Two Step

A Portable Stairway to Extend Your Reach

Picture the perfect home library with shelves of old books bound in leather Such a room wouldn't be complete without a handsome library stool like this one. Of course, books aren't the only things stored on high shelves, making this stool useful in the kitchen, den. or any room.

I designed the stool with plain lines and basic mortise-and-tenon construction. (See drawing.) It's a good project for learning basic joinery skills. To make die stool appear more graceful, I arched the braces that fit under the front lip of each tread. The same shallow curve is carried over to the front of the treads themselves; and their is a smaller arc cut into the bottom of the sides to define the stool's four "feel."

The long, slender handle that's mounted along the right side (left side for lefties) functions as a stair railing, giving you something to grab as you step up. It's also handy when moving the stool.

I made the stool out of cherry. All the stock is in. thick. I locked the through tenons with wedges made of walnut for contrast. For visual interest, I cliamfered the projecting brace tenons.

Making the Side Pieces

The ^shaped side pieces arc the first pans to make. (See drawing.) These pieces are glued up from two 7-in. wide boards. It's easier to cut the mortises and tenons on each 7-in. board before gluing them together and before making other parts of the stool.

Start by cutting the boards for the side pieces to length, allowing extra for tenons, and then lay out and cut the mortises for the braces in the boards, as shown in the drawing.

To rough out the mortises. I used a Vin. dia., two-flute, spiral cutter (available from Woodworker's Supply Inc., 800^45-9292). This type of cutter is usually used in a router, but I chucked it in a drill press set to the highest spindle speed. A Forstner bit will work well for this, too, but I prefer the spiral bit for the very accurate,

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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