How to Make a Small Wooden Stool

How to Make a Small Wooden Stool

How to Make a Small Wooden Stool

Hey guys, this is Susan from MellowPine. We built a classic style small wooden stool for our home and wanted to share it with all our readers. This build uses pocket-hole joinery and is a beginner build which can be completed in under two hours.

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Things you need for this build

Materials

Tools

Plan for Making the Wooden Stool

DIY Wooden Stool Plan-3D View
DIY Wooden Stool Plan-3D View
DIY Wooden Stool Plan-side view
DIY Wooden Stool Plan-side view

Additional plan views are included in the steps below.

How to Make the Wooden Stool

Step 1: We took a 37” x 12” x ¾” board and made a 24” long piece for the stool top and took the remaining 12” piece for one leg of the stool. If you are buying dimensional lumber you can reduce the length to this size from the 11-¼" x ¾" x 6 ft. size. (6 feet = 72 inches)

Cutting the Lumber for the top and the legs
Cutting the Lumber for the top piece (24") and the legs (12")
Cutting the Lumber for the top and the legs using circular saw
Cutting the pieces using accu-cut and circular saw
Lumber Pieces for the stool stacked together
Top piece and the leg piece ready after sizing

We trimmed the leg pieces to 11-¼” from the original 12” length. After this point,the leg pieces measured 11-¼” x 11-¼” x ¾”  in size.

Step 2: Then took a ¾” x 3" x 36” piece and cut out two pieces of length 12 inches each and cut off a triangle with 15° at the edge using the miter saw. If you are using the dimensional lumber linked above, cut off ½ inch to bring the lumber to ¾” x 3" size. These two pieces with the mitered edge will be our bracing pieces preventing our stool from collapsing on itself.

Wooden Stool-Bracing Piece Plan
Wooden Stool-Bracing Piece Plan
Making the bracing pieces on the miter saw
Making the two bracing pieces on the miter saw

Step 3: Next we needed to work on the leg pieces of the stool. The stool leg will be wider at the bottom and shorter at the top. We marked a line 1-5/8" into the top corner from the bottom corner (see picture below). Cutting of this small triangle will give us the desired shape for the legs.

Step 4: Next we need to cut out slots in the legs for holding and carrying the stool. We drew half an octagon with the measurements shown in the picture. This half-octagon will be cut out to make the slot. 

Wooden Stool-Bracing Piece Plan
Wooden Stool-Bracing Piece Plan
Marking the lines for cutting the slot in the legs of the stool
Marking the half-octagon for cutting the slot in the legs of the stool
Wooden Stool-Leg Piece Plan
Wooden Stool-Leg Piece Half Octagon

Step 5: Next we cut out the half octagon we marked in the previous step using a jig saw for both the legs.

Cutting the slot in the legs of the stool
Cutting the slot in the legs of the stool along the half-octagon
After Cutting the slot in the legs of the stool
After Cutting the slot in the legs of the stool

Step 6: Next we had to shape the corners of the top seat of the stool. We cut out triangles from each corner with 2-¼” long sides. 

DIY Wooden Stool Plan-Top View
DIY Wooden Stool Plan-Top View
Cutting the corners of the top of the stool as per plan
Cutting the corners of the top of the stool as per plan

Step 7: After this we cut out the edges of the legs along the small triangle we marked in step y, using a circular saw. I used my kreg accu cut to ensure that the cut was perfectly aligned with the line I drew. I could have easily done most operations in this project using a table saw, but I deliberately avoided this due to a large number of people requesting me to do projects which don’t need a table saw. So, I wanted to show them that you can do these projects easily without a table saw or a planer.

Clamping the leg for cutting the triangle
Clamping the leg for cutting the triangle piece
Cutting the triangle piece
Cutting the triangle piece using circular saw and Kreg Accu-cut (for precision)
The leg piece after cutting the triangle and the center slot
The leg piece after cutting the triangle and the center slot

Step 8: So we want the legs of the stool to be angled rather than vertical. So we need to give a bevel at the top and bottom edge of both the legs. The more angle you give, the more sideways it will go. But you don’t want it to be too high, as this would considerably reduce the amount of load this can take.

We gave it a bevel angle of 20 degrees for the top and bottom edges.

Cutting the bevel in the leg piece using circular saw
Cutting the bevel in the leg piece using circular saw with a tilted blade
The bevel in the leg piece
The top bevel in the leg piece
The bottom bevel in the leg piece
The bottom bevel in the leg piece


Step 9: Ok. so we were done with the sizing and shaping of pieces and were ready for joining them using pocketholes.

We first drilled two pocketholes in both the bracing pieces using 1-¼" pockethole screws. Since the edge is mitered, the pocketholes will be at an angle. We made to sure to drill pocketholes on the side that would go inside the stool. We did this on both ends of the bracing pieces.

Wooden Stool-Bracing Piece Plan
Bracing Piece Pocket-hole Plan
Fixing the bracing piece on the kreg jig
Fixing the bracing piece on the kreg jig for pockethole drilling
Drilling the pockethole using the drill and kreg jig
Drilling the pocket-hole using the drill and Kreg jig

Step 10: Next we drilled two pocket-holes at the center of the bracing pieces for joining the bracing to the top seat of the stool. 

Drilling the pockethole at the center of the bracing piece
Drilling the pockethole at the center of the bracing piece

We made two pocketholes in the top edge of both the leg pieces as well for joining it to the top piece. The great thing about pocketholes is that the exact position where you make the pockethole doesn’t matter much as long as they are evenly distributed. 

Drilling the pockethole at the center of the leg piece
Drilling the pockethole at the center of the leg piece
Wooden Stool-Leg Piece Plan
Pockethole at the center of the leg piece

Step 11: After this we sanded all the pieces all the way from 120 grit to 220 grit.

Sanding every piece
Sanding every piece

Step 12: Next we used 1-¼" inch pockethole screws to join the bracing pieces to the legs. To hold the bracing piece in place while we used the impact driver, we used the kreg right angle clamp, which is a pretty handy tool while making pockethole joints.

Joining the bracing piece to the leg using pockethole screw
Joining the bracing piece to the leg using pockethole screw
Joining the bracing piece to the leg using pockethole screw
Joining the second bracing piece to the leg using pockethole screw
Joining the bracing piece to the leg using pockethole screw
Joining the bracing piece to the other leg using pockethole screw
Lower Frame of the Stool Completed
Lower Frame of the Stool Completed

We did this  for both legs and both bracing pieces and now our lower frame of the stool was complete. Now we had to join the top seat to the stool.

Step 13: So we marked two lines to perfectly center the frame of the stool on to the top seat of the stool and used 1-¼" inch pocket-hole screws to screw the bracing and the legs to the top piece. We used a total of 8 screws to join the frame to the top piece.

Centering the top piece of the stool before attaching to frame
Centering the top piece of the stool before attaching to frame

Step 14: Next, we finished the stool with cabernet gel stain, to get the colour of a red vine.

Applying Cabernet Gel Stain to the Stool
Applying Cabernet Gel Stain to the Stool
Applying Cabernet Gel Stain to the Stool
Applying Cabernet Gel Stain to the Stool

We applied a coat and wiped it off after a little while. Then we applied another coat to get a darker finish and wiped the excess gel off again.

Applying Cabernet Gel Stain to the Stool
Applying Cabernet Gel Stain to the Stool

Step 15: Then we applied Varathane water based PU to seal the surface.

Applying PU after staining
Applying PU after staining
Completed DIY Wooden Stool
Completed Wooden Stool

So we’re done with the stool at this point. This is a fairly easy beginner project that can be completed in 3-4 hours with a bit of preparation.

DIY Wooden Stool
Completed Wooden Stool

If you liked this build, pin the photo below to your DIY/Woodworking board for viewing later

DIY Rustic Wooden Stool
DIY Rustic Wooden Stool

Check out other DIY projects of ours:

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to MellowPine. We play around with basic woodworking projects, home improvement ideas, and decor for you to try out.

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