Adjustable Stool Design

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Forum topic by Alan S posted 07-07-2010 02:13 AM 3413 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alan S

178 posts in 2737 days

07-07-2010 02:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve been wrestling with how to design an adjustable stool for my scroll saw and other tools. I want something functional that will still look good. I finally came up with this concept.

Stool Concept

A peg will fit in one of the holes to adjustable the seat height. My concern is stability and expansion/contraction of the bottom sleeve. I’m worried the post might bind at some times or be too loose at other times to be stable. I’m also not sure if the feet and support brackets will be strong enough to support my weight (I’m only 150 lbs, but gaining).

What do you think?

13 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115175 posts in 2997 days

#1 posted 07-07-2010 03:13 AM

I think I have the same concerns you do.

-- Custom furniture

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2495 days

#2 posted 07-07-2010 03:20 AM

I’m confused. Is this a table to put your scroll saw on or a stool to sit on when working on the scroll saw?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

178 posts in 2737 days

#3 posted 07-07-2010 03:24 AM

This is supposed to be a seat for use while using the scroll saw. I’ll try and make it a little more comfortable than how it looks now (round the corners, etc.) Can you think of a way to mitigate my problems?

View Viktor's profile


456 posts in 2839 days

#4 posted 07-07-2010 09:23 PM

I don’t think shrinking/swelling will be a problem.

First of all those post and sleeve are relatively thin and possible lateral movement will be small (1/32” max).

Second, with wood expansion the inner dimension of the sleeve would increase (!), but only (!) if wall thickness < inner sleeve opening.
This happens because not only the walls become thicker, but the expansion also occurs along the perimeter, compensating for wall thickening. (Similar thing happens to pipes when they get hot).
However, the inner post would still expand more than the sleeve opening. But again, this difference will be small and OK for chair operation. I would be more concerned with wobble due to eventual wear. You could design another stop mechanism where the post would be somehow wedged in addition to being pinned.

In case you are curious:
Expansion of the post = increase of the opening, if wall thickness = 0 (or post/sleeve diameter = infinity).

*All above considerations are based on assumption that the wood expands equally in tangential and radial directions.

View swirt's profile


2107 posts in 2392 days

#5 posted 07-07-2010 09:45 PM

mis post -sorry

-- Galootish log blog,

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3069 days

#6 posted 07-07-2010 10:01 PM

Jim – you cracked me up!

Alan – first and foremost – since this is going to be a work stool in which you’ll spend a good amount of time working, it HAS to be comfortable -otherwise all the designs in the world to deal with height won’t matter.

FWIW – I’d make the feet larger and with only their ends in contact with the floor so that you only have 4 contaacts points with the floow as opposed to the entire surfaces which makes it more wobbly. other than that I’d use some sort of ACME thread much like in a piano stool:

or just get a piano stool :) which includes the padded seat and is actually very comfortable.

another one:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jeff's profile


116 posts in 2335 days

#7 posted 07-07-2010 11:03 PM

I second the piano stool idea, although I think you could make your own using this hardware:,48759&ap=1

-- Jeff

View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2346 days

#8 posted 07-08-2010 12:31 AM

I got a dental assistant’s swivel stool with foot rail and comfy seat, heavy duty bearings, for $5.00 at an auction. Worth every cent.

Although there is something “romantic” (for lack of a better word) about building your own (stool, cabinets, etc.) I think my time is better spent when items are readily available that cheap…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

178 posts in 2737 days

#9 posted 07-08-2010 06:05 PM

Thanks for all your comments! I appreciate the mentality of just go buy a doctor’s stool, and that’s a pretty good idea, but this would be my first furniture project, so I wouldn’t mind practicing a little on something that’s not meant to go inside my home. I’ve revised my design:

Revised Design

The seat is circular and the top is rounded over. The base is wider and only makes contact in 5 places (4 feet and center). I’m convinced the sliding mechanism won’t bind if I leave a gap of around 1/16”. I like the idea of a wedge, but I need to think about that some more.

Thanks for all your comments!

View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2346 days

#10 posted 07-08-2010 07:51 PM

I move mine around a fair bit so the wheels come in handy, and I also know my floor is not level enough for 4 or 5 legs…

Thinking more about this, I mostly stand at the scrollsaw, and use it more by my workbench when sketching up something or drinking coffee and reading.

All the Best!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2342 days

#11 posted 07-09-2010 01:44 AM

BUY an office chair and BUILD a new stand for your saw! That is what I did and it works great!

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View woody57's profile


647 posts in 2847 days

#12 posted 07-10-2010 10:06 PM

If you’re like me you need lots of padding. I’ve got one of those used dental assistant chairs and it is great. I found one that they were throwing out because the cover was worn and got it free. It has adjustable height and has a back rest that is adjustable. Great at the scroll saw.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2594 days

#13 posted 07-10-2010 10:09 PM

Drum throne…

Google it!


Me likey !

-- -- Neil

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