Post-Contemporary Stool Design

This stool implements forward-thinking design principles and utilizes advanced craftsmanship to result in a fully functional stool that can be sat on. It is sturdy, comfortable, and versatile.

Step 1: Materials and Cut List

  • 4 2x4s for legs
  • 6 2x2s for support
  • 18x18 of half-inch fiberwood for seat
  • 16x18 of half-inch wood for backrest
  • 16x18 of half-inch fiberwood for shelf underneath
  • 16.75 by 17.75 fiberwood for back
  • Screws (46)
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Saws

Step 2: Cutting the Legs

For the legs of the stool, you need the 4 2x4 wood planks. Use a circular saw to cut all of the legs.

  • The front 2 legs should be cut without an angle. Cut the 2x2s into 2 legs with length 32 inches.
  • The back 2 legs were cut with a slant of 14-degrees from the bottom edge. It is parallelogram shaped (7.586 inches by 33 inches).

We carefully conserved the wood from the 2x4s and saved any wood that we didn't use in case we needed extra wood.

Step 3: Cutting and Connecting Supports

The supports for the legs require the 6 2x2 wood planks

The front and back sides of the chair each have 1 support.

  • Cut these 2 supports into lengths of 18 inches. They both should be 11 inches above the ground when connected to their respective legs. Carefully glue, clamp, and drill screws to connect them (as demonstrated in the first picture).

Now you must connect the front legs and back legs. We used 4 supports for this (2 on each side) to provide for extra stability.

  • Cut the bottom support into a length of 18 inches, with one side angled at 14 degrees. The cut should allow for the bottom of the support to be 18 inches. The topmost support is also angled at 14 degrees, with its bottom 13.5 inches.
  • You can now glue, clamp, and drill screws for these 4 supports. By using the measurements as described above, the supports should fit and connect the front and back legs.
    • It's easier to drill from the side of the wood so you don't have to use larger screws.

Step 4: The Seat!!!

We used an 18x18 medium fiber wood board for the seat. It is important, after cutting, to sand all the edges to ensure the seat is very smooth. Then, simply glue, clamp, and drill screws on each corner of the seat onto all 4 legs.

Step 5: The Backrest

The backrest is what defines this stool, and it also happens to be one of the more complicated pieces to make.

For this part, you will need:

  • 18x18 of half-inch wood
  • Extra wood from the legs of stool
  • 16.75 by 17.75 fiberwood for back

First, grab the 18x18 half-inch plank of wood. To make the 2 backrest pieces at the rear-end of the seat, draw out two rectangles that are 16.375x3.5 in each. Cut these pieces out and then, on the thin face of both boards, draw out a line angled at 7 degrees from the top and bottom. Both pieces should be a parallelogram when viewed from the thin sides.

Now for the siderests, using the same 18x18 half-inch board, draw out 2 more rectangles, each measuring 16.25x5.5 in. Cut these pieces out. Now, starting from any corner, and viewing from the face of both rectangles with the narrower side facing up, draw a triangle that goes 2 in across the top and 14 in down the side. Cut this piece out of both rectangles.

Next, grab the extra pieces of wood from when you cut out the legs of the stool. Draw out a rectangle with a height of 3.5 in and a length of 4.5 in. On one end of this rectangle, cut a line that is 7 degrees with respect to the side of the rectangle to make a trapezoidal figure with one slanted edge. Cut out two of these pieces for supports for the backrest.

Position the 4 pieces on the seat of the stool like the picture with the 2 siderests positioned at the back 2 corners and the 2 backrests positioned at the rear-end of the seat, 6 in from the left and right sides. Glue down the supports for the backrest pieces and then drill them in from the bottom of the seat. Glue on the 2 backrest pieces onto the support pieces and then drill them into the supports. Then, glue on the siderest pieces with the slanted edge towards the from of the seat and the drill into them from the bottom of the seat.

Now, grab another extra piece of wood from the legs of the stool. Cut along the length of the board so that the wood is 2x1 in. Now, cut the length down to 17 in. Glue this piece on top of the 2 backrests and line it up so it touches both side rests. Drill them in place by drilling from this piece into the tops of both backrests pieces.

Finally, grab the 16.75x17.75 in fiberwood board. This can be cut out from a larger piece of fiberwood. Align this board against the corners of the backrest, specifically against the top and bottom of the siderests. Clamp this piece on while you drill 4 screws through the board and into the 4 corners.

The backrest is finally complete!

Step 6: Shelf

The addition of the shelf makes our seat stand out from the crowd. It is very versatile as it can comfortably hold anything that fits within 16x18 in.
First, grab a 16x18 fiberwood board. Cut this into a 15x18 in board. Then, position it on top of the bottom-most supports and then glue them in place. Drill 4 screws on the corners of the shelf through the top of the shelf into the 2 support beams.

Now the shelf is complete.

Step 7: Painting

Now that the building of the seat is finished, take it outside to begin painting.

For our model, we used a maple-oak colored stain and went over all surfaces with even coatings. You can decorate/paint your stool however you like, but for our stool, the simplicity of the uniform hue really stood out. We then let the stain dry in the sun overnight. The next day, we woke up to see a beautiful, finished stool.

Step 8: Finished Stool!

The stool is finally complete. You can now use it in your everyday life as a seat, a resting surface, a stool, a tall bench, a narrow couch- virtually anything that comes to your mind.

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