DIY Ladder Chair: How to Build a Folding Step Stool Chair

Build a DIY ladder chair — a folding step stool chair combination originally invented by Benjamin Franklin (sometimes called a Franklin chair or Franklin ladder). This clever step ladder chair combination is ideal for small spaces. 

DIY Ladder Chair, Folding Step Stool Chair Woodworking Plan

See more woodworking plans here.


Hey there Remodelaholics, Scott here from Saws on Skates. I love designing and building multi-function furniture. (Take a look at my DIY kitty litter cabinet and an outdoor coffee table with four hidden side tables.) My version of Benjamin Franklin’s ladder chair has an updated, modern look, but hints at his original design.

DIY Ladder Chair, Folding Step Stool Chair Woodworking Plan

The original ladder chair would have been constructed with mortise and tenon joints, but, thanks to pocket hole joinery, this DIY ladder chair is easy to assemble.

Get the printable ladder chair plans HERE

How to Build a DIY Ladder Chair

Watch the video here or on our YouTube channel, and be sure to subscribe to see more DIY  videos each week! 


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DIY Ladder Chair, Folding Step Stool Chair Woodworking Plan

Step Stool Chair Materials & Tools

Click here to download the printable building plan.

Converted metric building plan available here. *Metric measurements are our best approximations. 


  • (3) 5/4x2x8 (see notes below)
  • (1) 5/4x3x8
  • (1) 1x2x8
  • (1) 1x2x8
  • (1) 1x3x6
  • (1) 1x4x6
  • (1) 1x5x6
  • (1) 1x6x6
  • 1-1/4″ pocket screws
  • 1-1/2″ pocket screws
  • 1-1/4″ wood screws
  • 2″ wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 1-1/2″x12″ piano hinge

Notes: a 5/4x2x8 measures 1-1/8″ thick x 1-1/2″ wide x 96″. I was not able to locate 5/4×2 at my local big box store. Instead, I ripped 5/4×4 to 1-1/2″.

DIY Ladder Chair, Folding Step Stool Chair Woodworking Plan


DIY Ladder Chair, Folding Step Stool Chair Woodworking Plan

Interested in a step ladder chair combination that’s simpler to build? Our Hoosier step stool can be built by a beginner for under $20!

Ladder Chair Building Instructions

Click here to download the printable building plan.

Converted metric building plan available here. *Metric measurements are our best approximations. 

This Benjamin Franklin Ladder Chair is assembled in 4 main sections: front legs/rails, front steps/cleats and front seat,  back legs/rails and stiles, middle legs and cleats, steps/seat and back seat rails.

The printable building plan includes the materials list above, detailed cut list and assembly instructions, and tips for accurate placement and clamping during assembly.

DIY Ladder Chair, Folding Step Stool Chair Woodworking Plan

Since you’ll be making a lot of angled cuts and precision is important to this design, I highly recommend you review my tips for adjusting your miter saw for accurate cuts and the best way to adjust a table saw blade for precision cuts. 

TIP: For a tailored, professional look,  I used my pocket hole plug cutter to make plugs to fill the holes. Apply glue to the pocket holes and insert the plugs. Trim flush once dry. Then sand and finish as desired.

Thank you for stopping by to check out my DIY ladder chair. Please skate over to Saws on Skates to check out some of my other DIY furniture plans and projects!

Need a smaller stepstool? Build an easy farmhouse stool.

More woodworking plans:

Ladder Chair Woodworking Plan, How To Build A Ladder Chair Stepstool #remodelaholic

Ladder Chair Plan, Printable Woodworking Plan #remodelaholic

Originally published 9 Dec 2017. Last updated 21 Nov 2019.

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Scott eats, dreams and practically has sawdust running through his veins! He's a woodworker, furniture designer, furniture builder and DIYer. His workshop is tiny and all of his tools are on wheels to maximize space. The name of his blog, Saws on Skates, is a wink and a nod to his small, mobile workshop!

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  1. Hi!
    I’ve been very glad to find here building plans of ladder chair which is easy to make with my not so advanced woodworker’s skill. But I live in Europe and am not familiar with measures you use. I can convert inches into mm, I can take a ruler with inches – it can be bought in my country, but I don’t understand the description like this – 5/4x2x8. What does it mean? What is length, thickness etc? What is 5/4? 5 feet 4 inches? Main question – what is the thickness of different parts of the chair?
    Please help me!
    Thanks and Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Victor – Greetings from the US! A 5/4x2x8 measures 1-1/8″ thick x 1-1/2″ wide x 96″ long. Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll do my best to help.

      1. Hi Scott!
        Thank you very much! Your explanation is full, I can now convert all dimentions and make this chair. Thanx a lot!

  2. You have an awsome chair ladder and I want to make it… but I believe that you have a mistake in the plans
    At step 21 you have both sides left and right at 22,5degree but the left side is less… Same left angle at step 18 is 5 degree. Correct me if I’m wrong

  3. Bonjour, j’ai été très heureux de trouver ici des plans de construction de chaise mais je n’arriva pas à télécharger. Je vis en France et je ne suis pas familier avec les mesures que vous utilisez, nous utilisons des métriques.
    Pouvez- vous m’envoyer le plan s’il vous plait?
    merci d’avance et bonne continuation!


  4. Hi Scott,
    Thanks for the plans. Love them as they are straight forward and easy to follow. I’m in Australia but don’t follow the sizes. My daughter has asked me to make the chair.
    I note the comment above 5/4x2x8 = 1-1/4″thick by 1-1/2″ wide by 96″ long but don’t know how you got that from the original. I don’t follow the material sizes ( screws etc OK). I can’t work out the thickness of the material. Dis I miss something?
    I can work in inches or mm.


    1. Near as I can figure, 5/4 x 2 x 8 as he indicated was 5/4 = 1 1/8th but that must be the planed dimension because 5 divided by 4 equals 1 1/4 inches. and he uses 1 1/2 inch for the 2., again a planed dimension. Like when we buy dressed 2 x 4’s. That’s my guess. Never seen it written like that before. I grew up in Canada before we went metric.

  5. My interpitation of 5/4 = 5 quaters = 1/14

    Your plans are confusing because you interchange 5/4
    to mean 5 1/8 in one place and 5/4 in another.

    Get a definition from you lowes dealer. If he disagrees tell him to check it out with his lumber supplier

  6. a 5/4 board dressed works out to just over 1 inch, so the 1 1/8 would be an accurate thickness. However lowes and home depot DONOT carry this board except in treated. use a standard 2×4 (ACTUAL 1 1/2 X 3 1/2) or 2×6 (ACTUAL 1 1/2 X 3 1/2) turn on edge and rip to 1 1/8 inch on table saw.