How to Build a DIY Wooden Bar Stool

4 Materials
6 Hours

Typically bar stools come with thin legs, but I decided to make this DIY wooden Bar Stool with legs from trimmed 4×4 lumber. This bar stool looks bulky, but it’s a perfect fit for a dining table that I made several months ago.

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Tools for this project

  • Drill
  • Tape Measure
  • Sander
  • Pivoting Bit
  • Table Saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • Miter Saw

Step 1 – Cut 4×4 Boards for the Legs

Take 4×4 board and cut into four pieces to 22 1/2″ in length. These will be the legs for the bar stool.

Step 2 – Make a 5° Cut on One Side of Each Leg

Next, measure and mark 2″ from the top of the leg. Then from the 2″ mark cut the 4×4 board at 5° angle all the way down using a table saw. I made a jig out of 2×6 to help me make this 5° cut. See photo. Make this 5° cut on all 4×4 pieces.

Step 3 – Make a Second 5° Cut on One Side of Each Leg

Rotate the 4×4 board 90° and again, from the 2″ mark, make a 5° cut all the way down. Now you should have two sides with 5° cuts and the other two untouched.

Step 4 – Cut Upper Let to 5°

Next, cut the upper 2″ section of the leg to 5° as shown on the picture. Again you’ll have two sides of the leg cut and two sides straight/untouched.

Step 5 – Make a Bevel Cut on Upper and Lower Section of the Leg

Make a jig from 2×6 piece of by cutting 45° grove in the middle. Then take the straight side of the leg and place it inside the grove. On the upper section of the leg, measure and mark 1 1/2″ from the center of the ridge. Then set your miter saw to 5° bevel and make a cut. Next, measure 21″ from the top of the straight side of the leg and make a 5° bevel cut as shown on the picture.

Step 6 – Cut 2×6 Boards for the Seat

Take 2×6 and cut three pieces to 14″ in length. Rip off 1/4″ on both sides of the middle section, and on the inside of both edge sections, see picture. For the area where legs go, cut out 3 1/4″ x 3 1/4″ squares on four sides. Then  drill pocket holes as shown on the picture for 2 1/2″ pocket Hole Screws. Apply wood glue in all the seams, then clamp and screw boards together.

Step 7 – Attach the Legs to the Seat

Now attach the legs with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue. You will need to use pivoting bit tip holder to get those screws in because of space constraints.

Step 8 – Install Leg Support

From the remaining piece of 2×6, cut 1 1/2 x 1 1/2″ strips of wood. Then measure the distance from the leg to leg at the seat and cut to that exact measurement at 9° on each end. Drill  pocket holes on the backside. Use wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws to attach these boards.

Step 9 – Install Footrest

Similar to step 8, measure and cut 1 1/2 x 1 1/2″ footrest at 9° on both ends. Two of the footrest will be higher than the other two, so measure accordingly before making the cut. Drill pocket holes on the bottom of each footrest and attach them using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

Step 10 – Sand and Stain

The last step is to sand the bar stool 220 grit paper, then apply pre-stain before staining. Once the stain dries, apply polyurethane. You’re done with a DIY wooden bar stool.

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Mary lu Mary lu on Nov 29, 2020

    regarding the foot rest, one pic shows the piece going thru the leg, the other says use pocket drill holes and screws. is this a choice or which is correct?

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