Growing up, we always had this two-step stool around. It had multiple different coats of paint over the years and was used for anything. I built a modern take on that stool for our house. Take a look at the video and visit my website for more details and projects, just like this one!
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Step 1: BACKGROUND
As I mentioned, we always had these steps around, as long back as I can remember. They were used for all kinds of things around the house: a kid getting up to a counter to help with baking or cooking, sitting on to get a haircut and everything in between. They are currently red, but have been other colors throughout the years. They were made by my dad with scraps, and they have definitely withstood the test of time.
A few years ago, I made a set of these for our household, but I made them a little more elegant by using some oak treads and staining the whole thing a dark stain. We needed another set, so I was able to use the ones I had made a while back as kind of a template. I changed a few things, most notably the look of this newest one, but the dimensions were very similar.
Step 2: TOOLS & MATERIALS
Step 3: TOP
I didn't show me making the tops (also called "treads" on a staircase, so I think I will call them that here too). These were actually made from plain ole 2x4's. I had two different boards that had some interesting differences, so I resawed them and planed them smooth. Then, I arranged them in a way that I found interesting, with kind of an alternating pattern. (This will be more evident on the final shots) I glued them together like you would do when making a cutting board, and they turned out great! I was really surprised at how nice looking they were!
Step 4: OLD STEP
This is a photo of the other set of steps I made a while back. I'm using them as the model for these new ones. You can see a little of how the treads will look sitting on top here.
This is probably not necessary, but I always thought it was a cool little detail. Can you see the angle in the back of the steps? I asked my dad why he did this years ago, and he said it was so that the entire step was not being bumped up against a cabinet or a wall. This limits the only point of contact from a careless kid (also known simply as a kid) to just one small section near the bottom. I thought it was an interesting design element and concept, so I have incorporated it into both of the step stools I've built.
Step 5: DIMENSIONS
I got started by cutting my plywood that would be the sides and front of the "2-steps" to correct size. For this particular 2-step, here are the dimensions:
Depth: 14 1/2"
1st stair height: 7"
Tread width 15 1/2"
Tread depth: 7 5/8"
Hole for handle: 1 3/8"
Step 6: MITER SAW
I cut out for the step using the miter saw. I find the jigsaw to be horribly inaccurate, and at this time, I didn't have a bandsaw. I finished the saw with a hand saw.
Step 7: SANDING
I sanded the treads and the rest of the steps.
Step 8: HANDLE
Then, I used a 1 3.8" forstner bit to drill a couple of holes that would later be connected using a jigsaw. This would make a handle.
I was not pleased with how uneven my handle cutouts were, so I put them together and used a flush trim bit on them so they would at least be even.
Step 9: ASSEMBLY
Then, I glued in the front panels and back panel. I attached them with brad nails temporarily until the glue would dry.
Step 10: PAINTING & FINISH
I painted two coats of water-based latex paint, sanding between coats. Then, I sprayed on a coat or two of clear, spray lacquer.
Step 11: CLEATS TO ATTACH TOPS
Here you can see how I made these little cleats that helped me attach the treads from the bottom of the 2-step. They were simple to make, and seem to be working quite well.
Step 12: CONCLUSION
I love how the finished step turned out! It really blew me away how nice this looked with a light gray and the natural color of the pine treads. It had a nice, modern feel to it, and we have been enjoying it for a while. I know that our family will enjoy it for many years to come.
Let me know below if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for checking out the project!