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Step Stools - from Shop Scraps

My shop has been out-of-action for several months; as I’ve recently upgraded my Table Saw and Jointer/Planer to Felder equipment – which required 3-phase electric, re-routing my dust collections, and finding new homes for existing equipment within my small shop. My break-in project was these two stools…

Some time ago, I built step-stools for my daughter and wife: both declared them too-good-to-use, and requested ones from shop-scraps. Here you go… The smaller of the two is plywood, with Walnut legs; the larger is plywood with Ash legs: stopped Maloof/Taylor joints; finished with two coats SealCoat; 3 (+/-) coats Deft Waterborne Acrylic.

I’m close to completing an office desk (Australian Blackwood), with Purple Heart inlay. With some good shop time, perhaps next week I’ll be posting some pictures.

Everyone, Do Take Care.



The dark wood is Sapele; not Walnut.

Very cool design Mike.

-- woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Sorry Mike, but they still look too good to use! You’re going to have to give it another try!

Thanks for sharing!! Can’t wait to see your desk.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Cool stool. Or cools stools? Either way, very handy. Love the legs and the joints.

-- Losing fingers since 1969

Nice work Mike. I’m envious of your Maloof joints, seems you use them a lot. That is my next goal on a table I’m working on now.

-- Jack

Thanks – All…

The stools are a productive project – they’ll get frequent use and abuse; and they allowed me to become familiar with, and commission, the new equipment.

Jack: The Maloof joint is an attractive, strong member of the mortise & tenon family. Hal Taylor (the master-craftsman of Rocking Chairs) developed an easy-to-execute process to make these joints; and I use them whenever I can – I’ve made 8 rocking chairs; and have incorporated the Maloof joint into many a bar stool, table, and desk. (The ‘stopped’ version of the joint requires some design consideration, as there is an asymmetrical stress on the piece). Virtually all of my joinery is M&T of some sort – if not the Maloof joint, then usually a floating tenon (Festool Domino – a tool I highly recommend to furniture-active individuals). Personally, I’m not a believer in biscuits, pocket-screws and other hardware-based solutions – just me…

The Deft Acrylic is a go-to finish for me; it’s visually lighter than an oil-based polyurethane; though perhaps not as bulletproof.

Everyone – thanks for commenting.
Do Take Care.

Good stuff.


-- Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.

-- Wheaties