Child's step/sitting stool

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Project by Chris McDowell posted 09-23-2012 09:08 PM 1422 views 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I build the stool. My wife painted it. I added 3 coats of polycrylic (it’s what I already had) followed by a 4th coat on top. I sanded with 320 grit between each coat.

I made this stool as a baby shower gift. We gave it to the expecting couple today. They were excited.

This stool had a few firsts for me:

1. I used a jig saw to cut out the shapes of the legs.
2. All of the joints are mortise and tenon (something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish).
3. The polycrylic finish.
4. Used something other than pine (I used poplar).

Some things I learned:

1. Through tenons require you to mark both sides (I scrapped the first set of legs and stuck with normal tenons).
2. I need a spindle sander attachment for my drill press (sanding the curves was difficult).
3. I need more clamps.
4. I need some brushes or something for glue up (using your finger on mortises and tenons is messy).

I did the tenons on the table saw. I used the drill press to drill out most of waste for the mortises and then used a chisel to clean up.

I used poplar because it’s sold at the home store and I thought something better than pine would be nice since it’s a gift. I couldn’t afford anything more expensive, though (only other option was red oak which costs twice as much). It was nice not having any knots to worry about. There were pretty much no knots to be found in the poplar.

I had a great time building it. I was pumped when I got done with the mortises and tenons and had them all fitting. A couple came out a tad bit loose, but hey, it’s my first try and I can only get better. This was a great learning experience for me. I plan on improving on this stool for all of the other baby showers I’ll be making these for.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

3 comments so far

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2463 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 01:16 AM

great job on the stool,the mother to be will love it.congrats on the m&t that is something i haven’t tried yet or using anything beside pine.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2497 days

#2 posted 09-24-2012 04:48 PM

Looks nice Chris. A nice sturdy step stool is next on my list – I like the lines on this one. Poplar was a perfect wood for this as it takes the paint so well and maintains that nice smooth finish. Oak would not have gained you any advantage. Is Austyn the baby’s name?

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

644 posts in 2425 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 07:09 PM

Thanks for the nice comments.

Yes, Austyn is a baby’s name. I gave the stool to a couple as a baby shower gift. It’s painted the colors that the couple had picked out for their baby room.

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

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