Introduction: WikiSeat Catalyst Jig1

About: Artifact Designer at Institute for the Future, and Pier 9 AiR

A WikiSeat is a three legged stool that is built by hand. Each WikiSeat starts with a Catalyst that acts as a central support structure. The creator of a WikiSeat has the freedom to gather materials and find their own methods for building the seat. WikiSeat creators can share what they have made and become inspired by others at .

This instructable shows how you can build your very own Catalyst! They can be used for all sorts of things:

+A great gift (or challenge) for your DIY friends and family.
+For teachers, building WikiSeats for a class project makes for a fun and engaging experience.
+Or you can build a WikiSeat of your own.

If you plan on building more than just a few Catalysts, check out the WikiSeat Catalyst Jig2 which lets you build Catalysts even faster!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

You will probably need all this stuff


+MIG Welder
+Something to cut steel: chop saw, band saw, hack saw
+Something to file/grind steel: metal file, grinding wheel, Dremel

+Sand Blaster (optional)
+Drill Press (optional)

Catalyst Materials

+Angle Iron 1"x1", 15" length per catalyst
+Primer and Paint (optional)

Jig Materials

+Three threaded rods 20" length
+Twelve bolts that fit the threading
+Six large washers
+One length of aluminum corner bead

Step 2: Prepare Materials

The Catalyst itself will be constructed using angle iron. 

+Cut the angle iron into 5" segments. You will need three pieces of angle iron for each Catalyst.

+File down the corners and edges.

+Drill holes with a drill press. (optional)

+File metal burrs from holes.

Step 3: Prepare Jig

This jig will hold your angle iron in place while welding.

+Shape corner bead into equilateral triangles with each side measuring 10.750"

*** It is very important that each side of the triangle is the same length! You will get a lopsided catalyst if this is not right.***

+Screw the washers and bolts onto the threaded rod so they can hold your angle iron in place.

+Make sure the angle iron is centered on the rod and tighten the bolts

Step 4: Set Up Jig

Set Up

+Place the three threaded rods complete with angle iron between the corner bead triangles and twist in place. This may take a few tries.

+Rotate the threaded rods so that the angle iron lines up flush.

Step 5: Tack

+With the angle iron in the jig, tack weld each outside edge in place 

Step 6: Weld

+After tacking the corners, remove the catalyst and weld the inside edges. 

I have found that it works best to start at the bottom and drag the bead up to the corner.

Step 7: Finish

Now you have a catalyst!

You may finish this any way you like, but here is what I do:


+spray with white primer

Step 8: Build a WikiSeat and Share It With the World

This catalyst is a framework for building a seat, bench, table or work of art. Or maybe you have other plans in mind?

Check out  to share what you build and become inspired by others!