Monday, March 10, 2014

Office Build Stool Design

I'm already happy with the stand up workstation I recently installed, but from time to time I know I'll want a stool to sit on. Unfortunately drafting stools/bar stool style chairs in the catalogs these days leave a lot to be desired. I confirmed that by looking thru a lot of catalog options this weekend. Basically I found that chairs in this category are, (1) way, way, way overpriced for what you get; (2) cheap looking in construction and materials; and/or even when you find something close to what you might want, (3) it's not built to the size you really need (if you can even find the critical dimensions listed). So it's leaving me but one option: Build my own... an option I should have realized from the outset.

So after looking around for ideas a bit I fired up Google SketchUp tonite (love that little program) and came up with a design very similar to something I kind of liked online. But this one will be sized for my height and the height of the workstation. And since I like quarter sawn red oak, and it makes great furniture, that's the material I'll most likely use. What I came up with is a very simple design using mortise and tenon construction and a curved seat with slats. The short animation below shows what I have in mind. It's hardly original but I like it.

In addition to this I also want to build a "cubby" of sorts for additional table storage eventually. That design will be similar to what might be found inside a roll top desk. But the stool comes first.

Overall dimensions: Leg Base 15 3/4" x 13 3/4". Seat 16 1/4" x 14 1/4". Finish height 32 1/2". About 5 BF of 8/4 and 2 BF of 4/4 material. I usually add a bit for waste and whatnot. Around here it should cost somewhere in the $50-$60 price range depending on what pieces I select. I go nuts in fine lumber establishments... :). But I'll get an accurate tally tomorrow when I see what my favorite specialty wood haunt has in stock.

Exploding these models is always a great help in grabbing dimensions and checking details.

03/11/14 Update on the materials. Sometimes my local wood supplier will have an odd piece of quarter or riff sawn material in the stack, if you're an old lumberyard kid and willing to dig. Since I only need a 7 inch wide stick of both the 4/4 and 8/4 material for this project digging was worth the effort. But all I found was flat sawn boards today, so I special ordered a couple pieces of quarter sawn white oak. I'll get exactly what I want and decided to order enough material to build two stools while I'm at it. It should be here in a couple weeks or so and was less expensive than I expected, all less than $7/BF $8/BF. Still Nice.

Mission Control... as I transition from the old Windows XP computer to the newer Windows 7 rig. What originally looked like a massive amount of desktop real estate is already filled! But it's temporary. Eventually the unit on the far left will go under the table and only two monitors will remain.


  1. Where is the DH logo going to go? Looks great and always fun to have a project working and/or on the drawing board! Can't wait to see it during and after the build!

  2. More than likely I'll stamp it somewhere on the inside of one of the top aprons. :)