Footstool Revisited

Back in 2016 I made a footstool from some reclaimed parts. Unfortunately it got broken relatively quickly and my wife complained that the underlay I’d used instead of foam was uncomfortable. So it got relegated to the back of the shed, waiting for a repair.

Tear down

Shortly after, I stripped the stool down so I could examine what went wrong. One of the problems was how I’d used the pocket screws to fix it together. These were on the inside meaning that the screws angled outwards. This meant that there was not much wood for them to screw into. Some of the wood split and some of the screws had not been screwed fully tight. So the joint was not supported by the screws and was allowed to move. That, in turn, put a strain on the other joints and eventually one of the legs buckled.

As mentioned the underlay turned out not to be comfortable even with many layers. I managed to get an offcut of memory foam from when we did up the bed head. This is a dense foam so should be more comfortable for feet.

This bag of parts again got relegated to the back of the shed whilst I worked on other projects. Recently I’ve been trying to free up some space in the shed so I can extend one of the benches so it made sense to finish off this project and get it back out,

Rebuild

One of the problems with the first design was that I was limited in my options due to some large holes in the wood. After puzzling for a bit as to where I could get a plug of the right size to patch those, I realised that I had just what I needed already made, the old cross pieces. So I chopped a section off each end and tapped them in with some glue.

Now that I had a solid platform to work from I thought I stood a better chance at building a stronger result. I did think about using some metal brackets to join the wood but after posting that suggestion on Instagram and getting chastised by the woodworkers, I pondered if I could make a strong wood joint. One person suggested a mortice and tenon joint but as my cross pieces are quite thin and near the edge that would not have worked very well. So I picked a lap joint. The legs were cut so that the broken bits from the failed pocket joints were removed. This allowed for a large glueing area for the new side pieces.

Once the new frame was glued up, I checked the top was flat and sanded the corners so they were round to match the legs. I mixed the sawdust from this sanding with some PVA glue and filled up all of the gaps.

The next step is to stain the wood to match the rest and to reassemble the top.

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