Shop Stool Build-Off from Chris Wong

Eleven months ago, two planemakers decided to each build a scrub plane simultaneously and share progress pictures along the way. It was later dubbed the Scrub Plane Build-Off. The two planemakers were Scott Meek and me.

shopstool

My store-bought stool is OK – but I can do better. And so can you.

The Inspiration
On Saturday, I was tidying up in the shop and noticed that my shop stool was in sad shape. I bought it many years ago from a department store and, while it has served me well, I’ve never been entirely happy with it.

Although I do most of my live builds alone, I thought that this one would make a great project for every woodworker because, as Jeremy, one of my readers noted:

  • It’s a “simple” project that might be finished in a single day
  • The stool doesn’t need to be Smithsonian-worthy since it’s not for “the house”
  • This is an opportunity to experiment
  • It’ll be better than what he’s using now
  • It’s chance to do something “together” with other woodworkers & see how others solve a similar problem.

The Shop Stool Build-Off: Sat., Jan. 25
The idea of this build-off is to have a group of woodworkers simultaneously build a shop stool and share pictures along the way. I plan to share my progress on Twitter (@FlairWoodworks) and Facebook through my Tumblr page. Others will be sharing their progress on forums, and I suspect others will be building quietly on their own.

I encourage you to join me to build and share your own shop stool on January 25.

There are no rules. You can work from plans or you can design on the fly. You can use complicated joinery or simply cut a tree stump to an appropriate height. You can start with rough lumber, pre-milled boards or even steel.

The official start is Saturday, Jan. 25th, at 8 a.m. Pacific (that’s 8 a.m. for me, 10 a.m. for Jim in Wisconsin, 11 a.m. for Anthony in Ottawa and Rusty in New Jersey, noon for Neil in Nova Scotia and 4 p.m. for Jamie in the UK) – but if you wish to participate, you don’t have to start at that time.

I hope to finish my stool in one day, but the build-off will carry on through Sunday if required. After the stools are complete, I would like to share everybody’s work on my blog at Flair Woodworks. I’m really excited about the Shop Stool Build-Off!

— Chris Wong

p.s. I am also working on organizing some prizes!  Watch my blog for more details on that…

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