Rustic Scrap Wood Stool Tutorial
As a family that owns four stools, I still have a hard time finding one when I need it. I think it’s because they all end up in my kids’ bathroom. For some reason the two that we usually keep in there just aren’t enough for my toddlers. Whether you’re always looking for a stool, or know someone else who is, you can make your own stool pretty easily and quickly using a small amount of lumber. The one that I made was a gift for some relatives for Christmas, and I was able to make it using scrap lumber that I had sitting in my shop. If you don’t have scrap lumber in these sizes, you can buy the lumber for this stool for less than $7!
This stool is very robust and there is a lot of room for feet, because the steps are made out of 2×6’s. I’ve made a stool out of 2×4’s before, and it’s just a little bit too small for adult feet.
Follow the steps below to make your own stool, and let me know if you do!
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What you’ll need:
- Miter saw
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
- Orbital Sander
- Router/Router Table (optional, see step 2)
- (3) 2x6x14” (steps)
- (3) 2x4x11” (back brace, top step supports)
- (2) 2x4x16 ½” (bottom step supports)
Step 1: Cut your wood
- Using your miter saw, cut wood either all at once, or as you go.
- I found that it is doable to cut all of your wood at once, but you must make sure that the 2×6’s you have are the right width. You may need to add or subtract from the step supports and the back brace according to the actual dimensions of your wood.
- If you want to cut as you go, here’s what you would do:
- Measure/cut steps & join top steps
- Measure/cut top supports & join them to top steps
- Measure/cut bottom supports & join them to top supports
- Measure/cut back brace and join to back of stool
Step 2: Join top steps
- At this point, you will be joining two 2x6x14” pieces to make on big top step.
- I decided to trim the two edged of the board that were going to be joined together so that I could achieve a smooth top step without any gaps. This is totally optional, but I really like how it looks. (see picture below for difference between untrimmed edges vs. trimmed edges)
- I used a straight bit on my router table to trim those sides, but you could also use a table saw, planer, or jointer. You just need to take about 1/8″ off of the edge (the size of a standard saw blade).
- To attach the two pieces, drill pocket holes with your Kreg Jig on the long edge of one 2×6 board, and attach the edges of the board, while the pieces are lying flat, with wood glue and 2 ½” pocket hole screws.
Step 3: Attach step supports
- The step supports are attached to each other and to the steps with pocket hole screws.
- *Again, I trimmed the edges of my 2×4 boards on my router table to eliminate the gap that’s caused by the rounded edge that the boards have when you buy them. This is totally optional.*
- Be sure to drill the holes in the right direction: (FIY the pictures will show that I did less pocket holes than I have told you, but the amount that I have in the plans is better.)
- 3 holes on inside of (2) 2x4x11” top support pieces
- 5 holes on inside of (2) 2x4x16 ½” bottom support pieces
- 3 will be on the back side to attach to the top support
- 2 will be on the front side to attach to the bottom step
- Attach the top step supports to the bottom step supports with wood glue and 2 ½” pocket hole screws.
- Attach the big top step to the supports with wood glue and pocket hole screws.
- Attach the smaller bottom step to the bottom support with wood glue and pocket hole screws.
Step 4: Attach back brace
- The back brace will go between the supports and under the top step. It would be a good idea to double check this measurement and trim your board as needed.
- Drill 2 pocket holes into either end of the 2x4x11” board and attach to the stool as shown in the picture below with wood glue and 2 ½” pocket hole screws.
Step 5: Sand, stain, and finish!
- Since feet, sometimes bare, will be stepping on this stool, make sure it is mega smooth. I used my orbital sander with 80 grit paper first, then moved my way up with 120, and then 220 grit.
- To stain this stool, I did one coat of Golden Oak by Minwax.
- You could use polyurethane to seal this, but I used this spray can of Lacquer that I had on hand.
- I am all about having a smooth finish on furniture, so I will share with you my special way of making my furniture ultra-smooth.
- After the clear coat has cured for AT LEAST 24 hours, but ideally a few days, spray some water on your piece and gently sand it with a 320 grit sanding block. If you notice it starting to foam, you haven’t waited long enough and you need to let it cure longer. Dry your piece off with a towel, and feel the polished goodness of what you’ve just created!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are able to make this stool for yourself!
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