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How to Build a Step Stool

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

What You’ll Need:

  • 16 1″ x 2″ x 17  1⁄2″ boards
  • Two 12  1⁄2″ boards
  • Two 1″ x 2″ x 9″ boards
  • Four 1″ x 2″ x 10  1⁄2″ boards
  • One 1″ x 2″ x 12″ board

All 1″ x 2″ boards can be cut from four 1″ x 2″ x 10′ boards.

  • Eight 1″ x 4″ x 8  1⁄2″ boards
  • Two 1″ x 4″ x 13  1⁄2″ boards
  • Two 1″ x 4″ x 15  1⁄2″ boards

All 1″ x 4″ boards can be cut from one 1″ x 4″ x 12′ board.

  • Tape measure
  • Framing square
  • Pencil
  • Crosscut saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush and several colors of paint
  • Three pipe clamps
  • 70 1  1⁄4″ wood screws
  • Drill and drill bit to predrill all screw holes
  • Countersink drill bit
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Wood glue
  • Water-based stain or non-yellowing water-based wood sealer

What You’ll Do:

1. Cut all boards to length. Sand the boards and paint one edge of each of the 17  1⁄2″ top step-stool boards. Let paint dry.


2. Spread a thin layer of glue on the sides of each painted board and clamp together. Wipe off extra glue with a damp cloth. Allow glue to dry overnight.


3. Using the framing square, pencil a line on the painted boards at 15  1⁄2″. Saw the step-stool top to length, cutting the top as square as possible. Touch up paint as needed.


4. Glue and screw the frame around the top.


5. Glue and screw the legs together. Apply glue to the tops of the legs and screw them to the frame from the back so you won’t see the screws.


6. Glue and screw the braces to the bottom of the step-stool top.


7. Glue and screw the lower leg braces in place. Screw them on from the back.


8. Use the putty knife and fill each recessed screw hole with wood filler. When the wood filler is completely dry, sand each filled screw hole smooth and flush with the surface of the boards.



9. You can stain the stool with water-based stain or diluted paint. Don’t stain the painted top. Seal the entire stool with the clear water-based sealer. Let the sealer dry overnight, and your stool is complete.


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