Introduction: Pub Table & Bar Stools

Picture of Pub Table & Bar Stools

CharcoalHello everybody. Let's do some quick introductions. My name is Jared Sams. The blind black cat on my shoulder is Charcoal. He's my safety observer. I found him as a kitten after his momma left him for dead and decided to save his life. You can watch me bottle feed him goat's milk when I first found him. Now he's all grown and happily accepts tuna as payment for his safety observations. As you can tell he's always got my back. Enough about us though, let's get on with this project.

In this instructable Charcoal and I will guide you through the process of building yourself a custom pub table and set of bar stools. The images contained within this instructable are from a couple of different builds for retiring service members so pay attention to the text. I'll keep you straight and tell you about all the tricks or tips I learned along the journey. I've also included two videos. One is a quick pan over one of the two table sets (; the second is a slideshow through many pictures taken during the other build ( The longer slideshow video will be a great source of additional reference photos.

This pub table and bar stool set is not really a beginner level project. It took nearly 40 hours to complete with about half of it invested in the wood burning and finishing. It'll also cost you about $400 in materials and consumables. There are many tools required that you may simply not own yet. That’s not intended to discourage you in any way. I simply feel you need to know that upfront. Just like with any project you'll need to be familiar with the tools for the trade. For this instructable I made a couple assumptions. I believe most of you are familiar with measuring and marking. So let’s take a look at the tools listing to see what I used during the build.

Step 1: Tools Listing

Picture of Tools Listing
  1. Welder (MIG, TIG, or Stick) [Miller Welders]
  2. Chop Saw (abrasive cut off wheel)
  3. Hammer
  4. Tape Measure
  5. Soap Stone or Sharpie
  6. Angle Grinder (flap discs, cut off wheels) [Dewalt]
  7. Safety Glasses [Mine are from Miller]
  8. Welding Jacket [I own this one.]
  9. Gloves [I like the Tillman 50M]
  10. Breathing Mask [Here's Mine]
  11. Welding Hood [Digital Elite is the way to go!]
  12. Shielding Gas (depends on welder)
  13. Flow Meter / Regulator (depends on welder)
  14. Framing Squares (at least 2)
  15. Speed Square (recommended)
  16. Levels (4’ and 1’ or conduit size)
  17. Clamps / Fixtures (C clamps, vise grip clamps, etc…)
  18. Welders Magnets
  19. Welding Bench or suitable work surface [I'm using a Miller Arc Station]
  20. Die Grinder (and smaller flap discs, optional)
  21. Air Compressor (only if you use the die grinder)
  22. Rags (for the Acetone wipe downs)
  23. Drill or Drill Press
  24. Drill Bit (sized based on screw selection)
  25. Screw Driver (depends on screw selection, likely #2 Phillips)
  26. Radius Roller or ring roller (nice to have, but you can accomplish this build without one)
  27. Die Set (for the 1.5” Flat Bar)
  28. Jigs (built by you if you want to use my idea for the stool posts)
  29. Wrenches (to adjust the chop saw angle)
  30. Orbital Sander (and paper) [Mine is a Dewalt]
  31. Steel Wire Brush (large) [Cyberweld] or [Baker's Gas] are two of my sources.

Step 2: Outline

  1. Project Design (Step 3)
    1. Sketch Preview (Step 4)
    2. Cut List Development (Step 5)
    3. Shopping List
  2. Cutting the parts (Step 6)
  3. Parts Cleaning & Beveling (Step 7)
  4. Assembly Terms/Tips (Step 8)
    1. Dry Fit
    2. Tack
    3. Seam Weld
  5. Build Sequence (Step 9)
    1. Building the “Squares” (Step 10)
      • Table
      • Stools
    2. Add in the “Braces” (Step 11)
      • Stools (inside braces)
      • Table (inside and outside braces)
    3. Build the “Circumference Bands” (Step 12)
      • Stools (“U” shape and seam)
      • Table (“U” shape and seam)
    4. Mounting the Base & Tops to the “Post” (Step 13)
      • Table Base
      • Table Top
    5. Achieving the “Industrial” Look with Hex Nuts (Step 14)
      • Table
      • Stools (can do but I’d wait)
    6. Mounting the “Stool Legs & Feet” (Step 15)
      • Jig Idea & Useful Measurements
      • Feet Caps
    7. Mounting the “Foot Rest” (Step 16)
      • Tacking the “Brace” to the “Foot Rest”
      • Notch Cutout / Tongue
      • Welding to the ‘Stool Post”
    8. Mounting the “Stool Tops” (Step 17)
      • Tops
      • Hex Nuts (if you didn’t do them earlier)
    9. Mounting the “Triangle Gussets” (Step 18)
      • Stools
      • Table
    10. Prepare for Paint (Step 19)
      • Wire Brush
      • Acetone Wipe Down
      • Primer & Paint
    11. Wooden Table & Stool Tops (Step 20)
      • Step sanding the bare wood
      • Pyrography options
      • Staining
      • Applying Polyurethane
      • Mounting

Step 3: Project Design

Before Charcoal and I (or you) can cut out the parts we first need to talk about the design. We want an industrial looking table and stool set with a cool band wrapping around it (watch the quick pan over video). Overall we're shooting for a pub table height of 42". Most folks appreciate having about 10-12" of leg room under the table so we'll shoot for an overall stool height of 30". With those two basic measurements in mind we'll need to rough up a frame design so we can estimate the total amounts of each type of material so you can go buy them at your local supplier. A couple quick things come to mind right off the bat. The first is we've already determined the diameters of the table top and stool tops based on what’s available locally. Break out your nerd glasses and prepare to become a mathlete again... Remember that formula you learned back in school to find the circumference of a circle? C = 2 x Pi x R Well, now is a good time to dust it off. For the second thing, I want you to think about or visualize a square being inside a circle... The diameter of the circle is the hypotenuse of the right triangle formed by the two legs of the triangle (or two sides of the square). Recall Pythagoreans theorem? It's the A2 + B2 = C2 formula? I don't know about you, but I'm a visual learner primarily and love pictures. I believe most projects deserve a quick little sketch, even if it's on a napkin. I took a little time to sketch this stuff out. So now if you'll look over the sketches in the next step you'll see why your math teacher taught you those formulas.

Step 4: Sketch Preview

Picture of Sketch Preview

Stool SketchLet's break the stool apart from top to bottom. Each 15” round stool seat is 1" thick. Just below that will be a 10" square built out of 1" square tube. Encircling that 10" square will be some 1.5" x 1/8" thick flat bar (C=44.4288", but I'd cut 44 5/8") turned on edge. Four braces will run inward from the center of the sides of the 10" square. They will need to be cut to 3 1/4" because the stool post running vertical will be 1.5" square tube. Fastening the stool seat to the 10" square will require some gussets (small triangles) to be cut and (3/16") holes to be drilled in them. You can drill one or two holes per gusset. I prefer two holes but have used a single hole with good results. Back to the 1.5" square tube stool post running down 24 1/2" towards the stool feet (angled out 125 degrees from the vertical, or cut to 55 degrees themselves). If you add the 125 degrees to the 55 degree cut you'll find another mathlete formula for a straight line (adds up to 180). Alright so let’s get back to the stool feet. There are 4 stool feet per stool, one per side of the stool post. I only put two on the sketch so I could give extra measurements and angles. Each of the 1.5" square tube stool feet are 11 1/4" long with the 55 degree cut on one side and a 35 degree cut on the floor side (point to point, reference the image with the small square and the stool leg template I cut). The tip of that stool foot should sit 9 1/4" out from the 1.5" vertical stool post (see the image with my template stool foot and small square). Mathematically speaking I added in an extra 1/4" to the vertical stool post so it could hang down and leave you a good place to weld in case your cuts aren't quite perfect (see the image with the stool upside down). Now on the way down we skipped over the piece of 1" square tube that stabs off at a 45 degree angle that'll support the piece of 1" square tube used for a foot rest. The Foot Rests are really optional, but if you want them then cut a piece of 1" square tube that's 10" long on 45 degree angles (long to short, see the sketch on the right side of the stool). Then for the actual foot rest I'd cut a piece of 1" square tube that's 14" long with 45 degree angles on each end (long to long, see it in the bottom left side of my sketch). Those 45 degree cuts will need some small rectangles cut to cap the ends. You can use some thin sheet metal, a slice out of some 1" square tube, or even some of your 1.5" flat bar. Just trim them to fit, tack, and fully weld the seam when the time comes. The stool feet will also need caps cut. For them I recommend using 1.5" flat bar cut to 3" (It'll give you a slight lip to weld). That leaves us needing to preview my design for the table itself.

Table SketchWe'll again go top down but this time you'll need to look at the next sketch. We'll be using those formulas again so feel free to double check the measurements before you buy and cut material. For the 36" round top, we'll follow a similar frame structure. Instead of a 10" square built out of 1" square tube, we'll use a 24" square built out of 1.5" square tube. That will give us a hypotenuse or diameter of 33.9411" (~34" if you want to round). Plug that 34" diameter in to find our circumference for the encircling 1.5" x 1/8" flat bar and you'll see we need 106.629". I'd cut at least 107" and trim down because depending on your method for bending that large radius it may be short. Most of the images you'll see here are before I built my roller press for bending large radius rolls. Maybe I'll do another instructable for the press one day. So let’s get back to that band… Take a look at the sketch of the table top frame again. Table Frame PartsYou'll see I added in a few more pieces of 1.5" square tube in the middle of each side going out (instead of inward like on the stool seat). Those pieces are going to be 5" long (24" square + 5" brace + 5" brace = 34" diameter). You should also see the position of the gussets. I did not draw the one in the lower left corner though it does need installed. You can always add more gussets if you want. Running from the inside of the 24" square are more pieces of 1.5" square tube that are 9 3/4" long. Those will tie into the 41" vertical post for the table (again 1.5" square tube, see the bottom image in the sketch). If you don't know how to use a framing square or don't know the difference in plumb and level when using a level... Now would be a good time to learn. No one wants their stool to lean or their drink to spill. Alright so now that we've went over the design let’s add all those pieces up and figure out what you need to buy when you go shopping. Earlier I gave you a bunch of measurements during the design preview. Let's make a list of those parts and quantities you'll need to cut out so we can add them up to determine the shopping list.

Step 5: Cut List Development & Shopping List

Picture of Cut List Development & Shopping List

We will need to go over the parts on the cut lists below. Read the cut descriptions.

Stool Parts (Qty of 4 stools)

Part No.QtyMaterialDimensionsCut DescriptionReference
SP-A(4)Wood15" diameter x 1" thick[none]{Round Stool Seat}
SP-B(4)Flat Bar1.5" wide x 1/8" thick x 44 5/8" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Circumference Band}
SP-C(16)Square Tube1" wide x .065" wall thickness x 10" long[cut long to long on 45 degrees]{10" Square Sides}
SP-DI(16)Square Tube1" wide x .065" wall thickness x 3 1/4" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Inside Braces}
SP-E(4)Square Tube1.5" wide x .065" wall thickness x 24 1/2" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Stool Posts}
SP-F(16)Square Tube1.5" wide x .065" wall thickness x 11 1/4" long[35 degrees on floor side, 55 degrees on stool post side, cut long to long]{Stool Legs}
SP-G(16)Flat Bar1.5" wide x 1/8" thick x 3" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Stool Feet Caps}
SP-H(16)Flat Bar2 sides are 1.5" wide x 1/8" thick[cut on 45 degrees, with 3/16" hole center drilled]{Triangular Gussets}
LS-A(16)Metal#8 x 3/4" longBuildex Teks #21504{Lath Screws}

Stool Options (Qty of 4 stools)

Part No.QtyMaterialDimensionsCut DescriptionReference
SP-I(4)Square Tube1" wide x .065" wall thickness x 10" long[45 degree cuts, long to short]{Foot Rest Brace}
SP-J(4)Square Tube1" wide x .065" wall thickness x 14" long[45 degree cuts, long to long]{Foot Rest}
SP-K(8)Flat Bar1 3/8" long x 1" wide x 1/8" thick[cut square on 90 degrees]{Foot Rest Cap}
HN-A(48)Metal*5/8" or 3/4"[none]{Hex Nuts}

Table Parts

Part No.QtyMaterialDimensionsCut DescriptionReference
TP-A(1)Wood36" diameter x 1" thick[none]{Round Table Top}
TP-B(1)Flat Bar1.5" wide x 1/8" thick x 107" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Circumference Band}
TP-C(8)Square Tube1.5" wide x .065" wall thickness x 24" long[45 degree cuts, long to long]{24" Square Sides}
TP-DI(8)Square Tube1.5" wide x .065" wall thickness x 9 3/4" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Inside Braces}
TP-DO(4)Square Tube1.5" wide x .065" wall thickness x 5" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Outside Braces}
TP-E(1)Square Tube1.5" wide x .065" wall thickness x 41" long[cut square on 90 degrees]{Table Post}
TP-H(16)Flat Bar2 sides are 1.5" wide x 1/8" thick[cut on 45 degrees, with 3/16" hole center drilled]{Triangular Gussets}
LS-A(16)Metal#8 x 3/4" longBuildex Teks #21504{Lath Screws}

Table Options

Part No.QtyMaterialDimensionsCut DescriptionReference
HN-A(24)Metal*5/8" or 3/4"[none]{Hex Nuts}

Shopping List Concerns

Add those items up and you'll have a shopping list for the metal materials...There's a small problem with doing the math here before I can give you a quick list. Charcoal and I had our materials cut into 10 foot sticks. Some people can haul a full 20 foot stick (what's commonly sold at the large suppliers). Some people make mistakes when cutting parts out. Some people don't layout the materials as efficiently as others. Some people also don't account for the thickness of the blade when cutting out multiple pieces back to back. Please read those again. I didn't account for any mistakes nor do I know what you are capable of hauling so I'll didn't add in any spare/overages you might need above. While you're out shopping you'll need to get the screws, paint, and other consumables (if you’re not a fully stocked shop) off the list below. This list below will give you some spare so if you’re on a budget you can add exact measurements to get the linear footage of each material. However most suppliers only sell full sticks (20 ft), maybe half sticks (10 ft) if you’re lucky.

Metal Supplier Shopping List (padded)

  • 60' of 1.5" x 1.5” square tube (.065 wall thickness) [There’s 26' in the table, 24' in the 4 stools]
  • 30' of 1" x 1” (.065 wall thickness) square tube
  • 40' of 1.5" x 1/8” thick flat bar

Shopping List continued (consumables, etc...)

  • (1) 36" diameter Round Table Top
  • (4) 15" diameter Round Stool Tops
  • (1 pack) Carbon Paper
  • (1 roll) Scotch Tape
  • (1 pack) Soap Stone
  • (2) Black or Silver Sharpie
  • (1) chop saw blade (I use an A30-R)
  • (1) Spool of Welding Wire (proper size for your welder) [or sticks you’re using an Arc Welder]
  • (1-2 pair) Gloves (Tillman 50M)
  • Shielding Gas (depending on your welding setup you may or may not need)
  • 75 Hex Nuts (I’d just get boxes, either 25 or 50 count)
  • (5) flap discs (40 grit)
  • (5) flap discs (60 grit)
  • (5) flap discs (80 grit)
  • (25) flap discs (Roloc Compatible, if using die grinder)
  • (10) cut off wheels (6" .040" thick x 7/8" arbor part number A60TZ, I trust Metabo brand)
  • (6) cans self etching primer
  • (6-8) cans black satin paint
  • Orbital Sander Sand Paper (to sand the table and stools, multiple grits , [40, 80, 120, 180, 220, 320] here to step sand)
  • Hand Sanding Sand Paper (multiple grits [400, 1200, 2000], for wet sanding during poly process)
  • 3M Hand Sanding Block
  • (1 can) Pre-Stain (if using pine)
  • Stain (pick your favorite color, I like red mahogany, ipswitch pine, or gunstock, est ~25 square feet unless you’re going to apply multiple coats. Area of a Circle = Pi*(radius^2))
  • Polyurethane (I prefer the wipe on kind, estimate for 10-20 coats)
  • *Mineral Spirits (If you’re cutting regular poly to make your own wipe on)
  • (1 bag) cotton rags
  • (1 box) vinyl gloves (use during stain & poly process)
  • (1 box) Lath Screws (I prefer the Buildex Teks Lath Screws, #8 x 3/4" long [#21504])

Step 6: Cutting the Parts

Picture of Cutting the Parts

After you've collected the materials for this Pub Table & Bar Stools project you'll need to cut them. There are several cutting methods available (hacksaw, band saw, chop saw, plasma cutter, angle grinder with a 6” cut off wheel). You could use any number of tools, but I'll stick with a couple basic tools that are readily available like a chop saw, and a standard angle/side grinder. I recommend you print out the cut list and those couple of sketches for reference here. There are a lot of parts to cut out. I don't recommend marking them all up for cut in one fail swoop. I do think you should plan it out so you are efficient and don't waste materials. With that in mind I suggest you start with the longer pieces first. That'll leave your "drop" pieces for the shorter lengths (like the stool feet caps, braces, etc...). I would caution against just lobbing off straight cuts, as it’ll be inefficient and likely waste materials and consumables to go back and cut the angles later. This instructable wasn't geared towards teaching you how to use a chop saw and grinder, nor discuss their safety. If you are not comfortable or familiar with using them, then you should seek out the user manual, a friend, a mentor, a tutor or YouTube a few videos first. So let's get started on cutting the long pieces. I am making an assumption here that you know how to mark out the pieces using the tools to which I also assumed you are familiar with using. I like to use a mix between a soap stone pencil and a black sharpie. Use what works for you. A speed square is also recommended here. Speed SquarePerhaps an angle finder/protractor if you aren’t proficient with using the angles on a speed square. I often use a True Angle Tool for marking. If I’m cutting multiple parts I also like to number them as I go (you can see I numbered the flat bar pieces I used for feet) or place them in a box with like parts in separate piles (image was earlier in the Cut List section).

Recommended Cut Sequence:

Sequence NumberMaterial SizeMaterial(Qtys) and P/NsReference
[1.]1.5"Square Tube(1) TP-E, (4) SP-EPosts
[2.]1.5"Square Tube(8) TP-CSquare Sides
[3.]1.5"Square Tube(8) TP-DI, (4) TP-DOBraces (table)
[4.]1.5"Square Tube(16) SP-FBar Stool Legs
[5.]1"Square Tube(4) SP-JFoot Rests
[6.]1"Square Tube(16) SP-CSquare Sides
[7.]1"Square Tube(4) SP-IFoot Rest Braces
[8.]1"Square Tube(16) SP-DIInside Braces (stools)
[9.]1.5"Flat Bar(1) TP-B, (4) SP-BCircumference Bands
[10.]1.5"Flat Bar(16) SP-G, (8) SP-K, (16) SP-H, (16) TP-HCaps and Gussets

Recommended Cut Sequence Notes:

[1.] Cut the 1.5" square tube pieces for the table and stool posts [(1) TP-E, (4) SP-E]

Mark them using a soap stone or felt tip pen using a square to ensure the 90 degree cuts. It’s always a good idea to check your saw to ensure it’s square/perpendicular before you start. If you’re very meticulous you can use a dial indicator to really get super accurate results. There are several videos available to learn how.

[2.] Cut the 1.5" square tube pieces for the squares in the table [(8) TP-C, for top and base]

I recommend you mark these using a speed square. If you’ll leave/account for an extra blade thickness of space and then line them up with one right side up the next upside down (causing you to save material) and cut every other one then you’ll save reset up on your abrasive chop saw. You’ll have to mark both sides of the material though because the every other one will need you to flip the piece twice to save a saw setup change. So it’s a trade-off decision in time spent marking the other side or time setting up the saw. Here’s an example using text to illustrate the layout on a sample 10 foot stick of material [=/=======\\=======//=======\\=======//=======\====]. Notice the “\” or “/” is a 45 degree cut and the “\\” or “//” is a 45 degree cut with the extra blade thickness added in.

[3.] Cut the 1.5" square tube for the long and short braces in the table [(8) TP-DI, (4) TP-DO]

Remember to be efficient, waste not, want not. The efficiency reminder here is so you use your linear footage of material to get the most pieces and have the least waste.

[4.] Cut the 1.5" square tube bar stool legs [(16) SP-F]

Take your time, remember sometimes flipping the workpiece and marking on the opposite side can save setting up the chop saw again. If you draw them out so the long side of a 35 degree angle meets the short side of same piece (think flipped twice) then you'll be able to cut every other cut at the 55 degree angles (essentially lobbing off two legs at a time that still need the 35 degree cut). Take a look at this Angle Example. Don't forget that the line making the base continues on either left or right. That makes the angle on either side the difference between 180 and the angle your cutting. Hopefully all that math is coming back to you now.

[5.] Cut the 1" square tube pieces for the foot rests on the stools [(4) SP-J]

These are cut long to long.

[6.] Cut the 1" square tube pieces for the squares sides in the stools [(16) SP-C]

These are cut long to long.

[7.] Cut the 1" square tube pieces for the foot rest braces [(4) SP-I]

These are the pieces stabbing out from the post. They are cut long to short.

[8.] Cut the 1" square tube for the short braces inside the 10" square [(16) SP-DI]

Cut square on 90 degrees

[9.] Cut the 1.5" Flat Bar for the circumference bands [(1) TP-B, (4) SP-B]

These encircle the square frames for the Table and Stools

[10.] Cut the 1.5" Flat Bar for the [(16) SP-G stool feet caps, (8) SP-K foot rest caps, (16) SP-H gussets, (16) TP-H gussets]

If you hate cutting and drilling all these gussets perhaps you'd like to visit Tab Zone to find other options or use washers. I don't think it looks as nice as a clean cut tab. Chances are pretty good there is someone with a plasma table locally that’d charge reasonable prices to cut out a bunch of tabs. I’ll eventually own one and do the same for others.

Step 7: Parts Cleaning & Beveling

Picture of Parts Cleaning & Beveling

Once you've got all the parts cut out, you'll need to clean the sharp/jagged edges up before welding. It's always nice to add a slight bevel to it to ease welding. You can reference the smaller 10" square and braces picture to see an example. Here’s where you go part by part and lightly grind the cut edges with the angle grinder and flap discs like Mr. Bluto is doing in spark flying image. Alternatively you could use some Roloc compatible quick change discs for your die grinder. I try to take the time to true up all the parts so they fit identically in case you have some a little long. If they are too short, just plan to weld the gap, don’t grind all of them to short. Later on near the end of this when it comes to prepping for paint, you'll be faced with the decision of grinding down your welds to have smooth seams, or to leave them be. I've done both before. It's less costly and stronger to leave the weld, however some prefer a cleaner look. That's a choice you'll have to make. Next we'll go over some assembly terms and tips.

Step 8: Assembly Terms & Tips

Before you start assembling the squares do a couple quick checks on your work surface. It's ground zero for either a great product or the failure. The point is make sure it's not just "flat" but level front to back and left to right.

Dry Fit – Before you just go straight to welding take a minute to check how the pieces fit/assemble together.

Tack Weld – After you achieve a good dry fit, you’ll need to be ready to square/plumb/level and tack weld the pieces. If you aren’t already a skilled welder, perhaps visit Jody over at Welding Tip and Tricks to learn some pointers.

Seam Weld –This is basically finishing the weld around the seam or joint

Step 9: Build Sequence:

These are the build sequence steps. The links in parenthesis will take you to the paragraphs.

  1. Building the “Squares” (Step 10)
    • Table
    • Stools
  2. Add in the “Braces” (Step 11)
    • Stools (inside braces)
    • Table (inside and outside braces)
  3. Build the “Circumference Bands” (Step 12)
    • Stools (“U” shape and seam)
    • Table (“U” shape and seam)
  4. Mounting the Base & Tops to the “Post” (Step 13)
    • Table Base
    • Table Top
  5. Achieving the “Industrial” Look with Hex Nuts (Step 14)
    • Table
    • Stools (can do but I’d wait)
  6. Mounting the “Stool Legs & Feet” (Step 15)
    • Jig Idea & Useful Measurements
    • Feet Caps
  7. Mounting the “Foot Rest” (Step 16)
    • Tacking the “Brace” to the “Foot Rest”
    • Notch Cutout / Tongue
    • Welding to the ‘Stool Post”
  8. Mounting the “Stool Tops” (Step 17)
    • Tops
    • Hex Nuts (if you didn’t do them earlier)
  9. Mounting the “Triangle Gussets” (Step 18)
    • Stools
    • Table
  10. Prepare for Paint (Step 19)
    • Wire Brush
    • Acetone Wipe Down
    • Primer & Paint
  11. Wooden Table & Stool Tops (Step 20)
    • Step sanding the bare wood
    • Pyrography options
    • Staining
    • Applying Polyurethane
    • Mounting

Step 10: Building the "Squares"

Picture of Building the "Squares"

Locate your trusty square and fit up the 4 sides that'll make up either square. You can see where I've clamped a mostly assembled 24" square to my welding bench. On the smaller square there's another image of me using magnets to hold the sides square. I really love those MST327 corner magnets on the outside. If the sides are a nice tight fit and measure out appropriately (24" on the Table's 1.5" square tube; 10" on the Stool's 1" square tube) I suggest a couple light tack welds while holding them together with your square firmly pressed in the corner or in a clamp like I did. I own a couple different styles of clamps and they're well worth the investment. Another option would be a welder's magnet. I typically tack two pieces together to form an "L" (try and keep your tacks small and on the same side so as to prevent a tack weld from lifting the work piece off the table and causing a misalignment), then the next two. Then those two "L" pieces I'll do the same thing as before (holding a speed square tight in the corner) to complete the full 10" (stool) or 24" (table) square. Once you've done all the squares for the table and stools you'll need to start tacking in the "braces" which we'll cover in the next step.

Step 11: Add in the "Braces"

Picture of Add in the "Braces"

The braces on the stools are really short. I suggest placing a scrap piece of 1.5" square tube in the center of the 10" square to use to align the 3 1/4" pieces (see the image earlier with those corner magnets).square tube inside the braces Sometimes you may need to use a flap disc and grind a little off one end to get a proper fit. Then essentially line the pieces up with a small square (you can probably eye ball these to center on the 1.5" scarp piece, just don't tack the brace to the 1.5" scrap). I don't have a small enough square, thus the other set of colorful MS346AK mini magnets in the image earlier in Step 10. I'll typically tack three sides of the 3 1/4" piece (just not underneath because that'll be the side that goes against the wood top; we want it flush with the table top). Once you've got all four braces tacked on three sides you can start welding the seams (minus the scrap piece you used to align it with). Be mindful of the pieces drawing towards the welded area. Clamping will help prevent it from pulling so much. Let me emphasize that again. After you've tacked the three sides of those braces on all 4 stools, go ahead and weld the seams (except the side that'll be against the table top). The idea is to leave that part to finish in the end. We don't want a weld to raise your work piece off the table and cause it to be crooked. Move onto to the table squares and their braces.

I'd do the inside braces like the stools, then move to the four 5" braces that'll stab out to the circumference band. Every time you go to flip your welding hood down, pause and double check that you're still following the sketch and that what you are about to tack or weld is squared up nicely. You can see several images of the table top frame. On that build I did the gussets in a different order. Not all of the gussets used in this design are in the image. I recommend you wait until we get to that step in the build sequence. After you have the braces welded in place it'll be time to move on from squares to circles... Now it's time to see if you can fit a square in a circle.

Step 12: Build the "Circumference Bands"

Picture of Build the "Circumference Bands"

Remember those pieces of flat bar you cut for the table and stool circumference bands? Well, those will need to be bent, rolled, or formed into circles. I built a turn table of sorts out of an old front hub assembly that was going out on my F150. I took the hub assembly and welded it to a couple pieces of angle iron. Then I went and bought an extra rotor (just so happens it's pretty close in diameter to the stool tops). If you don't have that as an option some metal shops typically have a Tubing Roller like the "HULK" from Swag Off Road. They sell Die Sets to roll flat bar. At the time I didn't own either so I put it on my wish list of things to build or buy. The flat bar is soft enough to form by hand around a rotor (or one of your wooden tops) to get the basic curve. If you decide to use your wooden top, be careful to not damage the wood as you work the metal into shape. I'll typically get it nearly to a perfect circle and use some other clamps I built to get all the stool circumference bands the same. There's a picture of this for your reference. The tools were just some wing nuts, round bar, and a sliced open slices of 1.5" x 1/8" thick square tube. I've seen some online to if you wanted to buy vs build a set. Eventually you'll have 4 near perfect circles formed. I found it handy to use a piece of plywood and some really long hose clamps to hold it while I welded along the seams (see image). Once you do weld the seams, you will want to test fit them over your squares. If they are too tight grind a little off all 4 corners until it fits snug. If it is loose, determine why and correct the error. A little gap is okay as you'll weld both sides of the 10" square at all 4 corners to the circumference ring while holding the square and circumference ring flush with the welding bench (notice the image with the two gussets tacked in, the side facing up is the side the stool top will be mounted to). Remember tack all four corners then go back and weld on the underside (what'll be pointing to the floor when the stool top is mounted weld in effect a "U" shape weld cradling the 10" square up in the flat bar ring.

Repeat the seam and “U” shape welding for the one 24" square that'll be under the table top. The second 24" square will be the base on the floor (see the table image where it's getting a shot of paint). Now I must warn you, this large radius circle is a pain to form without a radius roller or extra pair of hands. I say difficult but not impossible. I found it helpful to put marks with soapstone on the flat bar. I essentially marked the mid-point, ends, and quarters around the circumference. Then I tacked one end of the circumference ring to one of the corners or mid-point on one of the 5" braces ( I think I did a corner originally and wasn’t happy with the result) and spun the whole table top frame around while lining up those marks and tacking along the way. Again, you'll be better served to have a second set of hands if you don't own a radius roller. The same idea of using the top may work (unless you already did the wood work, stain, and poly). Take care to ensure that large radius circle and the rest of the frame is flat. Often times the average person doesn’t have a huge welding table so perhaps a garage floor will suffice. Bottom line is you don’t want to have gaps or high spots between the frame and table top. Once those parts are finished it’ll be time to move on to mounting them to the posts.

Step 13: Mounting the Table Base & Tops to the “Post”

Picture of Mounting the Table Base & Tops to the “Post”

Once you've built the second square for the table, you'll want to get two framing squares out. Unfortunately I didn't have a free hand to snap a picture of this and Charcoal being blind prevents him from operating a camera very well. I recommend the two framing squares method or a couple of levels. Perhaps a combination of both will be what you go with (meaning check your work). The technique with the two squares is to set them on perpendicular sides (running vertically along the post and out along the base or top). You may need an extra pair of hands or some of those “C clamps” if you’ve not been working alone much. The 41" piece of 1.5" square tube should slide in nice and snug into the 24" square base in between those 9 3/4" braces. Think about this for a second. You need a level working surface to start or you’ll be in for problems. The floor is not always level, check it and shim the table base to get it level before you start welding. I suggest you check yours if you are going the other route with the level base (plumb table post) route. If you use two squares on perpendicular sides of the 41" vertical table post, you'll likely be a happy camper.

Pick a method, do the table base first, then the table top. Repeat the method you prefer to get the table top to be level (or perpendicular on both sides of the post) once the base is welded up. I've used a C Clamp and some scrap pieces before to prop up the table top as I tacked it to the 41" table post. Just make certain it doesn’t twist out of level in both planes. That'll leave your table without the optional "Industrial" look of the hex nuts. Let’s go over that process next.

Step 14: ​Achieving the “Industrial” Look With Hex Nuts

Picture of ​Achieving the “Industrial” Look With Hex Nuts

If you want the Industrial look read on. I put one hex nut on the flat bar circumference band at each corner of the “Squares”. I like to align them the same way, either with a point or flat edge of the nut facing down with the open hole against the flat bar. I weld the center of the threaded holes (plug weld). Then after you get the nuts on the four corners I weld one centered up on the 5" braces (see the image of the table getting black paint), and two evenly spaced in between. It'll be close to every 4.5" apart and centered vertically on the 1.5” flat bar circumference band. I found that marking lines at the corners and braces with a speed square vertically on the 1.5" flat bar served me best. It may also aid you to cut a small piece of material to use to center it vertically on the flat bar so you can speed your process up (the image for this I put later because I recommend you hold off on welding the nuts to the stool tops until later in the build sequence). So once those are on, you can go back to the stools if you don't want to wait. On the stools I'd do the same thing where you put a hex nut where each corner meets the circumference band, and add two more nuts in between. I prefer to do this after it's got the stool feet and top on the stool post (so you can hold off if you so choose). I normally will move on to mounting the stool feet/legs next.

Step 15: Mounting the “Stool Legs & Feet”

Picture of Mounting the “Stool Legs & Feet”

Now that you’re working your way on down to the stool legs and feet, I found it handy to build a jig to hold the stool post plumb 4.5" above the welding table (or floor). I built mine out of a 90 degree shelf bracket and piece of scrap to hold the vertical post at the correct height to achieve the 30” stool height (see the image with the white bracket, and the one with the green conduit level for reference). I say this because the stool foot when resting with the 3" wide foot (35 degree side down) on the ground will hit the vertical post at 6.5" off the ground. See the sketch or pull a tape to see what I mean. That top edge of the stool foot is 1 3/4" + 1/4" (what I padded earlier for you to have a nice welding area) above the bottom of the square tube stool post. The jig I used was clamped to the welding bench. I used washers to shim the stool post into plumb on both vertical planes. Then I'd tack one stool foot, then the opposite. I'd use a long piece of scrap or a level to maintain those two feet in a straight line. Then I'd use a square on one of those to get the third and fourth stool feet perpendicular. Once all four stool legs are tacked on I'd check the stool to see if it rocked or was firmly sitting on the ground. It’s a lot easier to cut a tack than cut a fully welded seam if something needs an adjustment. Next would come the 3" stool feet pads/caps. Part of my learning through different builds led me to wait. You can see two images where I have tried both methods. If you do wait, then I'd even the 3" stool feet caps up under the stool legs, tack, and weld. Double check it sits and doesn't rock after tacking. Adjust if necessary before finish welding the seams. After all the stool legs are equipped with their feet you'll need to move on to the foot rest brace and foot rest.

Step 16: Mounting the “Foot Rest"

Picture of Mounting the “Foot Rest"

So now let's start the foot rest if you want them on your stools. I prefer the foot rest be about 12" off the ground to the top of the foot rest. Some people like it higher or lower. You may adjust yours to suit you. I'd recommend marking the center of the 14" long to long 45 degree cut pieces you'll be using. Actually I'd also mark 1/2" left and right of center (so you know where the edges of the 1” brace will go). Notice the markings in the second image with three foot rests. I typically put the long side towards the stool post (see the image with the two stools on the bench, one with and one without a foot rest). From above you'd see the angles sweep back and outward (reference the image of the stools in the floor). When you go to tack the foot rest brace to the foot rest itself you'll notice the 45 degree cut in this design is longer than the 1" square tube. I line it up to the short side of the foot rest brace ensuring I'm centered on my marks and that the angles are facing the correct way. This keeps a nice transition point for a foot resting on it near the brace. I have tried a different notching method as well, see the braces in the image with the foot rests center marked. I didn't like that as well so I came up with an alternate, the one I'm describing here. So back to the short side of the foot rest brace meeting the top edge of the foot rest itself... Tack it in place (foot rest to foot rest brace). Then on the underside of the foot rest there will be a bit of a lip that sticks out (third image). Take a look at the fourth image where I notched out two tiny triangles with the cut off wheel and the fifth image where I scored a line in the inside of the long side of the foot rest brace to ease bending. That little notch out formed a tongue that I bent back flat as if the bottom of the foot rest continued another 1/4" or so (see image 6). It was either this method or notching a V into the foot rest brace. I liked what I picked to go with because you could then hold the foot rest flat on the welding bench and use the 45 degree end of the speed square to set up your seam weld where you had previously just tacked (you'll do the same speed square trick on the vertical stool post). After you weld the foot rest to the foot rest brace it’ll need welded to the front side of the stool at your selected height. I pick the best looking side of the stool and center the upper end of the foot rest brace in the 1.5” square tube stool post. Double check the foot rest is level (same measurement from level working surface up). You'll see a couple photos of me lining up one stool next to another with magnets on the foot rests for reference. From there I suggest moving on to mounting the stool tops to the stool posts.

Step 17: ​Mounting the “Stool Tops”

Picture of ​Mounting the “Stool Tops”

When you go to mount the stool tops to the stool post you can do one at a time and use two framing squares, plumb, or pick an alternate method such as one I pictured where I clamped all 4 tops to long pieces of scrap. I was simply experimenting. Holding 4 tops on 4 stool posts was a bit painful. Learn from my trials. The option I liked best was to do one at a time. I’d initially tack the 4 short inner braces to the top of the stool post. The tack was enough to hold the weight but still allow me to make slight adjustments. On each stool I'd pull a tape on (from the welding bench or floor up to the top of the circumference band) and check the height of all four sides. I would also slide the stool next to the first stool (after you get the first one done, consider it your template) and give them a spin together to make sure the overall heights were matching and the top was level. Once you’re happy with the alignment then do the stool top seam welds (along all 4 edges of the inner braces). After you weld the stool tops perpendicular to the stool post (both sides) you can go back and do those hex nuts we held off on earlier if you like that "Industrial" look (see the image with the space for the nuts). Once that's done I'd go cap the foot rest ends. After you cap those, move on to installing the triangular gussets.

Step 18: ​Mounting the “Triangle Gussets”

Picture of ​Mounting the “Triangle Gussets”

Let’s go over mounting the gussets. Looking back I think I'd save the gusset installs for the last part of the frame build. Worthy of noting is I actually grind a little off the right angle in the gussets to allow space for the weld joint in the corner (see the fourth image with the MIG torch). When welding the gussets in I found it helpful to use a longer piece of 1" square tube and a small clamp. The longer piece of 1" square tube I use to keep the gusset flush with the top of the stool (see the pictures). Alternatively you could have done them as you welded on the circumference bands like you see in some of the images. It's nice to learn a few tricks from multiple builds. Repeat the same technique for welding the gussets in the table top frame. That’s pretty much it for building the frame. Now it’s time to clean up the frames and get them ready for paint.

Step 19: ​Prepare for Paint

Picture of ​Prepare for Paint

Once those gussets are welded in, it should leave you with some prep work before you are ready to primer and paint the stools and table frames. Some projects people will take and have professionally sand blasted. Typically they are going with powder coating instead of paint. That option is more expensive so I opt for a rattle can. Before I start spraying paint I always wire brush every weld seam to remove any crusty film. There is also a dull gray film called mill scale to remove by lightly grinding with a flap disc. This is the last chance to blend welds or remove any sharp edges and weld spatter (so take your time inspecting, feel the metal as you go). After I'm done handling the metal I also wipe down the metal frame with a rag and some acetone to remove the oily residue from the manufacturing process and my own hands. There's a couple images of Mr. Parks wiping down the table. Once the frames are clean I set them out on a piece of cardboard and apply a good coat of the self etching primer (see some more pictures of my friends Mr. Bluto and Mr. Parks). The self etching primer doesn’t take long to cure. I follow the primer after it's dried and cured with the Satin Black paint. I typically do a few coats and let it cure. When the satin black paint is cured it’ll be time to decide what you want to do with your table and stool tops. Let’s move on over and do a brief discussion on the wooden tops.

Step 20: Wooden Table & Stool Tops

Picture of Wooden Table & Stool Tops

For best results with finishing the wooden tops you should step sand from course grits down to finer grits. What grit you decide is a matter of choice and depends on the type of wood you use for the tops. This instructable is again geared towards the metal work so I’ll only add a few details here. When it comes to sanding I prefer to use an orbital sander to speed the step sanding process along. After you sand the bare wood down you can simply stain it, or come up with some custom designs to wood burn into it. If you want to dress up the top with some pyrography the options are endless. The basic process is to find the center point and add some layout lines in pencil for reference (the second image is a great shot of a layout). You can also see the lines matching up on the paper image and the wooden top in another image. Typically I’ll print off an image I want to use after scaling it to size (there's a couple shots of scaled and printed images for reference). Then I’ll place carbon paper underneath, tape it on my reference lines and trace out the image. After the carbon paper transfers the image over to the wood I’ll go back and wood burn in the design (I've attached a few Images of Mrs. Eberman burning). Then you’ll go back and erase/clean up the pencil marks. I find it useful to lightly sand any spots that look dark or stained from oily hands during burning. When sanding over the wood burned spots, you may need to go back over them with the wood burner. The sand paper will act as an eraser to those areas so be careful not to ruin all the wood burning. A light acetone cleaning with a new rag and possibly a pre-stain (on pine) will help the wood to take the stain after you decide which shade you want.

After the wood burning is done, I follow on with the stain (there's a good shot of Mr. Eberman's work bench where we stained one table set). Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and drying times. Follow the staining with applying coats of polyurethane. I prefer the wipe on kind. But you can use regular polyurethane and cut it with 1/3 mineral spirits to achieve the same results. I like to wear vinyl gloves and use cotton t-shirts or a bag of cotton rags for staining and applying poly. Charcoal next to vinyl glovesI usually apply about 10 coats letting them fully dry each time. Once they are dry do a light wet sanding with a 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper (wet sanding I do by hand, so I can feel the surface). Adding in a few drops of dawn dish soap as you wet sand helps. You’ll have to clean up the residue before the next coat of poly is applied. Make certain the wood piece is completely dry before you continue. Then, apply 2 more coats of wipe on poly letting each dry 8+ hours to fully cure. Do another light wet sanding with 1200 grit. Wipe it clean again and let it fully dry. Once it is dry do another 2 coats of wipe on poly. I would do the final wet sanding with 2000 grit and apply the final two coats of poly. All this wet sanding with finer grits of sand paper will make the finish really smooth. Next comes the mounting process.

When you finish the wood work you'll need to center the tops on your stools and table frames. I find it best to put them on the floor upside down (typically on a bed spread or large blanket, not on the shop floor after all that work) so I can better center the top up as well as drill pilot holes for the screws. Reference the image of Mr. Eberman mounting the stool seat to the frame on the black stool. Read the box of screws for the right drill bit size or hold your drill bit in front of the screw and look to ensure it’s not so big as to cut away the wood for the threads. I always predrill because I don’t want the wood to split. I'd recommend you only do one hole then check in case you have selected an oversized bit or have an alignment problem. Double if not triple check the tops are centered, predrill one hole, seat a screw in using a screw driver (I prefer by hand but there are torque settings on some drills), then mark and predrill a second one 180 degrees away from the first screw. After those two are in, it's pretty much self-explanatory, just repeat mark, drill, screw for every gusset. If you enjoyed this Instructable you can always hit me up at D&S Fabrication ( or at my sister's used car dealership Autocade Inc. in Clinton, TN ( I always welcome feedback, comments, or questions. If you have any questions you may contact me at This is my original design. I authorize you to make a set for your personal use. I do however retain the rights for commercial resale. If this exceeds your capabilities and you want a set, feel free to send me an email. One last thing... If you enjoyed this Instructable take a couple minutes to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, G+, or even email it to your friends and family. Thanks for your time.


Barb37 (author)2016-07-21

I've been lost in time with this Instructable - YOU are amazing! I'm short on time right now, but have made many mental notes to compile a more specific comment later.

Jared_Sams (author)Barb372016-07-21

Thanks! Although published, the "Instructable" is a work in progress. I'm trying my best to make it user friendly and very detailed. It's the first one I've built so there will be minor adjustments over a brief period of time as I learn how to use their web interface and can see how it affects the end product for the users.

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Bio: You can come visit us next to Autocade Inc. Pre-Owned Center. ( if you want us to build you something.
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