This is a project designed for students in a high school workshop. It covers basic marking out, cutting to size, biscuit joining, shaping, clamping up square, routering, assembly, and finishing.
Legs 4 @ 70 X 20 X 700
Short rails 4 @ 70 X 20 X 160
Long rails 4 @ 70 X 20 X 310
Seat slats 5 @ 55 X 20 X 300
Tools and consumables
- ruler, pencil, square
- Biscuit joiner
- Mitre saw
- Sash clamps
- corner brackets
Step 1: Collecting Materials
Select flat and straight material
Use the mitre saw to cut your parts to size
Follow the cutting list and make all the parts listed,
Clamp all materials securely when using the mitre saw, if material is to short to reach the clamp select another longer piece.
- Legs 4 @ 70 x 20 x 700
- Short rails 4 @ 70 x 20 x 160
- Long rails 4 @ 70 x 20 x 310
- Seat slats 5 @ 55 x 20 x 300
Step 2: Marking Out
Make side frames first using short rails and legs
Arrange them on the bench as they will be when assembled, write on them so you know their place in the frame.
I put a large L on each part for the left frame and then clearly define the top and lower rails, do this for the right frame as well.
Mark out where the top of the lower rail is on the leg, it is 570 mm from the top of the leg
Step 3: Biscuit Joints
Marking out the short rail
- The biscuit is located in the centre of the end of the 70 mm wide rail. Mark 35 mm from the edge (the centre).
Marking out the leg
- From the top of the leg mark 35 mm then 605 mm, these are the centre lines for the biscuit slots.
It is worth making a clamping jig to clamp the parts to while you cut biscuit slots
The adjustable fence has been removed for these slots because the slots locate in the middle of the 20 mm material. Make sure the jig and the parts being slotted are flat on the same surface, if they are crooked your joint will be crooked.
Step 4: Assembling the Side Frame
Clamp up the frame without glue to check the joints pull up tight.
Check to make sure the face of the joints are all at the same height, if they are not re cut the slots and check again.
When you are satisfied the frame will glue together neatly glue the biscuit slots and any joining surfaces touching.
Check the lower rail is at the correct height.
Gently clamp the frame together.
Check the corners are square.
Wipe off any glue.
Step 5: Curved Rails
Curve the top of two long rails.
Mark a centre line on the face.
Measure down 20 mm.
Some ways to get the neat curve are;
- Use a long steel rule to get an even curve
- Draw the long rail from paper or cardboard and make a template
Use the band saw to remove the waste, keep 2 mm from line.
Clean up the curve to the line using the sander.
Step 6: Biscuit Joints Long Rails to Side Frames
Put the adjustable fence on the router, set the cutter height to 20 mm below the fence.
Secure the side frame in a bench vice to cut the biscuit slots
Mark the position of the long rails by marking the centre of the biscuit slots
- 55 mm then 535 mm from the top
Step 7: Routering Edges
Router edges of the side frames, the long rails and the seat slates.
Sand all these rounded edges smooth
Step 8: Assemble Frame
Mark the top location of each long rail on the side frames.
- Curved rail is 20 mm
- Lower long rail is 500 mm
Assemble the two side frames together with the long rails without glue, this will allow you to make sure the joints all pull up tight.
When you are satisfied your frame will assemble neatly glue and clamp the frame together.
Check for square corners.
Remove excess glue now because it will be difficult to remove when it is dry.
Step 9: Finishing and Staining
Remove pencil marks from assembled frame.
If you choose to apply stain
The stain will not penetrate dried glue, sand off any remaining dried glue.
Read instructions for using the stain you selected.
As you apply stain rub it smooth and remove any blotches
Select a compatible varnish and give the stool at least two coats, gently rubbing stool down between coats.
I have used water based teak stain and water based clear varnish
Step 10: Connecting Seat Slats
The last job is to connect slats to the frame. I like to use small brackets for connecting the slats to the frame.
- Begin with the middle slat
- Then connect two outside slats
- Lastly evenly space the last two slats in place