I was asked to make my 1st grandchild a little wood footstool similar to the one his mother had as a child. Her mother still has hers, and it is shown below:
I designed the new stool to be similar to the old one. I will use 2 pieces of hard maple, standard thickness of 3/4", glued up to make the top. I found in Sketchup that the Plump font was the best available for the letters.
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.
-make 2 blanks, slightly larger than final dimensions, so they can be glued together and then sawed to final size
-run glued up blanks through planer and kiss them enough to removed the mismatch at the glue joints
-print out full scale paper of the letters and glue on top of 1 top blank with white Elmer's glue
-scroll saw the letters
-glue the 2 blanks together to make the top
I wrapped some sandpaper around a dowel, and used it to enlarge the letter holes.
Hopefully these stools will become family heirlooms, and get kept for a couple of generations.
Some Lessons Learned I had were:
I went to Menards and they no longer had the same style of wood legs, now all they offer is plain tapered legs, which is fine. You have to be sure to get the angled steel brackets and not the plain 90 degree brackets for this stool application.
I did not use the oven to dry any of the boards I glued up for the top.
I did use it to speed up the drying of the 2 coats of polyurethane. I was surprised to see a crack open up on the board. At this point, I just filled it with polyurethane. I have no idea why the crack opened up, since the top and bottom should have expanded the same amount when in the oven?
I sawed the legs so 4.75" was left on the legs. Because they are tapered, I do not know any easy way to lay them in the radial arm saw, or chop saw, to saw them at 90 degrees......so I clamped them in the vise and hand sawed them. Since there are 4 legs, 1 of them will required some trial and error shortening, so the table sits flat.
I think we are done adding new grandkids, so maybe I am done building these stools :) Hopefully they will become family heirlooms that last for future generations.