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The generation of all plastic and metal still leaves a good place for some traditional objects. Thus, the stepladder chair remains a highly sought-after object. In addition to its particular appeal collectors, it is also very convenient to access - for example - the upper shelves of a library.

Make a chair-stepladder

Level: confirmed.
Realization: 2 weekends
Cost: 50 to 80 €, according to local course of the oak.
Mini equipment: combined wood, band saw
See the map of this project (in pdf): chair or stepladder: the plan

Space saving and practicality

The stepladder chair is one of the many so-called "transformation" furniture designed decades ago to save space in small apartments. An articulated seat, four additional uprights and shelves concealed in the base allow this transformation: just toss the head back and back over the head to transform them into a raised and reveal a rise of four steps. The model that we propose you, decorated with scalloped cuttings, is in solid oak, to the choice waxed in the old or varnished. Two brass compasses, made for the occasion, keep the chair closed and secure the open stool.

Description

Two front feet, two back feet, crossbeams and a seat, until then nothing more normal for a chair... but on that one, the seat is divided into two sub-units, a base and a raised, articulated one to the other by two hinges implanted in the seat. A pair of studs arranged diagonally on each side allows the separation of the two parts.
The base rests on the front legs and two of the uprights whose beveled end assembles directly to the first. In the lower part, the connection is made by side rails. Two front rails maintain the spacing of the sides and support one before the seat, the other a lower shelf.
The two risers of the riser are identical to those of the front except that their bevel is at the bottom, and the side rails at the top. The feet are slightly inclined, the angle of the bevel is not the same as the base. Under the seat are two shelves, one almost on the ground, the other extending that of the base. Four sleepers connect the feet: two under the seat and the shelf, two others forming the backrest.
In order to support the riser stably step ladder, the height of the backrest is equal to that of the base, seat included. The lower shelf then becomes the top step, supported by two consoles. The two intermediate shelves form steps one and three. And the two parts of the seat, flat on one another, constitute the middle step.

Assemblies and decorations

The frame is assembled by tenons and mortises. Those of the lateral crosspieces with the uprights and the feet are oriented according to the angles of connection. The studs to the amounts are further supported. The uprights and the feet, slotted in vis-à-vis, are connected by false tenons.
The two parts of the seat are screwed into the side rails and at the end of the uprights and front legs. The upper step is screwed by the sides and consoles, themselves screwed to the feet. The other two steps are inserted screwed into the sides in 10 x 12 mm grooves open in the feet and uprights. The upper step and the rear element of the seat are notched to fit between them.
Many pieces are fretworked. The base of the front feet is slightly curved. The upper part of the back legs, curved to form the backrest, ends in a roll to give the support of the stool. The lower edge of the front and rear bass rails is cut into a brace, the intermediate cross-member of the backrest being contented with a cut-out in a policeman's hat. The upper crosspiece combines the two forms, further embellished with a recess that takes the place of handle.
The contour of the seat is resumed in soft curves, and the two outer corners of the upper step cut in a quarter circle. The other steps have no ornament, nor the uprights and side rails.

First machining

Such an embodiment is carried out from a scale at the scale 1. This allows on the one hand to precisely note the cutting angles and tenoning, on the other hand to establish the framing templates. The latter, made of strong cardboard, are cut with a cutter and sanded to obtain sharp edges.
Parts are debited and corrected according to the debit card. The outline of the feet is marked in pencil on the blanks using templates, before cutting with a band saw. The songs are then sanded, grain 80 then 120. The sleepers are scribed according to the same method, but after tenoning. The ends of the posts are cut obliquely with a circular saw.

Mortises and tenons

The mortises, marked with the sketch, are traced on the feet and uprights in pencil and two-point truscan. The mortises of the uprights are not perpendicular to their axis, and the purity is again put to contribution to wedge them on the carriage of the mortiser with wick.
Highly requested, the assemblies of a chair, and a fortiori a stool, must be precise. Adjusting the router to machine the posts therefore requires care. To make the job easier, plan additional sleepers for your tests. The shoulders of the inclined tenons of the lateral crosspieces are cut with a bandsaw. The mortises are squared to the chisel and the tenons rounded to the rasp.

Sitting and steps

The shelves and the seat are made of several pieces, assembled with grooves and false tongues, but nothing forbids to prefer the real ones. The seat and intermediate shelves are prepared in one piece. After gluing, the scalloped contours of the seat are traced, then cut with a band saw, as well as the notches for the passage of the rear feet (at the same time work on the steps of the upper step and round off its angles). Finally sand the songs to eliminate sawing marks.

Cut the seat with the circular saw, resting on the back edge, the only one remaining straight. To split intermediate shelves, tilt the blade according to the angle of the studs. Finally, cut the holes for fixing the seat to the frame, including chamberings.

The assembly

The assembly of the frame starts from the sides, then joined by the front and rear sleepers. The grooves for the insertion of the steps are here cut afterwards with the saw to back and the chisel with wood. If you have difficulty mastering these hand tools, flange together the front and back structures of the sides. Then mill the grooves to the guided router against a ruler.
The pilot holes for screwing in the steps and the counters of the screw heads are drilled into the structure. The consoles are cut with band saw, then sanded and attached to the feet. The three steps are glued and screwed in place. After laying its hinges, the seat is finally installed, bringing together the two parts of the chair.

Finishes

The two brass compasses are manufactured and positioned. All hardware is then deposited for final sanding. On oak, it is useless to go beyond grain 180; do not use steel wool in this wood, the large pore may retain metal particles, which blackened under the action of tannin in contact with possible moisture. Apply a layer of cellulosic fuzz and, if desired, two coats of wax or varnish of the same kind. Finally remount the hardware store.

Draw the sketch

Draw the sketch

The first work to be done is the drawing of a 1-scale sketch. Then to postpone the shape of the scalloped pieces on the cutting templates, drill a series of holes through the drawing.

Post the plot and cut

Post the plot and cut

Then recompose the drawing on the template by connecting the holes with a new line of pencil, then cut the cardboard with the cutter on the outside of this line. Clean the contour with the sanding block.

Templates of the front and back feet

Templates of the front and back feet

Debit and copy drafts. After choosing the siding and the direction of the pieces, refer with a pencil well trimmed the contour of the templates of the front and back feet on the planed boards.

Chantourner feet

Chantourner feet

Sing the feet with a band saw. Guide the blade to the outside of the line, as close as possible but without biting. To facilitate maneuvers, first drill a hole in the inside corners.

sand down

sand down

If your saw blade is perfectly sharp, you may have the chance to go directly to manual sanding. Otherwise remove the saw marks first with a fine grater.

Postpone angles

Postpone angles

Raise on the spur the angles of the uprights with a grasshopper. Place them on the feet and adjust the saw cart without disturbing the square. Operate in series for each of the three different angles.

Trace the cheeks

Trace the cheeks

Mark the ends of the mortises with a square. Then trace the cheeks with a mortise truscan (adjustable double point). With a simple truscan, it is more difficult to be precise.

Prepare the mortising

Prepare the mortising

When slotting, it is important to respect the angle of the end of the uprights by clamping them on the carriage of the machine. Also, be careful not to cross the room, the cut being shallow.

Make settings for tennonage

Make settings for tennonage

The tenoning of sleepers to the top is done with two trays. The result is more accurate than working "on the fly" with a single tool. Take the time to heal the settings.

Tie the sleepers

Tie the sleepers

These adjustments do not only concern the cutting height, but also the angle of the carriage ruler, because the cross members are not all at 90°. To tenon the side rails, use the adjustable bracket again, unless your combo has a very precise angular adjustment... and more. Do not omit the essential martyr to avoid chips at the output of cut.

Cut out the assembly pin

Cut out the assembly pin

The mounting pin of each cross member to the corresponding amount is stepped and inclined. Carefully draw the angle, hatch the chute to avoid mistakes, and cut with a band saw.

Go to blank

Go to blank

The elements of the frame are ready. Check on the sketch, then make a first blank mounting to make sure there are no errors (the wrong side mortises are a classic).

Chantourner the amounts

Chantourner the amounts

To facilitate their tenoning, the front and rear amounts are fretted after the fact. The procedure is the same as for the feet: making a template, report, then cutting with a band saw.

Assemble the steps panels

Assemble the steps panels

The panels of the steps are assembled by groove and with the choice, tongue or false tongue. The second solution saves oak, but requires the manufacture of hardwood slats 20 x 5 mm section.

Seat and tablets

Seat and tablets

The panels are assembled with vinyl glue. The seat is made in one piece and slotted with a circular saw. It is the same for tablets, cut at the same angle as the amounts.

Draw the outline of the contour

Draw the outline of the contour

The outline of the scalloped contour of the seat is drawn on the panel after gluing. Apart from the notch of passage of the back feet, the form is relatively free as long as it is symmetrical.

Assemble the sides

Assemble the sides

Assembly is done starting from the sides. To make it easier to press, they are assembled in symmetrical pairs, by inserting abrasive scraps to prevent the pieces from sliding.

Assemble the front and rear subassemblies

Assemble the front and rear subassemblies

In a second step, the two front and rear subassemblies are assembled. If you prefer to cut the grooves of the steps to the router rather than to the hand, do it first.

Threading the steps

Threading the steps

After grooving, prepare the pilot holes for screwing the steps. Paste (without excess) then put in place the two steps, their song inclined flush with the face of the ties, and screw them.

Fix the march

Fix the march

Trace the location of the step up on the inside of the uprights and feet back, drill its screw holes. Cut out and screw in place the two consoles flush with the plot, then fix the step.

Screw the hinges

Screw the hinges

Bridle both sides of the seat side by side to mark the edges of the hinges. Cut with chisel, drill pilot holes, screw the hinges without leaving any offensive relief.

Solidarize the two parts of the chair

Solidarize the two parts of the chair

Bridle the two parts of the chair temporarily with clamps and secure them permanently by gluing and screwing the seat in place. The heads of the screws must be embedded in the wood.

Drill the fixing holes of the compass

Drill the fixing holes of the compass

Prepare the brass compasses. After putting the bars to length, locate the holes. Do not pierce without a needle punch to prevent the wick from ripping. The holes are then made conical with a mill to integrate screw heads. The holes of the pivot screws are ø 5 mm; the others, each open to a different side of the fitting, are ø 10 mm.

Screw the compasses

Screw the compasses

Present the compass in place closed chair to locate the location; screw them on the front post. Then step ladder to fix the screws on the back legs.


Video Instruction: DIY Step Ladder Chair