hello and welcome to my Instructable for a quick and easy no solder copper pipe stool. Here I will cover the basics of making a piece of furniture from pluming supplies and wood. Below you will find a list of basic tools and supplies to replicate (and possibly improve) the stool that I have made.
Lets get started.
I have used 22mm pipe as I live in the UK if you are in a country that uses the imperial system rather than the metric you could use 7⁄8 inch pipe and connectors.
- 22mm copper pipe - 2 x 3 metre lengths
- 22 mm Equal Tee sections - 8
- 22 mm 90 degree corner sections - 6
- 22mm end caps - 4
- Gorilla Glue Original
- Wood for seat top
- Pipe slice
- Blowtorch (Optional)
- Random orbit sander
- Steel wool
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Step 1: Cutting the Copper Pipe to Lenght and Plans
In this step we will cut our pipe to length and assemble the bottom of the frame.
Firstly you will need to take one (1) of your end caps and cut a 60mm piece of your pipe, once you have scuffed up the end of your pipe and the inside of you end cap you will need to glue them together.
To do this you will need to wipe the end of your pipe with a damp cloth as the glue is set with moisture. Then squeeze a liberal amout of glue onto your pipe, as you push it into your end cap make sure to give it a twist to coat the whole of the pipe that is in the end cap. repeat this step 3 more times until you have your feet.
Step 2: Building a Solid Foundation
We are now going to add our 'Tee' sections onto the feet that we just made.
Take four (4) of your equal Tee sections and glue them onto the opposite end of the pipe that has your end caps on. Remember to scuff the pipe and the inside of your Tee section as well as dampen the joint so the glue will cure.
For the next part of this step we will add another section of pipe and another set of Tees.
Begin by cutting 40mm of pipe and gluing that into the Tee section you just attached, once you are happy with the placement glue another Tee onto of the pipe. Repeat this for the other 3 feet. Now we need to position the Tee sections to accept the cross supports and the foot rest. On two of the legs you need the Tee sections to be facing away from each other.
( Please refer to my plans and photos of the final stool to see how I lay them out)
Step 3: Continue Building the Frame
Now we will prepare our long pipes that make up the legs.
Start by cutting four (4) lengths of pipe to 450mm and glue those into the four(4) feet that you made in the previous step.
once you are happy with the way they look take four (4) of your 90 degree elbows and glue them on top of the legs.
again refer to the plans for the orientation of the elbows
Step 4: Time for the Wood
We now need to prepare our wood for the seat part of the stool.
I started with an old scaffolding board that was left in my garage when I brought my house. You can use any wood that you think will accent the copper pipe. My wood had the dimmensions of 420mm x 290mm x 35mm.
I first started by sanding the wood to remove alot of the dirt that had accumulated on it over the years, this exposed more of the grain. I then cut a taper onto the wood to give more of a isosceles trapezoid shape. You can use a round over bit in a router to break the edges of the wood and give it a smoother apperence.
I wanted to give my wooden seat more of a contrast. I took a blowtorch and burnt the wood until I was happy with the look, I then sanded the wooden top back until only the soft grain of the wood was burnt. ( Please see video for a look at how this was achieved). This is my version of an ancient Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban, which is a whole art form in it's self.
Step 5: Supports for the Bottom of the Stool
Now we will make the supports that brace the bottom of the stool.
I cut two (2) lenghts of pipe to 200mm and two (2) to 190mm and glued them into the side of the stool, 200mm on the bottom and the 190mm on the top of each leg. (please refer to photos and plans to see where I placed these)
Secondly I cut two (2) pieces of pipe that were 300mm long, I proceeded to glue one of these in-between the two legs at the back of the stool bringing the frame together and making it able to stand up.
We will use the other 300mm pipe in the next step.
Step 6: Foot Rest and Final Frame Assembly
In this step we will make the foot rest and finish the assembly of the stool.
Firstly I cut two lengths of pipe to 40mm and inserted and glued them into the bottom two (2) Tee sections, once I was happy with the fit I glued my final two (2) 90 degree corners onto each one of the pipes.
Before the glue was set I twisted the corner sections up and inserted ( as well as glued) the remaining 300mm pipe from the previous step into place and rotated it back into place.
With that my frame was complete
Step 7: Attaching the Stool Top and Finishing Up
In this step we will attach out seat top to the frame.
I waited 4 hours for the glue to set before I attempted this. I simply flipped the frame upside down onto the bottom of my seat and marked when I wanted to place it with a sharpie marker. I then drilled holes in the copper pipe and used an impact driver to screw the frame to the seat.
Once I was happy with the way the stool looked I polished up the copper piping using the finest grade of steel wool that I could get. In the photo I'm wearing gloves so that I do not re tarnish the pipe work with my hands.
Finally it was time to give the stool a wax finish.
I used a soft furniture wax to do this. I first apply an even coat of wax over the wooden surface with a lint free cloth and leave it for 10 minutes, after this time has passed I then buff the wax off with a clean cloth. I have also done this to the copper legs to see if it will also protect them.
Step 8: Final Thoughts
Thank you for taking the time to read this Instructable.
I hope that you have enjoyed it and are feeling inspired to make something, If you have made a piece of furniture inspired by this stool please post it in the 'I made it section' as I'd love to see what you have made.
As you can see from the photo my wife has decided to use the stool as an occasional table that now holds a potted plant, oh well at least she used the skull pot.
Please note, that I've uploaded free plans for the stool frame, they may need adjusting depending on the size of the wood you use for the top. Feel free to modify and redistribute them for non-commercial use but please give me credit as the original author.
Take care and be safe.