Mike Check

The kitchen island in my new house was calling for a pair of bar stools. The shop stool that I completed in the Shop Stool Build-Off found its way there amidst the move, and with the chaos reigning in my shop, I was happy to let it live there.

Shop Stool

My shop stool

But a second stool was in order, and it looked like it would be a while still before the shop is in any sort of shape to build.

I recalled that, a little while after the Shop Stool Build-Off, I had tried again to make the crossed-leg stool which I had originally attempted but, due to a miscalculation, wasn’t able to pull off in time.

Shop Stool Build-Off Design

My original shop stool design

Most of the work for Attempt #2 was done – the legs were roughly shaped, the joinery cut and fit – but needed some attention. The joints didn’t fit quite as well as I wanted and remained unglued. The seat needed to be cut to shape, and the legs needed some finishing touches.

My goal was to make it into a usable stool – I had more important things to do and didn’t want to spend the time required to bring this stool up to the level of “fine furniture”.

First, I glued the legs into the seat. To avoid having to drive them apart and back together (they were a tight friction fit), I applied Veritas’ Chair Doctor Glue to the joint’s seams and let the watery glue seep into the joint. When the glue was dry, I cut the seat round with my jigsaw.

Shop Stools High

Although the stool was usable at this point, I couldn’t resist taking it further.

I tilted my jigsaw (the whole saw, not just the base plate) and trimmed the edge of the seat to line up with the angled legs, gradually rotating the jigsaw back to plumb so the edge returned to square. I did this in both directions – clockwise and counter clock-wise at each leg, so the seat’s edge effectively twists and untwists as it goes around.

I faired the edge of the stool with my Mirka CEROS random orbit sander, starting with 24-grit, and progressed up to 120-grit.

Shop Stools Low

Finally, I scooped out the seat with a carving gouge, sanded the surface smooth and even, and softened the edges.

Sanding the Stool Seat

So much for a “basic” stool – I just couldn’t resist adding a few extra touches. Know what I mean?

Shop Stools Mid