Building a Step Stool with Deployable Legs

Woodworking Workshop
Building a Step Stool with Deployable Legs

Woodworker and piano technician Jack Houweling wanted a stool for his shop that he could comfortable sit on. He also wanted one that he could confidently stand on. The answer was a stool with deployable/retractable legs.

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The design that Jack came up with is super simple, easy to build, and uses common shop tools and materials that you may already have on hand: plywood, nuts, bolts, and washers. That’s it.

Once built, the legs tuck up under the body of the stool when it’s in step stool mode. To make it into a sitting stool, you simply hold the stool by the handle built into the seat, give the stool a firm shake, and the legs deploy. Satisfying.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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