by Neil Cronk
Competition is the whetstone of talent; this was in full effect when I built this Wharton Esherick-inspired stool for an online shop stool build-off hosted by Flair Woodworks. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a design that had been floating around in my head for a few months – and I won, so I count it as a success.
The stool provides an exercise in bent laminations and eight different joints: angled mortise-and tenons, both straight and angled drawbored mortise-and-tenons, a pegged slip joint, several different types of lap joints, dovetails and wedged through-tenons. Broken down step-by-step, this project is remarkably simple to build – even if you’re new to the techniques.
I fiddled with the design by drawing the stool’s profile full-scale on some scrap plywood, playing with the proportions of components and joinery for each connection until I was satisfied. Then, I used the full-scale drawing as a template for the parts, and as I laid out some of the joinery.
I also made a plywood full-scale drawing of the bottom to use as a layout template, and a router jig to locate the handhold on the underside of the seat.
White oak was my choice for this project because it bends easily, so I knew it would work for the bent laminations on the legs. Also, I just like working with white oak.
Web: Visit the author’s web site for a look at his other furniture pieces and tools.
Plan: Download a free Sketchup model for this project
To Buy: “Chairs & Benches,” a collection of 17 seating projects from Popular Woodworking Magazine
From the April 2015 issue, #217