Counter-Height Stool

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Subtle angles make a sturdy kitchen companion

By Ken Burton

What’s a counter without a stool or two to accompany it? Actually, this stool is more of a stool/chair hybrid with a curved back rest that provides a little support while serving as a convenient handle at the same time. The gently curved seat cradles your backside without pinching and the lower stretchers give you a good place to rest your feet. In all, a fine accompaniment to any counter.

Construction is straightforward with loose tenon joints connecting the legs, rails, and stretchers. There are three challenges to be aware of: First, the back rest is a bent lamination that fits into notches cut in the back legs. The easiest way to cut these notches is with a hand saw. Second, the front legs splay out slightly which is accomplished by cutting the ends of the front rail at a slight angle. And third, the side rails are joined to the front rail also at a slight angle and with triple tenons—joints that require a little more precision than a single loose tenon joint. Don’t let these angled joints deter you. They are easily accomplished with the help of a wedge and spacers.

I made the stool in the photo from white oak and walnut, but feel free to make your own selection. I’ve used cherry and ash to make this stool as well.

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