Aesthetically Challenged Stool

Do you ever just take a glance at your room and just yearn for the space to be filled by a structure that vaguely resembles a meatloaf? Or how about a stool that looks more like a tank than an actual piece of furniture? Is scaring your family with your questionable furniture taste next on your bucket list?

We know exactly what you need - an aesthetically challenged stool! Look no further - here are a few steps that will guarantee you that stool, a few splinters, and plenty of concerned glances from your friends!

Supplies:

Step 1: 1. Assemble Your Materials

To build this stool, you're going to need three types of materials:

Wood:

  • 2" x 4" x 8' Beam (2)
  • 0.5" x 20" x 20" MDF (3)
  • 0.25" x 20" x 20" MDF (1)
  • 2.5" Assorted Beams
    • Total length of at least 150"
    • Minimum width of 2"
  • 0.5" x 6" x 6' Plank (1)

Misc. Materials:

  • Can of brown primer (1)
  • Can of brown paint + primer (1)
  • 3" flathead screws (22)
  • 2" nails (18)
  • Wood glue

Tools/Machines:

  • Meter stick
  • Masking tape
  • Sandpaper OR hand sander
  • Table saw
  • Angle saw
  • Belt sander
  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver drill bit
  • Trigger clamps (preferably 30", 60")
  • Hammer

Step 2: 2. Build Your Legs

With your table and angle saw, you'll need to further cut and sand your wood to create your legs:

  1. With one 8' beam, cut two 31" long rectangular pieces.
  2. Using the other 8' beam, cut two 32.4" long rectangular pieces.
  3. Now cut each of these four pieces to a width of 2.5".
  4. Position each 32.4" piece so the 32.4" x 2.5" faces are facing the ceiling.
  5. Measure 0.7" down from the top end of each 32.4" piece, and make a tick mark on the left edge. Draw a line from the top right corner to the tick mark. Now, measure 0.7" from the bottom end of each piece, and draw a tick mark on the right edge. Draw a line from this tick mark to the bottom right corner.
  6. Now you should have two rectangular legs (one example pictured left) and two legs angled at approximately 12 degrees (pictured right).
  7. Adjust the legs if necessary. Try placing the legs on the ground underneath the MDF, and see if any of the legs are slightly longer than the others when standing upright. If so, you can sand down the edges to make the lengths more even. You may also add thin sheets of 2" x 2.5" wood to level out the lengths of the legs.
  8. OPTIONAL: Use a hand sander or wrap a piece of sandpaper around a block of wood to sand down the edges.

Step 3: 3. Attach Your Legs

Create a stable base by attaching the legs with supports at the middle of each leg.

  1. Create supports from the leftover 2" x 4" beams. First, cut these beams in half to create a width of 1.5". Next, cut four 14" long pieces - these are your supports. For two of the pieces, use the sander to create an angled side.
    1. Now, you have two rectangular supports and two angled supports.
  2. First, attach the pair of rectangular legs by placing a rectangular support perpendicularly to each leg. They should be 15" from the bottom of each leg. Apply wood glue to each end of the support. Clamp the pieces together for at least ten minutes to allow the glue to dry.
  3. Attach the supports to each leg with screws.
    1. Create a pilot hole with a drill bit smaller than the screw's head. Make sure the pilot hole is longer than the screw and goes into both pieces of wood you want to connect.
    2. Use the Phillips head drill bit to drill in the screws.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 for your pair of angular legs.
  5. For the two pairs of rectangular legs connected to angular legs, use the angled supports instead of rectangular ones. Place these supports at about 16" from the bottom of the legs. Repeat steps 2-3 with these adjustments.
    1. You may have to screw diagonally to attach them - in this case, use a drill bit that is larger than the head of the screw for the top of the hole. Use masking tape to mark on your drill bit for how long you want the top of your hole to be.
    2. Stop once you reach the masking tape, and now, use the smaller drill bit to finish the rest of your pilot hole. This allows the screw to be fully submerged into the wood and ultimately reach further distances through the wood.

Now you have created a base for your stool. The angled legs will be on the back of your stool, and the rectangular ones will be on the front.

Step 4: 4. Create Your Shelf

With the assorted beams of wood, you can create a small shelf underneath the seat of the stool for functionality.

  1. Cut each beam to segments with a length of 16.5'. Depending on the width of the segments, you may have to slightly space them out and create gaps in them.
  2. Use wood glue to attach each segment onto the angled supports.
  3. Allow the shelf to dry for at least 20 hours. Clamp the segments on the edges and use heavy textbooks to secure the other segments.

Step 5: 5. Create Support for Your Seat

Before you attach your seat to your base, make sure that your seat will be supported! To do this, you will be using the leftover wood from the 8' beams.

  1. Cut 2 14" x 1.5" x 2" pieces of wood. Attach these to the rectangular-angled leg pairs at the very top of the base. These will be primary supports. As you did with the legs, glue, clamp, and attach the wood with screws.
  2. Cut 2 11" x 1.5" x 2" pieces of wood. Attach these to the primary supports you just created at about 3" away from the front and back of the stool. These will serve as secondary supports. As you did in the previous step and with the legs, glue, clamp, and attach the wood with screws.

Step 6: 6. Create Slats on Your Shelf

You know what really detracts from the aesthetic appeal? Slats around the whole stool. To create these, you'll be using your sheets of MDF.

  1. Cut three rectangles out of the thinner MDF, each 16.5" long. They should be about 2.5"-3.5" wide. Using the glue-clamp-drill-screw method, attach three of the rectangles to the back of the stool. Slightly space them out to create the appearance of slats. The slats should extend from the top of the stool to the leg support.
  2. Cut four trapezoids out of the thicker MDF. For two of them, the bottom edge should be 16.5" long with a top edge of 15" long. For one of these trapezoids, make the left edge straight and the right edge slanted. For the other, make the right edge straight and the left edge slanted. For the other two, the bottom edge should be 15" long with a top edge of 14" long. As with the longer trapezoids, make one with a straight left edge and another with a straight right edge.
  3. Glue the slats and clamp them to the legs. After allowing them to dry for at least one hour, then nail them together.

Step 7: 7. Create Your Seat and Backrest

Use the MDF and your boards to construct your seat.

  1. Cut your remaining thick sheet of MDF into one 18" x 18" square. This will serve as your seat.
  2. Cut out three 18" long pieces from the plank and two 20" x 1" x 1" rectangular prisms from the leftover 2" x 4"s.
  3. Attach two of the plank pieces perpendicularly to the other plank piece as shown above.
  4. Sand the edges of the prisms (as shown above) to allow the planks to rest on them at a small angle.
  5. Attach these structures together with glue, clamps, and then screws.
  6. OPTIONAL: If the sanding on the prisms is uneven, you can attach leftover MDF to the prisms to account for any difference in the sanding. You may also place leftover pieces of wood (like the triangular prisms) to cover up any of the screws.
  7. Now, you can attach the seat to the supports with excessive amounts of glue. Clamp down the wood and wait 10 minutes before attaching with screws. While waiting, you can either watch the glue dry or sand down the rest of the chair.

Step 8: 8. OPTIONAL PAINT

Now's the time for your stool to demonstrate just how aesthetically challenging it is! Use spray paint + primer (we used Kona Brown from Home Depot) to just cover the entire stool. Spray at an angle for a cleaner finish, especially if the wind is aggressively blowing in your face. If you're like us and did not buy enough paint, have no fear! Just use the primer to touch up any unpainted spots, and hope it's a similar color. If you're feeling especially ~daring~ go ahead and draw a symbol on your stool with the spray paint. Have fun!

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