How to Make a Stool With a Jigsaw

Glue-and-screw furniture can look awesome! Make a matching side table and foot stool using a jigsaw.

Use a jigsaw to create this simple stool, and “dress it up” with a round-over router bit. Round-over bits have a way of making jigsaw cuts look smoother, straight cuts look straighter, cheap wood look classier and paint jobs look better. Round-over bits also make wood furniture more comfortable to sit on and touch.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

TIME

One day

COMPLEXITY

Simple

COST

Under $20

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Two size options

You want simplicity and economy? These stools are designed so you can create eight of the short ones or four of the tall ones (or combinations thereof) from a single sheet of plywood. Here we’ll show you how to build the short version; the taller stool is a couple inches wider, but employs the same concept to build.

Plywood laouts and assembly diagram

Use these diagrams to cut and assemble your jigsaw stools.

Figure A: Jigsaw stool plywood layout (short version)
Figure B:Jigsaw stool plywood layout (tall version)
Figure C: Jigsaw stool assembly (tall version)

Step 1: Lay out the legs and top

Rip a 24 x 24-in. piece of plywood into 18-in. and 6-in. strips, then draw "crosshairs" (Photo 1) to locate the center of the larger board. Drive a drywall screw in the center and use that as a pivot point for swinging a 7-in.-radius circle. Draw lines 3/8 in. away from the crosshairs on each side (Figure A) to create 3/4-in.-thick layout marks for cutting the interlocking notches and installing the leg brace blocks later on.

Step 2: Cut out the parts and rout the edges

Drill a 1/2-in. pilot hole in the lower notch as shown in Figure A, then insert a fine-tooth jigsaw blade and cut out the round top. Use your jigsaw to cut out the legs and the 3/4-in. x 2-1/2-in. notches for interlocking the legs. Use a router with a 1/4-in. round-over bit to soften both sides of the top and legs except for those edges along the tops of the two legs (Photo 2). If you don’t have a router, ease the sharp edges with sandpaper. Cut the triangular blocks from the 6-in.-wide cutoff (Photo 1) and secure two of them to the underside of the top disc with glue and 1-1/4-in. all-purpose screws.

Step 3: Assemble the stool

Slip the legs into place as shown in Photo 3, then secure them to the blocks using 2-in. screws. Add the other two triangular blocks and apply a finish of your choice. We applied sanding sealer, a dark stain and then a coat of polyurethane.

Additional Information

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Cordless drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • Round-over bit

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Short stool: 3/4" x 24" x 24" plywood
  • Tall stool: 3/4" x 24 " x 48" plywood
  • 1-1/4" screws
  • 2" screws
  • wood glue

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