Folding Step Stool Re-seating

The top step of a folding step stool we’ve been (ab)using forever finally wore out, mostly because it was covered in vinyl and intended as a seat. We always used it as a step, despite knowing you should never stand on the top rung of a ladder: “Do not stand on or above this level”.

I tossed the ripped vinyl and warped particle board, cut a random chunk of wood-textured paneling (which Came With The House™) to fit, match-drilled four holes, and it looks OK:

Folding step stool - reseated
Folding step stool – reseated

The original seat / step / whatever used press-fit studs with a flat flange covered by the vinyl, but I just slammed 10-32 tee nuts into the paneling:

Folding step stool - tee nut installed
Folding step stool – tee nut installed

That’s a ring of low-strength threadlock around the inside of the nut; I do not expect the screws to come out ever again.

I cut the screws to length with a Dremel cutoff wheel using a slightly shortened tee nut as a fixture:

Folding step stool - screw shortening fixture
Folding step stool – screw shortening fixture

Not visible: the vacuum hose clamped to the vise sucking up all the abrasive + metal dust.

Good for an hour of Quality Shop Time™ on a cold winter morning!