Footstools #4: Progressing nicely

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Blog entry by Mark Gipson posted 03-15-2009 11:25 AM 1154 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Looking for some advice Part 4 of Footstools series Part 5: Nearly there »

Thanks to some cooler weather, hiring some more staff for the salon and the arrival of a small shipment of tools from the UK I have been making some good progress on the footstools for our salon.

Footstool #2 has been completed. I used my new plug cutter to make my own plugs for the screw holes which was much quicker than sanding shop bought dowel to fit. I found out why plug cutters are meant to be used with a drill press, it’s kind of tricky to use with just a hand drill and no kind of aid. I made a small plywood template with a hole of the outside diameter of the plug cutter, clamping this to the bench on top of the scrap stock made using the plug cutter with the hand drill pretty easy.

After trying out the footstool myself I decided to build something for use at home for the next stool. I took the basic design of the salon footstool but used a straight stretcher and cut the legs at an angle to slant the rest to make it more comfortable for use with a low chair. I cut a through mortice and tenon for the stretcher which was quite a challenge. I used the router to cut the mortice and squared it with the chisel. The tenon was also cut with the router with the aid of a tenon making platform I put together. I finished the stool with 2 coats of poly and it’s in use as I’m typing this.

Footstool #2 and footrest

Salon stool #3 is almost finished now. This also uses a through mortice and tenon for the stretcher, with rounded ends on the tenon this time. This was again quite a challenge to get the stretcher correct, make the joints fit tightly and keep everything square. I’m pleased with how it came out, it’s not perfect of course but it’s pretty good.

Through M&T for the stretcher

The stretcher was by far the complex work piece I have made so far, I got more paranoid about making a mess of it the closer it got to being finished. It was quite a relief once it was done.

Completed sretcher

I’m unsure what joints to use on the remaining 2 stools. Originally I wanted to try something different on each one but I’m having second thoughts now. I would like to try and aim for sliding dovetails for the stretcher and through mortice and tenons for the legs. I’m unsure as to how the cut the dovetail in the stretcher though. I don’t want to spend a lot of time building ever more complex jigs that could be made redundant when I put together a router table and I think trying to cut them by hand would waste too much of my wood stock. Does anybody have a simple method to cut the dovetail on the stretcher that doesn’t require a very complex jig?

2 comments so far

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 4470 days

#1 posted 03-15-2009 04:35 PM

Nice job on the stools.They look really sturdy.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

972 posts in 4135 days

#2 posted 03-15-2009 05:13 PM

Nice progresss and neat work, the new stool looks great!
I would make the same thing you are doing now, mortise-tenon perhaps adding a wedge to secure the stretcher in place. But if you want the setcher dovetailed, you have two options: first, make sliding dovetails in both sides, sliding the stretcher from the top before the the top is in place. You can make them either with a router or with a Stanley 444 type plane. Second option, is to fix two stretchers at each side and use drawer type dovetails.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

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