sawbenchHolding wood for working is as important as the tool for cutting it. is project predates all others in this book as it was originally used when I started as a carpenter in residential construction. e stool was standard issue for carpenters working for Means and Nix in Cazsnovia, NY, where I became a journeyman carpenter during four summers, 1959 to 1962, of my college years. As the article from Popular Woodworking relates, it was at the beginning of my second year that Will Means invited me to his shop to make my first stool. As something of a badge of acceptance as a workman worthy of his own stool, this project is associated with my graduation into the trade.

So what was so special about the shop stool on the job? The place at which you work is an important extension of the tools you use. This is as true of home building and remodeling as it is in the workshop. In fact this shop stool is an asset in either your shop or on the building site.

  • It serves as a stable two-step work platform.
  • It’s a mobile work surface for cutting and assembly.
  • It holds doors on edge for planing tasks.
  • Two stools will replace the need for sawhorses.
  • It keeps tools in one place where they are easier to find and transport to a new work site.

All of this is from a half sheet of ¾″ plywood and some deck screws. Recalling all the ways the shop stool gives good service made me realize how important it was to record its dimensions. I inherited mine from men of experience on the job. There is no better school of design than experience. So here it is for you, too.

This project first appeared in Popular Woodworking, #148, June 2005