As you might have remembered from previous posts, I have a display shelf with various bits of woodenware up at City Folks Farm Shop, on the High street. When I made it, I constructed it so that all of the shelves would be readily accessible, and when I hung it I took care to ensure that the top shelf was easily reachable. So far, so good.
The problem is that I’m 6’1″. And while the girls who run the shop over there are awesome, they are also short. So I had put stuff on the top shelf without straining, and they had to drag a table over to get to it.
This was…less than ideal.
So, to atone for my…er…oversight, I decided to make a handy stepstool for the shop. I wanted it to be done quickly, and I wanted it to be done fairly inexpensively, so I adapted a Shaker design, and made it from fairly coarse white pine from the local big box. This stool uses a grand total of one 1″x8″x8′.
I needed a wider board for the sides, so I had to make a panel. To give the panel a little bit more shear resistance, I secreted a couple of dowels in the panel after it was jointed true. Then I glued them up and set them aside to dry overnight. The little pointy metal bits are dowel centers. Once you drill holes in one of the boards, they mark the mating board to help ensure that you have good alignment. It’s more accurate than trying to measure on your second set of holes.
Next, I had to cut rebates in the treads. This will lend more glue area and more rigidity to the joint, even though it’s only a shallow 1/4″ rebate. Notice that while the boards have knots in them, they are oriented so that I don’t have to plane through them. A little care when you’re laying out your initial crosscuts will go a long way to making your life easier later on. Work smarter!*
*This doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have to work harder as well, as has been my lot in life, but it’s a nice idea.