Check out the build video for more details on how I built this stool. Please subscribe to my channel to keep up with all my builds. Now to get started:
Step 1: Milling the Wood & Cutting Legs & Stretchers
For this stool I used 6/4 hardwood maple. This runs about $4 a board foot where I live, and a 9 foot, 5 inch wide, 1.5 inch thick board was around $20. For a cheaper and more convenient option you can use 2x4's and pine dowels.
- Cut the planks for the legs at 17 1/4 inches.
- Cut the planks for the stretchers at 13 inches.
- Joint one edge and one face of each board to ensure they are entirely flat and square. (This step isn't entirely necessary if you don't have a jointer. Just pick out the straightest boards.
- Plane down boards to about 1 1/14 inch. Just ensure all boards are the same thickness.
- Use the width of the board to set the fence on the table saw. This will ensure the legs and lower stretchers are perfectly square.
- Cut the legs to 1.25"x1.25"x17.25".
- Cut the upper stretchers to 2"x1.25"x13".
- Cut the lower stretchers to 1.25"x1.25"x13".
Step 2: Drilling the Dowel Holes & Chamfers
I used thru-dowel joinery to assemble this stool. This makes the stool extremely sturdy, but you could always assemble the stool with screws and plug the screw holes with dowels. I used this center finding doweling jig for all the holes, and it made life much easier.
- Add a 3/16th inch chamfer to the top of all 4 legs.
- I spaced the dowel holes an inch apart at 5/8" from the end.
- Drill the half inch dowel holes 1 inch into the stretchers, and through the legs. I used two holes for the upper stretchers, and one hole for the lower.
- Add chamfer to the outside edge of the legs, and all four sides of each stretcher. (Totally optional, but it gives a more finished look, and a smooth transition for the webbing to wrap around.)
- Sand all pieces to at least 120 grit.
- Cut maple dowels to 1 1/2 inch.
- Cut walnut dowel plugs to 3/4 inch.
Step 3: Stool Assembly & Finish
Time to put everything together. I assembled the stool in two stages. I first put together two opposing leg and stretcher assemblies. After they were dry I assembled the two halves together with the remaining stretchers.
- Glue and hammer in dowels one one upper and one lower stretcher.
- Attach legs one either side, and use a rubber mallet to make sure everything seats flush.
- Repeat for the second side assembly and clamp everything up. Allow at least 4 hours to dry. (I used Titebond 2 glue)
- Assemble the two halves together with the remaining stretchers and dowels. (Note - You will have to cut the dowels shorter to fit since the opposing dowel will be in the way. I had about 3/8" of space between the stretcher and the opposing thru-dowel which was plenty of gluing surface)
- Clamp everything up and allow time to dry.
- Glue in walnut plugs, and trim flush once dry.
- Sand the entire stool up to at least 120 grit.
- For a finish I added two coats of clear shellac and one coat of paste wax.
Step 4: Weaving the Seat
I used 1 inch nylon webbing in black and white to provide a cool pattern and contrast. there are a bunch of colors to choose from, or you can weave it with just one color. Its up to you!
- Measure out how long you need to cut and cut 13 strips for each direction. (26 strips total)
- Staple each strip to the inside of the top stretcher, and wrap under and back around the top.
- Pull each strip from one side (I started with the white side) over and under the opposite side and attach with two more strips.
- Now its time to weave. The Herringbone pattern consists of 3 over, 3 under.
- For strip #1 you'll start under 1 and then 3 over, 3 under until you get to the end. Wrap each strip over and back underneath and attach with two staples.
- For strip #2 start 2 under and then 3 over, 3 under.
- For strip #3 start 3 under, 3 over, and repeat.
- For strip #4 now you start 1 over and then 3 under, 3 over.
- For strip #5 start 2 over and then 3 under, 3 over.
- For strip #6 start 3 over, 3 under, and repeat.
- Now you've completed 1 full cycle of the pattern. Strip #7 starts under 1 like strip #1. Repeat the pattern in order for the remaining strips. (Check out all the photos if I have confused you by now.)
The stool is done! Strike an arm balance to demonstrate it's strength. Thanks for checking it out. This is my first iteration of this method, and I plan to build some chairs, and loungers in a similar fashion. Check out the video to see more details. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel to keep up with all my builds. Thanks.