Build a Shaker Stool with Hand Tools
Make one in any size while honing your skills
Synopsis: This Shaker piece can be sized as a footstool, a bench, or even a side table, and gets top marks for both looks and strength. The legs have decorative arches at the bottom and are attached at the top with through-tenons. Four dovetailed corner braces add stability. For even more dimensional stability, the legs are seated in a shallow dado cut into the underside of the top. This design is solid and functional in a variety of sizes. Becksvoort makes a bench version that is 11 in. deep by 40 in. wide by 18 in. tall. When building to a larger scale, sketch the design until the overhang and foot arches please you.
The Shakers designed and built a great variety of useful stools and benches. Most had through-mortise-and-tenon joints to prevent racking and help support the top. Some had central stretchers and a few had industrial metal-strap braces. My favorite, for…
Get the Full-Size Plan
CAD-drawn plans and a cutlist for this project are available in the Fine Woodworking store.