1. ………I meant to add that the term ‘Heath Robinson’ is one of those instances in the (UK version) of English where the name of a real person is used as an adjective to describe an element of their work affecting modern life – sometimes humourouslly or satirically.
    For example ‘Orwellian’ or ‘Shakespearean’….. there are others
    Heath Robinson’s work usually involved pictures of contrivances of pedals, pulleys, belts, wheels, helicopter blades, umbrellas…… to make a fantastic contraption, hence the term is used, tongue in cheek, to describe an unlikely lash-up to achieve an ordinary task.

  2. How can you not know who Heath Robinson was? I wouldn’t describe his machines as useless, merely unnecessarily complicated for what they achieved but that was the point. Great fun though. As ever, a pleasure to watch Paul work.

  3. Thanks for this project that teaches making glued up lamination. Would it be just as strong if the wood slats were a bit thinner and more of them to achieve the same thickness? Also, will there be very much spring back once the glue has dried?

  4. Paul, I very much appreciate that you left raw problem solving in the video. I’m sure you’re aware, but to a newbie, this is fantastic footage for fostering problem solving skills e.g., the seperation of the clamp through the hand hole, the up choke on the boring bit. Good Stuff. Lots of good skills in this build.

  5. Paul

    What an inspiration it is watching you drill, with a brace and bit, those precise holes in maple! I am looking forward to building this stool.
    By chance will you be providing a build sheet? Thanks again Paul.

    1. If you are talking about the server’s ability to keep up with enough streamed content, I must agree. I can only guess that as I tried to watch this on a Saturday morning right after receiving an email about it, that too many others were also trying to watch at the same time. Shame

    2. Please describe what happens, when you try to view the video.
      “Does not work” lacks a bit of helpful details.
      Your IT environment (Tablet 8with iOS or Android or …) or “real” computer, operating system, browser type and version, possibly add-ons like adblockers) would be helpful as well to reconstruct the errornous situation.


      PS: I got a “Because of its privacy settings, this video cannot be played here.” error with an actual Firefox (69.0) on Linux. It doesn’t matter, whether I turn off the adblockers (uMatrix and uBlock origin) completely or not, even with turned off the builtin tracking protection. With Konqueror I can view the video.

      1. @eckyh Interesting error about “because of the privacy settings…”. I guess these videos may have vimeo’s domain level privacy enabled to protect them from being embedded on third part sites. If so, that error can be triggered by anything that changes the referer url (in this case woodworkingmasterclasses.com). Check whether firefox is run with any plugin that rewrites the referer and tweak its settings or add exceptions if that’s the case.

        I use “Referer Control” on chrome to filter out third party referers and had to add an exception for this site.

        rbrown: The vimeo troubleshooting page may help (google it)
        I don’t want to add the link here as adding links always triggers “awaiting moderation” on my comments.

  6. In the US the reference would be to “Rube Goldberg.” In the 1950’s he drew humorous cartoons and illustrations of “machines that were ingeniously or unnecessarily complicated in design or construction.”

  7. When marking the holes for the screws, is it 3/4” from the 3/8” line and then 4” from that 3/4” line, or 4” from the original 3/8” line? In the video it isn’t clear which line is the reference for measuring the 4” distance for the outermost screw holes.

  8. Paul. What a great project. However, I’m concerned that you used what appeared to be ordinary white glue to do the laminations. I have been taught that ordinary white glue does not have enough shear strength to overcome the creep that occurs in bent laminations. Your comment please.

    1. Michael,

      Here is a link to a fairly comprehensive study on the potential for glue creep using different types if glue: http://brownellfurniture.com/factors-contributing-to-glue-creep-in-woodworking/ Based on their results, I would think PVA glue (aka white glue) should be fine for the laminations. There are other studies easily found online with using PVA glue in bent laminations for things like rocking chair legs that have gone for years without any signs of creep.

    2. Hi Michael,

      Paul says:
      Whereas this is true for a more structural project, i.e. beam supports and such, in this situation it will hold everything that is placed on it and glue creep will be minimal if any at all.

      Kind Regards,

  9. Q: concerning attaching the lamination with screws: Please elaborate why you are not concerned with shrinkage – you said something about “wedges” but I could not follow

    1. Hi,

      Paul says:

      Because the leg through the two components is a fixed point and any shrinkage has to be from the outer regions towards that fixed point. We have kept the distance to a minimum by splitting the seat which means shrinkage is only over a distance of a few inches instead of the full width of the seat. There is plenty of flex over such a short distance that the seat is most unlikely not to split.

      Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Jason,

      Paul says:
      I use the superior European metric system for sizing screws and most US users will not have access to metric sized screws. #6- 1 ¼ will work fine, that is roughly equivalent to 3x30mm screw which are the ones I used.

      Kind Regards,

  10. I don’t have a 1 inch bit for my brace. The largest I have is 3/4″. Would it be advisable to use that and pare down the legs to, say, 1-1/4″? I do have a 1″ spade bit for my cordless drill, but I don’t think its long enough to use an angle-guide like in the video. What would Paul do?

  11. My first project with Paul now and I don’t have a bit brace or auger bits but I do have access to a 1 inch forstner bit besides the difficulty of getting the angle right (the bit is only 3.5 inches long) is there any other issue I should be aware of?

    1. Hi,

      Paul says:
      The forstner bit is not meant for hand use. At best a machine, and at worst a drill driver. The problem is, it is hard to stablise them, especially if you are boring at an angle which, in this case, you would do.

      Kind Regards,

  12. Hi,
    I have a problem with the dimensions. I am not sure what I have misunderstood, but the length of the undercarriage bearers and the width of the top pieces do not seem to match up, especially when taking the distance of the bearers from the leading edge of the top pieces into account. The bearers are 381 mm long. The two top pieces put together are 356 mm in width but have a gap of approximately 20 mm between them and therefore have a total width of 376 mm. But the bearers are placed 25 mm from the leading – wany – edge at the front and back. This adds 50 mm to the total width and would mean that the gap between the two top pieces would be 70 mm in order to accommodate this.
    So my question is: What are the correct dimensions of the undercarriage bearers and the top pieces?



  13. Regarding not having the right tools for drilling: this is my first project with Paul as well and I was really intimidated by boring of the holes. I don’t even have a brace, just a cordless drill driver and I have used a spade bit. It worked really, really well — it was fast and the edges are crisp. It was also a lot of fun! (it was not boring, I mean).

  14. Hi Paul. I’m making this stool at the moment. I’ve grilled the mortise holes using a brace and bit, but it was a major effort! My 1 inch bit is freshly sharpened at cuts quickly, but on each hole I found that several times the brace would suddenly begin to turn without resistance and cutting stopped. I think the snail stopped pulling the bit through, but I couldn’t work out why – the threads were pretty much clear of sawdust and look in good condition. If I jiggled the bit from side to side and put most of my weight on by standing in a stool over it, it would eventually start cutting again. It seemed that if it would cut continuously then each hole would only take 2-3 minutes to cut. The bearers are oak and the seat is London plane. Any ideas what was going wrong?

    1. I asked Paul and his reply is below:

      When the threads clog they effectively pull out any material from the cone created and that prevents the thread from pulling with you as it would normally. The auger part is now seated in the wood and this prevents the screw thread having any pulling power, hence the need for more pressure from you. Some woods (such as oak) are more brittle than others this is where the problem will occur.

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