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I’ve always enjoyed the mental exercise of planning a piece of plywood furniture to maximize efficient use of the material in the sheet stock, so I tend to appreciate good ones when they pop up, every now and again. Here’s a nice example, a 32-inch-tall staircase, with four one-foot steps, from Instructables user Pilgrim55.


Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.



  1. Joel Ebel says:

    I have an issue with four one-foot steps only making a 32-inch-tall staircase.

    1. Jim Cote says:

      there is 4x 8″ steps or a total of 32″

    2. Sage says:

      Not sure if you are joking, but I think he means 1′ wide, not high.

  2. Thanks for the sharing helpful post. I like it.!

  3. Jeff Ballard says:

    by “one-foot” I believe he means literally one foot as in one of your feet per each step

  4. You can use the corner cut-offs as braces inside the box sections (glued and screwed), too, to achieve 100% use. This is very cool and would make an interesting contest.

  5. Damian says:

    For figuring out the optimal use of sheet goods you should give
    a try (no affiliation) it’s really good at figuring out what should go where.

  6. [...] can you make with a single sheet of plywood? Lots of things: a Blue Crab boat, a mini staircase, an 18′ canoe, the list goes on. One of our favorites appeared in MAKE Volume 19: the cozy [...]