Picture of Tractor Stools
For thousands of years, farmers walked behind their draft animals, subject to same exhaustion as the beasts themselves. Sometime in the 1850s, horse-drawn ploughs began to feature cast-iron seats molded to meld with the humblest part of a farmer's anatomy. Eventually, mechanized equipment and padded seats took over, and much of the old equipment was culled for scrap. As a result, cast iron farm implement seats (the proper term used by collectors) are somewhat rare these days, and can command a good price. For more on the history of tractor seat design, check out my blog here.

Somewhat of a flea market aficionado, I hunted down these two tractor seats at antique markets in rural Iowa while on a road trip. At $30 bucks each, they were more than I usually like to pay for a guerilla project, but that seems to fall in within the fair market value. The rest of the materials were salvaged for free -- some scrap 2x8, a few bits of plywood, and a handful of bolts. Paying homage to the mid-century masters that came before me, I wove together some remnants of agrarian America into these stout bar stools.

Broad-shouldered and helmet-headed, they prop me up at breakfast and anchor me for happy hour. 

If you like them, please vote for them in the Manly Crafts and Workshop contests! Your support helps me to continue writing Instructables!

You will need these materials (per stool):

Cast iron or steel tractor seat
1 5' scrap of 2x8
approx. 2 square feet of plywood
Handful of #6 x 1-1/4" long wood screws (Spax work well here)
Handful of #8 x 2" drywall screws
Wood glue
Rusty metal primer spray paint
Enamel spray paint, color of your choice
Water-based polyurethane
1 1/2" x 3" carriage bolt
1/2" nut
1/2" washer
4 #8 x 3" pan head screws
Handful of 1/2" rubber washers
Handful of #8 cut washers
100 and 150-grit sandpaper
Steel wool
Denatured alcohol

You will need these tools:

Circular saw
1/4 sheet or orbital sander
12" and 24" bar clamps
1/2" chisel
Crescent wrench
Block plane
Tape measure
Speed square

Bverysharp1 year ago

Love this. It is a really clean and elegant design, with minimal joinery.

jebailey1 year ago
!! Well Done !! - The High Quality Photos show things Step by Step. The Well Organized 'Materials List' and 'Tools List' will allow Everyone to know what they need For the project and Why. Because this can be understood by Every Level - It will be Appreciated by Professional Craftsman and Weekend Hobbyist alike ... Keep Up The Good Work !!
Great project i