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Project Information

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.

Gallery

Comments

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172 Posts
Cool design

Nice PRS HB!
 

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66 Posts
That's amazing! How many songs can the stool play?
 

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144 Posts
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.
 

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434 Posts
Nice!
 

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18,205 Posts
Great chair and design. Love the jointry!
 

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3,759 Posts
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.
 

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In Loving Memory
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+1
 

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

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5,351 Posts
Sweet.
What a clever design. I like it.

Steve
 

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

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144 Posts
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!
 

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

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4,766 Posts
Awesome job, great design
 

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guitars and woodwook - all right!! good project
 

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Cool looking chair
 

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My guitar playing wife and son are already wondering when I will make them their very own stools. nice work
 
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