Four-Legged Stool

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I’ve made several versions of this stool over the years including one iteration in hickory which we featured in our WoodSense column in Issue 103 (Oct/Nov 2021). We received enough requests for plans for that piece that I was pleased to have the chance to revisit the design for this story. The stool’s splayed legs give it a wide, stable stance, and its scooped seat makes for a comfortable perch. I find the finished product equally at home as a shop stool or snugged up to the breakfast bar in the kitchen. The build is straightforward, but still presents some challenges when it comes to joinery as there are compound bevels involved. For those unfamiliar with the term, a compound bevel is a cut angled away from 90˚ in two directions, whereas a standard bevel is angled in just one direction. To simplify the process, I developed a system for making these compound cuts using shop-made wedges that eliminate some of the set up hassles. I also used “loose” dowel joinery for the leg to seat connections so the shoulders at the top of the legs are made with a single cut and fit firmly against the underside of the seat for added strength. The stretchers are placed to serve well as footrests while also lending structural support.

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