MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Oak boards, 18"– 20" long: 12"– 14"×¾" ( 1),
10"– 12"×½" ( 2), and 8"×½" ( 2)
Pine scrap, about 1"× 1"× 4"
Paste finishing wax, and wood glue
Cow manure (preferred) or wood stain and shellac
Drill, jigsaw, handsaw, circular saw, hammer, chisel,
12" to 14" wide, and ¾" thick. Legs are about 2" narrower than the top, to give the overhang. Sides are about 8" wide. Decorative cuttings-out with your jigsaw must be kept simple. You could just drill a few large holes in a pattern. The 4 pieces of the frame are joined by 4"-long, ½"-wide slots (Figure B). To obtain the squared-off end on the slots, drill a hole
in each corner of the slots so the jigsaw blade
can make the 90° angle (Figures C and D).
The slots in the sides should be at a slight
angle. If the side is 18" long, the gap inside
the legs at the top edge should be about 12"
and at the bottom edge about 13½".
2. Distress the pieces.
The fate of most of your stool’s rustic and
very early brethren was to be chopped up
and put on the fire when the more elegant
stuff came in. For it still to be here in the 21st
century, it must have suffered in many ways,
to be rescued at last by your good self or
another saintly person you know.
Before assembling the stool, rub with
coarse sandpaper and throw and drag your
cut pieces of oak around the yard or along
the street until you get a satisfactory number
of chips and scratches (Figure E).
Photography by Ed Troxell
3. Glue the pieces together. The Colonial maker would have used nothing but joinery to hold the frame together, but then his stool was only going to be sat on. His stool wasn’t going to be thrown around, soaked, shot at, and otherwise attacked (see Steps 5 and 7). You shall use wood glue (Figures F–H). Depending on the accuracy of your slot G
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