RunnerDuck Projects
Garden Stool

Have you ever had one of those wood projects that just didn't come together? Well this months project was the project from hell. The good news is that I learned a lot from it and I hope that you can learn from my mistakes too.

This project started out simple enough. Marilyn wanted a garden stool to set on while she works in the gardens. I figured out the dimensions and went to work designing it. Here's what the design looked like.

Not too bad huh? Well it's made out of 3/4 cedar which is just not strong enough for the narrow details like the tops of the handles and the overhang on the ends. They started breaking off as soon as I put any pressure on them. As you can see in the finished picture I adjusted for the broken weak spots. I chose cedar because I wanted it to be light. It seems to be working OK but I don't think it looks as nice.

Here's a list of materials you'll need to buy.

20' X 3/4" X 6" Cedar.
(16) 1" #6 flat head stainless wood screws

The two ends are made from three pieces 16 1/4" long glued together and then trimmed to 12" wide.
I first cut the edges with my Glue Line Rip blade since I don't have a jointer. It worked great!

Freud Glue Line Rip Blade
Freud Glue Line Rip Blade

I used my handy dandy Dowel Jig Pro to make the dowel holes that align and strengthen the edge bonds.

Drill Dowel Holes
Dowel Pro Jig

I did the same thing for the seat making it 12" X 24".
To help keep the surfaces flat while they glued I clamped supports on the top and bottom as well as along the edges.

Clamp Glue Up

I cut the details on the seat and ends as shown below.

Seat Dimensions

End Dimensions

Garden Seat Dimensions

Cut the sides 24" X 3 1/4".
I used a 1/4" round over router bit to smooth the edges. Here's a picture of the router with the vacuum attachment from our newsletter of September 24, 2004.


Cut two braces 10 1/2 X 1 1/2".
Glue and screw it together and apply a finish of your choice. It's good to go and should last a long time.

If you have a project you'd like to share just let me know. I'll do all the work if you'll provide the pictures and dimensions. Send your projects to kennyb at

We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

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This is what it looks like: