Step chair

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Composite photo of a step chair, of the common diagonal-side-cut type. The chair is shown facing in the same direction, once folded into a chair, and once folded into a set of steps, such that the top of the chair back touches the floor.

A step chair, also called a ladder chair, a library chair, a convertible chair or a Franklin chair, is a piece of furniture which folds to become either a chair or a small set of steps or stairs. Building one (usually in the diagonal-side-cut style) is a popular DIY project.[1][2][3]

It is sometimes claimed that these chairs were designed by Benjamin Franklin.[citation needed] Franklin himself preferred to sit in a step chair he designed for his own library. This chair folded in a slightly different way from the common diagonal-side-cut step chair; the seat flips up, resting against the reclined back of the chair, and forming three steps; one formerly hidden under and parallel to the seat, and two attached vertically along the seat's front edge and midline.[4]

A variant form has a third position, in which the back of the chair becomes an ironing-board.[5] This design was common in the 1700s, but was revived in the 1990s.[6] It has been described as suitable for small apartments. Its design is sometimes attributed to Thomas Jefferson, and thus called a Jefferson chair.[7] This type is also known as three-in-one chair, bachelor chair, or onit chair.[8][9]

A type of step chair in which the seat folds to form the top and side faces of an extra step, and a support slides in beneath it

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barrett, Neal (12 October 2007). "How to Build a Step Stool: Simple DIY Woodworking Project". Popular Mechanics.
  2. ^ Marshall, Chris (8 September 2014). "Project Plan | Convertible Step Stool Chair | Woodworking". Woodworker's journal. (PDF with plans
  3. ^ Scott (9 December 2017). "DIY Ladder Chair - A Modern Twist on an American Classic". Remodelaholic.
  4. ^ "Library chair with folding steps". The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary (Exhibition). 1760–1780.
  5. ^ "14-1302. - Bachelors Chair Woodworking Plan". Woodworker's journal. 22 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-01-22.
  6. ^ Rohrlich, Marianne (4 June 1998). "Currents; CONTRAPTION -- Step Right This Way (Or That Way)". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Zimmer, Lori (Apr 1, 2011). "The Bachelor Chair is a Step Stool, Seat and Ironing Board All in One".
  8. ^ "Bachelor, Jefferson, Folding, Ironing Board, Step Stool, Chair".
  9. ^ "Ironing Board Step Stool | Collectors' Concerns | Kovels Komments".