Scooped-Seat Stool

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Top simple straight legs with a sculpted seat.

Overall dimensions: 191⁄4"w × 141⁄4"d × 285⁄8"h

Whether for the shop or kitchen, stools have had their place in and around the home for centuries. Unfortunately, many store-bought models feature hard, flat seats that offer as much comfort as a high school bleacher. Enter this sculpted rendition that offers comfort where comfort is needed.

This project may look challenging to build, but my construction approach is both simple and strong. Loose tenons, fitted into mortises routed with a matched pair of jigs make quick work of the angled joinery where the stretchers meet the legs. To sculpt the seat, I used a handheld angle grinder outfitted with a Holey Galahad grinding attachment (see the Convenience-Plus Buying Guide on page 38). Available in various grits, this tungsten-carbide studded donut removes stock quickly, but is surprisingly easy to control. As the name suggests, the disc is perforated.

All of the parts can be made from 15 board feet of 8/4 stock. Stretchers can be cut from 3⁄4" stock if you prefer. I’ve made stools entirely from walnut and cherry, and have mixed species for different seat/base combinations. This time I used ash, not only because I like the look of this heavily grained wood, but also because thick stock is inexpensive and readily available from local mills.

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