I started out with the seat of the stool based on a hand-drawn sketch. The initial idea was to use maple wood for the whole stool, so I bought some at the local woodshop Dikhout. Then, one of the other students brought a small block of purpleheart with him, a left-over from one of his earlier woodworking projects. It was just enough to combine it with the maple to make the seat of the stool.

After having squared and planed the five pieces of wood (3 maple, 2 purpleheart) and having cut them to size, they are glued together using regular wood glue.

Seat made of maple and purpleheart wood.

As a beginner I find it amazing that something as simple as this seat can be so professional-looking already, thanks to the use of proper machines.

Seat after being glued
Seat after being glued

The next step is to make the mortises in the seat, and to create four legs with tenons. I used a Japanese saw to make the tenons.

Tenons drawn on the legs
Tenons drawn on the legs

The picture below gives an idea of what the stool should look like when finished. I plan to taper the ends of each leg on their two inner sides, such that they look more elegant.

An impression of what it should look like
An impression of what it will look like
Close-up of tapered leg and cross beam joint

The stool has two sets of these cross beams, where each set consists of two beams running in parallel. The sets are at a slightly offset height of each other. This is done so that the tenons of the second set of beams can lock those of the first. This locking of tenons was obviously not needed, but I thought it would be a funny feature.

The mortises in the legs were created with a machine, and not manually with a chisel. As the woodworking course was almost coming to an end I decided to take the opportunity to work with machine that exists specially for the purpose of making mortises – I don’t know its name. Since that machine works like a router, you can only create rounded mortises and not squared ones.

The end result

So here’s the stool in its final shape, yet still without its final layers of varnish. The stool is in use in my son’s bedroom for several years already, so I don’t think that it will get its varnish any time soon. 🙂

Overtime, the purpleheart has turned brown. If I will get to varnish it, I probably need to sand it again to get its purple color back. The guy from the woodstore recommended applying a bit of citric acid before applying the varnish in order to brighten up the purple color even more.

We’ll see! 🙂

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