Puzzle stool

  • Advertise with us
Project by BettansBygg posted 02-02-2013 09:29 AM 1819 views 16 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister-in-law saw one of these in a store where they would customize a stool with your child’s name in removable letters. But they cost more than 200 usd and she thought that was kinda pricey, so she asked me if I could make one.

I used the scrollsaw to cut out the letters. I sanded them using a dremel drum sander in the drill press, that was perfect for sanding the small radius curves. I then laid the letters on a piece of scrap mdf, traced around them with a washer (because of the guide bushing) to get a template for routing the hole in the stool top. The legs attach to the top with tenons. Then finished with a waterbased paint. My version including paint cost less than 20 usd.

-- Lisa

14 comments so far

View Diggerjacks's profile


2327 posts in 3915 days

#1 posted 02-02-2013 01:53 PM


This is a very sympathical idea

A nice work

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Vicki's profile


1127 posts in 4120 days

#2 posted 02-02-2013 04:01 PM

Fabulous job. I love it.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4353 days

#3 posted 02-02-2013 04:13 PM

Very creative idea and a super cool build great job.


View nittanylion's profile


59 posts in 4565 days

#4 posted 02-02-2013 04:29 PM

What kind of wood did you use? Can you message me or write about how you used the washer?

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

644 posts in 2929 days

#5 posted 02-03-2013 12:57 AM

Cool idea.

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

View BettansBygg's profile


8 posts in 2722 days

#6 posted 02-03-2013 03:11 AM

- nittanylion

Since they wanted it painted white I just used some 25 mm (1 inch) thick MDF I had left over from another project. The letters are made from 10 mm (3/8 inch) thick MDF.

About the washer thing, I’m really bad at explaining things so if anyone is more gifted with words than I am feel free to jump in.

Since I use a guide bushing on my router when template routing, the template (in this case) has to be bigger than the letters because there’s an offset between the router bit and the guide bushing on the router. (The offset is the diameter of the guide, minus the diameter of the cutter then divide by two)

Use a washer with a metal width equal to the offset. Then put a pencil in the washer hole and roll the washer against the edge of the letters tracing around them. The washer can’t go into sharp corners so you have to draw some lines by hand (the red line in the third picture below).

In my case I wanted some air around the letters so they would be easy for a child to remove and put back (I also needed some room for paint) therefore I used a washer that was wider (offset = 3 mm, washer metal width = 4 mm).

Here are some pictures that might help

Here’s a picture of the finished template and the letters

-- Lisa

View BroncoBrian's profile


894 posts in 2735 days

#7 posted 02-03-2013 04:22 PM

I want to show my wife this project, she will love it, but then I might be making one which for $20 sounds good, but I assume you were not done in an hour…..

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View BettansBygg's profile


8 posts in 2722 days

#8 posted 02-03-2013 05:18 PM

I spent two days building it, but I wasn’t working nonstop so I don’t know how many hours it actually took. Then it took a week to paint it. I’m really slow when it comes to painting things. Never satisfied. I hate painting.

I only charge for materials when building stuff for family. Or not, most of the times I’ll just give them away for free. I’ll have to be better at charging people for the things I build.

-- Lisa

View TFox's profile


10 posts in 2243 days

#9 posted 08-23-2014 03:24 AM

What font did you use? Looks amazing! I am sure your daughter loves it!

View BettansBygg's profile


8 posts in 2722 days

#10 posted 08-24-2014 10:55 PM

The font is Cooper Black

-- Lisa

View TFox's profile


10 posts in 2243 days

#11 posted 08-25-2014 07:44 PM

Very cool!

View TFox's profile


10 posts in 2243 days

#12 posted 08-27-2014 09:01 PM

Im planning on cutting mine out this weekend :) I was wondering,. did you have any cross pieces underneath? I don’t see that you put any in,. did you notice it become loose at all? I def going to glue and screw mine together,. was just thinking it might need a little more cross stability,. you know?

View BettansBygg's profile


8 posts in 2722 days

#13 posted 08-28-2014 01:00 AM

It doesn’t show in the pictures but there is one above the heart underneath the seat, how much good it does up there I don’t know. It was originally to be somewhere halfway down the legs, then I decided to cut the heart bigger and lower and putting the cross piece below the heart just looked weird.

The legs are made of 33 mm (1 1/4 inch) thick lumber, so it was very sturdy without the cross piece.
But I still wanted some sort of brace in case someone used it as a step stool.

I built this in may 2011 and so far nothing has come loose.

If I were to build another one I’d make the legs different so I can put the cross piece a bit further down.

TFox Good luck with your build.

-- Lisa

View TFox's profile


10 posts in 2243 days

#14 posted 09-02-2014 04:30 PM

Thanks for the great idea Lisa! Finished mine this past weekend. My daughter absolutely loves it. :)


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics