Picture of How to Build a Stool from One 2x4
The following is a basic overview of how to build a three-legged stool from one eight-foot 2x4. This design pushes efficiency of material. Interestingly, the stools produced from one 2x4 tend to take on a character that is a caricature of the initial features that define the design... For instance, a stool with a large seat will also have short legs, where a stool with long legs will be forced to have a small seat!

Read on to see how to make one yourself, then go wild with the design!

- The first step is to make the main cuts to divide the 2x4 into the portions for the seat, legs, and connectors using a chop saw.
- Then, they are ripped appropriately into 2x2 portions on the table saw.
- The legs and connectors will be turned on the lathe, so the corners are taken off to speed turning.
- Once the three legs and three connectors are prepped, they are rough turned, fine turned, and sanded on the lathe.
- Meanwhile, the pieces for the seat of the stool are laminated together to form a solid block.
- Once this dries, a circle is traced and then cut on the band saw.
- The final touch on the seat is to calculate the splay angle of the legs, and drill holes to accommodate the ends of the legs.
- The legs need to be sanded to match the holes in the seat, and a slit is cut in the top of this dowel for a wedge to be added later.
- Then, the pieces are dry clamped, to mark out the holes for the connectors between the legs.
- The legs are drilled at the appropriate angle, and the bottoms are beveled to lie flat on the floor.
- Wedges must be prepared from small scraps - just a thin piece will do the trick!
- Glue is applied to every socket and dowel on the seat, legs, and connectors. A bicycle tube is a great way to hold the legs firmly. - - Once everything is set just right, wedges are coated with glue, and driven into the tops of the legs sticking through the seat to permanently fix everything together.
- The final step is to saw off the tops of the legs and wedges, and sand everything until its all just right. Then apply your favorite wood finish!

See more at

kingcarpenter11 months ago
Do you have any finished photos of the stool from the black and whites but in color?
xbremer (author)  kingcarpenter11 months ago

I think there are some on my website, at

momsnacher11 months ago
nice! this was my first assignment in design school. it was a great project. its really amazing what can be done with the humble 2x4.
M3G11 months ago
Beautiful stool!