Introduction: StumpChair

About: I experience life through my finger tips and taste buds. Can't stop making new things. In my day job I manage a student workshop, and in my free time I volunteer as an EMT and for a local food rescue organizat…

StumpChair is a street art/ furniture design project that has been going on in Providence RI and Philadelphia PA for about two years. Examples of the existing chair scan be seen at

The process for creating StumpChairs is easy and requires only a few simple tools. 

A short documentary about the project can be viewed at

If you would rather repair the chairs then turn them into public art installations instructions for doing so can be seen here:

You will need the following tools and materials:

A chair, a stump glue, wood screws, a drill, a set of spade or forstnerr bits a driver bit, a chisel, and a hammer. 

Step 1: Find

Broken chairs are all around us. There may be some in your house and if there are not they can probably be found on the street on the night before garbage pickup. The best chairs for StumpChiar are wooden and have rounds spindles. This makes for easy installation. The best time to look for them is the night before your trash pickup day.

Stumps are also very common in many cities due to widespread tree removal.

Step 2: Break

Sometimes chair backs can be simply unscrewed from the base. Other times they must be more forcibly removed. A chisel and hammer work well to split the seat and release the spindles. Be careful not to break any spindles or you will have to replace them with something else (which is sometimes fun).

Step 3: Drill

After you have found your desired stump it's time to install the StumpChair. I usually do this under the cover of darkness but it doesn't really matter. Nobody has ever given me trouble for it. 

Start off by positioning the chair back in the desired orientation and mark off the locations of each spindle with a Sharpie. 

Next match up the spindle size with a spade bit. Usually you can get really close because chairs are made with standard size spindles. 

Drill one hole for each spindle at the appropriate size starting with the two largest holes. Make sure the holes are at a bit of an angle backwards so that the chair has a bit of a recline. I usually drill farther than necessary just for good measure. 

Step 4: Glue

Once the holes are drilled squeeze some wood glue into each of the holes and spread some on the ends of the spindles. 

Next align the spindles in the holes. This may take more than one person because they tend to move out of place when the others are being lined up.

In order to ensure that the chair back is sturdy it is often a good idea to tap it in with a rubber mallet. Hitting it with your hand will probably suffice. 

Step 5: Screw

Finally in order to give the chair yet more stability screw long wood screws at an angle through the base of the spindles and into the stump. I usually screw the two largest spindles and one or two in the back. 

Step 6: Sit (and Share)

Your StumpChair is now finished. 

Sit on it and enjoy. 

Also please photograph it and post the photo to the StumpChair facebook page ( or email it to

Happy Stumping!

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