How to Build a Stool From One 2x4




About: I'm doing my best to live little parts of many lives - part engineer, part architect, designer, cyclist, bread baker, furniture maker, and the other two halves are CNC machining specialist, teacher, and phi...

The following is a basic overview of how to build a three-legged stool from one eight-foot 2x4. This design pushes efficiency of material. Interestingly, the stools produced from one 2x4 tend to take on a character that is a caricature of the initial features that define the design... For instance, a stool with a large seat will also have short legs, where a stool with long legs will be forced to have a small seat!

Read on to see how to make one yourself, then go wild with the design!

- The first step is to make the main cuts to divide the 2x4 into the portions for the seat, legs, and connectors using a chop saw.
- Then, they are ripped appropriately into 2x2 portions on the table saw.
- The legs and connectors will be turned on the lathe, so the corners are taken off to speed turning.
- Once the three legs and three connectors are prepped, they are rough turned, fine turned, and sanded on the lathe.
- Meanwhile, the pieces for the seat of the stool are laminated together to form a solid block.
- Once this dries, a circle is traced and then cut on the band saw.
- The final touch on the seat is to calculate the splay angle of the legs, and drill holes to accommodate the ends of the legs.
- The legs need to be sanded to match the holes in the seat, and a slit is cut in the top of this dowel for a wedge to be added later.
- Then, the pieces are dry clamped, to mark out the holes for the connectors between the legs.
- The legs are drilled at the appropriate angle, and the bottoms are beveled to lie flat on the floor.
- Wedges must be prepared from small scraps - just a thin piece will do the trick!
- Glue is applied to every socket and dowel on the seat, legs, and connectors. A bicycle tube is a great way to hold the legs firmly. - - Once everything is set just right, wedges are coated with glue, and driven into the tops of the legs sticking through the seat to permanently fix everything together.
- The final step is to saw off the tops of the legs and wedges, and sand everything until its all just right. Then apply your favorite wood finish!

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    6 Discussions


    1 year ago

    This is awesome I’m in a middle school makers fair I might use this


    2 years ago

    Wow, I am just amazed by this stool! I've seen all your work on, but this one has a very efficient use of the wood. It is much the same way I cut out fabric to make things. I seriously dislike waste, so I truly admire others who practice efficiency in their work also, or as in my case just love of the cloth!


    4 years ago

    Do you have any finished photos of the stool from the black and whites but in color?

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    nice! this was my first assignment in design school. it was a great project. its really amazing what can be done with the humble 2x4.