Handy Stool: Episode 4

Handy Stool Episode 4 Keyframe_

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It’s the close of these episodes and very exciting. Successfully installing the legs so that everything aligns perfectly is a strategy of order, following a specific pattern. In this episode, Paul carefully takes you through the steps of marking, gluing, wedging and trimming off. A second issue is to cut the legs to an exact length to eliminate any unevenness. At the close of most of our episodes, we take a few extra measures to show how Paul finishes any particular piece because–whereas applying finish can be standard–Paul’s experience has given many different ways to apply the same finishes.

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  1. bpower on 4 October 2019 at 10:56 am

    That is a beautiful stool. I already know someone that would love this so it is going to be a Christmas gift. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  2. Steve McGonigle on 4 October 2019 at 10:56 am

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this project. What impressed me the most was how you surmounted the difficulties when it came to obtaining an equal length on each leg. There was something reassuring in that even someone as experienced as yourself had to consider and adapt using scraps of wood and found himself using a saw at an uncomfortable angle. This is something we mere mortals experience, and I appreciate your thought processes to overcome these problems.

    The whole project very much echoes the arts and crafts ethos of making a simple yet beautiful object which is also has perfect function. I’m sure William Morris would approve where he alive today.

  3. Carole Burns on 4 October 2019 at 11:06 am

    Thank you again, a very practical but stylish project.

  4. Toby Vereker on 4 October 2019 at 11:55 am

    Thanks Paul for another great demonstration. I made a similar Moravian stool a couple of years ago. I loved the satisfaction of planing the octogen legs. The design holds the stool together so well. I am going to make this one now – thanks again.

  5. Robert Mielke on 4 October 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Wonderful project Paul! The more I watch your videos the more I’m pleased to have switch to using just hand tools for my woodworking hobby.

  6. Florian on 4 October 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Nice stool, Paul. How sad that most of our ash trees on the continent are not sound any more these days. What about the UK?

    • Izzy Berger on 8 October 2019 at 3:36 pm


      Paul says:
      We have the same issue here in the UK and unfortunately in North America too.

      Kind Regards,

  7. Marie Bouchard on 5 October 2019 at 2:56 am

    Thank you, Paul! It is beauuuutifull!

  8. James Lemaster on 5 October 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Paul you are a true professional and your son is too. The quality of your videos is excellent.
    Nice job to everyone.

  9. cagire on 6 October 2019 at 7:46 am

    I’m a bit behind on my stool, but having an open (not yet completed) project to visit when my world weary head needs salving, is a valuable asset.
    Thanks so much to Paul and his cohorts for the delightfully satisfying series. I intend my stool to be an extra and more portable guitar playing seat.

  10. Andy Doller on 7 October 2019 at 2:50 am

    On my last project I used a urethane finish and the buffing with steel wool didn’t go very well. I was able to get the broad panels, but where every there was a joint or crevice, I couldn’t scuff out the shine completely because I couldn’t get the wool into the corners with enough force to do anything. I used a block and extra fine sand paper but I still couldn’t get enough leverage in the corner. I reverted to making a wedge with sand paper, but I feel that then it was just to aggressive and uncontrollable. It is a bit lousy to put in all the effort and quality into the shaping of the wood only to be disappointed with the finish that everyone will see first. Any tips? Any chance of a project with more focus on the finish options and techniques?

    • Izzy Berger on 11 October 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Andy,

      I passed on your question to Paul and he said:

      I’m afraid any layered finish like urethane will tend to do this, whereas oil based finishes are much easier to apply so you might consider using something like danish oil because it has a high oil content and you could also use boiled linseed oil which again is very easy to apply.

      Kind Regards,

    • Ed on 12 October 2019 at 12:26 am

      @ADOLLER if you are buffing with steel wool to get the sheen you want, then with something like urethane, buy a can of satin or whatever sheen you want and use that to get your sheen. You can use the satin for all of the coats if you want, and for some woods it is essential to do so (like oak). If you have a project now that you don’t like the scratchiness on, you can likely fix it by applying some coats in this way. If your urethane is water based urethane, you need to work hard to get every speck of steel wool out of the project. Consider a vacuum with bristle attachment. Next time, consider using a synthetic pad instead of the steel wool with water based finish. If you used an oil based urethane, you don’t need to worry about rust.

  11. Brian Stormont on 8 October 2019 at 1:38 am

    This was a very fun project for me and the first that I did in time with each video as it was released. You have offered so many great project videos over the years. Thank you!

    • Izzy Berger on 8 October 2019 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you for the lovely feedback Brian, I will be sure to pass this on to the rest of the team!

  12. Ralph Smith on 14 October 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Hi, I just watched the last video and will be trying my hand at this one. I wanted to thank Paul and the rest of your team for the guidance and great videos. One question, what is the name of the soundtrack at the end of video #4, and where could get it?
    Again thank you,

    • Izzy Berger on 17 October 2019 at 8:17 am

      Hi Ralph,

      Thank you for the kind words! It is called ‘Fresh Fallen Snow’ by Chris Haugen.

      Kind Regards,

  13. David Oakes on 10 November 2019 at 9:56 am

    Beautiful, simple and timeless, I enjoyed watching this one. One of the things that appeal to me about pieces like this is that they don’t appear to belong to any particular style or period, they are neither traditional or contemporary. If you saw one in an antique shop you might think it had been made 200 years ago, if you saw one in a studio you may think it had been made last week.
    I may adapt the deign slightly to create a simple coffee table of a similar size, if its going to be a coffee table i doubt i’ll need to laminate the cross pieces as it won’t be taking the weight of a person, and I wont need to create the angles either. and I’ll probably need to use some Sapele as its all i have at the moment…. so it will be a totally different piece (ha!), but at least you have inspired me.

  14. Andrew Meyer on 12 November 2019 at 11:54 pm

    Very nice project so far. I’m up to fitting the legs. Are the the wedges tapered and, if so, at what angle? My tenons fit the holes pretty well, leaving little space for the wedges. The kerf on my saw is approximately 1/32 in. I think it would be difficult to drive a 1/8 in. thick wedge into that size kerf, given the free space I have available for the tenons to expand. Thanks for your answer to this question.

    • Izzy Berger on 14 November 2019 at 9:55 am

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for your questions, I passed this on to Paul and he says:

      You don’t need much space for the wedges, as long as it starts that’s fine. If the wedge is an inch long, make it from 0-⅛”.

      Why not bore a hole in a piece of wood and make another dowel (ie. leg) and then drive a wedge in and that way you’ll have greater experience to work from.

      Kind Regards,

  15. Michael Bennett on 17 November 2019 at 3:32 am

    Another great project, and one I can definitely use around the house. In trimming the legs, wouldn’t turning it over and marking up from the table do the same thing without the shimming and have the added benefit of having the seat level with the floor too?

    • Izzy Berger on 20 November 2019 at 8:29 am


      Thank you for your question, I passed this on to Paul and below is his answer:

      I’m not sure that would be easier, but use whatever method suits you.

      Kind Regards,

  16. Bill Lewis on 13 December 2019 at 2:44 pm

    A question regarding the legs: if you needed them to be shorter, say 14 inches, would you start with shorter blanks, leaving the leg bottoms at 1.5 inches, or would you start with the given 17 inch lengths and cut them back in the end to 14 inches (leaving the leg bottoms smaller in diameter because they’d have been tapered down)? Or does it not matter?
    Thank you,

    • Izzy Berger on 18 December 2019 at 8:45 am

      Hi Bill,

      Paul says:
      No you can start with shorter legs and alter the diameters to whatever you want.

      Kind Regards,

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