Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rustic Milking Stool

This is a little short stool modeled after one we have in our kitchen in Ireland. It is a really basic design, made entirely of one 1''x8'' board (I got an 8' board, but didn't use the whole thing).

I made this for my dad, as an early father's day gift, and you could make it in less than 30 minutes!


1 1"x8" board 6' long (you only need 3', so you can make two of these for about $10!)
wood screws
Kreg Jig, if you have it

Cut List:

All from your single 1x8:
2- 12" length
2 - 6"  lengths

One of the 12" lengths will be ripped lengthwise, and the curve detail will be cut with a jigsaw. This stool can also be made with straight design details, if you don't have a jigsaw.

Here are your pieces with lines for the last cuts:

And here they are trimmed:

Step One:

Trim the curved corners of each apron. I used a compass to make a nice curve that I could then replicate 3 more times.

Step Two:

Cut a 4' by 3/4" rectangle out of the top corner of each leg (so, for rectangles are cut out). These will be the support shelves for the side aprons. Note: Wood is named in nominal lengths, but are actually smaller than their names. I am using 1" by 8" pieces of wood, which are more like 3/4" by 7.5" pieces of wood. The support shelf should be as deep as your wood is thick, and as tall as the apron is high (half the original thickness of your "8 inch" wide board.)

Step Three:

Cut a triangle out of the bottom of each leg. Make them even and matched to each other (unlike my drawing above).

Step Four:

Sanding! To make this look really old and used and rustic, you need to sand all the corners way down. Do this before assembly, so that it looks like it may have been built out of old reclaimed wood from the farm. If you want some nice wear and tear on it, you can use a hammer, or even a chain and beat it up a little before assembly.

Step Five:

Assembly! Choose the best side of your 12" by 8" top board, and put the top face down on your work surface. Line up your first apron along the side, and either use pocket holes with your Kreg Jig, to fasten from below, or countersink screws from above into the apron. Do this to the other apron as well.

Step Six:

Slide a leg in between the aprons and position it so that the 4" wide part of the apron sits on the notch of the leg. Use pocket holes to fasten the leg to both the top and the aprons. Repeat with the other leg.
Here is the underside of the stool; you can see where the leg placement goes for full support.

When you are done, you can fill the holes with wood filler, and then stain and seal.
I used Minwax oil-based stain in Hickory, and then a light wax finish at the end.

For an even more rustic look, you could assemble with finish nails. Often, little stools will also have an oval hole cut out of the top for a handle.

That's it! Enjoy the stool as a toddler's hand washing helper, a place to prop up your feet, something useful with which to hold a french door open, or as a nice little low table on which to rest your beverage.

Building Ana White's Double Chaise Lounge

In case you haven't found her, Ana White is an inspiring builder-mom from Alaska. She posts free plans for furniture, toys, household accessories, yard items, etc. I encourage you to check out her site and build something this weekend!
What a weekend it is--I am going to have a whole extra day of childcare, err, Dad at home, to get this current project done.
So far the wood has one coat of stain. I am trying to get all the staining done before the weekend begins, so I can just build build build come Saturday.

I will post updated pics as I complete stages!

Closer to being done with staining...Just have a second coat on three sides to go...

 Framed the base, and starting with the pocket holes for the slats.
 All 11 slats are screwed in--22 pocket holes per joist, and 4 joists...88 screws, but very secure and no visible holes on the top of the piece.
Using the Kreg Jig as a portable unit to predrill all those pocket holes.
So it is totally assembled, and just needs a touch up on stain, a few holes filled with wood filler, and some cushions sewn!
The legs seemed a bit weak, so I reinforced with some brackets behind each leg, and will probably add a notched 1x4 behind each leg, for strength.

I was thinking of sewing custom cushions for the chaise, but outdoor foam is pretty expensive. I decided that two regular chaise cushions side by side would be just fine!