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The little prodigy is now very mobile and SWMBO declared that she needed a step stool to make life easier for her.
I fully agreed, but didn't want to make this a huge exercise, so started scouring the Internet for plans for a cheap and cheerful stool. Of course I found quite a selection, but as I don't have a lot of wood in the garage at the moment I needed something that was frugal in terms of materials.

After a while I came across a plan that required only 4 foot of 8" x 3/4". Surely I've got that sort of wood lying about. Off to the garage to rummage through the piles of offcuts, and sure enough, nothing that comes even close to 4 foot of anything.

Hmmmm. Time to get creative. Having done some laminating in the past (see Office Desk Project) I thought I could use up a whole bunch of left overs to create the appropriate 8" x 3/4" lengths. How hard can it be?

I set the table saw up to rip at 3/4" and started madly feeding all the 12" offcuts I had lying about past the blade. After what seemed like a lot of cuts and a huge number of scrap pieces I thought I must be getting close. I stopped and checked the combined width of the new laminate pieces. Half way. WHAT!?!? Hmmmm - this is going to take a lot more scrap pieces that I thought. Scrounged every last piece of usable scrap I had, and quite a few previously classified unusable pieces. Eventually I had enough.

I left it at that for a while, came back when I had the nerve and glued up the laminated boards. I've learned to close my eyes at this stage, because it always look very rough. Then I pulled out the belt sander and went to town. Ahhh - that's better.

Good - now I have my sized pieces to work with. This has already become a multi-weekend project, when it was meant to be a couple hours. Not going to plan so far.

I cut the pieces to spec, puzzled over how to cut out the semi-circular sections in the size panels, created a jig/template for the router to achieve this, and was about to apply the screws to it (literally), when SWMBO came out to see where I was up to.
"Oooooh - that's pretty." (*Pleased*)
"It'd be a shame to mess it up with screw heads." (*Uh-Oh*)
"You always do such nice work." (*Ego stroked*)
"Can't you figure out a way to assemble it without the screws showing." (*Darn!*)

So I left it sitting, in pieces (there's only 4 pieces, but even so...), on the bench while I mulled over a solution for a couple of weeks. 2-3 hour project? Nope, that's not the way I do things. I HAVE to complicate them into multi-month enterprises.

Finally decided that if I routed hidden/stopped dados in the top and sides, the center brace should be able to hold it all together with just glue. Hmmmm. Again, it took a while to get my courage up because I've never done dados before, but eventually I got sick of seeing the pieces glaring at me every time I parked the car so one evening I fired up the router and went at it. Apart from a slight overcut mishap, which I patched with a scrap piece, it all went to plan.

Some minor touch up with a chisel, a generous application of glue, sanding, stain and three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane later, the job is done.

For being left over scraps of wood that looked more like paint stirrers than usable lumber, I am thrilled with the final result. Is it strong enough without mechanical fasteners? Well, I'm rating it at 200 lbs. How do I know. I stood on it and it didn't collapse so it should be able to hold a 16 month old!

Total cost of project. $0.00, not counting labour hours, of course.

Enough of all that, here are some photos.
Cheers,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I love the look of the laminations, which is why I didn't want to break up the straight lines with screw holes. I was literally marking out the screw hole locations when stopped by the good lady. I'm glad she did.
Cheers,
John.
 

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So that is why I have been saving all those scrap pieces. Get hand better go to work.
 

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Really very nice. An another life has been improved by wood working. Hope she uses it when she is a teenager. By then the wood will cost as much as gold.
 

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Very good looking chair she has there John. And you thought it was a step stool. HeHe.
 

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Very good looking chair she has there John. And you thought it was a step stool. HeHe.
Yeah - I had to have a wry smile about that too.
The ONLY edges on the piece that I didn't round over, which are on the bottom of the brace, are the pieces she sat on first.

What can you do???? :blink:

Still a rookie at this parenting gig.
 

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Great way to use up scraps Jogn well done! I especially like your sense of humour on the write up ... its good to start the day with a smile on your face.

Thank you.

Guess I will have to add this to my ever increasing list of things to make.
 

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Beautiful little step stool. I love the layered look of the wood grains. I think alot of people are thinking of a project that they could do with that process.

My girls are 13 and 11, and my shop is my sanctuary. I don't get alot done, but its nice to be there, and not thinking about pre-teen problems. LOL

Keep up the great work!
 

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Great work ,and a great idea. I've got several 8' lengths of 6/4 x about 2" Alder. I've been trying to figure out what to do with it. A stool like that would be handy in the kitchen.
 

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Nice step stool!
Kids always find different uses for things we never think of.
 
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