Guitar Playing Stool

  • Advertise with us
Project by JayG46 posted 09-04-2013 10:26 AM 54303 views 34 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finding the right seat to play the guitar in can be tricky. Arms are no good and anything that leans backwards is not optimal either. I don’t have anything in my apartment that fits the bill, so I decided to try to create something.

The initial inspiration for building a chair for this purpose came from Brian Boggs, but it was in concept only. I had never built any kind of chair before and wasn’t going to tackle the design of a well-respected master chairmaker. In my search for designs, I came across this piece in the Fine Woodworking member’s gallery, which seemed much more approachable.

Lacking an angle grinder or the patience to hack away for hours with a chisel, I wanted to find a good way to build a seat for a chair that was comfortable and attractive without carving. I cut some some lightly figured 6/4 maple into 16” chunks, took them to the table saw and set the blade at 15 degrees.

I didn’t put much thought into the size of the pieces, but didn’t move the fence and mowed through a 7 foot long, 7 inch wide board relatively quickly.

I was left with several different kinds of blocks some were dovetail-shaped, some with an angled cuts only on one side and some rectangular blocks with four 90’s. Next time I will probably have a better idea of what pieces I need but this was more improvisation.

There as plenty of surface area for butt joints but I thought it would add visual interest with splines. Unfortunately, cutting the dado slots was a little complicated due to the compound angles involved and I’m still not quite sure why what I did actually works. However, I made more pieces than I needed and was able to toss aside a few of the blocks that I screwed up. The remaining extras that I didn’t bungle up eventually became the foot rest.

The base is made out of sapele and it probably a little thinner than it should be, at least from a design perspective. I tapered the legs but didn’t like how they came out and ended up knocking them down to a uniform thickness, which cost me about 5/16”. It’s still pretty stable since the wood is so strong but I think it would look better if they were thicker.

In the one picture where it’s on top of the table saw, I had two pieces running in between the legs at the bottom that I thought I might need since the legs were so thin. I ended up scrapping those since they proved to be unnecessary once everything was glued up and they made it look too much like a baby’s high chair.

A 5 degree leg splay goes in both directions and is joined to the seat with and angled dado (very tricky). The skirts and supports help maintain the angle down through the legs and are gently curved with the bandsaw and rounded over.

Finally, I added the guitar stand of sorts by notching out a semicircular hollow in the seat with the bandsaw that would have been much easier to do before it was fully assembled. I then added two simple blocks to rest the bottom of the guitar on to the right hand side support which is a more natural storage location for a right handed player than the rear rest done by the original designer.

Happily, the color scheme matches my hollowbody Paul Reed Smith very well, although that was not the intention from the get go. The finish is just a couple of coats of Danish oil wet sanded with 1000 grit.

Thanks for checking it out.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

23 comments so far

View rdwile's profile


167 posts in 3195 days

#1 posted 09-04-2013 11:34 AM

Cool design

Nice PRS HB!

-- Richard D. Wile, IG: @rdwile

View missionworks's profile


64 posts in 4315 days

#2 posted 09-04-2013 11:56 AM

That’s amazing! How many songs can the stool play?

-- MW |

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 2941 days

#3 posted 09-04-2013 12:55 PM

Richard – Thanks man. It was built in ‘99 and I’ve had it since 2004. It’s too bad I have to plug it in to such a small amp since we live in an apartment complex!

Mission – Only one, “Rocking Chair Money” by Hank Williams. I wrestled with the title a little bit since “guitar stool” sounds like it’s made of guitars or the excrement produced by the instrument.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

434 posts in 4619 days

#4 posted 09-04-2013 01:38 PM


-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!,

View Ken90712's profile


18001 posts in 4272 days

#5 posted 09-04-2013 01:49 PM

Great chair and design. Love the jointry!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Woodbridge's profile


3749 posts in 3501 days

#6 posted 09-04-2013 05:25 PM

great looking guitar stool. I enjoyed reading about your design and thought process. In the end you came up with a very nice result. The splines seat is a nice detail.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3570 days

#7 posted 09-04-2013 05:30 PM


-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View CampD's profile


1827 posts in 4569 days

#8 posted 09-04-2013 06:55 PM

That is an awesome idea!

-- Doug...

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 3410 days

#9 posted 09-04-2013 07:19 PM


View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5301 days

#10 posted 09-04-2013 08:54 PM

Beautiful piece! I wonder if it would make me play better? :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4965 days

#11 posted 09-04-2013 09:38 PM

What a clever design. I like it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View aatwatch's profile


40 posts in 2978 days

#12 posted 09-04-2013 11:39 PM

Love the chair but that PRS really distracts me from it! Beautiful guitar too!

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 2941 days

#13 posted 09-05-2013 12:34 AM

Thanks for the comments, guys. You can always count on LJ’s for some positive feedback.

Charlie – So far it has certainly not made me play any better and I have a lot of room to improve.

aatwatch – Thanks. The PRS is one thing I don’t regret buying even though it was a lot of money to me at the time. If you break it down by dollars per hour played, it’s downright cheap!

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View garyprott's profile


47 posts in 3927 days

#14 posted 09-05-2013 01:00 AM

What a great looking chair. I love it. I try to play a bit myself. Not to good though.

-- James Krenov..."It's about a lot of little things, they do matter. Enjoy them."

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4677 days

#15 posted 09-05-2013 03:50 AM

Awesome job, great design

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics