Kitchen Island Stools

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Project by alexsutula posted 12-29-2010 08:42 AM 4193 views 12 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are 2 stools that were commissioned by a fellow artist I met at an art-festival we both participated in earlier this past summer. And these are the first stool/chairs I have made. I was a overwhelmed at first. But planing and full-scale drawings really make the job much easier.

The seats are 24” high so you can comfortably sit at the kitchen island. They are essentially taller chairs or shorter stools. She had just remodeled the kitchen and couldn’t find anything to fit the height of the counter. The job was supposed to be a high bench for her and her husband. But I felt it was going to look way to awkward, so we settled on 2 stools instead.

The vertical support for the backrest is dovetailed into the seat then screwed and plugged. Finish is tung-oil varnish mix.

-- You can't stand apart unless you're prepared to stand alone. Alex, Cleveland

11 comments so far

View bvdon's profile


482 posts in 2984 days

#1 posted 12-29-2010 09:42 AM

Very nice work. How did you go about shaping the seat and back-rest? Was it cut that way, then scrapped/sanded?

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 2821 days

#2 posted 12-29-2010 01:34 PM

That fellow artist needs to give them up -i want them!!

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 12-29-2010 03:05 PM

Very Very nice. Great work and design.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View woodworm's profile


14465 posts in 3560 days

#4 posted 12-29-2010 03:59 PM


-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


485 posts in 3409 days

#5 posted 12-29-2010 09:17 PM

interesting design, can you talk about how you came about the proportions and joinery you used?
I just wonder about the longevity of plugged screws holding on a back rest, the height of the front rail also intrigues me, as it looks to be more than the 18” most would use so you can rest your feet.
how did you shape the seat? and why did you stop where you did?
the big test of seating is if it is comfortable, and does it squeak when you sit in it. a chair that passes both is a good job.
I would like to hear more of your design and build process. did you build a prototype?

the surfaces , finish and photos look wonderful. I look forward to seeing more.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3172 days

#6 posted 12-30-2010 02:42 AM

Very interesting and well constructed. I like your choice of woods.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4062 days

#7 posted 12-30-2010 02:55 AM

Unique design and great execution… beautiful pieces Alex.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View lightweightladylefty's profile (online now)


3236 posts in 3682 days

#8 posted 12-30-2010 05:49 AM


They look great—especially for your first chairs! Can’t wait to see more chairs from you.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View alexsutula's profile


96 posts in 3023 days

#9 posted 12-30-2010 07:36 AM

Juniorjoiner- the seats had to be at 24 inches to comfortably sit at the counter. The stools actually are placed at a peninsula. I wanted the stools to be sized so that either person could get in and out of their seat without the other person having to move. The proportions were decided based mostly upon what looked right. It is kind of a weird height to work at because it isn’t high enough to be a stool and isn’t low enough to be a chair

All of the joints in the base are mortise and tenon.

I didn’t do any mockups, but I did make a full-scale drawing. It helped so much that I don’t build a piece without full-scale drawings.

I am not that concerned with the plugged screws because it sits in a dovetail and is glued. The back support is not that high and only supports the lower back, so it doesn’t see that much stress.

BVDON- I shaped the seat by cutting the curve out of 2 pieces of curly cherry and glued them together. Once glued, I borrowed a friends belt sander and blended everything together. Frankly, I only cut the curve in the seat and didn’t sculpt the ass groove because they didn’t pay me enough to do anything more.

I personally find the stool to be comfortable. Others have said the same, I am sure there are people out there that would think differently. And it doesn’t creek or rock. I am sure that might change with time.

Per your advice on a past project, I pre-finish all on my pieces before assembly.

I am afraid I didn’t understand your question about the foot rail in the front.

-- You can't stand apart unless you're prepared to stand alone. Alex, Cleveland

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3039 days

#10 posted 01-01-2011 01:01 AM

He meant typically on a stool like this the front stretcher that you rest your feet on is about 17’’ from the bottom of the seat what height did you use.

Sorry I just like the stools, so I kinda butted in. Nice stool your finishing looks good, shows the wood off well.


-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 2660 days

#11 posted 02-17-2011 09:07 PM

Alex, I’m enjoying looking at your work…very nice. Just for basic info, in the ‘biz’ heights for seating are: chair height, (varies considerably, 14” to 16” standard); counter height, 24”; bar height: 30”; high bar height: 32-34”. These are only base standards of course. I’ve built lot’s of custom heights, suited for the intended user only. I’m sure you’re going through the same learning curve! What a hoot, huh?

-- Stephen Mines (

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