How to Build Lighthouse Bar Stools
Enhance a nautical theme with bar stools that look like lighthouses. Follow these step-by-step instructions.
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drill (countersink bit, spade bit)
1-5/8" drywall screws
flush spackling compound
1" x 2" cleats
large tie-off cleat
hot glue gun
1. Construct the front and back legs first (notice how they taper from the bottom to the top). The two sides of the leg measure 29 inches in length; however, because of the taper, the boards need a slight angle at the end cuts. After laying out the 29-inch measurement on the board, cut it on the miter saw with the blade set at a three-degree angle (make sure that both ends of each board are cut at this angle). You will need four of these legs to complete the front and back legs.
2. Place two of the boards just cut on the work bench with the bottoms resting on a straightedge. Space the two legs out so the bottom will be 14 inches and the top 11 inches. The bottom cross piece needs to be 6-1/2 inches wide. Place the cross piece board in the miter saw; set the blade at a three degree mitered angle, and then cut on the mark (this will give you a cross board with two tapered ends) (figure A). Cut two of these to use for the front and back legs.
3. The top cross piece is a 1x6 that's flush with the top of the side legs (figure B). The distance to be cut is four inches with the three-degree angle. Cut two of these cross pieces.
4. To attach the cross boards to the sides, use a biscuit joiner. Lay the boards in the finished position and make reference marks where the two boards meet. Cut a slot at each mark with the joiner in the edges of the boards to be attached. Use wood glue and a small biscuit inserted in the slots to join the pieces together (figure C).
5. Make a three-degree mitered cut on the two side legs at the top and bottom. This will allow the side legs to match the angled taper of the back and front leg so that the seat will lay flat on all four legs. The bottom cross piece is a 1x4 and the top cross piece is a 1x6 (both cut to three inches) (no miter is required for those pieces). Repeat the steps to attach the boards using the biscuit joiner.
6. Put the set of four leg units together by holding the sides to the back or front legs, and drill evenly-spaced countersink pilot holes along the edges. Run a bead of wood glue along each edge and secure with drywall screws.
7. To make the seat, cut a 12" x 12" square out of pre-formed boards using a circular saw. Round the corners with a jigsaw and sand all the edges smooth.
8. The back of the stool is 11 inches high. Cut this piece with a circular saw; sand the edges smooth, and then attach it to the seat using glue and wood screws. Drill a hole in the center of the top back piece using a spade bit to hold a small flag.
9. To attach the seat to the leg assembly, put two 1x2 cleats along the edge of the front and back leg (drill pilot holes in each cleat and attach them with wood glue and screws) (figure D). Place the seat on the top and attach from the inside using screws.
10. Fill all the holes with flush spackling compound and sand the pieces smooth once it's dry. Remove the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag.
11. Use rags to wipe the desired paint colors on in the direction of the grain (use painter's tape to create sharp lines between chosen colors). Let dry.
12. Cut a dowel to the desired length to hold a small flag and paint. Cut a small flag out of craft foam and glue it to the dowel for the seat back.
13. Attach a large tie-off cleat for a footrest to the bottom front cross piece.
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