THE PROJECT
This stool is an exercise of combining low production manufacturing processes with different materials.
The stool was made as a student project for my furniture design course during my academic exchange to Monash University in Melbourne.
A simple form factor and assembly keeps this design elegant and light weight
The base and legs of the stool are made from Tasmanian Oak. Milling, wood turning, compound angle drilling and hand carving techniques were used to make these parts.
A steam bent plywood seat back is covered with a laser-cut leather pattern. molded felt keep the feet of the stool from scuffing.
This design makes use of its selected materials and processes
A balance between contrasting materials and their strengths was considered for a harmonious design. Grain direction and lamination techniques were considered in the CAD assembly of the stool to increase strength where needed.
MILLING
The body of the stool had to be laminated from two oak slabs for it to maintain strength and structure. A slot was milled into the top for the back rest to fit into. Fairly tight tolerances were needed to prevent gaps between the pieces and to create a snug fit.
COMPOUND ANGLE DRILLING
The holes into which the legs fit were drilled at compound angles. This means that a primary drill angle on one axis needed to be adjusted before the secondary drill angle needed to be made on a second axis. This required me to rotate the drill head to 15 degrees and then line the direction of that angle with the direction I wanted the legs to spread out to.
LATHE TURNING
The oak legs were turned manually on a wood lathe. These were rough shaped to specific diameters along the length of the legs and then smoothed to create a smooth transition along the legs. A step needed to be made at the body of the stool to prevent the legs from sliding through the seat. This diameter was carefully measured to make a tight fit.
STEAM BENDING
My friend Josh made a rudimentary steam bender that I got to use to bend my laser cut seat back. Water is boiled in a drum and a hose lets steam enter the sealed bag to soften the wood for bending. A simple clamping jig was made to bend the ends at an angle.
HAND SHAPING
After the body and seat back had been glued I was able to start shaping the body to reflect the initial design intent with its gentle curves. I managed to get the shape through planing, sanding, rasping and sanding again.
LASER CUTTING
The plywood seat back and leather canopy were laser cut to achieve simple and clean patterns. The leather was tested first on card stock to ensure a proper fit on the plywood. Perforated holes were cut along the edge for the piece to fold and sew together. A small engraving was made on the back to remind me of my time at Monash uni.
FELT FORMING
The felt tips to the legs were constructed with hat making techniques using the leg as a mold. The felt was put in boiling water to loosen its fibers for forming.Two tools were made using laser cut plywood to stretch the felt sheets down to cover the feet ends. The caps were wrapped in nylon thread.
It was only after assembling the stool that I realized it was a little bit small for my size...

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