Walnut Step Stool: Part III


stool pieces before sanding

After talking to my wife, we decided to change the legs and add a slight curve similar to the curve on top of the stool. I measured and marked for making the curve, then using my adjustable French curve I marked for my cuts.

walnut step stool

Using double sided tape I placed both legs on top of each other, the double sided tape secures the two pieces together allowing me to make two cuts instead of four and both cuts are matching cuts. I used the band saw to make these cuts, cutting shy of the line and then I will sand up to the line.

With both legs still together with the double sided tape, I sanded the cuts along the legs starting with 120 grits up to 320 grit. I then removed the two pieces from each other and the double sided tape. Incase the tape left any residue I sanded that area with 320 grit. After sanding the legs, all pieces are now ready to run thru the router for machining the edges.

router set-up

The above picture is the top of my router table which includes my homemade guard that ties directly into my dust collection system. The guard provides protection from the cutter and the dust collection keeps the area free of dust.

I want each piece to have a 1/8 inch round over except the top, so I need to set-up the router to handle these cuts.

making a walnut step stool

I unplugged the router, installed the 1/8 inch round over bit then adjusted the height of the cut. I then ran a couple of scrap pieces of wood thru the router to test the height. Once the height was correct, I proceeded to run all of the boards that need the 1/8 inch round thru the router.

Next I unplugged the router again to set-up the 1/4 inch round over bit for cutting the two long sides of the step stool top. Same process as before, after testing the height using scrap wood, I ran the long sides of the top thru the router. In the picture below you can see the long side now has a 1/4 inch round over.

working with walnut

In order to make a bead along the short ends of the top, I needed to raise the router bit and go thru the set-up and testing on a piece of scrap wood. In the picture above and below you can see the round over with a slight bead, I think it will add character to the top of the stool.

making a walnut step stool

The areas that were routed now need to be sanded. Once the sanding is completed I am ready to double check each piece and start assembling the step stool.

First thing is to assemble the legs and stretcher, after making several measurements I started the assembly of the legs and stretcher. Drilled 1/4 inch holes that will receive the 1/4 inch dowels in both the legs and stretcher. I will apply Titebond III wood glue to each dowel before inserting into the hole as I assemble the stool.

making a step stool

The stretcher adds strength and support.

building a walnut step stool

If you look at the pictures of the top after routing you will notice I still need to cut four square holes for securing the top to the legs. After measuring the location for each hole, I then cut the four 3/8 inch square holes, this is very tedious and takes time.

making a step stool

The four holes cut along each end are 3/8 inch square that will be used to secure the top to the legs. The three holes in the center are 1/2 inch square that will be used to secure the top to the stretcher. I made two different size holes to add contrast, these holes will be plugged using African Blackwood.

walnut step stool

I then assembled the top of the stool to the legs and stretcher. Same process as before, drilling 1/4 inch holes for the dowels, adding glue to the dowels before inserting into the holes.

walnut step stool

The step stool is looking good! My next steps will include machining the African Blackwood that I will use to plug the holes.

I also need to decide on the final finish, there are lots of choices. I am leaning toward starting with Zinsser SealCoat, then an oil based gel and finish up with lacquer or polyurethane. The other supplies I will need for applying the finish are rags, foam brushes, gloves, 400 to 1000 grit sanding pads, time and patience’s.

Making this walnut step stool has been a lot of fun!

Next post: Machining and installing square plugs, final sanding prep and applying the final finish.

Time spent on Part III: 1 hour 45 minutes

Making a step stool:
Walnut Step Stool: Part I
Walnut Step Stool: Part II
Making a Walnut Step Stool: Part III
Walnut Step Stool: Part IV

Previous Post:
Walnut Slabs
Walnut Wood Gloat


22 thoughts on “Walnut Step Stool: Part III

  1. a true labor of love Michael—I know your wife is so happy 🙂
    A true satisfaction of the soul making something from scratch with ones own hands—I’ve truly enjoyed the step by step birth—thank you so much for sharing the fruits of your labor–
    Hope you have an enjoyable blooming weekend!

    • Hello Julie! 🙂 thank you and yes she is happy and will be happier when I finally get it done! 🙂 I hope you had a good day in the yard! Have a great weekend, looks like we have another winter storm coming our way early week!

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