Small Step Stool

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Job Title: Small Step Stool (all dimensions in mm)​
340 230 15​

200 200 20​
260 130 20​

When I was reviewing the Miller Dowel system, I needed a simple project to try it on. I got the idea to make this step stool from the Miller Dowel leaflet itself and you can’t get a project any simpler to make than this. It can be made in less than a weekend and only requires a basic tool kit.

I chose pine as that’s what I had in the workshop and I used the walnut dowels as I feel the contrasting timbers give a great effect. To read the Miller Dowel review and to find out where to buy it click here…

I started by preparing all the parts for the stool by planing then glueing and clamping up the pieces. All I used was glue – no biscuits.

When the glue cured I cut the pieces to their final dimensions.

I drew the centre lines on the two end pieces with a pencil and ruler then drew a semi-circle at the bottom on both pieces with a compass and pencil.

With one of the end pieces securely clamped to the workbench, I cut out the semi-circle with the jigsaw, just leaving the line so I can sand to the line later – do the same with the other end piece

Using the drill press and a sanding drum, sand to the pencil line and smooth the semi-circle cut-out on both end pieces04.gif .

If you haven’t got a drill press you can use a length of dowel with sand paper wrapped around it.

05.gif I didn’t like the idea of sharp or even rounded over edges, so using a router and a chamfering bit I created a ‘slight’ chamfer on both sides on all of the pieces.

I gave all the pieces a good sand with my ROS sander. I started with 80G and worked up to a finer grit.. 06.gif


I marked the centres on the two end pieces and the stretcher, then clamped the pieces together, making sure the center marks were aligned and used two scrap pieces the same length as the stretcher to give support while clamping.

With the drill holes marked I then drilled the dowel holes with the Miller ‘TruFit’ drill bit taking care to drill straight..

I applied glue to the ribbed sections on the Miller Dowels, inserted the dowels into the holes then hammered them down… 08.gif

09.gif I then cut off the excess on all of the dowels with a saw.

Using a sharp bevel edge chisel I carefully pared the dowels flush with the surface… 10.gif

11.gif With the top clamped in place I drilled the four holes and then repeated the last three steps to insert and trim the final four dowels.

And that’s it! A simple, attractive step stool using the Miller Dowel. It doesn’t take long to make and has the added bonus of having no mechanical fasteners.12.gif

I finished the step stool with one coat of BriWax antique brown wax.

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