Simplest Stool

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 08:57
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A very simple stool that can also be used as a end table. Try a round top for a more comfortable stool.

I cannot believe we don't already have this stool as a plan.  It's so simple, and if you have a 1x12 scrap, can be just a few dollars to make.  If you prefer a rounded top, I noticed at both Lowes and Home Depot 3/4 plywood 12" rounds were just $6.  Of course you could just cut your own too.

This stool is really cute and sturdy, but I could also see it used as an occasional table.  So if you have a miter saw that double bevels, and a 2x2 and 2 1x2s, you can build this stool in probably about a half hour.  But I'm so glad to be publishing a tutorial, because there are a few tricks that I will be passing along to you.

Dimensions are shown above. Stool is suitable for counter height (NOT bar height) use.


Shopping List

1 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 10 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 11 1/2″ long or 12″ plywood round, 3/4″ thick
2 1/2″ screws (for countersinking) or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
Wood glue, wood filler, sandpaper and finishing supplies

Cut List

4 – 2×2 @ 23 1/4″ long, ends cut at a 5 degree angle AND a 5 degree bevel
4 – 1×2 @ 7″, short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 10″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 8 1/4″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 9 1/2″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
2 – 1×2 @ 8″ short point to short point, ends cut at a 5 degree angle NOT parallel to each other
1 – 1×12 @ 11 1/2″ (cut to make a square, so measure the width of your 1×12)

Cutting Instructions

To cut the legs, set you saw at a 5 degree angle and a 5 degree bevel. Trim off the end of the 2×2 as close to the end as you can. Then measure 23 1/4″ along the same edge and make a cut. You’ve got one leg. Continue simply sliding the board down and making more cuts (using the last boards cut as your first cut) until you have four legs. You should be able to get all four cuts out of one eight foot long 2×2.

For the supports and rungs, all ends are cut at a 5 degree angle, NO BEVEL. Also unlike the legs, the ends will NOT be parallel to each other. Simply make a five degree cut, flip your board over by simply rotating it 180 degrees as you would rotate a rolling pin and measure the cut, short point to short point. Make another 5 degree cut.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Mark Legs

Because the angle on the legs is only five degrees and is a double bevel, it is easy to loose track of the correct position of your legs. Stand your legs up as shown above, and mark the inside corners. Always remember that these corners will be to the inside of the leg.

Step 2

Top Supports

You will need to build two of the above legs sets, as shown above.

Step 3

Additional Rungs

Add the additional rungs as shown above. Don’t forget the glue.

Step 4

Top Supports

Attach the remaining top supports to join the two leg frames as shown above.

Step 5

Step 6


Attach the top as shown above. I screwed through the top supports into the underside of the top to hide screw holes.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
Fill holes with wood filler and let dry. Add another coat if necessary. Sand with 120 grit sandpaper (Recommended – round the top edges until the seat is comfortable to sit on) and vacuum and wipe clean. Paint (turn upside down and paint the underside first, then flip over and paint the top side) or stain as desired.


kevin (not verified)

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 09:53

Hi Ana,

Great little project. I am a little confused on the leg cuts. I think I get the idea of it, but this brought up an idea I had for you a while ago.. example videos. Is there any chance you would want to do some videos of yourself with some of these tips you provide? I'd love to see a close up of your miter saw and you setting it at 5 degree angle/bevel, and showing the cuts, for example. I am pretty sure you can set up a youtube channel and link the videos to your site here.

Mandy (not verified)

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:05

Ok I am so confused. My counters and bar is the same height. They are 35.5" to the top of them. Would this be too short to use with them?

Cari (not verified)

Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:26

You state that these are for "counter" height and not bar height... is there a reason that these plans (with a few adjustments) cannot work as bar height? We just finished our table and would love to add a few stools for when kiddos have company or we just have too many people and not enough seats... Your thoughts would be great! Our table is approx 43" tall and 44" square top! We just love it! If I could get the lighting right, I would post a few pics for you and your readers, but all my pics look horrible! LOL! Thanks!

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