1. I absolutely love the shaping on the seat supports. I already want to do this project just for that. And I’m also thinking what other projects that can work in. On a good note…. my sister is an avid gardener and would love this stool. I think I found my first Christmas gift of this year. 🙂

    1. I have already dropped my current woodworking projects, and have begun the Handy Stool. I have the cauls cut, and I have selected the waney wood for the seat. I have made several plain Moravian style stools in the past, but this stool is awesome in design and build. Thank you Paul!

  2. Paul: Love the videos. I do have a slight problem. Due to years of not being provided hearing protection whilst driving my Tube train I now find myself with “bells in the ears” and so loose a lot of the verbal content of your videos. Would it be possible to have sub-titles (cc). I know that some site have this and its auto generated by the site or computer. I don’t know how they do it but it would be very handy if this was possible as I am sure that I miss some of your instruction.
    Regards Chris

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Adding subtitles is something we would love to do but doing it ourselves isn’t something we have found a time-efficient way to do yet. Allowing others to upload subtitles has its complications too. We are going to keep an eye out for any solutions that would let us do this ourselves easily and time-efficiently or solutions that would let us gather community-contributed subtitles. I’m afraid it isn’t something we can do just yet.

      Kind Regards,

    1. There is American sycamore, and also London Plane, in the USA. Both are in the Platanus genus, a close kin to the Acer tribe.
      London plane is thought to be a hybrid of American and Asiatic trees and doesn’t have particularly much to do with London. In England , I think a cousin is called a Plane tree. There are some huge London plane street trees in my neighborhood that look like tree Ents from Tolkien.

      European Sycamore is an Acer and is sometimes called European Maple and is like the Soft maples (Acer) in the USA.
      For most uses, it works a lot like the soft maples. It is softer than Hard maple ( AKA Sugar or Rock maple)

      The difference I see are mostly with the types of figure and Ray flecks they can display, but sometimes I can’t tell the difference.

      1. A little extra info.

        The reason that ‘London Plane’ is so-called dates back to the 19th century when much of the newer parts of the West-End were being built and other parts renovated, following the 1851 Great Exhibition. There was an immense building-boom at the time.

        The air in London was foul in those days with smoke and fog – later called ‘smog’. This particular tree was one of the few suitable avenue-trees that would tolerate the air pollution due to the fact that it regularly sheds its outer bark layers. They were planted along streets in their thousands.

        Many of them are replaced and cut down at maturity and the quarter-sawn product is called, in the UK, ‘Lacewood’ due to the radial grain configuration resembling lacework when it is cut in this way.

        That’s the good news……. many wood merchants view the timber from felled, pre-war London trees with suspicion due to the fact that it may contain shrapnel from the Blitz which can wreck their saws.


    2. The crossed grain in the lamination adds strength and stability, vastly reducing warping, splitting, etc. This is similar to plywood sheets where the grain is alternated each layer to create a very stiff and stable medium.

    3. Thomas, I cannot answer for Paul, but my first thought when I saw the video was to eliminate splitting when driving the wedges to secure the legs. Plywood (which is kind of what is formed by turning the grain 90 degrees) is far less prone to splitting when challenged by wedges. Also a little easier to bend, but I’m sure that isn’t the reason he used it here.

  3. 30 minutes of shear joy, sitting in my kitchen diner, flooded with autumnal sunshine, listening to Paul’s masterful advice, accompanied by the gentle tapping and sawing in an otherwise blissfully quiet workshop. I will definitely be joining in with this delightful project, using up some of my many salvaged bits of hardwood; white oak boards, perhaps dense mahogany laminates, legs from doubled up plain bull-nosed ash architrave. Sitting upon such a stool will be imbued with a sense of earned gratitude.

    1. The plane looks like a 51/2 to me. Not that it matters that much for this. He didn’t just use the #4 “all these years”. He used a wide variety, but usually showed us how to do the work with the assumption that many of us would only have access to the most common #4. Any plane at hand could be used successfully for this work.

    2. Trying to get a long flat straight edge the longer sole of the no 5 prolly helps and you can rest the heel of the plane while skewed on the other wing of the curved shape if needed where a 4 might be too small. You really never know though, it could just been sharpened more recently or he could be keeping his no 4 set fine or heavy. I think Paul does good showing you what all you can do with a no 4 alone but he also always had a 5 handy

    3. Hi Jim,

      Paul says:
      In the beginning, I wanted people to understand that if they only had one plane to choose, it should be the number 4. Now that my audience has grown, and we’ve established the number 4 as the most important plane, I’m including the number 5 as an additional option.

      Kind Regards,

  4. Paul, I am amazed at how much you have learned of woodworking in your years. After all, you were a police officer, as my father– a draining and time consuming occupation that follows you home. I really feel privileged to learn from you in this new age of technology.

    1. I assume because it’s much easier to bend two thin boards than one thick board.
      Compare it to a stack of playing cards: it’s relatively easy to bend it.
      The reason for that effect are the thrusts within the piece of wood.


      1. It would indeed be easier to bend two thin boards than one thick board. I was just wondering why Paul chose to have the ‘thick’ board (i.e. the two long grain boards) at the bottom of the bearer (as opposed to the top of the bearer, or having each cross layer the same thickness) .

        1. When somebody will sit on the stool those pieces will tend to flex. The bottom will be in traction while the top will be in compression. That is a reason for having the short grain boards above the center line. You will notice that Paul didn’t bother to glue the short board edge to edge as one would do to make a panel.
          The top layer gives a resistance to compression much greater than a short grain layer and contribute to make this lamination some kind of multiply
          The short grain boards, in addition to being decorative, add strength again splitting of the long grain boards that would result from leg induced strain.

          Good engineering in my view.

          interesting doc: https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/ch04.pdf

        2. AFAICT, the short grain layer is to resist torsion on the bearers from the seat. The seat boards are loaded in the middle so the tops of the bearers will want to flex towards each other. This is where the long grain layers on the bearers are weak. Since the load is coming from the seat boards above, that could explain why the short grain layer is above centerline.

  5. Hi Paul, thank you so much. Your videos are always inspiring and relaxing to watch in equal measure. I am going to try my hand at those laminations and see how it goes. One step at a time. Thank you again.

  6. Lovely technique.
    Fantastic Camera work.
    Beautiful to watch such hand-skill operating really sharp tools.

    Most amazing of all is what can happen overnight: the double long-grain laminations that go uppermost into the vee of the caul for glue-up (14.22 – 17.15) end up on the bottom of the vee the following morning!!
    Just teasing.

    I really like the treatment of the ends of the bearers to make them ‘caress’ the seat boards like fingertips.

  7. As to the desireablility of subtitles: Surely a good set of headphones , not earbuds, would be the fix here. I don’t listen to anything off the computer speakers anymore. Why bother with good sound delivered directly to my ears, plus the external sound attenuation provided by headphones make this a no brainer seems to me.

  8. One area of presentation that is a little weaker than all the rest is the stock preparation. I feel that is weak for me as well.

    I might suggest you consider some attention to illustrating stock preparation.


Leave a Reply