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I think old chair legs are gorgeous and I have been collecting them to make into stools.

I found a way to connect the legs to the seat that is;

  • strong
  • cheap
  • simple

It took me a while because I had lots of fails, but now I am happy with the design.

Step 1: Mark Out the Brackets and Use the Bandsaw to Cut Out

Here I have used pine, but I would recommend a hard wood.

Step 2: Cut a Stool Base From the Old Chair Seat

Step 3: Cut All Legs to the Same Size

Step 4: Pre Drill the Centre of the Brackets and the Centre of the Legs

Step 5: Glue and Screw Legs to Brackets

Step 6: Attach Legs to Base of Stool

Step 7: Sand and Apply Finish of Choice

Step 8: Finishing Options

<p>Your recycled chairs look great. If it's just for decorative use I think this is an easy and fast way.</p><p>But I doubt this is going to be strong enough for real use. With real use I mean my 150 kg neighbor can safely sit on it. Gluing cross-grain is not very strong and the screw adds almost nothing to the joint. My guess is that these chairs will break soon.</p><p>The most common way of doing this is to turn the old legs on the lathe to a common diameter and then make the wedges much thicker (&gt;=3cm). Then drill a hole with the diameter of the legs in the wedge and glue everything in place. After all this is how this type of chair is build from scratch.</p><p>If you don't have a lathe you could try to drill a big hole into the end of the leg (~20 mm) and glue a round dowel as loose tenon into the hole in the leg and the wedge.</p>
<p>Hi Ernstp, I made another instructable to enter in the &quot;Epic Fail Competition&quot; called <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Recycle-chair-leg-stool-fails/">&quot;recycle chair leg stool fail&quot;</a> , in it I address some of the points you mention above.</p><p>Thanks for the comments</p>
<p>Search Pinterest for DIY chairs. It may inspire another chair idea.. Good work.</p>
great idea for old beat up kitchen chairs just a pity about the holes left in the lower leg by the cross members
<p>Yes it might be taking rustic charm just a bit far, although when separating the chair components I could saw them off and sand them flush, eliminate the holes then paint them.</p><p>Thanks for your comment</p>
Awesome idea!! I will definitely give this a try
<p>Terrific</p>
<p>Thank you for sharing, now I know what to do with the wooden chairs that I have been hanging on to. Very nice look!!</p>
<p>Thank you</p>
Great idea. Great instructable and also the fails one. Was there a reason you didn't drill a large hole in your bracket to accept the top of the chair legs and insert a wedge?
<p>Hi Dspathaky, Thanks for your sketch, I haven't tried what you have suggested here, it didn't occur to me because the legs are all different at the top, the most I had alike is two. </p><p>I did try putting the legs on the lathe and turning the top of each leg round, and then drilling matching holes in the seat, my intention was to put a wedge in the top of the leg as you mention, but through the seat. This was not a success because of the odd shapes at the top of the leg finding the centre was tricky and they were spinning off centre. However this was where I got the idea to drill and put dowel vertically in the leg tops.</p><p>The tops of the chair legs are all different shapes; round square and some triangle. They also have all sorts of mortise holes and fixings, I have mostly been sawing the tops off to try and get a large surface area and also remove the mortises and fixing damaged material.</p><p>Your idea looks terrific and I will try it if I'm lucky enough to come across suitable legs.</p><p>Thanks again for sharing your thoughts</p>

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Bio: I am a high school design and technology teacher and I love making things, especially if it involves using recycled materials. I use instructables all ... More »
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