You can make this project easy and get your local Bunnings to cut the 90mm x 19mm dowel in the following sizes for you:
Measure and mark your piece of the 30mm ply for the two steps. We've made our top step 360mm x 450mm and the lower step 250mm x 450mm.
Clamp the piece of ply securely to your workbench. Then use the circular saw and straight edge to cut the top and step to size.
You can give the step stool a stylish look by rounding the corners on both steps. Mark this out on the step corners by tracing around a cylinder shape, such as an aerosol can or a coffee mug.
To make the handle, measure and mark a rectangular-shaped cut on the top of the step stool. We centred our handle 20mm from the edge, and made it 30mm wide and 120mm long. To match our steps, we want rounded ends, so we used a cylinder to mark this shape.
On the smaller bottom step, use the set square to measure and mark the checkouts for the legs to slide in. We placed ours 40mm in from either end. Each checkout measured 20mm x 150mm deep to accommodate the thickness of the leg timber.
Now clamp the ply to your workbench. Use the jigsaw to cut the rounded corners on the top and lower step.
Now clamp the timber to your workbench and use the jigsaw to cut the checkouts. For any areas that are difficult to cut with the jigsaw, use the 10mm bit to drill holes to accommodate the jigsaw and continue cutting. You can also use the jigsaw to cut out the handle. Pre-drill holes to make cutting the handle out easier.
We used Tasmanian oak hardwood for our supports. Measure and mark for two of them at 330mm. Use the drop saw to make the cuts straight.
Our four legs are made from Tasmanian oak hardwood. Cut the four legs on an angle so that when the stool is open it sits flat on the floor. Dock the end of your timber, then measure and mark for the 330mm length. Set the mitre or drop saw to 22 degrees to make the angled cuts, making sure both ends are parallel. Repeat for the three other legs.
Measure and mark for the two lower step supports. Ours were 160mm from the longest angle to the shortest angle. Set the mitre or drop saw to 22 degrees and cut both edges to have parallel angles.
Now that all of the timber is cut to size, give it a sand to make it smooth. Use the orbital sander with a 120 grit pad and hand sand any hard-to-reach areas such as the handles. Then graduate to 240 grit sandpaper.
Take the 330mm straight cut support and attach a leg piece, with the parallel angle cut, to both sides. This makes the hinged or folding back legs of the stool. Clamp the timber into place and glue the 90mm side edges. Make sure they are flush to both sides, before fixing into place with the 30mm brads. Repeat the process for the second straight-cut support. Attach it to the longest point of the 330mm on the opposite end. The 90mm piece of timber should be attached horizontally to the sides.
The two hinges are attached to the underside of the stool top. On the underside of the top, measure and mark a centre line and 70mm from each edge for the hinges. Their location is important – it needs to match the cut outs on the lower step. Be sure the hinge itself faces back toward the handle.
Once you are satisfied the hinges are in the right location, mark them. Pre-drill with the 2mm bit and then screw them in. The hinges will be concealed when the stool is complete.
Lay the piece of 160mm timber on top of the 330mm piece. Make sure the angled edges are flush. Then glue and secure them using the fixing gun and 25mm brads. These supports reinforce the lower step.
Place the small step onto the workbench with the underside facing up. Slot the legs into the checkouts. Remember the reinforced part of the leg will ultimately be facing towards the ground. The un-reinforced part of the leg will be closest to the top of the stool. Glue and nail the front legs into the lower step.
Once the components are complete, attach the front legs and step to the top of the stool. Slide the hinge leg into the checkouts and flip it over for final assembly. Apply glue to the top edge of the leg. Secure using the nail gun and 30mm brads through the top of the stool.
Fill any holes with putty and wait for it to dry. Sand the rough edges and wipe away any dust before painting.
You can leave the stool raw or paint your stool to match your décor. Use masking tape to cover any areas you don't want painted. Apply as many coats as needed for good coverage and leave to dry between coats.