything. I have built many things out of Basswood and I have grown to really enjoy working with it.

I am willing to bet its probably an overlooked wood for anything other then carvings but I think if given a try most would find it quite a pleasure to work with for non carving projects.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 3548 days

#8 posted 12-15-2010 10:03 PM

Thanks, Dan. Who knew a the footstool could be an artform. Really nice.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4860 days

#9 posted 12-16-2010 02:32 AM

Great build Dan. That beaut looks steady as a rock and the dovetails are terrific!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3571 days

#10 posted 12-19-2010 06:40 AM

very nice, and very stout

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16690 posts in 3386 days

#11 posted 06-23-2012 01:33 PM

Nice build and great project idea, too.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 2907 days

#12 posted 09-15-2012 02:15 AM

Nice stool. I’m making one from some dumpster treasure pine very soon. You’re in G.R. I’m less than an hour away.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View fredcastello's profile


2 posts in 2174 days

#13 posted 09-16-2015 04:03 PM

Dan, very nice stool. I am considering something similar. Do you mind sharing the dimensions (specifically the height of the first and top step)?

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