Instructables

Road Sign Stools

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Given a heavy, yet healthy, obsession with road signs, I created these stools for my new apartment.  They use a simple metal-bending technique to turn down the sharp edges of the signs and simultaneously brace the legs.  You can see some of my other projects that use signs and this bending technique here:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Road-Sign-Coffee-Table/ and here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Nine-Square-Chair/.

I got my signs at the surplus pile at the state highway engineer's yard.  Aluminum signs are very hard to recycle because the coating on the signs is expensive and difficult to get off, therefore making them unprofitable to melt down.  Old signs are sometimes just thrown in a big pile and forgotten about . . . all you need to do is ask.  I found three the same size, 15" x 21". 

Don't steal signs.  They are expensive, paid for with your tax money, and you could potentially create a dangerous situation by removing an important sign from the street.

All the wood was found 2" x 4" scrap that I milled down to about 1-1/4" square.  The only expense was the screws, 3" drywall or similar, that ran me about two bucks for half a pound. 

You will need these materials:

Road signs
Approx. 16' of wood per stool
3" drywall or wood screws
#10 washers
wood glue
sandpaper

You will need these tools:

Miter, circular, or jigsaw
Impact driver and/or drill
Hammer
 
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Oh these are awesome! I just wish I knew were to get street signs here in NC :(

There's three main signs I'm looking for just as decorations around the farm; a stop sign, a tractor sign, and a horse riding sign.
djohnson631 year ago
Great instructable. There are few shops or classes to learn how to make signs here in Calgary, so thanks!
Hmff2 years ago
I LOVE IT!
so easy to do and looks great.
Loopstyle2 years ago
Great job! You are more then welcome to visit www.loopstyle.se and post a Loop! Idea + creativity + recycling = Loopstyle
For people searching for signs, you should be able to contact your city hall or town hall and find out where the signs for your municipality go. Google your town name and "City Hall" for a phone number. Ask where you can purchase street signs. You may also try "Transit", "Transportation Department" or "Highway Department". Some cities (like here in Seattle) sell their signs for about 5-10 dollars once a year. Larger signs go for more. But on the last day of the sale or the day after, you can often go pick through and take some less desirable signs or leftovers.
Chumlee2 years ago
just managed to buy a sign thats right for the job, ifs a bit beat up tho (very rusty) so im debating weather or not to re-paint it, but looking forward to making the stool
Clayton H.3 years ago
Does anyone know the best way of contacting their local highway engineer yard? I can't seem to figure out where one is.
coppeis3 years ago
Where can I get said signs?
By reading the instructable.
ok
static3 years ago
Nice finished project. A good instructable. Have you ever tried constructing sacrificial jig, and use heat to aid in bending the metal? I' think one could get sever bends before a wooden jig was scorched beyond further usability. Here I'd grab the 18 inch crescent wrench to get leverage during the bending.
faelenor3 years ago
Nice idea!

I would just recommend to use a rubber hammer to prevent all the scratches you made on the sign while bending it.
Great project. I am in Georgia. Do you have any suggestions regarding how I can contact my local State Highway engineers yard or other legal means of locating unwanted signs? Thanks.
wholman (author) 3 years ago
Hey all, I addressed legal sources of signs along with a disclaimer about stealing signs right here in the first step. Please don't post comments that ask questions that are directly answered in the text.
sismart3 years ago
How illegal is this, though? This isn't going to cause anyone to be tempted to go around snagging signs just to make home furnishings, is it? :P
This project is illegal because it's possible for someone else to make their own version using a stolen sign??? You might wanna think that one through again.
It is not illegal if you own the signs. If someone is stupid & disrespectful enough to steal something, that is the responsibility of the thief, not the author of an instructible.

Talking to your local city, county, stave provincial works yard that deals with road signs may just get you the materials you need to make a project like this. There may be bullet holes or other "character" in your stool seats, but that is something I, for one, would appreciate.
matriarchy3 years ago
Nice work! Got me thinking, though... I don't have any street signs, but I do have a lot of license plates. Got any ideas for those?
Awsome! Well done!!!! Would also be a visual reminder (the stools with the arrows,) to cue family members to push their stools in when not in use, so that clumbsy mom's (moi) don't trip over them ;0)!! BTW, I have no wood working skills, nor do I own carpentery tools. Do you think there might be an IKEA hack some how?
CrLz3 years ago
Nice, now I'm thinking License-Plate foot stools...
:0) and so it begins...licence plate wallpaper????? ;0)
jnifrwebb3 years ago
I want one SO bad, I just don't have most of the power tools. I wonder if I could con my step-dad into making it for me?
sirarthur783 years ago
What a great way to use materials that would otherwise just sit there wasting away. I'm inspired-something like this would be great for the man cave!
Criket3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
wholman (author)  Criket3 years ago
every joint in these stools has glue in it. the gorilla contest is moderated; they wouldn't have let this project in if there wasn't any use of adhesives.

please read the instructable before you post comment like that.
zieak3 years ago
I always love your work!
Great job, might do this with some of my signs, got my own wee obsession...
seamster3 years ago
Very nice. They've got a cool look to them.

I have access to a bunch of old signs from the city where I work. Hmm... This got my gears turning!
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