Pine Stool

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Blog entry by Praki posted 06-08-2008 05:19 AM 1838 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my second piece of furniture (and I use the word pretty loosely). I was walking around in my local Borg and noticed this piece of funky looking pine. I don’t know what this effect is due to. The wood in the dark spots seems really brittle and chips very easily. I suspect it is something related to fungus but I am not really sure. It was only ten dollars and I took it home with me after getting it cut into 2 four-foot long pieces.

I wanted to try my hand at building something more challenging than my first project. Personally, I don’t think it’s really necessary to look for challenges in woodworking; several present themselves in even the simples projects. How about learning to cut your very first dovetail joints in softwood which also happens to chip a lot? It was as frustrating as it can be and I damn near gave up the woodworking! All you guys make it look so damn easy!

Anyway, I stuck to it over three weekends. Finally, I got it completed to some level of satisfaction. I originally wanted to call it a Shaker Style Stool but changed it as I really screwed up many details and don’t want to offend any purists who might be reading this. Let me just call it loosely based on that fine Shaker Style and leave it at that.

I watched Alin Dobra’s videos ( on cutting dovetails by hand (I just realized he is also a Computer Science Professor! I am a software engineer myself and the CS connection is pretty cool!) The need to find better ways to sharpen tools is now quite apparent. I am pretty set on getting a Work Sharp WS3000. I also realize I need a work bench with a real vise. So was the need to have a marking gauge (just how many tools does this hobby require anyway?) Anyway, I could see my skills improving with each tail and pin I cut.

I made tons of mistakes. When I dry fit the joints, I flipped the top board and thought I needed to fix the pins only to realize the mistake later. That led to that ugly gap which I filled with putty whose color doesn’t match the wood :( But I am encouraged by the end result and think I am improving. It is really sturdy and should last a while.

Thanks for checking it out.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

6 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4602 days

#1 posted 06-08-2008 05:22 AM

Very interesting effect. Thanks for sharing.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 4458 days

#2 posted 06-08-2008 05:42 AM

From one novice wood hack to another….LOL….j/k

They aren’t mistakes…..they are learning oppurtunites.

Keep the faith and keep plugging away

I think it looks great.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4273 days

#3 posted 06-08-2008 05:45 AM

thats a pretty cool pine board. like you said the little effects were fragile so it must have been hard to cut the dovetails in it. great job and thanks for the post!

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4233 days

#4 posted 06-08-2008 05:53 AM

are their little pin sized holes in the center of each of the spots? I wonder if it is something similar to what happens to create ambrosia maple? I like it. You said it makes the material brittle? Still strong enough to be a stool I suppose? IT sounds like it is only brittle around the spots. Good work.

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 4345 days

#5 posted 06-10-2008 08:47 PM

Interesting effect on the wood. They say the only way to really learn is by doing, and you did a very nice job. Anyone can do dovetails with a machine, it takes real guts to do them by hand.
Good job!

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Praki's profile


201 posts in 4502 days

#6 posted 06-11-2008 05:11 AM

HokieMojo – sorry I am so late in responding. I did find a little hole in most places I looked. It is brittle around these spots, as if it is a knot. But it pretty strong otherwise.

EdC, you are very kind :) Thanks!

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

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