Wooden Folding Step Stool

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Project by ThorinOakenshield posted 08-29-2012 12:03 AM 43813 views 34 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This folding step stool was made for my step mother. Inspiration received from here and here.

Feature aspen and red oak. No screws, nails, fasteners. Used doweling jig, drill press, miter saw and table saw, chisel, sander. Two light coats of poly and no stain.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

13 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7449 posts in 4086 days

#1 posted 08-29-2012 12:40 AM

This might be just a step stool or ladder but it’s done so well and it looks fantastic! I like the fact that you used NO hardware to build it. and the combo of woods are very attractive!
Great work! Thanks for sharing!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View rdjack21's profile


268 posts in 3661 days

#2 posted 08-29-2012 01:34 AM

Nice and very well done.

-- --- Richard Jackson

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2922 days

#3 posted 08-29-2012 03:02 AM

Sweet little stool !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Ken90712's profile


17865 posts in 3922 days

#4 posted 08-29-2012 07:50 AM

Nice job, I really like the look of these.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3801 days

#5 posted 08-29-2012 12:33 PM

Like it! Well done, great idea.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Juriathe's profile


142 posts in 3252 days

#6 posted 08-31-2012 01:37 AM

what gets me is that we’ve been practically rebuilding my mom’s house and I use her various stepstools daily and think often , ” I should buy one of these. ” Then I get on here and see this lovely stepstool and have a V-8 moment, and feel like a complete idiot. ROFL Thanks for sharing and making me quit thinking windows, walls, and drywall. Now I’ll build one, too, hopefully as nice as your’s ! great job

-- I'm so busy I don't know if I found a rope or lost a horse...

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 2873 days

#7 posted 08-31-2012 01:45 AM

What keeps the back leg from overextending? Is it just the pressure of the top? Seems like it might pop the top step off if the back leg starts to slide a little. I’ve seen this design and like the practicality of it, but every commercially available tiny ladder had a scissor hinge thingy between the front and back legs to prevent the over extension.

-- 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 ThorinOakenshield's profile


112 posts in 2832 days

#8 posted 08-31-2012 02:22 AM

Juriathe – Thanks for your compliment. One of the other stools I reference mentioned a plan they found in a book to build this. I did not use any plans. The other link gave some loose measurements but I found them to be incompatible. If you are interested in any of the measurements I used just let me know.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

View ThorinOakenshield's profile


112 posts in 2832 days

#9 posted 08-31-2012 02:32 AM

CueballRosendaul – I thought the same thing too. However my confidence has grown with this stool. I (165lbs) stood on top several times and jumped on it (like a kid trying to break the ice on pond I know) and it didn’t budge. I attribute the strength to two things. The first is the 7/8’’ dowel that back legs are glued to and run the width of the stool through the front legs. This removes any slop on the rotation. The second is like you said, the top step catches the un-rounded edge of the back legs. The top step is fastened with 4 3/8 dowels glued on all edges in in the dowel holes. As I mentioned in the description, I didn’t use screws or nails which I think would have made the stool weak.

This was really built for my step mother to stand on to get thing in the kitchen or walk-in closet.

-- -Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain

View GaryCN's profile


475 posts in 4668 days

#10 posted 08-31-2012 04:58 AM

Mine is still in use, perfect condition. The flat part of the rear leg contacts the bottom of the top step it would take the top to separate from the front leg or a good portion of the top of the rear leg to crack off for this to fail. My dimensions are in inches. The step it 18” tall 21 1/2” long at the base when unfolded. the top step is 17 1/2” by 6 1/4”. The outside width of the front leg is 13 1/2”. With the front leg built first it should be somewhat easy to calculate the pivot point without any plans. The dowel could be replaced with a nut’s and bolt’s but it just looks better being constructed without any steel fasteners. I may make a few as Christmas gifts this year. It is interesting to see all the different wood combinations, I think that the next one I make will use different wood for each part. I used 4 Miller dowels to attach the top step to the front leg, they are very strong. This could have also been done with biscuit joints or even dovetail if you wanted to get real fancy. It is still a great project for beginners and advanced woodworkers. I made entirely from leftovers.

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4833 days

#11 posted 08-31-2012 10:41 AM

Nice looking stool!

I think it is awesome that you figured it out from the project pictures rather than following a plan. That type of skill, sir, makes for a really talented woodworker;)

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Von's profile


238 posts in 2947 days

#12 posted 09-17-2012 01:49 AM

I might just have to borrow your design, mwahahahaa. but ya, awesome job!

View Shuja's profile


270 posts in 2300 days

#13 posted 03-25-2015 12:08 PM

I took inspiration from this & I made a step ladder doubling up as platform for my wife in the kitchen

-- shuja

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