More on Stools

I thought I’d just add a bit about my stools.  For the most part, I make these stools to order.  I make a milking stool which is about the height of a chair (16″ or thereabouts) or, depending on how it will be used, a little shorter.

Here's one of the milking stools shown at the Wake Forest Farmer's Market
Here’s one of the milking stools shown at the Wake Forest Farmer’s Market

The taller stools begin at about 20 or 21″ tall and can be made up to 29″ tall.  I use a variety of domestic hardwoods to make the stools, and I often combine different woods in order to contrast the colors and grain patterns.  I vary the turnings on legs and stretchers to add visual interest.

2 stools for blog
The stool on the left is made of walnut, cherry, and maple and is 23″ tall. The stool on the right is made of maple and walnut and is 28″ tall.

The stretchers are joined to the legs with straight through wedged mortise and tenon joints.  I often use wedges of contrasting woods to emphasize the joinery.

 through wedged mortise and tenon

The legs are joined to the seat using a tapered through wedged mortise and tenon joint.  This means that the tenon is larger on the bottom than it is on the top.  Thus sitting on the stool exerts force on the joint that would tend to tighten it rather than cause it to fail.  (In practice, I don’t see this joint moving much in use.)  I also use a wedge in these joints that is wider than the tenon.  This keys the joint, making it resistant to failure from twisting.

This is a maple stool seat with walnut legs.
This is a maple stool seat with walnut legs.

Here’s a set of stools made for a friend’s house at Bald Head Island.

Walnut seats and stretchers with hickory legs and wedges.
Walnut seats and stretchers with hickory legs and wedges.

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