Step stool...

I took an "Introduction to Woodworking" class at the local military base. The class acts as a "safety course" for access to the base's wood shop. In the course of learning how to use particular machines, you build a step stool. The class lasted 4 hours and in that time we used a range of tools and learned how to safely operate them. So, I'll detail the process to make the step stool.


  1. Cut the board to length on a nice 10" Craftsman RAS. The board overall was around 3'
  2. Ripped the sides and the rail to width on a sa-weet 5hp Saw Stop Cabinet saw
  3. Used a big Powermatic drill press with a fostner bit to drill out the hole for the sides (think feet)
  4. Cut the sides to length, splitting the hole, on the RAS
  5. Cut the stile to final length on a Rigid 10" SCMS.
  6. Used a template to trace the pattern onto the sides
  7. Cut out the sides on a Minimax 20" bandsaw
  8. Used a floor standing Jet Spindle Sander and belt sander to clean up the sides
  9. Used a nice Jessem router table setup to round-over the top edges
  10. Screwed everything together.



That was pretty much it. With the safety info weaved in there, it took a total of about 3 1/2 hours of a 4 hour class. So, in case you missed some of the equipment I used, I'll make a full list of what I saw in the shop at the bottom. If you have access to your local military installation, be sure to see if you also have access to the local wood shop. Ours costs $3 per hour to use, but once you see the list of equipment, I think you'll understand why.


  • 2 x 5hp Saw Stop cabinet saws
  • 2 x 20" Mini Max bandsaws
  • 1 x 18" Laguna bandsaw with a Resaw King blade (they were just setting this up)
  • 1 x 10" Craftsman RAS
  • 1 x 10" Rigid SCMS
  • 2 x xx" Floor standing drill presses
  • 1 x Powermatic Mortiser
  • 1 x Powermatic 24" Planer
  • 1 x 8" Powermatic Joiner
  • 1 x Router table with pretty powerful motor
  • 2 x Oscillating Spindle Sanders
  • 2 x 6" or 8" Belt Sanders
  • Various other toys.

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