Stuart Mason Dambrot, ‘the improvised life’s resident concilientist|futurist has sent us many wonderful ideas since our first syncronous meeting on a New York City street corner. The latest, the work of designer Siren Elise Wilhelmsen, inventor of the Toast Spoons we recently blogged as well as Found, an oddly stylish stool put together from scraps found in a carpenter’s workshop. “Depending on which business and which projects they are working on, the waste will always be different and one stool will never look the same as the other; each item is unique.”

The blocks of wood need to be well cut with nice square edges – not quite as random as the idea implies, but definitely do-able with a power saw (see Nina Saltman’s advice below). We’re wondering if we could get away with using a really strong glue and clamping the wood, layer by layer, or if some other secret buttressing is required, like screwing one board to another to another and another, and then just glueing/clamping the end pieces.

We emailed Nina Saltman, our project advisor, to see if our thinking was on the right track, and for her ideas on how to construct such a stool. Here’s what she wrote:

“Yes it is possible to glue and clamp something like this. You can use big band clamps.

Or you could devise some sort of jury-rigged home-made box, or boards screwed/clamped to a table to enclose the boards and thus clamp the boards together.

You could also dowel the pieces together, and only have to glue/clamp the end pieces of plywood to the joined scraps. You could use finish nails, or screws, and “putty” the holes. It would not be noticeable at all.

A couple common methods of joining are using a “biscuit joiner” and “biscuits”, or dowels (see below). You can dowel without a jig, but pieces get a little misaligned sometimes. Though, in this case it probably wouldn’t matter, as it looks like the top part of the stool has been cut flush AFTER it is all clamped together. Thus ensuring a flush top.”

O-h-h-h…we get it now!

Nina also included  a link to “All About Biscuit Joiners” by Scott Gibson.

Thanks Nina!

Related posts: toast spoons and the (r)evolutionary process

mystery chair (d-i-y?)

d-i-y: pallet chair (and stool and lamp…)

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6 replies on “d-i-y stylish stools made of random wood scraps

  1. Biscuits and dowels are superfluous and add no strength IF you get a good glue joint, which means full contact between two clean wood surfaces, clamped well. Such a joint is indeed “stronger than the wood itself” like the Elmer’s ads used to say. The benefit from biscuits and dowels is alignment – – done right, they can lead to less planing, routing or sanding to make the surface flat once the glue dries. Because of the extra time, I personally usually do without them unless perfect alignment is necessary. (I build furniture and museum exhibits for a living)

  2. Thank you for this. We love getting different takes on how-to’s. One big question: what is the best glue to use for something like this. Elmer’s really? Or…what?

  3. Right now I’m infatuated with Titebond III, because it’s slightly darker colored, it has a longer open time (which means you have longer to get everything together and clamped before it sets), and it stays a little rubbery so it’s easier to clean off the excess after it dries. It’s also dang near waterproof when it’s cured. On the other hand, it’s runnier and a bit messier. Titebond and Titebond II are also both fine. They’re all available at big box home supply stores and hardware stores. Norm Abram used to swear by plain ol’ Elmer’s white glue. They’re all strong enough. Just try it out! You can always make another one that’s better because you’ve learned from the mistakes on the first one!

  4. Thanks for your glue recommendations. And best of all, we love your last line: “Just try it out! You can always make another one that’s better because you’ve learned from the mistakes on the first one!”

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