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Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project #1: Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project

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Blog entry by sras posted 1632 days ago 3950 reads 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Mahogany Kitchen Stool Project series Part 2: Begin Rough Cutting »

Well, here we go. I have been working on the design and preparation of this project for 3 years. The final prototype was just completed.

Prototype

This is my second prototype. The first one was a quick (that is a relative term) mock up to see if I had the size correct. I built this out of scrap 2×4s and screws. Pieces were only roughly shaped. After building this, we determined that it was about a half inch too tall.

First Mock Up

The second prototype was built as a prelude to actual construction. Each stool has 42 mortise and tenon joints. Several of them are angled and others are on curved parts. By making a full prototype, I have a scale pattern to verify the layout of each piece before I cut into my lumber.

Prototype

Also, I get a chance to make mistakes and learn. I ended up missing on three or four dimensions and had to patch parts up. I have chosen to form the curved parts by laminating thin strips. The two curved boards on the back formed very well, but the 5 slats did have some spring back. I’ll need to adjust the form or move to thinner strips. Stay tuned on that one.

Finally, I get one last chance to check my design choices. In this case, my wife and I felt that the slats on the back were spaced a little too far apart. It ended up crowding the gap to the legs. I changed the design and moved the slats a little closer together.

I’ll outline how I intend to proceed with this blog. I’ll post updates on the construction as I go. Woodworking is a spare time activity for me. Weeks may go by with only a little activity. I’ll post a few “flashback” entries where I will cover my design process.

I’ll also keep a log of construction hours. This will not include design or prototyping time.

Cutting rough stock : 2 hrs
Cutting legs to width and thickness: 4 hrs 20 min
Cutting thin stock for seat back laminations: 3 hrs

Total so far: 9 hrs 20 min

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive



19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112000 posts in 2179 days


#1 posted 1632 days ago

Glad you have begun to get started look forward to your build Steve.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 1668 days


#2 posted 1632 days ago

I really like the design, I also like hearing the process you went through.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2160 days


#3 posted 1632 days ago

That’s a very nice design. The large surface areas will really showcase the mahogany. What finish are you considering? As a pending chair builder, I will be “glued” to the screen…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View sras's profile

sras

3780 posts in 1731 days


#4 posted 1632 days ago

Jim,
Glad to hear you are interested.

Brian,
If I miss something in the design process posts, let me know. It should be little different from what most people do.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View sras's profile

sras

3780 posts in 1731 days


#5 posted 1632 days ago

Captian,
I am a little nervous about getting all four legs to be square. I am thinking about glue up fixtures.

Finish is a long way off, but I have had my best luck with General Finishes wipe on products. My big question will be if I want to pre finish any (or all) parts.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View stefang's profile

stefang

12592 posts in 1936 days


#6 posted 1632 days ago

Very Nice. I like the curved pieces a lot and they all mesh real well with the design. Looks like a winner all the way around. Great approach with the prototype. I still have a prototype of Rodel’s arts & crafts chair in pine in my loft, but haven’t come further with it. I’m looking forward to seeing your blogs on this project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2848 days


#7 posted 1632 days ago

Very nice.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2557 posts in 2034 days


#8 posted 1632 days ago

Steve,
That stool is well worth the time. It looks to be sturdy and well made.
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View sras's profile

sras

3780 posts in 1731 days


#9 posted 1631 days ago

Mike(s),
The design was inspired by chairs for our kitchen table. That helped narrow down the infinite design options. I’ll show more in a future entry.

Ellen,
My one criticism of our kitchen chairs was the construction. These stools should be much sturdier.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2160 days


#10 posted 1631 days ago

If you’re nervous about gluing the four legs square to each other, keep in mind that good joinery will force the legs toward square. It should also be relatively easy to measure the diagonals and clamp the long side a bit and remeasure. Just don’t be too hasty about popping the chairs out of the clamps like I tend to do. It takes several hours at 50F for Titebond II to cure in my garage. Also, make sure your glue-up platform is flat.

At least your chairs are square. Rodel’s are trapezoizal. Hopefully, squaring them will be the same process…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View sras's profile

sras

3780 posts in 1731 days


#11 posted 1631 days ago

Thanks for the input Captian,
Actually, the side rails angle in forming a trapezoid and the rear legs are angled out. Combine that with the curved parts and that’s where I start thinking about glue up jigs. I’ll have to play around a bit when the time comes.
Good point about the joinery. The prototype is not glued up and it sits square. People have been making chairs that touch all four feet for a very long time. I ought to be able to figure it out.
Keep the suggestions coming – that’s how I’ll figure it out.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2160 days


#12 posted 1630 days ago

Oh, if you’re in the same trapezoid situation, then I would recommend loose-tenon joinery. If you make the mortises perpendicular to the mating surfaces, then regardless of the angle the pieces make with each other, the joints will be “square”. I found this out when making that Ipe bistro table a few years ago that had legs at a 3 degree angle, so the aprons had to match.

I’ve made my own router jigs and loose tenons in the past, but I think I’m going to give the Beadlock Pro system a test-drive for my first chair.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View sras's profile

sras

3780 posts in 1731 days


#13 posted 1630 days ago

Hey Captain,

That’s exactly how I have the joints set up – perpendicular mortises and angled tenons. I have a tenoning jig from Grizzly that works in most cases – special jigs for the curved parts.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2275 days


#14 posted 1627 days ago

Nice looking stool.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2581 days


#15 posted 1006 days ago

Hi Steve;

Just came across this…

Great looking chairs. I like the design very much.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

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