DIY Wooden Stool Made With Pocket Hole Joinery

I made this great little stool from some left over wooden legs and some scrap plywood.  I have become a big fan of using my Kreg Pocket Hole jig.  The jig allows for some easy super quick and really strong joinery.  Don't be intimidated by the gizmo.  It is really quite easy to use and relatively inexpensive.  You can easily adapt this to make a table of virtually any size.  I have built several display tables and cabinets using the pocket hole jig. 

What you will need:

A pocket hole jig set  ( mine is a Kreg I bought a few years back.  It included the clamp, drill bit and driver bit as well as some screws.  All at the time for around $40.00)

Pocket screws

Drill and/ or Driver

Bar Clamps (optional - they do help holding things together while you insert the screws)

(4) tapered legs  1 3/4" square by 10" tall (any size will do depending on your need)

Some scrap Birch or other wood for the stool skirt and top

Saw of choice ( I used a table saw to rip the scrap down and a miter saw to cross cut the pieces.)

Stain and finish

Safety glasses

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Step 1: Getting the Pieces Ready

I first ripped some scrap birch to 3" wide.  I then cut two pieces 15 1/2" long for the sides and two pieces 8 1/4 " for the ends.   I then used my pocket hole jig to place screw holes on the top and end edges of the pieces.  The screw holes will be on the inside of the assembled stool so they won't show.

Step 2: Assembly

I assembled one side at a time.  I place glue on each end of  an end piece.  I placed two legs upside down and by eyeballing it I clamped them to the center of the end piece.  The main reason I am using a clamp is that pocket screws will push away from the target wood sometimes and won't scew in straight.  However, after you insert the screws you won't need the clamp anymore.  I repeated the step for the other side.  I then married the two end to both sides again using a clamp and the scres.  Be generous with the glue.  If glue gushes out, wipe it up with a wet cloth as quickly as you can so that the glue won't block your stain later.

Step 3: Adding a Top

 I cut another piece of scrap 11 1/2" by 19" to act as the top.  This may suit you fine as a top for your stool.  Just run a bead of glue around the top of your stool.  Center your stool and screw it to the top.  Sand everything.  My stool will eventually get an upholstered top.  I am going to cut a piece of foam and add material later.

Step 4: Stain and Finish

 Apply your choice of stain, preferably two coats.  I used good old Minwax stain and it takes a while to dry.  I am really liking water based finishes now because the drying time is so quick.  I gave it three coats of  a water based semi gloss poly.  

The stool itself was fabricated in about and hour or so.  Staining and finishing didn't take long. I just had to wait a while in between coats. 

I hope this was helpful.  Let me know if you have any questions or comments! 

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    9 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    One point I like to mention w.r.t. pocket hole jigs is to treat them like glue-ups. You should "dry fit" everything first, and then clamp like crazy, because it doesn't look right if you miss on the first try.

    1 reply

    Hi Jeffeb3

    Have you tried any of the specialty pocket hole clamps that place a clamp into one pocket hole while you screw into the other? I tried Rocklers small clamp without much success. My clamp would come apart. It just wasn't sturdy enough.


    7 years ago on Step 4

    Some glues are quite a problem such as the swelling that takes place when Gorilla glue hardens. Often even a quick wipe off will not really get the glue off of an area that you want to stain or finish. As much as possible I suggest staining off all pieces prior to any glue work taking place. That way wiping off a squeeze out will clearly display any residue before it becomes next to impossible to remove.

    1 reply

    Hi Glorybe

    I'm not crazy about Gorilla Glue because of the way it expands. It has its place for a lot of applications though. I prefer Titebond II or III. They both develop a nice intial tack but let you reposition parts if needed and clean up is pretty easy with a damp cloth if done immediately. It will block stain if allowed to soak in. You have a great point, staining parts first is best.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Neat. I was wondering how pocket hole jigs worked and this video explained it well.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    You might get some ideas out of this site, or a kick at the very least. There are quite a few neat woodworking ideas that use the pocket hole jig as well. I have the Harbor Freight pocket hole jig.

    1 reply