The Littlest Helper Tower

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/12/2019 - 14:34
Difficulty
Intermediate
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Build your own toddler step stool and bring your child to counter height. Features adjustable height platform, removable tip resistant kit, and optional fold flat modification.

blue little helper tower in white kitchen

Reader submitted photo by Ginger and the Huth

Dimensions
dimensions diagram for little helper tower
Dimensions are shown above. Heights of rungs are adjustable platform heights. Platform measures 15″ x 18″. You can add additional guards to fit the special needs of your individual child. For an older child you could remove the tip resistant kit for a more compact profile.

Preparation

Shopping List

1 – 1×8, 8 feet long

4 – 1×2, 8 feet long

1 – 1×3, 8 feet long

Cut List

4 – 1×2 @ 38″ (Legs)

8 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Ladder rungs)

1 – 1×8 @ 15″ (Arches) OR 2 - 1x3 @ 15" (Substitute for arches)

2 – 1×8 @ 16 1/2″ (Front and Back Sides)

2 – 1×8 @ 18″ (Platform)

2 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Platform Supports)

2 – 1×2 @ 16 1/2″ (Bottom Supports)

2 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Top Supports)

2 – 1×3 @ 24″ (Tip Resistors)

4 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Tip Resistors)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Jigsaw
Power Sander
Level
Drill Bit Set

Instructions

Step 1

Cut Arches From the 1×8 that is 15″ long, cut arches as shown in diagram with a jigsaw.  Adjust so you can get both arches on the 1x8.

NOTE: Some people just opt for straight boards across as done in this reader submitted photo. 

simple little helper tower modification

You can substitute for 1x3 instead.  This will simplify the building process.

Step 2

Ladder Rungs
 

Measure and mark legs for ladder rung positions. Drill 3/4" pocket holes and apply glue to ends of ladder rungs. Attach with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Build two identical.

Step 3

Assembly

Mark the location of the end pieces and predrill holes. Apply glue and screw in place with pocket hole screws. Adjust for square. You can add additional rails to the front and back as you see fit, but keep the sides open so your youngster can crawl in and out of the helping tower.

Step 4

Platform

Next, build your platform by marking the 1x8s that are 18″ long 1″ from the outsides. Attach with glue and 1 1/4″ screws the platform supports. These platform supports not only join the 1x8s, but they also keep the platform in place inside the helping tower.

Step 5

Step 6

Tip Resistant Foot

Round the corners on the tip resistors as shown above. Screw together. You can optionally exclude the smaller tip resistors, as side to side tipping is less likely than backward tipping. You know your child better than anyone. Build to suit your child’s needs

Step 7

Attach Tip Resistant Footer

Simply screw the tip resistant footer to the legs as shown above.

Step 8

Folding Mod

By placing hinges instead of screwing the front and back pieces to the side pieces, you can make the Little Helper Tower fold easily. Just make sure you use plenty of strong hinges, make the platform fit very tight (adjust the inset on the ends to 3/4″ instead of 1″ in step 4, and regularly check to make sure your hinges are not loose. I personally prefer simplicity, and any time you add hinges, it increases the complexity. But for those of you who require storage for the Little Helper Tower (would slide under a bed easily) this mod if done with care can be the solution.

Step 9

Help Improve This Plan

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Comments

suzichadwick10

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:45

Hi!

I am gathering materials for this project and because I live in an apartment, I need it to be the hinged-option and collapse for storage. What kind of hinges did you/should I use? Are there 16? Do the interior hinges stick up where the ladder rungs are or is that just the way the picture shows them?

 

Please tell me more about the hinges.

wjb1108

Sat, 02/06/2016 - 03:48

I would really love to make this Kitchen Helper but instead of fixed or hinged I would love to be able to just slide off the sides and store the pieces away.  I don't have the depth necessary to store it hinged.  Do you have any suggestions for doing this?

benahomefixer

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 00:10

I built many of these, no safety concerns. I did, however, modify the climbing side to have the sides turned to mimic more a ladder than the original design from the plans. This did make it more rectangled than square. I believed that this modification made it easier for a small child to grip when climbing...so basically the rungs are now on the outside and the outside supports are where the rungs are. I also tried pocket screws for the rungs, they failed and split. Using 2,1/2 screw through and countersunk and wood glue proved to be the  solid choice. My daughter is now 7 and has had hers since she was 4 and it is still as safe as it was the day we built it. Oh yeah, almost forgot, was built with reclaimed wood from crates!

GMBC

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 16:57

I built this unit in a folding model for my grand daughter for Christmas. Hard sourcing hinges. Made hinges from piano hinges . My grand daugher and her mom loves it. I will try to send picture in. Thanks Ana