Three Legged Stool – Finished!

The stool is finished, long live the stool.

In the midst of a giant work crisis yesterday and continuing this morning I managed to “steal” a few hours away and finish my little stool project.  At the same time I think I set some kind of world record for the number of conference calls attended in a 36 hour period.  It was surreal.  I was dialed into a meeting roughly every hour from 8 am Saturday morning through 1 am Sunday morning.  And two more already today.  This is, in fact, part of why I like to make things.  It is a great antidote for work stresses.

So, on the stool then.  I sanded it through 320, sprayed it with water and wiped it down to raise the grain.  I left it to dry for an hour and then lightly re-sanded it with 320 to remove any fuzz.  The “recipe” I’m following is generally what is suggested in Glen D. Huey’s “Finishes that Pop” video, although I skipped the glaze and took a few small shortcuts.

Raise the Grain

Raise the Grain

After raising the grain I slathered on a coat of Dark Red Mahogany water dye that I mixed up.  I wet the surface and kept it wet for a minute or two, then wiped it dry.  Glen Huey, in his “Finishes that Pop” video recommends 5 minutes, but I believe his justification is for highly figured woods.  This isn’t, and I was in a hurry.  I tend to rush finishing, I need to slow down at this stage but I’m always eager to see the final product.

This is the same dye I used on my Winding Sticks, but I diluted it slightly more.

Dye Stain Applied

Dye Stain Applied

I let that dry for an hour or so, and applied a coat of boiled linseed oil.  Just plain hardware store stuff.  The idea behind the oil is twofold as I understand it.  First, it helps accentuate the figure – in this cast there isn’t any.  Second it helps prevent the shellac pulling the dye back out of the wood and lubricates the brush or pad while applying the shellac.

Plain Boiled Linseed Oil Applied

Plain Boiled Linseed Oil Applied

The oil coat should probably dry for at least 24-36 hours.  I googled “drying time for boiled linseed oil”, and found a thread on the SAPFM that talked about being being to overcoat it with shellac immediately…so I after an hour or two I applied the first coat of orange shellac.  In the end I applied two coats on the legs and underside, and an extra coat on the seat itself.  I didn’t dilute the shellac, but I de-nibbed with a white synthetic pad between coats.  I sanded the seat lightly with 320 before the final third coat.

Second Coat of Shellac Going On

Second Coat of Shellac Going On

I left the stool to dry overnight (I had to get to the 1:00 am meeting, after all).  After my 8 am meeting today I rubbed it out with 0000 steel wool, then rubbed in a coat of wax with the same steel wool.  I like it.  It’s comfortable and the finish has a nice warm glow.



My Stool Collection

My Stool Collection

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4 thoughts on “Three Legged Stool – Finished!

  1. Wow! What a finish! I really like how that turned out.

    Ok, here’s my idea for the stool. In front of the door before you leave, you site down and put on your shoes!

  2. Dean

    Okay, you’ve done this before haven’t you? That stool looks too good, and it’s hard to believe that you got the legs so round and smooth without a lathe! And the seat shaping looks professional. Maybe you took lessons(?). Wonderful finish. A project to be proud of. Thanks for sharing how you built this little gem.

    • Thanks for the compliments, but I’m totally making this up as I go. I’m sure you could do it too, just keep tweaking it until you’re happy with it.

      It was a fun little project and I learned a lot. Shaping the legs wasn’t too hard, although it took a little work to get the spokeshave set up right. At first it wasn’t cutting as nicely as it should. After flattening the back of the blade and getting it to a mirror polish on the stones and then sharpening it I was able to get it to cut nicely. I think it could be slightly sharper still, but this was the best I could do freehand.

  3. Looks great! Love the finish on it.

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