I didn’t intend to start revising or adding to “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” but new designs are gushing out of my sketchbook these days, so I’ve stopped resisting.
This stool design started with a Welsh stool from the 18th century and came together in two days. It needs a second prototype to reach the finish line, but it’s good enough to show. Here are some details if you are interested in designing your own.
The stool is 25-1/2” tall, which is perfect for me. I can sit on the bench with my feet resting flat on the floor. The stretcher is 6-3/4” off the floor, so when I put my feet on it, my legs are in a traditional sitting arrangement.
The seat is 1-3/4” x 12” x 20”. This gives you enough depth so you don’t feel as if you are falling off and you won’t cut off blood circulation to your legs if you sit back on the seat. (Also, 12” is a classic stool depth.) The 20” length is suited so you can place your hands on the seat to either side of your torso. This allows you to easily reposition yourself or to help give you a push if you wish to hop off the seat.
The 45° cuts at the back remove weight – visual and literal.
The legs are 1-3/4” double-tapered octagons and start life about 27” long. The double tapers meet at the point where the stretchers intersect the legs – a natural place for bulk. The front legs use the following angles: 26° sightline and 13° resultant. The rear leg has a 0° sightline and 22° resultant. These angles give the stool immense stability.
The legs have 1-1/4” diameter tenons at the top. They start out about 2” long. The tenons are not tapered on this design.
The stretchers start as 1-1/8” octagons and are turned. The front stretcher is a cigar shape and terminates at each end with a cove and a 5/8” diameter x 1” tenon. The T-stretcher is 1-1/8” diameter at the rear leg and tapers to 3/4” at the front stretcher. Both ends have 5/8”-diameter tenons. (Note I swiped this tapered tenon from Bern Chandley, a chairmaker in Melbourne, Australia.)
What am I going to change for Stool 2.0? I’m going to add a wide and flat chamfer all around the top of the seat and saddle the seat. I’m going to bulk up the legs and stretchers a bit to see what happens. I might replace the 45° angles on the seat with ellipses.
But the second prototype will have to wait. I have tea coasters (yes, coasters) to build for a special client.
— Christopher Schwarz