Today I had my first real shop time since Mothers Day. I finished my wife’s box just in time to give it to her, but I still hadn’t put any finish on it. So today I started by putting on the first coat of oil/varnish/mineral spirits. Once I did that, I figured I’d start something new. I had no idea what I’d do. It was a good feeling, one of anticipation.

I decided that I wanted to take a little break from the kempas I’d been working with since the beginning of the year. My buddy is a runner, and occasionally picks up old furniture he finds by the side of the road. He found this mattress platform from Ikea that someone was throwing out, and passed it on to me. I’m assuming it’s pine:

Ikea Mattress Support

I decided to rip all the staples out and then figure out what to do with the boards. With a potential move in our near future, I needed to do something that I would be okay with giving away, should we not have room for it in the move. I decided upon a step stool for the kids. My idea is a very simple stool, with dovetailed joints and a middle support (what’s that called?) that will be joined to the legs with wedged tenons. This way I can do as little wood prep as possible, speeding up the project and still giving me some challenges in the way of joinery.

One other thing that was fun about beginning this project was that with so many boards available to me, I got to practice selecting good boards for the piece based on grain pattern. I don’t know how well I did, but I was fairly happy with it. Here’s what the top of the stool will look like (before glue-up):

Top of Stool - before glueup

I could have picked a more similar piece for the middle, but I dunno, I kinda liked the pattern so figured I’d sandwich it between the other boards. Fun to actually have quartersawn boards for once. There’s a first for everything!

Today I was able to glue up the top, and then I glued up three more boards which will be the legs (after the glue dries I’ll cut the board in half for each leg). I’ve been pretty much following the Golden Ratio for the dimensions, so the top is 8″ x 13″ and the legs will be 8″ x 8″.

Question: When dovetailing the legs (would it be more appropriate to call them ‘sides’?) to the top, should the top have the tails or the sides?

More to follow as I make progress!