Make a Simple Welded Bar Stool

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About: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is Sam and I'm a community manager here at Instructables.

Intro: Make a Simple Welded Bar Stool

This is a simple bar stool I made out of angle iron with a walnut seat.

The angle iron was recycled from some old bed frames, and the wood was from a piece of walnut that I had. The finished stool stands 25" tall.

The secret with this project is the form I made to help in precisely marking and cutting the angle iron pieces and holding them in position to weld it all together. It was a good beginner welding project for me, and hopefully there are some tips here that will help you if you're making something similar.

Step 1: Begin Making a Form

I started by creating a form to build the stool on.

This was made with scrap MDF. I cut four pieces, sized 7 1/4" by 22 1/2".

These were joined together with butted joints and fastened with screws to form an 8" square tube, that is 22 1/2" tall.

Step 2: Angled Base for Form

The base of the form was made using pieces of framing lumber that were 3 1/2" wide.

These pieces needed a bevel cut so they would angle upward to the top of the form tube.

Using a measuring tape and a bevel gauge, I found the needed angle and set my table saw blade to match. The pieces of lumber were run through the table saw to create the beveled edge as needed.

Step 3: Finish Base

The ends of the beveled pieces of lumber for the base of the form were cut at 45 degrees, and were fit around the perimeter of the form. (The corners were left with small gaps to allow the angle iron to rest against them regardless of any internal radius that might exist on the metal pieces.)

The beveled base pieces were fixed together with scrap pieces of plywood that were glued and nailed in place. This base perimeter section was not fixed to the upright tube portion - it fits snugly but can be slid off and removed if needed.

Step 4: Mark and Cut Legs

The beauty of using this form is that it helps you precisely mark the legs where they need to be cut. There's no real measuring - just hold a piece of metal in place and make the marks.

The lower end of each leg was marked and cut first. To mark these, the corner of the form was hung over the edge of the table and the metal held in place as shown. Using a paint pen, the insides of the metal angle are marked using the form as a guide.

The bottom ends were then cut using my portable bandsaw which I have mounted in a homemade stand. I wrote a full Instructable on my bandsaw stand here.

With the leg bottoms cut, the pieces are placed back on the form and the top ends marked in the same fashion, and then cut as well. See photos for details if this description is unclear.

Step 5: Stool Top

The top of the stool was made with four pieces of angle iron.

These were marked using a framing square and paint pen, and cut using my portable bandsaw.

These pieces were tack-welded together, and then removed from the form to receive a full bead weld on each joint.

They are not shown in these photos, but at this point I drilled several holes in the top of this piece through which the wooden seat will be fastened with screws later on.

The basics of my welding setup:

For cutting and grinding metal, I have:

If you're new to welding I strongly recommend this excellent welding class right here on Instructables: Welding Class

Step 6: Portable Vise

Here's a little mini-instructable: I recently mounted my vise onto a ridiculously heavy maple log, which was then bolted to a large brake rotor. The top of the vise stands about 36" from the ground, and I've found it to be incredibly useful to have my vise somewhat portable like this. I drag it around the shop to where I need it, and it's great.

Just a side note ; )

Step 7: Footrest

Pieces of iron were now cut to create a footrest/lower frame support for the stool.

These pieces are 12" long, with a 45 degree angle cut where they meet at the corners. Magnets were used to hold the pieces in a perfect square, and they were tack-welded first, and then got a full bead welded at each joint.

Step 8: Finish Welding Stool Frame, Clean Up Welds

The footrest/lower support piece was held in place with support blocks on the form with the legs and stool top piece.

All of these parts were then welded together.

Tabs made of scrap metal were welded to the bottoms of each foot as well.

At this point, all accessible welds were cleaned up with a 40-grit flap disk on an angle grinder.

Step 9: Seat

I have had this half-log of walnut for several years, and figured now was as good a time as ever to use it!

I began by squaring it up using my bandsaw, and slicing the main chunk into two, 2 1/4" thick boards.

These boards were cleaned up further by running them through my planer. Two seats were made, one of which was used on the stool shown in this Instructable.

The final seats are 2" thick and 10" square. The edges were routed with a roundover bit and all surfaces were sanded from 100 to 220 grit with an orbital sander. The pieces were finished with coats of poly-oil finish, which is brushed on and rubbed off with a rag, and repeated after 24 hours.

Step 10: Paint

The stool frame was spray painted first with a coat of primer, and then with a couple of coats of satin black.

Felt stick-on leg tips were added to the tabs on the bottoms of the legs.

Step 11: Fasten Wooden Seat

The wooden seat was fastened to the stool frame with screws from the underside, into pre-drilled holes.

That's it!

I plan to make a few more, only using different varieties of wood for the seats. It's a simple design, but robust and heavy duty. Thanks for reading!

2 People Made This Project!

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15 Discussions

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randofo

7 months ago

Nice stool. Very sleek.

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JeffryO2

7 months ago

How wide is the beveled pc of wood. Also, do you know the angle? I will be doing this as a project for my High School Metal Fab class. Excited to get them started. Good to let them see the importance of a Jig.

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seamsterJeffryO2

Reply 7 months ago

Hey, awesome. I'm glad you'll be making some!

The beveled piece of wood is 3 1/2" inches wide at the bottom, and the bevel is approximately 5 degrees (meaning the legs themselves are about 95 degrees).

A bevel gauge was used though, so no actual degree in numbers was ever used. The gauge is used to capture whatever angle is needed right off the form, and used to set the saw blade to match.

Good luck on yours!!

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mtairymd

7 months ago

I guess I never realized how the legs were supported/positioned for welding...that jig was interesting. I also really like the walnut top.

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LaurenceB23

7 months ago

Great job, easy to follow and worked a treat as my first welding project. I was also able to repurpose some iron from an old road sign. I may also use the sign to box it in and put a self on the foot supports. Keep up the good work!

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seamsterLaurenceB23

Reply 7 months ago

Nice! This is great to hear, thank you so much for sharing the photos. I'm glad you found this helpful and were able to make one :)

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Tuomas Soikkeli

7 months ago

That jig was a great idea. Easy to make several similar stools.

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rayp1511

7 months ago

Nice! Creative use of a form and great job on recycling old marerial. Well done.

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seamsterbravoechonovember1

Reply 7 months ago

Thanks! I'll take your word for it - I'm definitely a beginner at this : )

It's so much fun sticking metal together though, and I'm just really enjoying learning as I go. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate you taking a look at this!

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stpaul77

7 months ago

Great job! I like that look of the walnut. Also love the idea of reusing old stuff to make new stuff.

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seamsterstpaul77

Reply 7 months ago

Thanks! I love the holes and imperfectness of the old iron pieces I used. It gives the new object so much character. Thanks for your great comment!

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valveman

7 months ago

Nice job on the stool and great idea using wood as a support for the metal.

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seamstervalveman

Reply 7 months ago

Hey, thank you. I was happy with it and plan to make a few more. Thanks for your comment! :)