Are you looking for a nice, simple workshop project to build indoors during the cold winter months? We found one by that we couldn’t resist sharing with you. Enjoy!


What’s better than a simple stool project? A ridiculously simple one. Here are plans for a workshop stool you can make, inspired by that “simpler is better” concept.

  • TIME: One Day

  • COMPLEXITY: Simple

  • COST: $20 – $100

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Getting Started

Build the two side ladders

Begin by building the two side ladders using the spacing shown in Figure A. Use a square to ensure each “rung” is square to the leg, then secure each using glue and 1-1/4-in. screws (Photo 1).

Photo 1: Cut the pieces to length, then glue and screw the crosspieces to the legs. Use a square to ensure the assemblies are square.

Use a 1/4-in. round-over bit to soften the outer edges of each leg. Stand the two ladder sides facing each other and install the two steps and the back brace. Predrill the holes to prevent splitting.

Figure A: Workshop stool

Flip the top down and you have a stool for sitting or working; flip it up and you have a small stepladder for reaching. Build two of them and you have sawhorses for supporting sheets of plywood or long boards when working.

Finishing the Stool

Put it all together

Cut the two top boards to length and round over the top edges. Secure the two top edges to each other using 2-1/2-in. no-mortise hinges; regular hinges will also work but will leave a slightly wider gap. Position the hinged-together top boards so they overhang the sides of the legs by about 3/4 in. and the front and back by about 3/8 in. Attach one of the top boards to the top “rungs” of the ladder using 2-in. screws.

Photo 2: Attach the two steps and the back brace to the ladder sides. Use hinges to join the two top pieces, then secure one of the boards to the top “rungs.”

Download the Plans: Ridiculously Simple Shop Stool

Tools & Materials

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Cordless drill

  • Circular saw or miter saw

  • Router

  • 1/4-in. round-over bit

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 16′ 1×3

  • 2′ 1×4
  • 3′ 1×6
  • 4′ 1×8
  • Hinges

  • 1-1/4″ screws

  • 2″ screws

  • Wood glue