Simplest Stool

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Simplest Stool

A very simple stool that can also be used as a end table. Try a round top for a more comfortable stool.

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

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I cannot believe we don't already have this stool as a plan.  It's so simple, and if you have a 1x12 scrap, can be just a few dollars to make.  If you prefer a rounded top, I noticed at both Lowes and Home Depot 3/4 plywood 12" rounds were just $6.  Of course you could just cut your own too.

This stool is really cute and sturdy, but I could also see it used as an occasional table.  So if you have a miter saw that double bevels, and a 2x2 and 2 1x2s, you can build this stool in probably about a half hour.  But I'm so glad to be publishing a tutorial, because there are a few tricks that I will be passing along to you.

Shopping List: 

1 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 10 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 11 1/2″ long or 12″ plywood round, 3/4″ thick
2 1/2″ screws (for countersinking) or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
Wood glue, wood filler, sandpaper and finishing supplies

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
compound miter saw
sander
level
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above. Stool is suitable for counter height (NOT bar height) use.
Cut List: 

4 – 2×2 @ 23 1/4″ long, ends cut at a 5 degree angle AND a 5 degree bevel
4 – 1×2 @ 7″, short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 10″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 8 1/4″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 9 1/2″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 8″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
1 – 1×12 @ 11 1/2″ (cut to make a square, so measure the width of your 1×12)

Cutting Instructions: 
To cut the legs, set you saw at a 5 degree angle and a 5 degree bevel. Trim off the end of the 2×2 as close to the end as you can. Then measure 23 1/4″ along the same edge and make a cut. You’ve got one leg. Continue simply sliding the board down and making more cuts (using the last boards cut as your first cut) until you have four legs. You should be able to get all four cuts out of one eight foot long 2×2. For the supports and rungs, all ends are cut at a 5 degree angle, NO BEVEL. Also unlike the legs, the ends will NOT be parallel to each other. Simply make a five degree cut, flip your board over by simply rotating it 180 degrees as you would rotate a rolling pin and measure the cut, short point to short point. Make another 5 degree cut.
Step 1: 

Mark Legs

Because the angle on the legs is only five degrees and is a double bevel, it is easy to loose track of the correct position of your legs. Stand your legs up as shown above, and mark the inside corners. Always remember that these corners will be to the inside of the leg.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Top Supports

You will need to build two of the above legs sets, as shown above.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Additional Rungs

Add the additional rungs as shown above. Don’t forget the glue.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Top Supports

Attach the remaining top supports to join the two leg frames as shown above.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Additional Rungs

This step should be as easy as just adding the additional rungs. But I found my stool getting seriously crooked and making me wonder . . . where did I get off so bad? What was happening is the stool was simply getting off square. So have someone hold the stool down so that the four legs are resting squarely on the work surface (NO WOBBLE) and attach the rungs with the stool held square.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Top

Attach the top as shown above. I screwed through the top supports into the underside of the top to hide screw holes.

Finish Used: 
Fill holes with wood filler and let dry. Add another coat if necessary. Sand with 120 grit sandpaper (Recommended – round the top edges until the seat is comfortable to sit on) and vacuum and wipe clean. Paint (turn upside down and paint the underside first, then flip over and paint the top side) or stain as desired.
Estimated Cost: 
Room: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

Hi Ana,

Great little project. I am a little confused on the leg cuts. I think I get the idea of it, but this brought up an idea I had for you a while ago.. example videos. Is there any chance you would want to do some videos of yourself with some of these tips you provide? I'd love to see a close up of your miter saw and you setting it at 5 degree angle/bevel, and showing the cuts, for example. I am pretty sure you can set up a youtube channel and link the videos to your site here.

Ok I am so confused. My counters and bar is the same height. They are 35.5" to the top of them. Would this be too short to use with them?

You state that these are for "counter" height and not bar height... is there a reason that these plans (with a few adjustments) cannot work as bar height? We just finished our table and would love to add a few stools for when kiddos have company or we just have too many people and not enough seats... Your thoughts would be great! Our table is approx 43" tall and 44" square top! We just love it! If I could get the lighting right, I would post a few pics for you and your readers, but all my pics look horrible! LOL! Thanks!

they could be really cute plant stands... yup that is what mine will be!

I will post pics when I finish! This will work great to hold up a potted plant. It will just be high enough so I don't have to worry about my kiddos being tempted to dig in the the potted dirt.

love it. thanks Ana!

Cari, if you made the legs longer, then started with the top supports, these definitely could be bar height. I would perhaps add a third rung of supports. The structure is strong, so I see no issue there.

I'm thinking I might cut the legs shorter....I've been needing step stools in the bathroom for my 1, 3, and 5 year old. I love the design. And my hubby just got me a router and table for Christmas.....that would never have happened a year ago before I found your website! :-) Thank you!

We bought a stool very similar to this for a side table next to the crib. I was just telling my hubby that we need more of them to use as tables.

Great timing on the tutorial. I'm stoked.

Okay, this has to go in the project file too! I have lived in my new house for almost three years and have a counter height "breakfast bar" but have never had stools to go there. These would be perfect without the backs to tuck out of the way. And I think they would be fabulous in a lime green! Way better than all the boring brown and white ones in the stores!

Ana,
I love these. But what would the changes be to make them table height?
I desperately need some stools for the breakfast nook and I absolutely can't justify spending the $50-150 per stool that it would take to purchase them. Let alone purchasing something that I could make on my own (that would be silly)

Ana:

Love your website. It has inspired me at the golden age of 59 to start making furniture. Thanks.

My suggestion for these adorable stools is to post the correct dimensions for the legs and rungs for the various heights so readers can pick the one that adapts to their needs. I'd like one at chair seat height, but can't figure out the rung and support lengths.

WOW!!! Thank you!!! My husband & I made three stools for our island yesterday afternoon!!! It was so easy & fun! He is a woodworker and loves to build. It was fun to do this together. I can only imagine the look on his face when I sent him a text saying we need a Kreg jig!!!! It is good to keep him on his toes, never sure what to expect ;)!!! Thanks for all of your hard work & for sharing. I just recently found you. You are awesome. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!

I decided that a stool would be helpful in my garage-turned-shop so that I didn't have to stand all the time while I worked and this one caught my fancy--I've never done something with angled legs and it was cool to have such simple instructions on how to do it.

I made mine with 33" legs, though that turned out to be a bit too tall to be comfortable, so I'm going to trim them down to 30". I didn't add any additional supports and its still very solid.

I used 2 2x2s from orange that cost $1.47ea, a single 1x2 that cost me 3.12 and a picked up a scrap 1x10 that was about $0.50. To make it wide enough for the seat I attached two 1x2s to either side by glueing and screwing them on.

Voila! My wife wants me to make more for in the house now :)

Dear Ana,

You're cute and all, but you have worked me to death making these stools. I used your plan and knocked one out real quick on my chop saw but had to use 2 x 2"s all away around the top as I used up my 1 x 2 scraps. I put a red oak 11 3/4 round on the top. This made a great shop stool, but a number of friends saw it and you can guess the rest. Really great plan and very sturdy. Keep up the good work.

I need 36" tall stools to accommodate our 48" counter. How would I modify this plan for that? I don't know the first thing about woodworking but my husband has the basics. I think we could follow this plan if we knew where to make the appropriate changes. Thank you!

Just made two, cost me $4 since I had scraps leftover from making the farmhouse table and two benches. Quick and easy, and cute, too! Thanks so much!!!

Trying to figure out how to combine these dimensions with the Harriet chair. My kids have a higher than normal crafts table (custom built by my brother), and need chairs to go with the table. This plan provides the height I need, and the Harriet chair the style I would like. Just a little math and we should be able to make a sturdy craft chair. One for each girl, each a different color, it will be perfect :) Thanks Ana!

Yes ... the design is clearly needed to be changed :)
What would be brighter , nebudu (

Tried to make one of these with a round seat so I can add another round (or square plywood base and round top) with the swivel plate in between. Unfortunately, I cut my round at 12" as suggested in the PDF version, but it should say 16", so it provides about 5/8" overhang around. I now found the "Play Table Stool" plan and find it better explains how to install a round top as well as the stretchers with PHs. Attempt #2 for next weekend.

According to the Pythagorean theorem a round top should be about 16.25" in diameter to cover a square base with sides of 11.5 inches or a little over 14" to cover a square base with 10" sides. As such I would go with the 16" diameter round that you can buy at big Blue or Orange and simplify your life.

Jake