One of our most popular posts over the years is Hangable, Folding Stools and Chairs, about seventies industrial designer Roger Tallon’s brilliant stools and chairs that fold flat to hang on a wall. We first saw them at Lydia Wills’ apartment, above. We’ve received numerous emails from people looking to buy or make the ingenious design. And although they are occasionally available on Ebay and vintage sites like Pamono for $150 to $500 a pair, we have yet to find any source fabricating the licensed design.
But we DID figure out a DIY approach that would make for endlessly useful stool/side-table OR enlarged to make a cool folding table:
Making the stool yourself requires careful analysis of how it is made and the hinged hardware that allows the stool to fold. We blew up images so you could take a close look.
When you look closely at the stool, you see that is constructed of three main parts:
—The round seat (with hold for hanging)
—One rectangular leg that fits into a squared-off U-shaped leg.
—Squared-off U-shaped leg (made of three pieces of wood, or cut from a single sheet)
This plan of a Roger Tallon Folding Chair gives a sense of how the stool is put together; its folding, flat-pack legs that fit together like a puzzle.
Searching folding stool plans at the U.S. Patent Office can yield some interesting designs and ideas for hinging hardware… Check out what you find when you google U.S. Patent office folding stool plans
From the two sets of images below, it looks like the hardware changed over time. There are four hinges attaching the legs to the seat…
…as well as a rod that runs through the two leg pieces, allowing them to pivot securely about mid-way.
Our approach would be to make a life-size prototype out of Foam Core to figure out the dimensions and mechanisms.
Then we’d hunt for the hardware, especially those unique hinges, which are the key. We’d take or send a couple of the images to places that send unique furniture hardware.
If we couldn’t find the hinges, we might approach it the way Laney Shaughnessy did in his 2-part stool tutorial on YouTube (we’d streamline his design and remove the unnecessary footrests).
About halfway through part 2 (at about 16:00 in), you can see the hinging mechanism he made of wood.
Even simpler, is the very loud Bob’s folding stool with piano-hinge legs seen in this video.