Introduction: Multi-purpose Stool (with Storage) From Recycled Wood

About: Economist by day, learning to be a passable wood worker :-)

A stool that's easy to carry & move around the house; has handy storage as well. All from upcycled materials!

Step 1: Selecting the Right Piece

From the local recycling centre I picked up one of the grimiest pieces. It had been left out in the elements for quite a while, from the looks of it. I spent some time just scraping muck off.

The wife wanted a box stool with some storage so I had a basic design in mind.

Step 2: Measure and Cut 5 Square Pieces

Here, I used a circular saw to cut squares, a planer to get everything aligned right, and an orbital sander to get started on the finish. (There's a lot of sanding to be done throughout this project).
I used 5 squares as I wasn't going to use a bottom. If you need one, use 6 squares.

Step 3: Cut Out Slots (for Carrying Ease)

I forgot to take pictures throughout this step. I first drew out slots, and used a cordless drill to make a hole in one corner, then kept using bigger drill bits till the jig saw blade would go through. Repeat process for the opposite side of the slot. Use the jig saw to cut out the slots, do this on 3 of the squares (2 sides and 1 top).
Use an orbital sander to keep sanding till you get the finish you want. It's a good idea to keep sanding in between processes to avoid the monotony of doing it all at once.
I used a cordless drill to join the squares up. Possibly could have used glue first, but I didn't have any handy and didn't want to put things on hold.

Step 4: Inside Supports

I wanted the top to fit into the box, level with the sides. So, I used some of the left over pieces as supports on the inside. Using them on alternate bottom sides provides stability to the stool and on the top sides allows the top to rest.
Put a cushion on top when sitting on it, else it can work as a handy box or bedside stand.