Another Day, Another Stool


I try not to make this blog about personal stuff, but ever since boyhood I’ve tended to fixate on things. It might be an object. It might be a task. But I won’t sleep (literally – ask Lucy) until I scratch that itch.

Today it was this three-legged stool. I woke at 3 a.m. (typical) and began working on the next phase of this design until my wife woke at 5:50 a.m., showered and turned on her hairdryer. Something about her hairdryer puts me back to sleep – it’s why I am still conscious now.

After six hours in the shop – three of it just staring at the stool’s component – this is where I am. I still need to add the chamfers to the seat and clean off all the sawblade marks, but I’m pretty happy with the direction this is headed.


The mass of the legs, stretchers and seat are more balanced. I’ve added curves to make the seat less jarring. And the stretchers are now tapered octagons, like the legs.

I might sleep tonight.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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19 Responses to Another Day, Another Stool

  1. lignumvitay says:

    Prefer the octagonal seat design.

  2. Craig Diamond says:

    Great title.

  3. jdcook72 says:

    Maybe it is foreshortening from the camera angle but there doesn’t seem to be much depth to the seat. Maybe visual expectations based on a traditional round stool top are telling my brain half of it is missing. Like when flat TVs/monitors were a new thing and they looked dished in because we were used to looking at CRTs. I like the organic feel of the rounded top but maybe soften

    • jdcook72 says:

      Sorry, posted before complete

      Maybe soften the the corners of the first sample instead of removing them completely. Less contrast with the faceted legs that way as well, softened version of half the streatcher’s cross section. Just some impressions and thought.

  4. volzwgn says:

    It looks like you rounded the ends of the legs rather than flush with the floor as on the previous model. Looks cleaner. I like the octagon stretchers, but those crisp edges of the flats on the front will wear rapidly with hooking your heels over it (as you are prone to do.) Are you going to sculpt the seat or leave it flat? I also like the half-octagon seat shape; fits better with the legs.

  5. Patrick Neal says:

    I like the round seat back, but would like a bit of rounding on the front corners (not much, just some relief). I prefer the round stretchers with the round seat. Looks like I may need to build one.

  6. bpdean says:

    A “D” shape might be a nice compromise between the two seat shapes

  7. I stare at parts and pieces of my projects for hour too, but I don think I get as much done thinking as you do.

  8. occasionalww says:

    Will you sculpt a saddle in the seat?

  9. John Hippe says:

    It might just be me but I think the legs poking through the seat will be uncomfortable.

  10. amvolk says:

    The octagonal stretchers look cool, but I wonder how they will work with wear and tear of footwear. The seat shape somehow does not work for me, unless the shape is seriously foreshortened by the photo.

  11. Jeremy says:

    I prefer this subtle crescent shape much more than the previous flat and square. I think with a bit of tractor seat sculpting, it’ll be quite comfortable while retaining the simplistic lines.

  12. Danielo says:

    IKEA to introduce furniture that snaps together in minutes without requiring tools.

    Not by hand or by eye; I prefer analog vs digital by technology has its place.

  13. Danielo says:

    Check it out on YouTube… if you are interested.

  14. tsstahl says:

    Hmm. Aesthetically I prefer the current seat and legs of the latter. However, I would sit in this iteration as I’m visually confident the legs would hold up my fat arse.

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