The Dale Maley Family Web Site


Child's Stool with Name

My son and his wife are expecting their first child, which will be our first grandchild. His wife had a little stool with her first name on it when she was a child. She requested I make one for their first child, with the name Caleb. Here is a picture of her stool......

I went to Menards and found some turned legs the right size, and the steel mounting brackets, usually used on stools or chairs.

Next is the Menards package for the steel mounting plates........

Google Sketchup

I measured Nicole's old stool, then entered the dimensions in Google Sketchup.  I printed a full-scale pattern for the top of the stool. I glued it onto the maple top with white Elmer's glue.  I used the paper pattern to scroll saw out the letters and to cut the top to final size.  I used a "Plump" font for the letters.


I decided to use hard maple from Menard's for this project.  I will use no stain on the table and legs, just 3 coats of polyurethane.  I had to glue up some boards to get the needed width:

Scroll-sawing the Letters

I drilled a very small hole for each letter, near the bottom of the letter so it would be easy to sand out the remains of the drilled hole after scroll-sawing.  I used a number 3 blade:

I had very little burning of the maple from scroll-sawing.  I did break 1 blade about 1/2 way through the job, and I installed a new blade to finish it.  3/4" maple is a hard wood in terms of energy required to scroll saw it.

Installing the Legs

I eye-balled the location of the steel brackets because it is difficult to measure with the rounded corners.

I used a tapered drill bit to drill pilot holes, which is required in hard maple for the screws.  I also put paraffin wax in the holes for lubrication.

Rough Assembled Stool

Sanding the inside of the Letters

I needed a small diameter sanding drum to sand the inside of the letters. I took a short piece of 3/8" diameter dowel and sawed a slit on 1 end. I wrapped a piece of 220 grit sandpaper through the slit and around the dowel. I superglued the end of the sandpaper so it would not unfurl.  I used the square sanding cleaning block to periodically clean it while I sanded the letters.

Varnishing the stool.

I sanded the whole stool with 220 grit than applied the 1st coat of polyurethane. This will be followed by 2 more rounds of 220 grit and polyurethane.

I decided to varnish the stool with the legs attached. I could do the bottom, then flip it over to do the top, sides, and legs.

Painting the letters

I got the acrylic non-toxic paint from Hobby Lobby in Bloomington.

Here are the letters with their 1st coat of paint.

The Finished Stool


Closing ThoughtsThis stool turned out very nicely.  There were no unexpected issues making the stool.  I had to sand the bottom of one leg so all 4 legs set down on a flat surface.  Hopefully this stool will give many hours of fun to my grandson.










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