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Designing a Piano Stool .

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Blog entry by jonoseph posted 05-20-2022 01:21 PM 618 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Piano Stool idea came as a negative reaction to black ,metal ,cross legged mass produced things meant for electronic keyboards . (although just £16 ) .In front of a mahogany coloured upright piano that would not look right .
So I looked on ebay to see what shapes and designs were out there in wood . There is no real market for these . Most were on the auction system with 0 bids and No Delivery. Free collection in person .Only one was a buy it now . First impression was cabriole legs . Visually—bandy legged .That`s out . Storage under the seat is a good idea but some make it a cupboard right to the floor which might put your backout if you move it when it`s full . Cushions on many were skimpy and looked uncomfortable A hard wooden edge outside the cushion would be bad under your legs . One cushion lid was slightly wider at the edges to give a grip for change of positions but there was a chance of trapping fingertips if the lid lifted. The worst idea .
Straight legs with no bracing would make more strain on the glued joints. Front to back bracing plus a cross rail was much stronger without looking clumsy .
Some cupboard designs had doors to access the music shelves . 2 had a tilting system which would be fine as a magazine rack but poor for sheet music,which likes to lay flat . One door was hinged across the bottom edge so it would lay on the floor .That would be awkward to use .One had no door but separate shelves and the front sections with handles would hinge flat when opened .Excellent thinking for sheet music . The storage ,underseat box gave the seat strength . The joints would be an important part of the build . Here is a question about the join from box to legs . Is it better to make the box with two pieces extending sideways and then join the legs with a single joint rather than cutting into the leg twice at right angles ? As a seat what type of padding is best for a piano player . Leather covering might be better than material with some friction . So scanning lots of different piano stools I have found a good way to end up with a better functional result . Carving and decoration can be included after the practical details are worked out . Finally the ebay wooden models lacked one feature in the metal £16 design. They had no height adjustments .

-- John ,in the Wirral .UK



11 comments so far

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1684 posts in 3993 days


#1 posted 05-20-2022 08:38 PM

round piano stool with an ACME screw?

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn (and that is nice)

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10498 posts in 2076 days


#2 posted 05-20-2022 09:13 PM

Piano benches (as opposed to stools) are almost never adjustable for height. If you are short, you just don’t reach the pedals. If you are tall, you either slide the seat back a little so your legs are angled to reach the pedals, or you tuck your feet back underneath the bench. And you get hassled by piano teachers for not having good posture either way.

Yes, a bench that hinges on the top to hold music is typical. I’ve seen one with a drawer, but that wasn’t great for a few reasons. More than a single box (3 inches tall at most) is going to make the bench too heavy to move, and almost everyone wants to move the piano bench at least a little.

I’ve also seen round stools with a screw, but they’re less common than benches. Not sure why. Probably because no storage and no way to seat two people for playing duets, not that that’s common, anyhow.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jonoseph's profile

jonoseph

82 posts in 2389 days


#3 posted 05-21-2022 06:02 PM

I saw some of the wooden stools after my search and some did have height adjustment. One used a kind of notch idea going down very low .None of the ones I had seen used screw adjusters like the traditional concert style stools . For the word stools here I mean suitable for one person . Piano stools are less common than Bar Stools . Benches came on ebay too though . The handle arrangement looked good for position adjustment. I always hate the height of piano pedals .They are much to high for my feet ( or leg muscles ) . Metal criss cross designs on thick carpets with two flat rod feet might become a bit unstable .Four separate contacts on a carpet would be better . The criss cross is better for harder surfaces or thinner carpets . My daughter bought an old German piano with it`s stool . All the adults I asked about it laughed when their feet were left dangling in mid air . It was made for a giant . How did you like my use of ebay to collect design ideas ?

-- John ,in the Wirral .UK

View jonoseph's profile

jonoseph

82 posts in 2389 days


#4 posted 05-24-2022 11:03 AM

Did the idea of a single joint into the legs sound any good ? Do any chairs have that in the design ?

-- John ,in the Wirral .UK

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10498 posts in 2076 days


#5 posted 05-24-2022 11:38 AM

I’m not aware of that sort of detail of chair designs, but two joints gives stability in two dimensions, which seems like it might be important in a piano bench / stool.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jonoseph's profile

jonoseph

82 posts in 2389 days


#6 posted 05-25-2022 11:37 AM

I need to describe the single joint better . First make the box part but the front and back sections are kept longer ,sticking out .So the joint at each corner is not a clean corner cut off . The legs are glued to the parts poking out . That will be a very simple strong joint . Combining the joint in the traditional way gives one vertical part and two horizontal parts .But there is no reason to restrict all designds in that way . It would be cheaper to produce . But not any stronger . The piano stool with side handles seems to fit into that separated idea . Maybe people are more sociable and the handles would get in the way for Chop Sticks . (Accidental woodwork pun there .)

-- John ,in the Wirral .UK

View jonoseph's profile

jonoseph

82 posts in 2389 days


#7 posted 05-27-2022 02:31 PM

Similar to this idea is a drawer in our kitchen cabinet. The drawer box is made .Then the front is added .So you have a double layer of wood. That front ,with the ends poking out either side ,could be made as part of the box but the sides would be joined with blind tenon joints .Probably quicker for a producer to make all the boxes first , but in this example the fronts were never carefully selected to match the other drawers and doors . So a good reason to separate the parts production was lost a bit later on .

-- John ,in the Wirral .UK

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1684 posts in 3993 days


#8 posted 05-27-2022 02:47 PM



I need to describe the single joint better . First make the box part but the front and back sections are kept longer ,sticking out .
- jonoseph

look at the latest Paul Sellers chair structure: (3rd picture, the 1st picture is a prototype)
https://paulsellers.com/2022/03/my-chairs/

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn (and that is nice)

View jonoseph's profile

jonoseph

82 posts in 2389 days


#9 posted 05-29-2022 05:48 PM

Sylvain That`s exactly what I imagined . You are a genius . Fancy finding that . It`s quite recent too . The front to back rail will also be very rigid like that . It cuts out the complication of that front angle forced on us by the narrower back end . I will go back and read the whole article now .

-- John ,in the Wirral .UK

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1684 posts in 3993 days


#10 posted 05-30-2022 09:38 AM

I have not seen his chair video (paying site).

I seems it uses a variation of the way he makes the back of the workbench drawer (free video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNpPGr6qkxk
it uses a dado and a tenon.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn (and that is nice)

View jonoseph's profile

jonoseph

82 posts in 2389 days


#11 posted 06-07-2022 11:10 AM

I took a short cut and bought one of the £16 chairs but I know what way to make the proper wooden one now . The metal criss cross stool/chair needed two screws to prevent the hooks from disconnecting . Now it cannot collapse .

-- John ,in the Wirral .UK

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