January 11, 2015
A few years back I designed and built this step stool with a custom logo inlayed in stone as a christmas present. While a step stool might not seem like the coolest present; for someone that's about 5'1" tall it's probably pretty useful.
- Cherry wood
- Poplar wood (lighter accents)
- Travertine stone
- Stain / polyurethane finish
- Wood glue (TiteBond 2)
- Clear drying epoxy
- Tools: Table saw, jigsaw, drill, pencil, xacto knife, wood chisel.
I sketched out a logo "Riss" to customize the step stool in a style based on her love for coffee products and carved the logo into the top leaving the inside wood of the carving rough for maximum adhesion area. Because of the fine lines of the design, I smashed a piece of travertine into small particles and blended it with a clear drying epoxy to smear into the carved out area. Once dry, I sanded it down to the wood surface level, revealing the raw stone, now firmly attached to the wood.
Construction consisted of ~one foot wide (tapered to the top) side pieces (legs), a double thickness top piece with the logo carved into it, and a cross brace between the legs.
The sides and top were attached using a twisted/modified dovetail design to lock the pieces together as best as possible. Which worked. With only the top and legs in place (without glue or fasteners of any sort) I could jump around on the stool without any motion or instability.
After a dry fit of all the parts (and a bit of sanding), I stained the top and sides. I also cut out three small groves in the area between the two top pieces to add strength to the glue and an interesting contrasting design element.
After everything was stained and glued I used a spray polyurethane finish. And then wrapped and delivered it to its new owner. I neglected to get a completed picture. Oops. If I had to do it over, I would choose different wood and allow more time for detailed sanding and finishing.