Sunday, June 21, 2015

Angled Foot Stool

After the last few projects I had an abundance of scrap material in my workshop.

I decided to use some of this scrap wood to make a foot stool for my Father, who recently had back surgery and could use a stool for helping him tie his shoes.  I found a picture of a stool I liked, printed it, and made a sketch of what the back would look like.  I hung this on the cork board in my garage to guide me through making my own..

However, this stool will be angled to make it even easier for my father to use.  After a bit of playing around with my angle finder, I determined that 30 degrees is a good angle for this stool.

Next I grabbed 2 pieces of wood that were the same width and height.  I drilled pocket holes in one board...

...and attached it to the other board with pocket screws.  This will make the foot board of the stool.

Next I gave the foot board a good sanding.

Then I took it over to the router table and created nice edges using a round over bit.

Then sanding once again to get rid of the hard edges.

Next I switched bits on my router to a 3/4" dado bit...

...and ran my foot board through on both sides of the back.

This created 2 grooves for the legs.

Then I sanded the foot board one more time to softer the edges a little more.

Next I took 2 more pieces of wood - same height and width - and drew a 30 degree angle on them.

I VERY CAREFULLY cut the board on my table saw.  I emphasize 'careful' because I had no guides holding the boards in place other than my hands.  This is not the smart way to do things.  I'll have to make an angle guide for the table saw soon.

With both my boards cut, I placed them in the foot board.  I have excess space on the legs to adjust the board to the correct height.

At first I placed the foot board low on the legs.

But it was much more comfortable higher up.

I then trimmed the legs and sanded them.

Next I made dado cuts in each of the legs.  This will be for a support piece that goes between them.

I made the support piece simply by cutting another piece of scrap wood.

After a bit of trimming, the support fits perfectly in between the legs.

Then I sanded the support.

And after about an hour of work, this foot stool is looking nice.

Now it's time to make it look better.  I glued plugs into the pocket holes...

...and added wood filler to the seam on the front of the foot board.

Then I drew an arch on the bottom of one of the legs...

...and cut it out with the jig saw.

I repeated the process for the other leg and sanded the inside of the arch with the round end of my belt sander.

Then I rounded the edges of the arch with my mouse sander.

Next I put the legs on the foot board and inserted the support.  I then drew an arch on that support...

...then removed it and cut the arch out with the jig saw.

Then I sanded the support arch...

...and put it back in place to make sure it looked nice - which it does to me.

When the glue & filler dried I sanded the plugs down smooth...

...and sanded the filler.

Next I drew lines on the front of the foot board showing where the dadoes are on the back.  This will make it easy when using the nail gun.

I also put these lines on the legs.

Next I applied glue to all the dadoes...

Then attached the legs and nailed them in.

After the legs were nailed in I attached the support.

With everything glued and nailed in place the next step was to add wood filler to the little nail holes left behind.

Next I thought there should be a bar on the bottom of the foot board to rest your heels.  So I found a bit of trim I had made from a previous project and cut it to size.  I then sanded it...

...and attached it with glue and nails.

Then I added a little more filler.

When the filler dried I sanded.

For the most part it's done.  I brought it over to my father's house to see how well he liked it - and he did...very much so.  So much in fact that when I tried to take it back home to stain and finish it up he wouldn't let me.  What's funny is that he doesn't use it at all for tying his shoes - he uses it as a foot rest when he watches TV!

So there you have it!  An angled foot stool...or foot rest.
Thanks for reading!

UPDATE: I felt bad leaving an unfinished project posted, so I decided to utilize scrap material and make a new stool.

This stool will not be angled, but will use dadoes like the first stool.

I also cut decorative sides like the first stool.

My new stool was coming along nicely...

...until I cut a dado in the center of the foot board.  When trying to fit in all the pieces, the foot board split.

So I trimmed all the pieces...

...and dry-fitted everything to make a slightly different stool.

This newer stool uses all the same pieces as before, plus other scrap pieces, most notably the curves I cut out of the legs. 

Getting the foot board back together required making pocket holes...

The legs were attached using both the dadoes and some pocket holes/screws.

Then I plugged up the pocket holes with wood plugs and glue.  When that dried I sanded everything smooth.

I also sanded all the pieces of wood.

Then I assembled the rest of the stool with glue and brad nails.

When it was dry, the stool was pretty strong - I stood on it for a while to make sure it was strong enough.

Next I added fillers to a few areas, mostly the nail holes...

...and the seam on the foot board.  I also added some thin trim to the sides of the foot board to cover up the dadoes that were showing.

When the filler dried I sanded.

Next I took a chisel and started scarring the surfaces.  I wanted this stool to look old and worn.

After all the scars were made, I sanded once again to make sure the surfaces were smooth.

After cleaning it up, I stained.

The scars look pretty cool (to me).

When the stain had dried, I applied some clear coat.  First on the bottom and sides...

...then on the top.

Once the clear coat had dried I used various grits of sandpaper to smooth it out, plus add more distressing.

Then I used a damp cloth to clean it up.

And I'm done!

This stool came out nicely.

Plus I now have a finished item for this posting.

This stool is pretty useful, as stools usually are.

Aside from using it to reach high-up stuff, I often put my box with all my records on it to make it easier to choose what record I want to listen to.

Yay Stool!  Thanks for reading!

ANOTHER UPDATE:  Several months after making both stools I played with some scrap wood and made a few more stools.  These 2 stools were primarily made to test some new stains.  The 2 furniture stains that I normally like using were discontinued (Minwax American Chestnut and Jacobean).  I bought 2 small cans of Red Mahogany and Dark Walnut.  Dark Walnut is very similar to Jacobean, so I was very happy.

Then I decide to make 2 more stools.  To finish these stools I decided to use polyurethane.

Normally I use clear coat spray to finish off my pieces.  This is always a lot quicker than actually using polyurethane since the spray drys in a fraction of the time.  But another reason for using polyurethane is to work on my patience.  Having patience is key to making something really nice and I needed to work on that.  So the 4 stools received 3-4 coats of polyurethane and the outcome was so much better than I had hoped.

I now know that I like polyurethane much much better than clear coat spray!  So I decided to take back the foot stool from my father...

...and stain it the red mahogany stain.

Then I took an entire day just applying polyurethane.

And now thing angled foot stool looks excellent!

So there you have it!  I finally finished this stool.  It was great before, since my father liked it so much.  But now it's even greater since I finally finished it!  My dad is happy, I've got a new favorite stain and I'm learning patience and using polyurethane!  Woohoo!

Thanks for reading!

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