By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Our Shaker-style footstool combines the talents of woodworking and cord weaving. Impressive looking as it is, it is not difficult to make.
The legs are made of inexpensive 2x2 furring lumber, and eight rungs are cut from 7/8-inch dowel stock. We used 6-millimeter macrame cording that came in a 100-yard skein for the seat; you can choose heavy yarn, purse cording, or even heavy twine.
Construction of the stool frame is easy. Following the Cutting List, cut the legs (A) from 2x2 stock and the rungs (B) from 7/8-inch dowel stock.
Next, lay out the holes for the dowels on the legs. Using a combination square, draw a line across the face of the leg 1 inch down from its top. Then draw another line 6 inches down the leg from this line. Mark the center of these lines (3/4 inch from either side) to indicate the center of the rung holes. Lay out the other three legs in the same way.
The lower set of rung holes, located on the adjacent faces, are marked out next. Before you mark these holes, pair up the legs by turning them on their sides so that the upper holes are facing one another. Make an X on each piece on the side facing up. Lay out the location of the lower holes on these sides, and you'll have matching pairs of legs. The lower rung holes at the top are located 2 1/8 inches from the top of each leg, and the lower rung holes at the bottom are 6 inches farther down.
Before you drill your holes, recheck that you have matching legs. Place them in position and see that there are matching dowel holes, upper holes opposite upper holes. Then drill a 7/8-inch hole I inch deep through each layout mark. Have one mem- ber of the team check that the drill remains straight.
Assembly is quick. Apply a small amount of glue to the ends of the dowels, and place them in the holes. Use a hammer and a scrap block of wood to tap the dowels until they reach the bottoms of the holes. Place the stool on a flat surface, and check that all the legs touch the ground. If they don't, twist the stool into correct alignment.
After the glue has dried, sand your stool with 120-grit sandpaper, and give it several coats of tung oil.
Stringing the seat is next. Nine groups of six strands each make up the pattern. Begin by tacking the taped end of the cording to a leg, just under the lower rung. Then wind fifty-four rows, or "warps," around the lower pair of rungs. When finished, you should have fifty-four strands of yarn above and below the rungs. At the end of the fifty- fourth row, pull out about 4 more feet of cord and then cut it off. Tape one end to a pencil or craft stick, which you'll use as a weaving needle. Now you're ready to begin "wefting" the pattern.
There is a top and bottom pattern. First you weave your cord through the top strands, and then you return it underneath, weaving it through the bottom layer. Pull the stick and cording over the lower rung, loop it around, and then run it under the seat to the nearest upper rung. Count over six strands, and tuck the stick under the seventh. Count five more (six total) and bring the stick up and over the next six, and so on. Continue weaving above and below the groups of six strands until you reach the other side.
You should wind up above the last six strands. Turning the stool over, pull the cording over the high-rung side and over the first six strands of cording on the underside of the stool. Continue weaving the cording over and under, alternating every six strands. When you get to the other side, continue the pattern, turning the stool right side up.
After weaving your first six rows, the seventh row is the opposite of them. Run your needle below the next group of six strands, and reverse every six rows until you reach the end.
When you run out of yarn, simply tie the end to another piece of 4-foot-long cording. Plan your splices for the underside of the stool, and tuck the knot inside. Tack the end to a corner dowel when you're through.
Eight hours for cutting, building, and assembling, plus drying tim for glue and finish.
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