I have no problem with the making of stools and step stools. Or benchs, for that matter. I just love to do it! I guess because you can make any of these from just about anything you have laying around the shop. Though all the benchs are not pictured here, a small sample of the stools are pictured above with a bench further down. The blue/black one on the right above was made two years ago (decorated by Debbee) along with two or three others that were painted or stained and later sold. A white one sold at the Spring Fling in Euclid (mentioned previously) to a dog owner who needed it for poochie to get into bed. Poochie was there to try it and it worked fine, and the other one was sold also, not sure where. Painesville Flea Market comes to mind, but can't say for certain, plus it doesn't really matter, does it?
I recently made a two step stool for my son, his wife and their doggie, Lema. It was actually for Lema, so they said. Lema is ten, and a very lovable pitbull that you would not know it was a pitbull unless someone told you. It's more some kind of terrier that he got as a pup. But that old vet in Euclid, you know, the one near the service garage by the freeway, first told me that he was a pitbull on the very first visit ten years ago. And I could tell that he really did not like Lema because of that alone. This visit came right after an incident in Los Angeles that made national news about an attack by pitbulls in an apartment building and that pissed him off . I assured him that we had never been to LA and this was not one of them. Back then, attacks by pitbulls was in the news every week. So this vet acted totally indifferent to Lema. I don't even remember why we were there because Lema is not my dog, so I must having been doing my son a favor. After that, I no longer liked the old vet and stopped going. I only went there because he was inexpensive. Having put two labs to sleep and cremated, I know how costly vets can be.
Anyway, Lema's family have a high bed that Lema has a hard time "leaping" into it, just like the lady at Spring Fling. So they had to lift Lema into bed each night. My son asked for a step stool and I made one from 3/4" plywood. Strong, solid enough for an adult and easy for them to finish with any paint since he is not so handy. Plus with paint, it did not matter if you saw the edges because they would cover up with paint anyway. I made it a little wider, and a little deeper for good ol' Lema.
But once they put it in place by the bed, Lema decided that he was not as handicapped as he was letting on and pretty quick got his "leap" back. So now, the step stool is another useful additon to their household for those hard to reach places.
And that is one of the reasons I love to make step stools and stools. Because people need them for all sorts of reasons. They are just so darn handy. For example, let's say your a little older. You play on the floor or the driveway (yes; don't laugh; the driveway; like when you "chalk" pictures) with your grandkids like I do. Sometimes getting up off the floor (or ashphalt) can be pretty painful. I know! I helped my dad up many a time, and there was always the grunts and groans from being in one position too long. Now I know just how he must have felt. So with the aid of a step stool, you can use it to get leverage for that lift up from the floor. Plus you can lead on it while sitting on the floor.
But if its ease of working you want; take a look at this:
This is a garden bench. But this goes with what I was saying about being a helper as well as just a plain garden bench. The seat on this one is lower than usual. It is about 13" high. High enough to sit ok, but I have another great use for it.
(Note that most chairs at the dining room or kitchen table are around 16" or 17" with a slope towards the back, and benches can be anything you want, but 15" is a good height for sitting outside.)
You know when you are digging in the ground! They call it planting! Well I can't sit on the ground like I used to as mentioned before, or kneel very well. But I can get down on my knees (with knee pads from Harbor Freight) put my chest on the seat part of that 13" bench and have both hands free to do what I want. After a little work, I lean back, move the bench. Scoot over a little, lean on it again and continue on. This goes on for a while, and if I get tired, it is there when it is time to stand up, swing my butt around and have a seat. This is a great bench! And it was made last year after the craft shows were done. I left it outside on purpose so it would look much older than it actually was when I took pictures of it. Like a one year old antique. This one would sell for only $18.00 and it even has a handle cut out in the top for easy carrying. Let's be real clear here! I do not, repeat, do not like anything about gardening. I give a lot of credit to gardeners, as well as anyone that does anything with their hands, but gardening is not for me. So any aid that will make my life doing gardening with Debbee easier is fine with me, especially if I made it. Something I am thinking about is this same 13" bench, but with a shelf under the seat so I would not need a separte carry-all to drag around. I had better make a note of that before I forget.
I also make regular benchs with a seat height that takes no effort to stand up from. Some even have backs, like the garden bench shown on the web site http://www.lccornhole.com/. I had that one at the Painesville Flea Market and one elderly fellow would come by the booth each day (Sat and Sun only), "sit a spell" and just chit chat with me. I enjoyed the company since I was not going anywhere for a while. Besides, he was quite knowledgeable, knew everyone in the place, and gave me tips on what I should be making. Point is, he had a limp, was able to "take a load off", and then easily got back up, refreshed, and continued on.
The grandkids, Abby and Livi, use the step stools and benchs like stages for whatever musical shows they are putting on. I remember when they were 2 yrs old and 4 yrs old, they would line up the stools according to height and play for hours. They have one chair with a back that swings down to be a step of 2" and a seat of about 4", then a stool or two that are 6" then finally a step stool that is 7" and 12" and "bingo"; their stage. Of course, they got to take one home if mommy would allow.
I made a really nice one for them that could not tip. (pictured below) This was also decorated by Debbee. They get good use from it to this day at the bathroom sink and all around the house I'm sure.
As the note says, the legs are wider than the stepping area, so there is no way to tip this over front to back. As with the one at the top of the page (the brown one); the legs on that one are equal to the step in both width and length. It is very, very hard to tip.
Safety first is job one. I know Ford already said that, but it really is pretty important.
Alrighty then! Benchs, step stools and stools. Mighty useful in the house or outside. And fun to make. Any wood laying around can end up as a stool or bench. Or even a plant stand.
But thats for another day.