The Question: How Thick? The Answer: 1-3/16”


Yesterday morning I turned leg after leg, experimenting with different diameters and shapes to produce a folding stool that would easily hold a 225-pound person but not look like it was made with Tuscan-order columns.

About 2 p.m. I had my answer. Here are the specs on this stool:

Legs: 1-3/16”-diameter x 24” long. The ankle is 7/8” diameter with the taper starting 6” from the floor.

Hardware: 5/16” x 3” hex bolt, 5/16” x 2-1/2” eye bolt. Three washers. Two acorn nuts.

The stool is stout. Sitting in it inspires confidence. And it looks only marginally heavier. The one shown is in teak (yes, more teak offcuts. Will I ever be rid of them?). The design also worked fine in mahogany.

One other note: This stool starts out with a seat about 18” from the floor. After the leather stretches, it ends up about 16” from the floor. Now I can write the chapter for “Campaign Furniture” on these stools.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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16 Responses to The Question: How Thick? The Answer: 1-3/16”

  1. I will assume “Saddle” grade for leather

  2. dndculp says:

    Will you be doing an article for PW on this, or will it only be in the book. Just curious as I plan on buying the book regardless.

  3. daltxguy says:

    Thank you for posting the measurements of your stool samples!

  4. fitz says:

    225? How’d you test that? You and and all the cats on it at once, plus a bag of dry concrete?

  5. That’s amazing! 1 3/16″ is the answer to one of my wife’s recent questions.

    She asked how thick the doors that I just completed for my new shed were. The were heavy and she helped with the installation.

    What were you thinking?

    You make some nice stools Chris!

  6. Sean Hughto says:

    I should think the answer may vary by species, no? Riven hickory or osage orange for example might tolerate thinner diameters and remain just as stout. Mahogany is not weak, but it isn’t maple or hickory, or even white oak. I dunno, just a thought of something more you could test.

  7. FIG Woodworks says:

    When are you going to catch up with the rest of the world and go Metric? Or at least print Metric measurements along side the archaic imperial system you insist on using!

    • lostartpress says:

      Ha! As soon as I catch up with the rest of the world and use machines for EVERYTHING. Electric scratch awl. 220v rulers.

      • FIG Woodworks says:

        Could always resort to the Australian Bush method of bees dicks, poofteenths, and gnats hairs. Or a hybrid system of metric and imperial (ie… 1m5/8″ my personally preferred method, depends on the ruler I happen to pick up) the ruler is a bit messy though.
        seriously metric beside your archaic imperial system would be helpful to us in the real world. 🙂

    • daltxguy says:

      Legs: 30mm diameter, 610mm long. Taper to 22m starting 150mm from the floor.
      Bolt 8x75mm. eye bolt 8x65mm
      Will support a 100kg lard ass imperialist.
      Corrections welcome!

    • steveschafer says:

      Speaking of hybrid measurements, I recently purchased some cabinet hardware that includes screws that appear to be either #7-32 (standard thread pitch, oddball diameter) or M4-0.8 (oddball thread pitch, standard diameter). Maybe they’re really M4-32.

  8. carpenterman says:

    with all this talk about stool-samples and TP, are there any plans for a traditional outhouse?

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