Monday, January 9, 2012


Alright, here's the deal. I've been busy with home improvements for the last few months which have kept me out of the shop. Therefore, not many new blog post on Plane Shavings. My mom reads my blog, and for the last month or so I've been hearing "When are you going to post something new on your blog? I'm tired of checking on it and seeing ""Another One for the Till""!" (This was prior to "My Shop in Shambles" post.) So, although not a lot of woodworking here, this one's for you Mom!

We bought a set of four bar stools about three years ago. Nice Windsor-ish style with swivel bases. We've enjoyed these, but over time, the swivel feature had gotten so loose on a few of them that they would swivel and bang against the wall or counter with little more than a breeze, marking the walls and dinging up the bow-back of the stool. So the other day I took one apart to see if the ball-bearing swivel plate was serviceable. I jokingly sat on the base of the disassembled stool and said to my wife, Jen, "All fixed!" Well, she said she'd be fine with that. So after some discussion, we decided I'd make some padded cushions for them and give them a fresh new look. The following pictures are the before, during, and after of the stool transformation.

So, right or wrong, here was my process. I marked off 13" circles on 3/4" ply with dividers and cut out with a jig saw and sanded the edges smooth and slightly rounded. I cut matching circles from a sheet of 2" high density foam and stapled these to the plywood circles around the edges. Then I wrapped this combination in cotton batting, pulling tightly and stapling from one side and then to the opposite side all the way around and trimmed the excess. Next, I wrapped this in a canvass material that Jen and I chose and stapled this while pulling everything tight, pretty much the same way I did the batting. After trimming all the excess canvass material, I placed the cushion face down, centered the upside down stool on it, and drilled and lag screwed through the holes that had previously held the swivel assemblies to the stools and into the plywood base of the cushion assembly. Preformed this entire routine three more times and voila! Four "new" stools and a fresh look for not a lot of money. And no more dinged up walls from swiveling seats.

Not exactly a lot of woodworking there, and definitely not the type of thing that I like to do in the shop and blog about; but when you own a home, these are the things we sometimes must do. Jen's happy with them and if Jen's happy, I'm happy. Right Baby? :)


Ralph J Boumenot said...

Nice re-cycling of the stools. Do you have any ideas for the upper part not shown?

baconj said...

Thanks Ralph. We're liking them so far. As for the old upper part of the stools, I couldn't bring myself to throw them out. ( Don't tell my wife; she thinks I'm a pack rat. She's right. ;) ) No plans for them as of now though.

Anonymous said...

Great job Jamie. Like seeing your updates:)

Anonymous said...

So proud of the good work you do:)

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