Child’s Stool: Episode 1

Child's Stool Episode 1 KF

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Not all projects need to be large and, nor do they need to be complex to give the reward of satisfaction. This is an upcycling bonus piece and may well be the lure to get you into chairmaking or bench seats. With just a few hand tools and a couple of hours in the garage, you will find yourself completely engrossed in a new dimension of making where there is no knifewall joinery and not much layout at all. Paul made his first one for his granddaughter and the second one to encourage you to make one for a footstool or a child’s stool or a plant stand.


  1. Alan Knowles on 2 April 2021 at 11:31 am

    Wouldn’t it be better to show how you would use new wood than destroying an old chair?

  2. Andrew Cunningham on 2 April 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Love your infectious enthusiasm, reminds me of my school days back in the early 80’s

  3. Roy Ashmore on 2 April 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Cannot believe you DESTROYED a very usable piece of furniture, even if it was a modern machine manufactured item.

  4. Philip Johnson on 2 April 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Like the tools you introduce to us, will the price of old chairs maybe go up?
    Still a very nice project to introduce the children in our life to working with wood.

  5. g sullivan on 2 April 2021 at 1:29 pm

    As always, poetry in action. Thank you.

  6. James Wood on 2 April 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for the video. As for those bothered by the repurposing of the old chair, from a resource stewardship standpoint, reusing wood is undoubtedly better than getting “new wood.” And if the craftsmanship of the old chair is not particularly valuable, as in the case of mass produced furniture, then nothing is lost by disassembling and transforming good wood into good work.

  7. Dale Wysinger on 2 April 2021 at 2:08 pm

    I can’t believe these people complaining about “destroying” the chair! Folks, this is not a classic antique item! These chairs are “a dime a dozen” in yard sales and such. It is not being destroyed; it is being turned into something a child will cherish and pass on to the next generation!

  8. stevem on 2 April 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Paul probably dragged that chair from a dumpster(skip) and gets heat for giving it a purpose. Unbelievable. You keep doing you Paul.

  9. Marco Gutierrez on 2 April 2021 at 2:27 pm

    A chair we no longer use, better take it apart to use its wood than throwing it into the garbage.
    To me ‘destroy’ is not what he did.

  10. Marc-Andre Petit on 2 April 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks for that one and the poetry in the comments!

  11. bytesplice on 2 April 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Great Video!
    Restoration is good as well, particularly if its been in a family and has an owner who will use it. A single chair in the ‘skip’ ? Not too many folks are going to want it.
    I agree with Marco – this stool will be around another 100 years, and it sends a valuable message (repurpose and reuse) to the tot who sits on it.
    I’m amazed what Paul finds – elm, mahogany – I seem to always find tables and chairs built of pine or plywood – or worst (Ikea).

  12. bytesplice on 2 April 2021 at 4:35 pm

    About nails/screws in the legs, it might be helpful to run an rare-earth magnet over the joint before cutting and using a hacksaw if you find metal.

  13. Michael Caddell on 2 April 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Use of wood and parts from old unusable furniture is something I have been doing for a long time. An example, I recently used turned spindles from the back of an old chair to make my granddaughter a 4 poster doll bed.
    Thanks Paul for you approach to wood working and sharing. I have always believed there are two types of wood workers, carpenters and craftsman. I am 77 and have been doing wood working as a hobby since I was 14, you have helped me become more of a craftsman. Much appreciated.

  14. Dan O'Hayre on 2 April 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Gimme a break! Re-purposing is not destroying. You’re The Man, Paul.

  15. Alan Knowles on 2 April 2021 at 6:25 pm

    What if you don’t have a couple of wooden compass planes?

    • Michael Eleftheriou on 21 January 2022 at 1:38 pm

      You make them–there are free videos out there (here or YouTube) on which Paul shows you how to do it.
      I made a couple years ago but never hardened the blades–a job for tomorrow.


  16. Eddie Woolfries on 2 April 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Great idea Paul, too many of these old chairs end up in the skip as you say. I think its better working the old wood as its well seasoned. Looking forward to thee next installment. 👍

  17. Selva on 2 April 2021 at 7:23 pm

    > What if you don’t have a couple of wooden compass planes?

    That’s why this four-episode free lesson is there 🙂

  18. Alan Knowles on 2 April 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks Selva, Got some O1 tool steel. Next project.

  19. newbutr on 2 April 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Unfortunately, the original chair would have been sold as firewood today. Even if I could find an Elm board today to remake just the original chair seat, it would cost me 30 or 40 times what the whole scrap chair was sold to Paul for, I guess.

    Now the step/stool will be a useful piece of furniture probably unit his granddaughter’s granddaughter’s time…

  20. Robert S. on 2 April 2021 at 9:35 pm

    I’m going to have to visit a thrift store soon to see if I can find an inexpensive old chair with good quality wood. Thanks Paul and team for the video.

  21. koth on 3 April 2021 at 1:15 am

    I don’t think so. Paul has done a hundred videos starting with new wood. This is a great video if you want to repurpose an old chair that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage.

  22. Eric Lundholm on 3 April 2021 at 2:51 am

    In the US that chair would have gone to the landfill and if it was lucky it would have become bark dust after being ground up. Instead it is recycled into a stool that may be used by children for years to come. Paul has shown how to make chairs before, if you choose to make one from scratch watch those videos for making the seat. The legs can be used for tool handles, the spindles for pegs etc. most of it can be reused into other items.

  23. Howard Tovey on 4 April 2021 at 4:58 pm

    I have to find a discarded old chair and hopefully will make a chair for my granddaughter. Always a pleasure to watch you Paul many thanks, regards Howard.

  24. AMANDIO Marques on 4 April 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks for another project presentation. Can you tel where this rasp can be bought and aproximate price? Thank you.

  25. Bryan Donovan on 4 April 2021 at 10:14 pm

    That’s a Shinto Saw Rasp. I got mine for around $25 or $30, I believe.

  26. Garrett Swalwell on 5 April 2021 at 5:28 am

    All of this talk of destruction and disbelief. Sure, the chair was still usable in it’s original state but the purpose of this is to represent upcycling something that may not be in such good shape.

    A good exercise for those who need it.

  27. Benoît Van Noten on 5 April 2021 at 9:26 am

    Paul explains in his blog dated 19 march 2021 where the chair comes from.

    I might laminate some scrap wood to make the seating part.

  28. Robert Robinson on 8 April 2021 at 6:29 am

    Love it. Great way to preserve elm do another 200 years. 🤦🏼‍♀️

  29. Robert Robinson on 8 April 2021 at 6:30 am

    Meant 👍🏼 Not 🤦🏼‍♀️

  30. Alan Knowles on 11 April 2021 at 7:57 pm

    Now I have got a small double radiused plane now.

  31. Farred on 16 April 2021 at 8:29 pm

    For those who think it’s terrible to recycle the chair, realize it’s almost impossible to find elm. And I’m sure his grand daughter will be more excited about her own stool, too.

  32. arod49 on 16 April 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Paul, I was wondering why you have switched to “gents” saws from the old standard back saws.

  33. tim ziegler on 17 April 2021 at 1:05 pm


    Thanks for reminding us to make sure we have the auger bit going in the right direction when drilling the leg holes!
    How often, in my haste, a moment of thought would have saved an error!
    If I might say, that very simple reminder, is why your such a great instructor. Thank you Paul.

  34. gerald Anania on 18 April 2021 at 8:34 pm

    First love the boots your granddaughter(?) is wearing in picture. Remknds me of watching Peter Rabbit books and videos with my daughters.
    Hope the naysayers dont see the two chair seats and a bunch of spindles I have stashed in my garage. The manufacturer used nails and staples to attached legs to seat and the wood was shredded.
    You keep following what your mind tells you is right.

  35. wrstew on 19 April 2021 at 1:35 am

    Arod, he used open handled small saws for his dovetail demonstration videos in the past because they were better out of the box than available gents saws. BUT, then purchased relatively inexpensive gents saws, filed properly, and set correctly to show the alternative to considerably more expensive saws on the market. The videos are available on his website showing how to do the same. From past explanations, my wording, his explanation. Some people have used hacksaws, what your budget allows you can get into wood working if you want to.

  36. Jon Gelman on 26 April 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Do you have any suggestions where one may purchase these tools? I am just a beginner without an inventory of equipment. Thank you.

  37. deanbecker on 27 April 2021 at 4:14 pm

    John go to commonwoodworking . Com it is their sister site and has buying , using ,and sharpenng guides for beginners.

  38. lpollman on 26 August 2021 at 8:19 pm

    TOTALLY cool! I just picked of a few chairs at a thrift store that will see new use and a new life. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy these videos. As for those who got their noses out of joint because he “destroyed” a chair that was destined for the trash heap…seriously???

  39. Robert Hansen on 29 May 2022 at 5:48 pm

    There should be a label placed on those who cry foul for you reusing a chair for innumerable benefit to those who are learning the trade. A dunce cap would work.

    One chair for the good of many. Well done.

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