Step-stool Project
October 2018

A1 Pine Plywood

18" x 18" x 12" 

My household has needed a stepstool. I purchased some beautiful rough hewn mahogany, but since my experience working with hardwoods was lacking I crafted this one out of plywood first. 

It was a good thing I did because the first version of this was fraught with problems those issues have been fixed and it's been a great project to learn more in depth woodworking.

The fabrication of this was a chance to use the CNC router for a home project, so for this I made a model with each piece being a separate element so they could be nested onto a sheet.

Assembly was very straight-forwards, after the parts were cut out on the CNC table all non-abutting edges were given a 1/8" roundover to remove the tabs and the surfaces were sanded to 220 grit.

After a dry test-fit I glued up the base separate from the treads so I could finish them before the final glue up. 

A layer of sealer and 3 coats of wipe-on polyurethane later the stool was glued up, and put to use.



The first version (pictured here) of this was very unstable and had some questionable jointery, since the treads on this design overhang the base it would tip over when standing too close to the edges. Dowel pins were used for registering the pieces the wood-glue used to adhere the parts was not applied until after finish coats of polyurethane were added and thus did not create a strong bond.

'Fortunately' after the first tread separated from the frame it was 'easy' to remove the second one and cut down the size of the treads. They were reattached with construction adhesive and have been performing without issue for the last few months. (1/2019)


Ethan Gladding