Bar Stool Woodworking Plan
Three Discs of wood and three lengths of round-section dowel are all it takes to make this kitchen or bar stool. The simplicity of construction is reflected in the uncluttered design, reminiscent of the Shaker style. Southern yellow pine, which has a distinctive grain figure and a deep color to the annual rings, has been used here. It has the advantage of being commonly available in wider boards, allowing each round section to be made in one piece.
• 1m (39in) of 305 x 25mm (12 x 1 in) softwood for the seat and stretcher
• 2.45 m (8ft) of 32mm (1.25 in) diameter softwood dowel
• 6mm (0.25 in) plywood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard) for template
• Wood glue
• Panel pins (brads)
• 3 6mm (1/4in) beech dowels
All three discs are the same diameter and are cut from one piece of board. The legs are splayed for extra stability, and instructions are given for making a jig for drilling the angled holes. Having set up to do this, you may consider making several stools at once for a matching set.
MAKING A DRILLING JIG
To drill the angled holes in the discs, make a drilling jig. First, cut a baseboard to fit under the drill stand, then screw a second board to it at an angle. You don’t need to calculate the angle; simply screw a 12mm (0.5in) thick spacing block exactly 180mm (7.125 in) in from the front edge of the angled base. Provided you line up the center of each disc with the center of the jig, the holes will be set at the correct angle. Pin a couple of locating blocks to the angled base to position the disc accurately.
1. Make a 305mm (12in) diameter template from 6mm (0.25in) MDF and draw three radial lines at 120-degree intervals to divide it into equal segments. With a pair of compasses, mark the centers of the leg positions for the top and bottom discs, and drill a small pilot hole at each point. See figure for the dimensions required.
2. Cut three discs from the board with a jigsaw, making them oversize by about 6mm (0.25 in).Mark the discs A, Band C, as in the diagram. Pin the template to each piece in turn and use a template cutter fitted to the router to trim the edges to the finished size. Before removing the template from Band C, use a punch to mark the centres of the holes for the legs.
3. Fit a hole. saw of the correct diameter In the drill stand and slide the drilling jig into place. Insert disc C in the jig and adjust it until the drill bit is centered exactly over one of the hole positions. Clamp the jig so that it cannot move and drill the hole. Repeat for the other two holes.
4. Drill holes in disc B in the same way you will have to move the jig further toward the drill stand to allow for the holes being nearer the centre of the disc, but the angle remains the same.
5. Cut the legs to length and make a small wedge-shaped slot, 19mm (0.75in) deep, at the top of each. Note the pencil line that identifies the outside of each leg to orient it correctly. This ensures that the angles at the bottom of the legs sit flat on the floor and keep the stool level.
6. Place disc B upside down on the workbench. Insert the legs into disc C and slide it to its position, 230mm (9in) from the ends. Before gluing. locate the tops of the legs into disc B to hold them at the correct angle. Apply glue to the holes in disc C and tap it into place, making sure that it is level. Drill a 6mm (0.25in) hole into each leg and glue in a small beech dowel to secure the disc.
7. Leave the lower part of the assembly for the glue to dry before proceeding. When it is quite firm, carefully pull the legs away from the top disc one at a time, apply glue and tap them back into place. Keep the pencil line on each facing outward to prevent the legs from twisting out of position.
8. Turn the stool over and insert three small wedges, made from offcuts (scraps) of softwood, into the tops of the legs to lock them in place, as shown. Apply a generous amount of glue and tap the wedges firmly home. Allow the glue to dry, then plane flush with a block plane, set for a fine cut
9. Finally, glue disc A to the top of the stool to complete the job. Two or three-panel pins will prevent it from sliding around as the clamps are tightened. Note how the pattern of the growth rings has been reversed. This not only creates an attractive visual effect but also serves to stabilize the two pieces by balancing any tendency to shrink or expand.