Building a Little Helper Tower

With our little munchkin now being very curious whenever we're working in the kitchen, I decided to build him a Helping Tower based on plans from Ana White.  I haven't done many woodworking projects in awhile, and certainly none of a larger size where finish quality mattered.  The end result came out quite nicely and is being enjoyed so far:

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Given the amount of time that would be involved in making it, I decided to use maple which also better matches the other furniture we have in our kitchen.  I ended up making a bunch of modifications to the plans:

  • Due to the stock available, the corner posts ended up being 2x2's and other dimensions were adjusted accordingly.  I had to make adjustments to a few other pieces as well based on the stock that was available at Anderson McQuaid.
  • Based on someone else's idea, I also put in slats to allow the adjustable platform to be moved up to be a counter-height high chair.  I will need to put in safety straps before using it this way, however.
  • I routed the top to give it a more finished look.  I also made more decorative feet to match the feet I added to our [kitchen nook table][] a few years back.
  • The anti-tip feed on the side facing the counter can fold inwards to allow it to get closet in to the island.

I used a Kreg Jig for the first time to create the pocket holes and it worked very nicely and made assembly fairly straight-forward.  Clamping in-place prior to screwing in turned out to be critical.  The end result is quite sturdy.

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More photos are here.

The tower is finished with Zar's Honey Maple and then three coats of General Finishing's Toy Maker's Finish.

Close up of the folding feed on one side:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="512"][][] folding feed[/caption]

I put plugs into the upper pocket holes to make them look better:

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[]: http://nygren.org/gallery/index.cgi?mode=image&album=/2014/09-helping-tower&image=IMG_2621.JPG []: http://nygren.org/gallery/index.cgi?mode=image&album=/2014/09-helping-tower&image=IMG_2665.JPG []: http://nygren.org/gallery/index.cgi?mode=image&album=/2014/09-helping-tower&image=IMG_2668.JPG []: http://nygren.org/gallery/index.cgi?mode=image&album=/2014/09-helping-tower&image=IMG_2656.JPG

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