With two pieces of pine and easy tools, make this easy-to-store seat. Perfect picnic. A folding stool or two is perfect for a picnic in the park – or your backyard. To make a matching table, just upsize the stool components.

This easy job made from two pieces of dimensional pine can help resolve seating lacks at your next gathering– and it folds nicely away for the next party.

All you require is a 4 ′ 1 × 8, an 8 ′ 1 × 4, some 3⁄8 ″ x 1-1⁄4 ″ bolts and 3⁄8 ″ nuts and washers, and a fundamental set of tools– all from the home.

Legs First

Begin by marking a centerline along the length of the 1 × 4, then rip it in half for the legs, seat cleats, brace and handle.

This cut is a easy and quick task for a table saw, nevertheless, the jigsaw can do the job, too. Set the

Smooth moves. After cutting the leg stock down the middle with a jigsaw, utilize a block plane to tidy up the cuts.
Smooth steps. After cutting the leg stock down the middle with a jigsaw, make use of a block airplane to tidy up the cuts.

jigsaw blade for no orbit (for the cleanest cut), then take your time and go sluggish to cut a straight line as you make the cut. (You can also clamp a straightedge parallel to the cutline, counter the width of

Once the piece is ripped in half, utilize a block aircraft to smooth and clean up the saw marks. Each half will be roughly 1-3⁄4 ″ wide.

Using a miter saw, cut the 4 leg pieces to length. (Go ahead and cut the four cleats, brace and manage to length, too, and set them aside in the meantime.).

The next step is the positioning for the bolts for the stool to be able to pivot open and closed. Find the center (both length and width) of each leg and cleat and mark an “X.” Likewise mark 3⁄4 ″ in from one end of each piece and place another centered “X.” Make these marks on both sides of the cleats and legs. Decide now which end is up.

The cleats and legs need a half-circle curve at the top, and a quarter-circle curve at the bottom.
The legs and cleats need a half-circle curve at the top, and a quarter-circle curve at the bottom.

These pieces need half-circle curves cut on the top ends, and quarter-circle curves on the other to enable smooth folding operation. Set a compass to 3⁄4 ″ and with the point on the top “X,” mark a half-circle radius. For the bottom of the legs and seat cleats, reset the compass to the width of the leg and mark a quarter-circle radius.

Use a jigsaw to cut the curves– but because they’re likely too tight to stay perfectly on the line, cut a series of straight lines just proud of your arcs. Form the curves making use of a rasp or random-orbit sander.

The cleats and legs need bolt holes, and all those on what will be exterior faces after assembly must be countersunk, so the bolt heads and nuts won’t interfere with the folding operation. Use a colored pen to mark the countersink locations.

Clearly marked. The holes that get countersinks (all exterior-facing bolt holes) are marked with a different colored ink.
Clearly marked. The holes that get countersinks (all exterior-facing bolt holes) are marked with a various colored ink.

Use a 7⁄8 ″ Forstner bit to drill 1⁄2 ″-deep countersink holes. (A spade or paddle bit can be used, but a Forstner bit leaves a cleaner cut.) Validate that the hole is deep enough by positioning a washer and the head of a bolt or a nut in it; the fasteners should sit below the face of the board. Now drill centered 3⁄8 ″ clearance holes to allow the bolts to go through.

Leg Assembly.

Assemble the cleats and legs together into pairs, with 3⁄8 ″ fender washers behind each nut and bolt, and between the legs. Lock the nuts in place with Loctite or other thread-locking product, so they don’t work.

Lock it. A few drops of a thread-locking product will keep the bolts in place as you unfold the seat and fold.

The completed assemblies should mirror one another.

The leg assemblies are connected by the handle and brace. Both pieces are the same general size, however use a jigsaw to cut a curve in the manage for comfortable grasping. Attach the brace and handle to the cleats with pocket screws.

Screw it. Use pocket screws to attach the brace and manage to the cleats.
Screw it. Usage pocket screws to connect the handle and brace to the cleats.

Sitting Pretty.

Set the leg assemblies aside and turn to the seat. First, cut the two seat pieces to length from the 1 × 8 at the miter saw.

Now it’s time to lay out the curved edges (if you leave the edges straight, the seat will bite into the back of the sitter’s legs). Make a basic due to the fact that this curve is too huge for most compasses.

trammel (also known as a beam compass) from a thin strip of wood and a pencil. Drill a hole in one end of the strip for the pencil to go through, then determine 26-5⁄8 ″ to the other end, and hammer a nail through the strip at that point.

A thin strip of wood, a pencil and a nail is all it requires to make a basic trammel for marking large curves.
Trammel. A thin strip of wood, a pencil and a nail is all it takes to make a simple trammel for marking huge curves.

Utilizing the nail as a pivot point, mark the arc on the two seat pieces. Keep in mind in the photo above that I have an offcut supporting the trammel at the nail end, to keep it co-planar with the workpiece.

Mark the curve on both pieces, then cut them out with the jigsaw. Smooth the edges with a block plane and/or sandpaper.

Put everything Together.

With the leg assembly upside down, position it atop the halves of the seat. The centers of the leg cleats need to associate where the edges of the two seat pieces come together. (To make it much easier, you can mark the centerline on the edge of the cleats as I have actually shown here– however you’ll want to sand off those marks prior to you apply a finish.).

Perfect spacing. A scrap of wood assists to find the cleat position to the seat as you screw them together.
Perfect spacing. A scrap of wood helps to locate the cleat position to the seat as you screw them together.

Drill two 3⁄8 ″ countersink holes and two 3⁄16 ″ clearance holes on the toe end of each seat cleat.

It’s necessary that there is no binding or pinching in order for your stool to fold efficiently. Make use of scrap pieces of wood (in the very same thickness as the legs) as spacers, positioning them in between the cleat and legs as you locate the cleats on the underside of the seat pieces. Now use 2 ″-long # 8 wood screws to attach the cleats to the seat.

The last pieces are the stretchers– without them, the stool might collapse under load.

Rip the staying piece of your 1 × 8 (you ought to have a 16 ″-long piece left) in half, then smooth the edges with a block plane. You’ll end up with two pieces that are each approximately 35⁄8 ″ broad. After cleaning up the cuts with a block plane, you’ll be close to the 3-1⁄2 ″ width kept in mind in the cutlist (the accurate width is not crucial).

Now cut them to length, and utilize your trammel to set out curves that match those on the seat. Cut the curves with a jigsaw, and sand the edges smooth.

Nailed it. The last step in assembly is to nail the stretchers in place (after drilling pilot holes for the nails, of course).
Accomplished. The final step in assembly is to nail the stretchers in place (after drilling pilot holes for the nails, obviously).

With the seat folded and lying flat on the bench, line up the stretchers to the legs, mark your nail locations, then drill 1⁄16 ″ pilot holes. Nail the stretchers in place making use of 1-1⁄4 ″ nails.

Discoloration & Complete.

The smooth folding action of the legs has a tight tolerance; paint or a thick coat of polyurethane may interfere with that. So, I recommend using a stain (if you don’t like the appearances of raw pine) and wipe-on poly. And don’t leave your stool out in the severe weather– it does, after all, fold for simple transportation and storage.

In the opening picture, you might have seen the matching table. That’s merely a scaled-up version of the stool. You’ll find a SketchUp model for it– in addition to the model for the stool– in the online extras.

Discover the center (both length and width) of each leg and cleat and mark an “X.” Also mark 3⁄4 ″ in from one end of each piece and location another centered “X.” Make these marks on both sides of the legs and cleats. For the bottom of the legs and seat cleats, reset the compass to the width of the leg and mark a quarter-circle radius.

With the leg assembly upside down, place it atop the halves of the seat. The centers of the leg cleats should line up with where the edges of the two seat pieces come together. Make use of scrap pieces of wood (in the exact same thickness as the legs) as spacers, putting them between the cleat and legs as you find the cleats on the underside of the seat pieces.


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