Stan’s Hoosier Step Stool

My wife isn’t that tall and I like to sit and chat. To accommodate these two things we had to have a stool and a small step stool kicking around in our small kitchen. I saw this plan in Woodworker’s Journal for a Hoosier Step Stool a few years ago and finally had enough confidence to try to build it.

The construction was actually pretty straight forward, a couple of mortise and tenon ladder frames that the steps got mortised and tenoned into. The seat is attached with a couple of screws through each of the top rails and with the four braces. The wood braces are further reinforced with metal angle brackets set into routed out grooves. The light color of the maple with the clear wipe on poly finish goes well with the natural hickory cabinets of the kitchen. Each time I do a project I learn something new and this project was no exception. I really like the look and feel of the maple, but you sure have to have really sharp tools to work it.


  1. Psssdoff February 28, 2013

    fantastic design, simple and effective. great execution as well. this is definitely going on my to do list. what did you use for the non-slip tread?


  2. Mike D. February 28, 2013


  3. My wife is short too and the tall cabinets I have make it complicated for her to reach things. I would surly entertain this option. Great job. I love the maple too.

  4. Stan P February 28, 2013


    I picked up both at our local hardware store. The white ones slide easily across the floor without scratching the floor. I don’t know what the black one are made of but they felt like they were sticky and wouldn’t slip, so I used them.

    Stan P

  5. Thomas G. Kaiser February 28, 2013

    My wife is small too, but I don’t think she knows were the kitchen is!!!

  6. Claude Stewart March 1, 2013

    What a great idea. And nice execution too.

  7. Doug March 1, 2013

    Very nice, Stan. I love all of the comments too. My wife love to cook so this would be in the way – on the other-hand, it would be no more in the way than the stool I sit on now. This one is going on my “to do” list as well. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Psssdoff March 1, 2013


    what about on the steps themselves. looks like sandpaper. what is it?


    • Stan P March 2, 2013

      I thought I would have to use some PSA sandpaper but the hardware store tread material. It looks and feels like PSA sandpaper but I guess the backing is tougher and the grit probably wouldn’t be much good for sanding anything. They sold it by the foot so I only had to buy what I needed.

      Stan P

  9. Charles Kwakye March 3, 2013

    This is a great work. I have been a bit busy with my son, I need to start taken some classes.
    My wife will be so happy if I could really build this.
    Thanks for the posting.

  10. I have made three of these stools/seats in walnut and everyone loves them, esp short people! My mom uses hers for a side table next to here tv chair in the living room.
    great to see others have taken on the challenge! definitely a tough little project abd well worth cutting parts for two or more at once. markc

  11. BTOWNE November 13, 2014

    Hi. I was reading through the comments trying to find out where you bought the stools from. There was a lot of funny things being said, but I couldn’t find it, so I’m sorry if I’m asking something that has already been asked, but…could you tell me where you bought the stools from? Thank you.

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