Introduction: Counter Height Bar Stools

I have tried to ensure all steps are covered in these plans but if you find any errors in the plans or have a question then please email me at to let me know.

All my builds are made with pocket hole joinery. You will need a pocket hole jig tool such as a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig in order to build them.

Step 1: Make the Front Frame

Join the two shorter legs measuring 24 inches together using one of the 14 ½ inch 1 by 3s and a 14 ½ 2 by 2.

I placed the bottom edge of the 2 by 2 rail 4 ½ inches up from the bottom of the leg and drilled the pocket holes for the 2 by 2s on the bottom edge so they are hidden from sight. The 1 by 3s will be hidden by the seat so you won’t see the pocket holes on the inside once seat is fitted.

I decided to make the outside of the top rail flush with the outside of the legs rather than inset.

Step 2: Make the Back Frame

Join the two longer legs measuring 45 inches together using 4 of the 14 ½ inch 1 by 3's and a 14 ½ 2 by 2.

I placed the bottom edge of the 2 by 2 rail 12 inches up from the bottom of the leg.

I spaced the rails out by 2 inches which left a gap of half an inch from the top of the top rail to the top of the leg. Tip : cut two scraps of wood two inches long and use them as spacers when fitting the back rails.

If you look at my finished photo, the diagram below actually shows the back of the chair. The part you lean against actually has the 1 by 3's inset by ¾ inch (so they are flush with the back). I put my pocket holes on the back side and made sure I filled, sanded, filled, sanded and repeated until happy the holes would not show. It is time consuming but worth the end result.

Step 3: Join the Front and Back Frames Together

Join the front and back together as shown.

On each side use one of the 15 ½ inch 1 by 3s and a 15 ½ inch 2 by 2.

Make sure you are consistent with the top rails so that on all sides they are all either flush with the outside edge or inset by ¾ inch.

Step 4: Add the Seat Rail to Back

Add the back 1 by 3 rail so the top of it is flush with the top of the two side rails and it is flush with the front of the leg as shown.

Drill pocket holes facing upwards on the inside and fix the 1 by 2 measuring 14 ½ inches to it.

Step 5: Make the Seat

I made the seat overlap the edges of the frame by half an inch so I joined 5 pieces of 1 by 4 measuring 18 ½ inches long together to make the seat.

Place all your pocket holes on the side you choose to be the underside so they do not show.

Tip : Also make sure that the first hole is at least about an inch from the inch so you can’t see the hole if look under the edge of the chair.

Step 6: Fit the Seat

Drill pocket holes on the inside of the frame facing towards the top to use to screw the seat on.

Place the top good side down and place the upturned chair frame on top of it.

Make sure you have an equal gap around the edge and fix with pocket hole screws.

Step 7: Finish

Sand well to smooth out the joints and remove any wood glue residue.

If staining then apply Pre stain and your choice of stain or paint as desired.

Wood Contest 2016

Participated in the
Wood Contest 2016