About: In my shop I have a name for hammer, saw, and plier. The saw is Tess, the hammer's Joe, and Glumdalclitch is the plier. Yes, I'm brillig, and my slithy toves still gyre and gimble in the wabe. With that, le…

THE FRANKLIN LIBRARY CHAIR PIMPED TO THE NINES. This chair turns into a step stool. It is constructed from pine with embedded EBONY for a truly unique look.

Step 1: PLANS

Here are the plans from which I worked. I found them on the Internet. I have built several of these to give as gifts. Pictured is one I did basically following the plans. For this pimped up version, I transferred the measurements directly onto my Outfeed Table (also called my Assembly Table). I have, in the past, transferred all the measurements onto poster board. For accuracy in the build of this chair, it is very important to work off a full-size plan. Since the pieces are mirror images, you may either make one side and use a pattern bit on your router to duplicate the other side or make hardboard patterns of the pieces which you can use for each piece over and over again. The latter is ideal if you want to produce several chairs.

Step 2: TOOLS

I worked on this project for a few weeks and probably wound up using almost every tool in my small shop. See the pictures for the tools I used.


I used approximately 13' of 1 x 12 Pine, various sizes of ebony for the inlay, glue, trim screws and bamboo skewers. I used one set of hinges.


To keep track of all the parts I marked each with chalk corresponding to the letters on the plans. I dry assembled them on the table. I used a combination of a pattern bit and bench sander to duplicate the mirror image parts.


I rounded over all necessary edges. By necessary I mean I didn't round over the edge of the steps that fit into the dados. I didn't round over the edges of the tops of the legs where the step sits on top of the opened step stool or the bottom of the feet.


I approached the ebony inlay with an artistic eye, trying to make the layout appealing. I cut various pieces, outlined them where I wanted them to go and chiseled out a hole just shy of the full depth so I could sand the ebony flush after it was glued in place. Then I sanded everything. Actually, I did a lot of sanding at each stage until I was satisfied with the result. I went all the way down to over 400 grit.

Step 7: DADOS

There are two steps that require dados. I used the dead blow mallet to seat the steps flush into the dados and trim screws to secure them, then plugged the small holes the trim screw heads leave with bamboo skewers which I sanded flush.


Here is a brief outline of the steps so far: Make a 1:1 plan on the assembly table. Cut pieces. Ebony inlay. Dry fit pieces and make adjustments as need. Round over all necessary edges before constructing the chair. Then glue and screw and assemble.

I added lots of pictures for you to browse. They're not necessarily in order. View each for its assembly process. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line. For you out there not familiar with that term, "Drop me a line," is the same as PM me or IM me or whatever term you whippersnappers use today. Gotta remember, I'm old-school ... literally.


I put on 3 coats of stain, sanding between applications. It really brought out the luster of the ebony. I will coat with either polyurethane or spray lacquer.


It is said Ben Franklin invented this chair along with the umpteen other inventions of his. I hope you enjoyed this Instructable. And, as usual, all comments appreciated, all questions answered.

Thanks for visiting my Little Shop of Jarfold.

Furniture Contest 2018

Runner Up in the
Furniture Contest 2018