Hey DIYers! I'm Dave from the Youtube Channel "Parts &
Restoration". This week, I built an antique tractor seat bar stool using both purchased and repurposed materials. This project was fast, fun, and cheap, taking only a few hours to complete. So, assemble your supplies and lets build a sweet stool! Take a moment to view the two minute build video. Watching it will give you a much better idea of how to complete this extraordinarily simple build.
Antique Tractor Seat from your local antique shop. These run between 25-60 bucks depending upon condition and design
Stool base - I found one in the trash. You might be able to find one for cheap at a junk store, antique shop, or thrift store.
Hardware - I used 5/16's carriage bolts, fender and lock washers, and nuts
Paint - Primer coat was Rustoleum Self Etching Bare Metal Primer
- The seat was painted with black spray on truck bed liner
- The base was painted with red Farm and Implement paint
-Angle Grinder and Knotted Cup Wire Wheel
-Drill Press, although a hand-held drill would work just as well
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Step 1: Select a Tractor Seat
This is the most fun part of this build - the hunt for rusty gold. I
found mine at an antique shop in Lancaster Pennsylvania. It wasnt as much of a shop as it was a series of warehouses full of rusty old objects from days gone by; most of them agriculture related. This was one of dozens of tractor seats at this location, and I paid 25 bucks for it. This seat being rather ordinary was on the low end price wise. These tractor seats do get rather ornate and the fancy ones will run you up to 100 bucks, so shop around.
Step 2: Select a Stool Base
This part of the build is a lot of fun too! Living in a big city, I find cool things in peoples trash all the time. We arent talking about digging through dumpsters *usually*, but rather put out on the sidewalk for sanitation pickup. I have come upon several stool possibles for this build over the last 4-5 months. I wound up selecting this one because of its swivel top. One good option for finding a cheap base for your project would be a trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They have SO many great deals for different kinds of furniture and I have seen many great stools at the location near me.
Step 3: Prep Your Parts
Time to work! Our parts need to be prepped for future assembly and painting. First, how are we going to join our seat to our base? Perhaps you have a welder and can simply "metal glue" them together. Maybe the easier choice is to simply bolt the two pieces together as I did. To prepare for this step, I needed to figure out where my bolt holes were going to go. I elected to utilize the existing bolt pattern on the chair base and to perfectly index my holes, I used spray paint to make them. By spraying over the existing holes, the metal base acts as a mask and leaves little round paint dots where the existing bolt holes are. With this done, use your hand held drill or drill press to create your bolt holes. If you're using carriage bolts, your bolt holes in the seat should be the size of the diagonal width of the square boss below the head of the bolt.
If your seat is rusty, there are many options for rust removal. Take a look at this video for the mechanical methods.
I used a knotted wire cup wheel for my angle grinder to remove the majority of the rust on my antique tractor seat and it got the job done well.
Prior to painting, the metal should be thoroughly cleaned and de-greased. For this task, I use Acetone and paper towels and wear gloves to avoid depositing skin oil onto the cleaned surfaces.
Step 4: Prime, Paint, Reassemble
This is the fun stuff! Lets paint our parts! Before we add our colored top coats, we must prime our metal to prepare it to receive the paint. Apply 1-2 coats of primer. For this build, I was working with clean bare metal and elected to use a self etching bare metal primer. These products contain an acid that etches the surface of the metal which helps create a strong metal to paint bond. Allow your primer to dry, 30 minutes or per the instructions, then apply 3-5 coats of paint. I used farm and implement spray paint for this project. Apply long even strokes holding your spray can 6-8 inches from the surface being painted and work methodically side to side, up and down.
With your parts painted, assemble your parts. First install your carriage bolts and bolt your tractor stool down to the base. The smooth half round carriage bolt heads should be pointing up towards the sky (your butt) when installed in your seat. Below, first install fender washers, then lock washers, and last, your nuts and sinch everything down. I used a cut-off disc on my angle grinder to cut off the excess bolt below.
Step 5: Final Thoughts
Well done! In an afternoon, you built a cool new stool for your bar, your shop, or your home. I hope you found this project easy and straight forward. If you enjoyed this project, check out my other shop adventures on Youtube at:
and on Instagram at:
Feel free to contact me here on Instructables or reach out to me via email at