17th Century Oak Stool

The 17th century oak stool is a great transitional woodworking project to step up your woodworking skills. In times of old chairs showed power and social status. People of power had chairs with carved arms and legs. Backs and seats with comfortable cushions for the royalty to relax in, while the common folk sat on simpler object such as stools and even the floor. In the 1600’s the stools were made from just 5 boards.It was a simple and effective way to create a place to sit. In the 1700’s the stools improved in style and construction. The legs could be simple or turned with fine coves and rounds. The bottom of the legs were connected with stretchers with mitered tenons and mortises. The rails also had the same joinery and they were all held securely with a dowel and draw bore method. I thought it might be fun to build one of these stools. It was a chance to express myself in the design of it.

What i enjoy about owning this stool is it has versatile uses. At 22” high, it’s comfortable to sit on and also makes for a nice end table beside a reading chair. I’ve found it’s a nice place to set a laptop on and work from it in my chair. And with the laptop, it’s even enjoyable to watch movies from. The stool isn’t just limited to inside the house. Make a pair of these and they can be used in the workshop as saw benches. I’ve been told that in times of old, a pair of these were used to create a makeshift wake, placing the coffin on top of them. What i enjoy about making this stool is it increases your woodworking level. It is the next step up from making a table with straight legs, to a chair with compound splayed legs.

This stool is right in the middle. The legs from the front are straight. But from the sides the legs are splayed at 8 degrees. The mitered tenons might be too much of a jump in woodworking skills for some, but it can still be done with a simpler method using dowels. The legs could be finely turned on the lathe with the beauty of the shape and curves adding elegance and style. Or they can be just simple straight legs to serve as an utilitarian piece of furniture. Either way, this is a fun and rewarding project to push your skills, your creative abilities and connects you with woodworking of old. Not to mention, it gives you a truly versatile piece of furniture for your house.

Try making one today and enjoy the joys of woodworking. And when you are done, do a little dance to celebrate! Chad Stanton Stanton Fine Furniture Wood Choppin’ Time. com