Sturdy Stool for Home or Shop
Comfortable and quick to build, it fits the workbench or the kitchen island
Synopsis: This cherry stool by Christian Becksvoort has all the elements of simplicity and comfort: square tapered legs, round rungs, arched rails, and a curved, upholstered seat. The legs are tapered on their inside faces and the corners eased with a router for a more rounded look. The seat rails are attached to the legs with angled mortise-and-tenon joints. Becksvoort turns the rungs on the lathe, but you could shape them by hand instead. The curved seat is a lamination of five sheets of 1/8-in. plywood.
I built this cherry stool with a leather seat to use in the kitchen, but to my wife’s dismay I kept carrying it out to the shop—it turns out to be perfect as a bench stool when I’m chopping dovetails. I’ve also taken it with me when I do shows, where I need a seat that’s comfortable all day long. It fits the bill for all three uses, and it doesn’t take long to build.
I started by making a full-scale drawing, something I rarely do. I can visualize most rectilinear furniture in my head, but for chairs, which have few flat surfaces or right angles, a full-scale drawing is a necessity. Forty minutes with a piece of cardboard, and I had all the primary elements down: square tapered legs, round rungs, arched rails and, for comfort, a curved, upholstered seat.
I gave the stool an overall height of 29-1⁄2 in., which works well with our high kitchen counter and my tall workbench. As a rule of thumb, a seat should be 11 in. to 12 in. lower than its mating table or counter. So a stool for a 36-in. counter should be about 24 in. tall. To make the stool as comfortable as possible, I decided on…