SSBO #12: Jim Dillon

12a 12b

The overall dimensions of the stool are approximately 52″ long and 20″ wide (the footprint) and 20″ tall.

The materials used are pine and spruce dimensional lumber (2 x 10 and 2 x 4), 8/4 paper birch for the ratcheting work support system, 3/4 birch ply for the seat, 3/4 pine ply for the treadle, 5/8″ oak dowels, salvaged packaging foam for cushioning in the seat, black naugahyde as upholstery, and various lengths of 3/8″ and 5/8″ threaded rod, plus nuts to hold it all together.

My greatest challenge during the build, to be honest, was time. As a working single dad who is the custodial parent of an active teenage boy, I hesitated to commit an entire weekend to building a stool, and during the build I was interrupted several times by my parental/chauffeur duties. Which is not meant to sound resentful – – sometimes I feel pulled in different directions, but I have chosen all my various pursuits voluntarily and try to model an active life of my own for my son’s benefit.

My stool is based on a design developed by Drew Langsner and Brian Boggs. It was originally intended to be a very adaptable, adjustable shave horse for various types of green woodworking. I chose this design because I was hesitant to commit the whole weekend to making a stool unless I was dead sure I would be using it a lot. I have wanted a shave horse for years and years, and decided that since it is a comfortable place to sit, is three-legged like many more traditional stools, and definitely belongs in the shop, it should be a fine project for SSBO, especially since there are no rules.

The more I thought about it, the more sense it made to build this as my SSBO entry. With my busy life, I often need to be doing several things at once. If our personal electronics perform several functions (for instance, my cell phone makes telephone calls, takes photos and videos, and serves as my personal organizer/calendar), why shouldn’t my shop furniture too? Hopefully the fact that I built this piece as part of SSBO will remind me to use it not just as a shave horse, but also as a place to sit and rest occasionally!

For a future Build-Off, I recommend either a basic tool tote (not a full-on chest with drawers and sliding tills) or a single measuring/marking tool of the maker’s choice. Could be anything from winding sticks to a square to a marking knife.

Thank you for all the work that went into organizing and running this event, Chris. It’s been very rewarding for me; I’ve been surprised at how the support of woodworkers I’ve never met in real life felt so good, and impressed at the inclusive, positive atmosphere that has prevailed throughout this event. Not that I’m surprised to learn that woodworkers are nice people, but that we can do so much together, without being together in the flesh.

NEXT

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