How to Make Wooden Bar Stools

Written by lauren wise
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There are many different types of bar stools, but the most common are 4-leg wooden bar stools for ultimate stability. You can choose what type of wood you want to use, but pick a wood that is easy for carving and sawing. An ideal bar stool has a seat large enough for a grown man, so the circumference should be around 24 inches. The legs should be from 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall, depending on how high the bar counter is. This article is for one stool: adjust wood and screws purchase accordingly for more than one.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4 pieces of wood for stool legs, at least 3 inches thick, circular or squared, cut to desired length
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • 1 square or circular seat, around 4 inches thick
  • Chisel
  • 4 large screws, 3 inches long
  • Varnish or stain (optional)
  • Padding and upholstery (optional)

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  1. 1

    Decide measurements for the stool, depending upon the bar height. Decide if you want the seat to be circular or square. Circular is the most common.

  2. 2

    Decide what type of wood to use. Common varieties include oak, beech and maple. Make sure the seat part is about 4 inches thick and two feet across. It should be a sturdy block of wood. Sand the edges and trim with the handsaw if you want to alter or polish up the shape.

  3. 3

    Drill holes into the four corners of the underside of the bar stool's seat. With the chisel, dig into this hole slightly to make it just large enough to insert a screw head. Insert screws into each of the four corner holes on the bar stool's seat bottom. The sharp point of the screw should be poking out just enough from the hole that you can secure the stool legs to each one.

  4. 4

    Trim the wood legs to the height of your stool. Make sure the pieces of wood are at least 3 inches thick so they have the stability to hold up as a bar stool that adults sit on. Sand the tops and bottoms of the pieces of wood if you want rounded edges.

  5. 5

    Insert the bar stool's legs. Use the drill to create a hole halfway down into the top of the leg. This is where you will insert the sharp ends of the screws in the bar stool's seat. This is basically fitting the pieces together.

  6. 6

    Squirt a couple of drops of the wood glue inside the bar stool's seat holes around the screw heads. Slowly and carefully insert the emerged screw into the hold on the top of the bar stool's leg. Screw them in until you feel resistance in the tightness of the fit between the bar stool's seat and the legs.

  7. 7

    Wipe away excess wood glue. Stand the bar stool up, and let dry. Make sure the bar stool stands stable on all four legs without wobbling or being uneven.

Tips and warnings

  • Add backs to the bar stools, if desired.
  • Add an extra layer of upholstered padding to the stool seat, if desired.
  • Sand the wood beforehand if there are rough edges or splinters. Using varnish or stain adds some character and colour to the bar stools. A sealant can also help protect the bar stools from spills and scratches.
  • Always be cautious when working with power tools, strong adhesives or sharp tools.

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