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A couple weeks back, I wrote about the step-chair I was making for my niece, per a Fitzpatrick family tradition that began in the 1950s. The project plan was from U-Bild, which discontinued the plan probably in the early 1990s, said a company official who cited poor sales as the likely culprit. But I had a fair number of people request the plan, so I e-mailed U-Bild again, and they kindly gave permission for me to post it.

I’ve done so in the PDF below (compatible with Adobe Reader 7.0 and later) , and my apologies in advance for the image quality. This is a scan of a photocopy of a photocopy from a plan from the ’50s, shrunk down to work on our server , it’s the best I’ve got to offer.

Note: I did modify the plan a wee bit by trimming the bottoms of the base pieces so the sides would rest on the floor in the step-stool position. If I built it again, I’d simply shape the sides with more of a swoop, or move the dowel down (it seems to me important to have the sides rest on the floor; otherwise, the thing is tippy).

And I had to chuckle at the first paragraph under “Recommended Finish,” which reads: “Use plenty of sandpaper. The beauty of the finished article depends largely upon the amount of time spent in sanding.” My grandfather (the original owner of this much-used plan) didn’t enjoy time spent in sanding. But to be fair, neither do I , which is why I love my No. 4.

By the way: We’re working on our own design for a flip-stool; look for that in the August “I Can Do That.” Glen’s building it out of scrap tiger maple (natch).

StepChair.pdf (171.3 KB)


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  • Merlin Vought

    Thanks for the pic & pattern. When I first saw this I had already decided that I would make one. Mine will not be exactly the same but my old Dad told me something when I was about 12. His words to me were "well last week I showed you how to do that now you look at it and figure it out, and be done with it by supper time." So that has kept me going for well over 60 years since.

  • megan

    Keith,
    The original plan is more like a sewing pattern in that it doesn’t have measurements; I think you’re supposed to cut it out and stick it to the wood, then cut. I hate that (I can sew square curtains, and that’s about it!).

    Anyhow, all the stock is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/4". I’ve pulled rough dimensions for you here (but they may be a little off due to pattern degradation over the years):
    Back Rest (2): 1-3/4 x 14-1/2
    Base (2): 7-1/2 x 14-1/4 at the bottom, 7-1/4 at the top
    Seat (1): 7-1/4 x 12-1/4
    Side (2): 3-1/4 x 14-1/2 (though as I mentioned, I might make the widest part another 3/4 or so inches wider, so it’s hits the floor.

    And thanks Craig – I can (with apologies to Yoda) but try.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2FLYSqxXsM

  • Craig

    Thank you! All that and proper grammar.

  • Keith Mealy

    Can you post dimensions of some of the critical parts so that we can properly scale it?

  • Steve

    That is great. Thanks for the plans. I like the idea of extending the "swoop" of the back to touch the floor. It kind of makes the front dowel unnecessary in terms of acting like a stop. With it removed (or just cut flush if it is needed to act like a bit of a stretcher) it would make the step safer when being used on a floor that might not be perfectly level.

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