stools: a gateway to Medieval and Greenwoodworking

So, I know a lot of people start their journey into woodworking with a box made from lumber yard dimensioned pine. (actually the wood is called “SPF” which stands for “spruce, pine, fir” meaning it could be any of those woods, but in reality most of the stuff I see is Ponderosa pine.)

But since most of those people never step beyond the making of a box or beyond using dimensioned pine, I think that they really need to make a stool to break away from the “square” and flat to really start their spiral into making “real” furniture…

You see, with a box and with pre dimensioned lumber they are stuck with square and flat. And they are stuck with thinking that they have to use a table saw (or chop box or RA saw…) to keep things flat and square.

And much furniture is neither.

my stool for the class
a three legged stool I made

Making a 3 or 4 legged stool, out of material split from logs, immediately breaks away from the square and flat shackles of modern woodworking thinking.

Furthermore: when you split and hew legs and seat you get a “feel” for the wood that you do not get with power tools. and the stool almost seems to grow, as you make extra legs and discard some to the fireplace, and as you chop and smooth and shape the seat, you follow to some extent the way the wood split in the first place.

And Angles! no longer are you enslaved to the drill press to make super accurate 90 degree angles! No! On your handmade stool you will want to make the legs angle outwards 20 to 25 degrees off from square… So you will sight the angle and freehand drill it…

And then you will realise that the crude legs and crude tools have taught you how to make the legs and seat for a better chair… and you will try to make that chair!

See it all leads, to making better and better…

and angles are no longer a fearsome mystery…

and then of course you will have to make a joint stool… 😉

be well


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