How to Build a Wooden Step Stool

A wooden step stool is one of the most useful small pieces of furniture that you can keep around the house. Step stools are small, easy to store and they can be used for many purposes. The most common uses include reaching items that out of reach because they are high and accessing roof and attic spaces. Building a wooden step stool is a simple task that requires little experience and materials. Read on for a brief overview of how to build a wooden step stool for cheap at home.

Tools and Materials

  • 1 sheet of plywood, 3/4 inch thick and 4 feet by 8 feet in size
  • 50 1.5 inch wood screws
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Table saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Painting caulk
  • Drill with various drill bits

Step 1 -- Measure the Stool Dimensions

Sketch your stool first. Draw the two sides of the step stool, they should be 20.25 inches down the back side, 37 inches over along the bottom side. Next, the outline of two steps should be each 6.75 inches tall and 11 inches deep. The steps themselves should include the following pieces:

  • 3 pieces, 6.75 inches x 15 inches
  • 2 pieces, that are 15 inches x 11 inches
  • 1 piece that is 15 inches x 15 inches
  • The back should be 15 by 20.25 inches

Step 2  -- Cut the Pieces

Use a table saw to cut the pieces. There should be a total of 9 plywood pieces of various size once you are finished. Use sandpaper to sand down the edges if there are any rough spot. Discard the remaining plywood for another project.

Step 3 -- Set Up the Stool

Place the two sides along the inside of the edges of the back portion of the stool, and attach them together with 3 screws through the edge of the back piece of wood. Have an assistant hold the pieces in place so that they're straight.

The riser portions of the steps should go on next. Fit them into place, starting with the lowest riser. Then attach them with 3 screws from the outside of the side portion. After they are secure, the frame should be sturdy enough to stand on its own.

Attach the tops of each of the steps using three additional screws on each side. Examine your frame for any openings or areas that do not look sturdy and add nails or screws as necessary for additional support.

Step 5 -- Finish the Stool

Next, fill in any areas that are still not secure with wood caulk and allow it to dry. Then, add more nails or screws as necessary. Complete your sanding work as needed to give your stool a good base. The last thing you will need to do is add a wood stain or paint and allow that to dry completely before using the stool. A second coat of paint may be necessary. You may also want to add a special finish to the stool because the paint can be prone to chipping with heavy wear and tear.