Stool: Plan, Milling Stock

Now that the bookshelf prototype is glued up and ready for varnishing, I’m able to move on to my next project, which will be a short stool, essentially a single-step stool similar in spirit to the one that my great-great grandfather made. It won’t resemble his in size, wood type, or joinery; it will be adult-size and not use nails. Here is the general plan:

[Update: The plan is now available on the Plans and Guides page.]

I’ll make the whole thing from a wide piece of beech that I got last year. The top has already made an appearance here, although back then, it wasn’t flat, uniform, and smooth, as it is now. This board is 8/4 stock, but unfortunately, part of one side of a 2.5-foot section isn’t usable. After looking at the requirements for this project, I determined that this section contains enough usable wood, though I have to be careful where I cut. The legs will be 1.5″ square, and the stretchers will be 1.5″ x 1″.

Milling the legs and stretchers is a little more work than I expected. Because the board is quite cupped, and also because I’m trying to avoid some nasty parts of the board, I decided to mill each piece to thickness individually instead of the entire board at once. I’m first ripping out sections like this (notice the wedge in the kerf at the end):

You can barely see the nasty stuff I’m trying to work around in this shot; the discoloration at the upper right and a previous (aborted) attempt at trying to slice that stuff off.

After ripping, I have to flatten one face, square an adjacent face, saw some more, and plane some more. So far, I have one leg and one stretcher four-square. If I didn’t have the big saw, I probably wouldn’t even be that far.

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