Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stickley Footstool, Part 1

NOTE: Please be aware that the picture to the left is of a reproduction made my Kevin Creedy, I had thought the picture was from an auction catalog, it was also a Limbert, not a Stickley. I stand corrected.
This project is based on Stickley's "Smoker's Footstool", I guess back in the day when Dad got home he'd want to sit in his Morris Chair and puff on his pipe, basically smelling up the house and exposing his kids to the dangers of second hand smoke. Luckily things have changed somewhat in the hundred years since its debut and hopefully Dad's aren't smoking in the house. So I'm going to rename this "Reader's Footstool" as the drawer is a good place to keep your book safe and at hand.

I started with one board of 8 inch wide 4/4 quartersawn white oak and one board of 8/4 quartersawn white oak. I cut two lengths 18 inches and two lengths 15 inches. I jointed and planed the 8/4 inch stock to 1 3/4 inches thick and ripped 4 legs 1 3/4 inches square. I then ripped one of the 18 inch pieces to 1 1/2 inch, 4 inches and 2 1/4 inches for the top rail, drawer front, and bottom rail.
If you zoom in on this image you can see the cabinet maker's triangle that keeps the woodgrain aligned, this will help me keep the grain on the drawer in place with the top and bottom rails.
You will also notice that I used a dado blade to cut 3/4 inch long, 3/8 inch thick tenons on the ends all the sides but not the drawer front.

I reset the dado blade to 1/2 inch and ran a dado 3/4 inches from the top and 1 3/4 inches from the bottom on all four sides that will later receive 1/2 inch plywood. I used a bow to draw a nice arch on the bottom of all the sides and cut them on the bandsaw, cleaning up the sawmarks on the spindle sander.

Sometimes its just faster and easier to use a handtool to cut the shoulder's of the tenons, I could have used the bandsaw but I've found that it tends to over cut and leave a notch in the board, so I prefer the gentleman's saw.

I layed out the mortises to leave me with a 1/2 inch of leg sticking out past the sides. After installing the 3/8th inch mortising chisel and squaring it to the fence I aligned the fence so that if I ran each leg outside face towards the fence they would all be aligned correctly. Remember that the drawer face isn't mortised the whole width of the side but just for the top and bottom rail.
With the mortises cleaned out a little hand fitting with a shoulder plane gives the tenons a perfect slip fit. Here is the first dry fit, the next step is to cut the plywood top and bottom, install drawer guides and make the drawer. This project will be the perfect companion for a Morris Chair or anytime you want to just kick back.

"No man is good enough to be another's master." - William Morris


Margaret said...

I like the updated "reader's" footstool.

Anonymous said...

This is another very nice piece you are building, as usual. Is it easy to find the QWO that you use, in the sizes you need?

Anonymous said...

Again, The top picture of the Limbert Smoker's footstool was made by me, Kevin Creedy. Please add my contact information or remove my work from you blog... I don't understand why you don't have pictures of your own work up there? Please contact me if you need to.

Kevin Creedy

Brad Ferguson said...

Mr. Creedy,
I'm sorry I used your picture, I've collected many examples of pictures of Arts and Crafts Furniture over the years online and I used it as an example of what I was going to build. Of course I'll link that pic and the one on the Bow arm to your site. I had mistakenly remembered that it was from an auction catalog. I usually post a pic of the original antique in the first post and follow with the entire process of my making the piece.

Anonymous said...


Is the Stickley footstool with the drawer available for purchase? I'd like to buy one. It would go perfectly with the c.1900 mission style chair I just bought.


Brad Ferguson said...

You can purchase the smoker's footstool from http://www.kevincreedy.com/index.html the picture at the top of this post belongs to him and it is his plan. I do not sell my pieces sorry I am just a hobbyist.