How I built a simple workshop stool using almost only materials that I had on hand. So, we’ve had several of these “bases” sitting out in the barn since the beginning of time. Honestly I really don’t know why my grandparents’ had several of them or what they were used for but I kept them in a safe spot anyway. When I started looking into building some stools for my deck I ran into stools built using galvanized pipe that I really liked. At first I started thinking about how to build a base to attach my pipe to and then, of course, I remembered these just sitting out in the barn. I grabbed three of them and got to work!
First thing was first: I determined I needed the bases to be sturdier so I checked my little “wood closet” in my workshop in the basement and I spotted two large pieces of 2×12 that I had cut out of the wood countertop in the basement kitchen for the sink. One look and I knew they would work great so I cut them into 3 pieces each. With six roughly 10″x10″ boards ready to go I went on the look out for some bolts, washers and nuts.
Step 1: Drilling and Assembly
My only purchase from town was three 12″ long pieces of galvanized pipe (threaded on both ends) and six 1/2″ floor flanges. (Yeah, I looked that one up, I had no idea those screw in bracket things were called floor flanges – I learn something new every day.)
I decided bolts would be a better idea for sturdiness (I kept imagining myself leaning a bit too far on that one lone galvanized pipe and the whole thing breaking at the base and depositing me smack on the floor.) I honestly cant remember the project I had purchased these for and the bolts were much longer then necessary but I was pretty excited because I could make them work. I used a clamp to keep the board in place on the base then I drilled out each of the four holes for the flange.
I decided they would also be sturdier if my pipe would first have to thread down through the board and the base before screwing into the flange. So I used a 1/2″ hole bit dead center between my four holes for my flange. (That, my dear friends, is called a Speedbor MAX speed bit and they’re made by Irwin and I won’t ever purchase a spade or paddle bit again. Speedbor bits are more expensive then spade bits HOWEVER they are absolutely incredible, I garantee that once you start using them you won’t ever go back to letting a spade bit rip your hand off again.)
Step 2: Completion
Now it was time for assembly. For the seat I ran my bolts through a washer, down through the seat and into my flange and then tightened my nuts down. For the base it was the exact same thing, down through the top board with the bolt and a washer, tightened with nuts underneath. From there I sanded my bases down and stained them to match using Dark walnut by Minwax.
I had some red vinyl leftover from my Cosco stool project that I used on two of the stools, the other stool I used some old black felt I also had leftover from a project. When I built my new bed I were left with MOUNTAINS of batting and foam from my old air mattress/bed that I refused to throw away because, damnit, batting is really expensive! Yay, I finally used some of if! Two pieces of foam cut to the size of the seat made a nice comfy mound. I did nothing special to “upholster” these seats, I just used my hand stapler and got it on there nice and snug before trimming the excess.
Then, I just screwed the seats on and I now have some great rustic seating for my workshop! On top of that, the stool with the black seat has provided a place to sit at the desk in my guest bedroom and library too.