I put a few stools together, some times the need is there to make stuff for no particular reason, but at the same time many. Its fun, challenging and meant to explore.
These are for sale, perfect for the artist, musician, spoon carver, social beer drinking (doesn’t have to be beer mind you) shop work, outside, inside, like most things I make they find many more uses than what was originally intended. Please contact me if interested and you have questions at [email protected] I hope to get them up on the store page of this website but don’t know when.
Usually there is excitement from the flurry of ideas then the gathering of wood that evokes more excitement and then the battle of ideas. You have to drop some of the original ones for the new ones because the wood is telling you to but you want to stick to the original plan but the wood is telling you something, and I can tell you, nothing good comes from not listening to the wood. Often things finish not looking much like the original but with aspects and hints of those original ideas. Then when showing a piece to someone I really try not to but it just comes out ” well, ya see, it was going like this then the wood said no no young buck this line should flow here and so…..” at this point their just staring at me. Many people don’t care about that they see what they like and don’t want a back story, or not that one, it muddies up what they see.
This is the part of the build I don’t hear folks talk about and I know its different for everyone, but how is one to handle this stage? Come up with a plan, draw it, mock up a mini version out of wood, clay etc.? That’s a great way maybe the best but when I hit the wood pile and see the grain lines and different dimensions and species its tough to stay focused and inspired by the original idea.
Going at it like I did on these stools is a good way too just riskier. It takes much longer, ideas come and go, the rewards can be huge in discovering new techniques and design exploration which can be incredibly scary. And the gamble if it looks good and is comfortable WINNER! If one or both of those things don’t happen your feeling like the looser, big time. But there you’ve just learned what not to do and that’s huge. And I have had pieces I see flaws in and customers love, go figure.
This little guy is about 20″ high standard seating height is around 17″ so its not much taller. Originally there was to be no stretcher but I couldn’t let it go. A stretcher system is for strength in holding the piece together for the long haul first and if a foot rest can be incorporated too then great. This is too low for a foot rest and if the mortises in the seat were tapered it would be very strong with out stretchers. But I did not taper them with a reamer they are straight tenons which tend to be a bit weaker. Designing the stretchers on these was stressful because they need to compliment and flow with every thing else in the piece and there are endless variations.
The seat is Cherry and the legs White Oak. For the little stretcher block I found a piece of figured Red Oak I was saving. It is split out so its like a quarter sawn piece with some quilting going on in there too. And the rounds that connect it to the legs are figured Ash .
This one has a Sycamore seat with White Oak legs. By the way I milled most of the wood in these stools with a chainsaw mill two years ago the sycamore was a log my cousin milled with a woodmiser and gave me a plank. It was brought inside for final drying, tested with a moisture meter, its around 5%, and tenons kiln dried before assembly.
The seat shape started off like a Windsor and ended up with this reverse curve. Something I saw on Instagram, @bluecheak, Roy Schack, give him a follow and me too @SUN_WOODWORKING. It is from a detail on his serving boards that worked beautifully on my practice piece but did not translate well on this seat. Basically you roll the front and back edges up and the sides down or vice versa, simple idea great illusion look at his for the real deal.
The preparing of the stock, the joinery, detail and final shaping is done with hand tools. I use the table saw and band saw for long rips and power planer after hand planning one side true using winding sticks and a straight edge. A cordless drill helps with drilling the stretchers.
Man I am so happy with this one, very comfortable with a generous foot rest that defiantly adds to comfort and confidence when sitting. Remember, when your not use to a three leg stool, it can be tippy in directions its four legged friends are not. Cherry seat with live edge front and back and White Oak legs, Red Oak stretcher that follows the grain of this radially sawn board (quarter sawn).
I have a hard time with square seats on stools, round is sometimes the norm but I wanted these to be different and I am making these to push myself and explore so I tried to tie the shapes and lines together with the stretcher slightly mimicking the seat shape and leg profile. I kept going after this “Windsor” shape but the seats just aren’t wide enough, you would still have a bit of straight on the sides, if the sides are rounded to follow the pencil line in above pic you would loose to much realistate and that’s where the dilemmas and problem solving come in with this method of build. To cut out knots and highlight certain sections of grain the piece at hand enters a battle of give and take. And hey if you really want that certain shape there is a piece of wood for that somewhere, there is always next time.