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Thread: A simple stool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
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    405

    A simple stool

    I use a kitchen stool as a side table. It is just a cheap one Iíve had forever and I had a little maple and walnut left over from other projects, so decided to make a nicer replacement. Iíve done a couple little stools to figure out chair-making techniques and I may try my hand at a back-chair sometime soon. This mostly followed the techniques Christopher Schwarz demonstrates in his books and videos.

    This came out fairly well. I started to split the seat when testing the leg tenons, so I put a butterfly in the top and the bottom. The stools Iíve made before had softer wood for the seat, and I learned I need to be more careful with a walnut seat. I did a better job getting the mortises in the seat drilled and reamed at consistent angles. I was a little off drilling the mortises for the stretchers, so it took some whittling to get everything to go together properly. I used epoxy to glue everything together. I just put a coat of wax on it and Iíll put another on in a week or two and call it good.

    This was a fun and relatively quick project, which was kind of nice to have since weíve been stuck inside with the rain a bunch this month.

    Before:
    IMG_2246.jpg

    After:
    IMG_2247.jpgIMG_2248.jpgIMG_2249.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    Nicely done Ben. Thanks for posting that.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    Ė Samuel Butler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    28,468
    Nice stool Ben! You used some interesting techniques and made a great recovery too! Well done, Sir!
    Ken

    So much to learn, so little time.....

  4. #4
    I like it! I could see me having my morning coffee right there like that. The butterfly is an added charm actually!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
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    1,618
    I agree that stools are underrated as side tables. Thanks for posting and stay dry!
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    I like it! I would like to hear more about how you made the legs. There's several dynamics going on to make those work as they have, so if you have time to bullet list the steps you followed I would read with interest.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
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    405
    I started with square pieces, then used a jack plane to make them octagonal. Then I tapered the top 2/3s of each leg. I marked my target smaller octagon on the end and used the jack plane taking a stroke 1/3 the length of the taper, then 2/3, then full length. I’d repeat that on one facet until it was to my target size. Then I repeated on all 8 facets to get the taper for the top of the leg. I made a simple cradle with two V-blocks and a stop at the end for the leg to sit in while I planed it down.

    then I marked the top 6 inches and gave myself a 5/8 circle marked on the end as the target for the tapered tenon that goes into the seat. I used a spoke shave to blend from an octagon to a round tenon and get close to final dimension. I used a tapered tenon cutter from Lee Valley to finish the tenon to the exact taper.

    then I flipped the leg around and made a smaller taper on the bottom 1/3 of it using the same approach as I did for the top.

    I used a jack plane set to a very aggressive cut for tapering. It removes wood quick once you get into a rhythm. I have a second plane set to take a finer cut that I’d use for the last several passes on each taper to clean up any tear out or rough spots. After drilling for stretchers and right before glue up I went over everything with a smoothing plane and card scrapers so there wasn’t much finishing required after glue-up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
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    Really great description of those steps, and very nicely executed. As I suspected... "those legs weren't easy". Well done!
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

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