Walnut Step Stool: Part II

My Work

top of stool

Using my rule and a red pencil I made my measurements on the top of the stool. The red pencil makes it easier to see on the walnut, I have a white pencil but could not located it. My measurements included handles on each end and then a slight curve on each side. The adjustable French curve makes it easy to layout the curves for each cut. You can see the adjustable French curve to the left in the picture below.

layout cuts for top of stool

I then used the band saw with a fine tooth blade and carefully made all of the cuts. Each cut on the band saw was made just outside the line, when I sand all the pieces I will then sand to the line.

using adjustable french curve to layout stretcher

Next I made my measurements for the stretcher and using the adjustable French curved marked the layout of each cut for the stretcher.

layout stretcher with French curve

The stretcher will provide support under the stool and between each leg.

stool pieces before sanding

All the pieces are cut but I am considering adding a design on the legs instead of leaving them square. My wife originally asked for square legs so I plan to show her on paper my idea to see if she likes it or not. Stay tuned!

sandpaper and dewalt planer 2 hp model DW735

I sanded all the pieces starting at 120 grit, slowly working my way up to 180, 220 the 320 grit. Final sanding will be at 400 grit just before finishing but it will also depend on the final finish my wife chooses, I may need to sand up to 1000 grit.

stool legs cut square holes

Legs with 3/8 inch square holes

Next I took my time to measure and layout placement of the square holes for the legs and top. The legs will have 3/8 inch square holes and the top will have 1/2 inch square holes. I drilled in the center of each area where the square holes will be to remove some of the material and finished up using my hand chisels.

top of stool with cut square holes and african blackwood

Top with 1/2 inch square holes with African Blackwood.

The above pictures shows the top of the step stool after I cut the 1/2 inch square holes along with a piece of African Blackwood. Once the stool has been assembled, the African Blackwood will be used to plug the holes. I selected the African Blackwood to provide a contrasting color and character.

step stool top before assembly

I will plane down the African Blackwood to 1/2 inch square for the top and 3/8 inch square for the legs.

dowels for step stool assembly

The step stool will be assembled using 1/4 inch by 1-1/2 inch expandable dowels. The dowels will add strength to the assembled stool.

Next post: Make decision on the stool leg design and assembly.

Time spent on Part II: 1 hour 25 minutes

Previous Post:
Making a Walnut Step Stool: Part I
Walnut Step Stool: Part III
Making a Walnut Step Stool: Part IV

Walnut Slabs
Walnut Wood Gloat


12 thoughts on “Walnut Step Stool: Part II

  1. you’ve been a busy bee–I’m glad, I’ve been worried….can’t wait to see the finished piece–if you wife gives it two thumbs up, start on number two 😉
    Hang in there Michael—Julie

    • Hi Julie, thank you, Yesterday was the first day I spend a couple hours in the shop, I to do something to get my mind off everything. I also took a short hike, thank you for caring, it has been extremely hard. My son in law was only 29 years old and was like a son to me and my wife. He and my daughter were high school sweethearts and married for 10 years. He was a organ donor so everything has taken longer than normal, funeral is Friday. Been a week and a day since the accident.

      I can’t wait to get the step stool done, maybe next week.
      Thank you Julie! 🙂

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