The task of making a stool seems so simple when it is first presented to you. But, like many projects, once you get deeper into the details of the project a lot of different things must be accounted for. In the case of making a stool, you must consider a number of the following questions. Will this stool be the correct height for the table it's intended for? Will this stool be able to withstand heavier passengers? What can be added to the stool to make it withstand use for a long time? All of these questions were put into consideration for the following project and hence the "Ultimate Throne of Science Education" was born. In this Instructable you will be able to follow the step by step procedure that my group and I took in creating the stool.
Step 1: Gathering Materials
For this stool, you will only need a drill, basic sanding equipment of your choice for detail work, wood, and white spray paint.
The Material Cut list that we used for this design is as follows.
2 planks of 2x4 31''
2 planks of 2x4 31.6''
4 planks of 1x2 21.5''
10 planks 1x2 23.5''
2 1'' dowels 20'' long
2 planks of 2x2 19.75''
Step 2: Creating the Frame
In this design, we decided to angle the back legs slightly to help with stability and support. Before creating the frame, pick a small distance that you would like the bottom of the back legs to reach away from the back of the stool. Then, using simple trig and the Pythagorean theorem solve for the angle from the ground and subtract that from 90 to find out the amount of wood you should sand off of the bottom and top in order for the legs to sit flat on the ground.
Once you have sanded the back legs, take one front leg and one angled back leg and connect them at the top with one of the planks of 1x2 wood that is 21.5'' as shown in the second picture, the plank that is reaching across from the back leg to the front leg. In order to make sure that this fundamental part of the stool is connected properly first glue on both ends and clamp. Then, drill screws in after the glue has dried. Repeat those steps with the second pair of legs.
Next, using the planks of 2x2 19.75" connect the two pieces you have created in the previous step by drilling as seen in the 3rd picture, making sure that the angled legs correspond and the straight legs correspond.
Step 3: Creating the Seat
Using 6 of the 10 1x2 planks (23.5''), place the planks at even intervals starting at the front legs and moving toward the back. Make sure to leave adequate space for the dowel/back of the stool. Pay extra attention to this step as the seat is where the most weight is added and if the planks are uneven it will be extremely uncomfortable to sit on. Drill in the planks on both sides into the wood that was used to connect the front and back legs as seen in the picture above.
Step 4: Making the Backrest
Creating the backrest of this stool, although simple, can create the most problems during your project. In all of the instruction in this section, make sure that your pilot holes are as straight as they can possibly be.
First, take the 1'' dowels (20'') and drill them on each side in the middle of the back leg or as near to that as you can get. make sure that when you drill that the dowels are exactly vertical. It is encouraged to drill a second screw half an inch to an inch above the first one in order to increase the stability of the dowels. This can be seen in the first and second picture.
Next, use the other 4 1x2 (23.5'') planks to make the backrest. Set them at equal intervals with the bottom one being directly connected to the back and the top of the last one being even with the top of the dowel. Drill a screw into each dowel on each plank. This will be the most difficult part to drill.
Step 5: Adding Seat Support
In order to maintain the goal of creating a stool that even more heavyset people can use and one that will stand the test of time adding two support beams under the seat will help resist bending of the wood. Grabbing the last 2 planks of 1x2 (21.5''), set them under the seat at an equal distance from the side of the stool. It will only be necessary to drill 2 screws, one on the very front seat plank and one in the very back as seen in the pictures above.
Step 6: Final Sanding and Error Checking
Now that the construction of the stool is technically complete, make sure that all of the screws or secure and that the dowels can withstand somewhat significant pressure. If you need to add extra screws to a certain spot feel free to do so.
After that, do some sanding on the edges and corners (especially the planks for the seat) to make sure that the stool is more comfortable for the user and won't give anybody splinters. OUCH!
Step 7: Paint It!
Here is where your creativity can flow! While we chose a simple yet elegant solid white color for our stool, you can create any design that comes to mind with your new, beautiful, and personal "Throne of Science Education" :)
Step 8: SIT!
Now that you have a fully functioning stool, sit down and enjoy a wonderful lecture from Mr. Pak on the many aspects of mechanical physics and maybe even use it to study for the AP exam...