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Stepstool for Vanity???

Ecbntmkr's picture

Hi all,
I am looking at building a two-step step-stool for a vanity in a childrens bathroom. My thought is to have a stool that pulls out of the toekick (like a drawer) and then either swivels up or pops up so that there are 2 steps. Has anyone ever seen or made anything like this? Thanks for your help.
Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot
mikegagne's picture

(post #73245, reply #1 of 22)

Ecb, I made one that looked like a drawer using Accuride box glides with the drawer box upside down. I used hdpe plastic on the bottom for slippage on the tile floor. It worked well.
aloha, mike

Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #73245, reply #2 of 22)

Mike,
Thanks for the reply. I've done the same thing, but this one needs to have 2 steps. I'm trying to figure out a way to get the second step to "pop" up or something.
Thanks,
Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot

John_D's picture

(post #73245, reply #3 of 22)

We had one when I was a kid.  There was a dowel maybe 1 1/2" from the bottom of the leg, an inch in from the back.  Attached to the dowel was a shorter step.  You could flip the step up and forward, and it would recess into the larger step.  Flip it down, you have a half-height step up to the main step.


Closest standard thing I can compare the motion to, imagine the infeed table for a lunchbox planer, how it flips up and out of the way.


The flip-down step of course had little legs on it to keep it at the right height.


My goal is for my work to outlast me.  Expect my joinery to get simpler as time goes by.
My goal is for my work to outlast me.  Expect my joinery to get simpler as time goes by.
mikegagne's picture

(post #73245, reply #6 of 22)

<I've done the same thing, but this one needs to have 2 steps. I'm trying to figure out a way to get the second step to "pop" up or something.>

a 22" glide should accomodate 2 steps easily with the top step behind a drop down panel that folds down in front of the lower step. I cant imagine anything in a pop up that would remain safe for the growing life of a child. My 2¢........ aloha, mike

Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #73245, reply #9 of 22)

Mike,
Thanks for your input. Your post triggered an idea that got me pointed in the direction that I think I want to go. I'm thinking of a box that folds back over upon itself for the second step. When I get it done, I'll post a pic.
Thanks again for the input. Sometimes I just need a couple more peoples thoughts to get me past a roadblock.
Thanks,
Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot

mikegagne's picture

(post #73245, reply #10 of 22)

<Sometimes I just need a couple more peoples thoughts to get me past a roadblock>

I know exactly what you mean...... aloha, mike

QCInspector's picture

(post #73245, reply #4 of 22)

My friend made a two-step stool but it didn't slide into the toe kick. It was hinged at the front edge of the cabinet behind the doors so that when it swung down the kids could climb up to the sink and brush their teeth. When they were done, they flipped it back in and closed the cabinet doors. It was simpler, stronger, and lasted through three kids. I think it's out in his workshop now, so he can park his backside on it when he is working on the brakes of his car.

AndyE's picture

(post #73245, reply #5 of 22)

What if you did something like two steps of a wooden ladder. Lays flat into the toe kick. Slides out to the end of travel of the slides. Lays back at the appropriate angle toward and against the cabinet doors which are of course sturdy enough to take the pressure. Solid wood doors with a center stile or stop along the top rail? I will draw a pic and upload it to give a clearer idea if you need.

Andy

"It seemed like a good idea at the time"

Andy
AndyE's picture

(post #73245, reply #7 of 22)

Here is a quick sketch I did, on the computer, that may explain my idea a little clearer. Hope this helps.

Andy

"It seemed like a good idea at the time"

Andy
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Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #73245, reply #8 of 22)

Way too funny!!! I'd post a pic of what I want to do but my computer doesn't have the drawing capabilities of yours. If you're ever in Wisconsin give me a call, I think our humor interests would fall into the same line. I've been laughing about your post all evening.
Seriously, I like your idea (and it is better then my original one) but I'm concerned about where the stool would rest on this specific cabinet. I think I'm going to use a combination of the ideas suggested here and build a box with a top on drawer slides. When pulled out, the front third of the box will flip up and over onto itself (the back two thirds of the box) to make the second step. That should give me two steps that have a rise of 4 1/2" each, and a wide sturdy step stool. Thanks again for the post, when I get the final project done, I'll post a pic.
Thanks again,
Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot

AndyE's picture

(post #73245, reply #11 of 22)

Eric,

"but I'm concerned about where the stool would rest on this specific cabinet."

I had those same thoughts as I was sketching and thought of a solution but forgot to add it in the notes. If the toekick was attached to the top of the "ladder" so that when the unit was pulled out and flipped up the kick would, being the same width as the cabinet I assume, rest on the edges of the box, or at the least on the doors where the hinges are. In that case support would not be as much of an issue. I also thought that the top edge of the kick could be beveled to complement the angle the ladder sits at- a plumb cut essentially. That edge is hidden by the overhang and is out of view when the unit is stored.

Whether or not you use this idea, I think I will use it myself if I get to redoing the kids bathroom before they grow up too much.

Good luck with it and let me know what your final solution turn out to be.

As for my computer drawing program, when I learned to draft in college, we did it by hand. CAD was still a bit too expensive and new for us poor students. In the 16 years since I haven't had enough need of it to learn it, and as a Mac user the decent programs are pretty $$$. I do most of my sketching on the train, (90 min ride- each way). Helps to pass the time.

LOL right there with ya'.

Andy

"It seemed like a good idea at the time"

Andy
Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #73245, reply #12 of 22)

Andy,
I promised pictures of this when I was done, so here they are. Not something that I would want to do alot of, but figuring it all out was fun. I threw it in as a bonus for friends (I did their whole house, kitchen, laundry, entertainment wall, vanities, etc.) I should have kept track of my time a little better, but I can't imagine anyone paying what I would have to charge for it. Enjoy!

Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot
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John_D's picture

(post #73245, reply #13 of 22)

That's clever and attractive.  I will adapt this idea when my girls get bigger.


Thanks for sharing it!


My goal is for my work to outlast me.  Expect my joinery to get simpler as time goes by.
My goal is for my work to outlast me.  Expect my joinery to get simpler as time goes by.
AndyE's picture

(post #73245, reply #15 of 22)

Eric,

Nice job. I have actually been thinking about that the last few days and wondering how it was progressing. Looks nice and solid. The nylon slides underneath are a great idea.

Are the drawer slides at full extension when the unit is open? If not is there a lock or catch of some kind? What is the height of that top step, 8" or 9" it looks like. Should be just right. I was thinking back to my semi-cad sketch and how I had the ladder coming much further up. Seems now that would have been overkill.

Looks great, and I hope you don't mind if I steal that idea when I have to redo mine. Though by then they might (will) be big enough not to need it.

Thanks for the update.

Andy

Andy

"It seemed like a good idea at the time"

Andy
Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #73245, reply #17 of 22)

Andy,
Thanks for the comments. To answer your questions, yes, the slides are at full extension when it is pulled out. When the second step is flipped up, there is only about a 1/2" between the door and the step so it can't slide back in that much anyway. Plus, the slightest pressure and the nylon glides keep it pretty firm to the floor. Pretty good "tape measure eyes", the step height is 8 1/2". I normally build my cabinets with 4 1/2" toekick, but built this one with a 5" just to pick up a little more room for clearance and the steps.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks again,
Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot

LarryN's picture

(post #73245, reply #16 of 22)

That's pretty slick, Eric!

dooskont's picture

(post #73245, reply #20 of 22)

This is just what I have been looking for. I am planning to do the same except to contain a bathroom scale. But I did not know how to approach the problem. Maybe you can help.


I was going to use a magnetic touch latch so that the bathroom scale shelf could be opened and closed with a touch of the foot.


But how do you construct it so that it can bear 200 to 300 pounds without stressing the slides and yet have it roll out effortlessly? I note that you have added some glides under the drawer front. Does this increase the friction to the point that a touch latch will be unable to release the drawer so that it can be slid out after it is released without having to bend over?


 


Any help will be appreciated.


Will

Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #73245, reply #21 of 22)

Will,
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I thought the thread was dead, and I never received e-mail that you had posted.
To answer your question. I put 1/2" high nylon glides under the box that ride on the floor. The slides are more for direction. Therefore the weight is born through the box directly to the floor. It helped that the floor was very level and tiled. As I thought about your project, I had a few thoughts and questions. I would assume that the platform that the scale would rest on would need to be fairly shallow. But it would also need to be strong. The important thing to remember in this would be that any deflection in the platform, slides, etc. would throw the calibration of the scale off causing it to not read correctly. I guess that I would build a platform or box about 2 1/2" high but build it like a mini torsion box. I would consider one of the following 3 options to bear the weight through to the floor: nail on nylon glides, casters, or UHMW, the polyethylene stuff used on table saw fences. If you went with the UHMW, you could attach 2 or 3 strips from front to back to carry the weight. I would still use ball bearing slides for guidance. You also don't have to settle for the standard 100 lb rated slides, they make up to 500lb rated. You mentioned a magnetic touch latch, but I think the following link might be a better option for this application.

http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&p=40167&cat=3,43614,43617

Hopes this helps,
Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot
artd10's picture

(post #73245, reply #14 of 22)

There is a toe kick one in the Woodworker's Hardware catalog. Art 

Ecbntmkr's picture

(post #73245, reply #18 of 22)

Art,
I looked online at the one in woodworkers hardware, but I don't get how it is used. Have you ever used it?
Eric

"When it comes time to die, make sure all you have to do is die." -Jim Elliot

artd10's picture

(post #73245, reply #19 of 22)

No, it just happened to catch my eye as I was going through the catalog looking for something else the same day as this discussion came up so I passed it on. Art.

Bkopacka's picture

Vanity Blue Print (post #73245, reply #22 of 22)

Does anyone have a blue print for this vanity with the step stool, It exactly what I have been looking for a kids bathroom.

 

Thank you for your help.