Having grown up in Winston-Salem, the restored Moravian village of Old Salem was a always a part of my life. When I saw an article in a recent woodworking magazine on a small stool frequently seen in Old Salem, I thought it made sense to try my hand at building one. Apparently, this style of stool was quite common in Old Salem, and has it roots in Europe, where similar stools can be seen as well. I built this reproduction from reclaimed chestnut lumber, which works well to keep the stool very light. The key to its strength is the sliding dovetail piece that has its grain running perpendicular to the top. The legs are tapered octagons, with a round through tenon going through both the top and the perpendicular pieces, holding the whole thing together.While the perpendicular pieces give great strength, the article’s author noted that many of the stools he had seen had a split in the top from wood movement. Even with the splits, the stool keeps its strength, and holds together. It is a very handy piece, which can be used to sit on, stand on, or even work on.
Thankfully, my recent carpal tunnel surgery has healed sufficiently to allow me to do some work, so this stool was a fairly easy way to get back into the shop.