Walnut Step Stool: Part IV

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 walnut step stool

The step stool is nearly complete, all I need to do is machine the African Blackwood 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch square plugs, cut and install the plugs, do a little final sanding and it will be ready to apply the finish.

making a step stool

The African Blackwood plugs are done and look good. I sanded the entire stool with 320 grit and 400 grit sandpaper. The step stool is now complete except for the finish!

step stool finishing supplies

In the above picture you will see the finishing supplies I need for applying the Danish Oil. Before applying the Danish Oil I used the tack cloth to remove any and all dust on the stool from sanding. I don’t want any dust mixed with the oil. Once the dust was removed I put on the disposable gloves and used a clean cotton cloth to apply the oil.

unique step stool
On my initial application of Danish Oil I applied a liberal amount to the entire stool, the surface was very wet. I started with the bottom of the stool and worked my way to the sides and top. You can see that using the Danish Oil makes the walnut grain and character pop with color!

homemade step stool

These next couple of pictures give you a better idea of the walnut color after applying the Danish Oil. The walnut is really beautiful, lots of color and character.

step stool

Once the first cost was completed, I waited 30 minutes, then wiped off any access Danish Oil. I let it dry completely between coats, about 12 hours. Before reapplying the next coat I sanded with 400 grit sandpaper and then removed all dust using a tack cloth. I continued this process every 12 hours until I had applied four coats.

walnut step stool

Here are a few pictures after four coats of Danish Oil. At this point I have decided to apply a wipe on poly (polyurethane) to protect the surface. Before applying the poly I like to wait 48 to 72 hours, this will insure the Danish Oil has dried completely.

photo-11

making a step stool

Sometimes I like to just use the Danish Oil and nothing else but the Danish Oil is not a hard finish. It will scratch and mark really easy. So, since this stool will get a lot of use I decided to also apply a couple coats of Wipe on Poly.

stool-ready-for-tack-cloth

Before applying the first cost I sanded with 400 grit sandpaper, then removed the dust using the tack cloth.

stool-sanded-with- 400-grit

The white is the dust from sanding.

stool-and-wipe-on-poly

I have had good results in the past using the Minwax Wipe On Poly so that is what I am going to use. The step stool is ready for the first coat. Wearing gloves, I use a clean cotton cloth to apply the poly.

After applying each coat I will have to wait 4 hours before I can apply another coat. I plan to apply three coats and will sanded between each coat using a 1000 grit sanding pad. Again removing the dust using a tack cloth between each sanding.

walnut-step-stool-finished-with-wipe-on-poly

Above, the first picture of the step stool completed after applying three coats of the Minwax Wipe On Poly.

walnut-step-stool

beautiful-stool

Can you see the reflection of the chest on the finish of the stool?!

beautiful-walnut-step-stool unique-step-stool

beautiful-walnut-step-stool

beautiful-stool-with-walnut-sap-wood

 

I am pleased with the results, my wife loves it and that’s what counts! Making this walnut step stool for my wife has been a lot of fun! What do you think, do you like my step stool?

Time spent on Part IV: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time spent making stool from start to finish: 6 hours, 45 minutes

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

Previous Post:
Walnut Slabs
Walnut Wood Gloat

My Work

Click image to view more information on my cutting boards.

walnut double handle cutting board

 

Walnut Step Stool: Part III

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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