Some years ago I came across a website from a gentleman by the name of Master Charles Oakley entitled “Spiffing up your campsite”. This website has launched a number of projects and helped me get over that initial hump of can I really do this? I was ambitious and launched right into the folding Dantesca chair. It was only later that I needed a smaller, more portable seat, and went back to the plans for the fauldstool.

I made my first, and several following fauldstools faithfull to the plans set out on spiffing up your campsite. It wasn’t until I was gifted a large number of oak table legs that I decided to try my hand at a different pattern for the stool.

Being constrained by the dimensions of the pieces I had, I laid out a stool that was less complicated than the ones I had previously made and would hopefully be sturdy and easy to copy. My first attempt proved to be functional and sturdy, but a bit to tall. Going back to my initial numbers and moving the pivot points a small amount lowered the stool slightly but more importantly widened the seat and opened the sides enough for comfort.

Each stool consists of 6 identical legs, 6 identical seat boards and 4 identical board that can be either feet of arms. The tricky part of the assembly is to ensure that the feet and arms are mirrored and assembled such that the stool is even when laid on its face.

Cut list

6 legs, 2’4”x1 ½”x1”

6 seat boards, 1’2 3/16”x 1 ½”x1”

4 arms/feet 1’1”x2 ½”x1”

4 10” 3/8”dia dowel


8 1” dowel caps


Each leg will have a tenon cut in the top and in the bottom. The tenon should be ½” in depth and ½” in width.

Once the tenons have been cut each leg will have two holes drilled in them that are 3/8” in diameter. The center of the first hole will be 6 ¾” from the end of the leg and the center of the second hole will be 1’ 4 ¼” from the same end as the first hole. Cut and drill all 6 legs identical.


The seat is also comprised of 6 boards, each with two holes drilled in it. The center of the first hole will be 7/8” from the end, the center of the second hole will be 7 5/8” from the same end. The far end of the seat board will be cut to a 45 degree angle without changing the length of   1’ 2 3/16” Cut and drill all 6 legs identical.

Legs and Arms

The feet and the arms will initially be cut identical. Measure in on the 4 pieces a distance of 2”. From that first line mark off 6 sections, each measuring 1 ½” wide. The last mark should be 3 ½” from the far end of the board. Once you have made your markings you will be making a mortice in the odd number sections only. Each mortice should be centered on the board and be ½” wide, ½” deep, and 1 ½” long. Test fit the tenons from the legs and adjust to fit.

You should be able to assemble the fauldstool at this point for a dry fit.


Starting with the legs, lay all 6 out so that the holes match up. Insert a dowel through the bottom of the two holes. Once this is done insert a foot and an arm on the odd number legs, taking care that the 2 inch section of the piece is closer to the leg, this will be the left side of the stool for assembly. Flip the remaining arm and leg pieces over so that the 3 ½” side is closer to the front and assemble the even legs, making the right side. Once assembled with all foot and arm pieces the stool should sit  flat and even on the floor when laid down on it’s face.

Lay out the seat boards so that the angled ends alternate one side to the other making sure the angled end is to the left for the first board.

Insert a dowel through the hole closest to the top on the left set of legs and then through the second seat board. The beveled end  of the first board should rest on the first leg, continue connecting the legs and seat boards with the dowel until dowel is all the way through 3 legs and 3 boards on the left side of the stool. Once down repeat for the other side. Depending on how precise your cuts are, you may find the stool is difficult to open, if so take a thin shaving off of the legs and seat boards to allow ease of motion. Lightly sanding will also work.

Once you are happy with the ease of opening and closing, disassemble, being careful to note the correct location of each board for reassembly. Sand everything to final finish and prepare for glue. Reassemble and check everything fits back together and moves smoothly. The final steps will be to glue the arms and feet in place and clamp. Once the arms and feet are dry check the length of the dowel protruding, it should be no more than ½” on either side. The dowel caps should be checked for fit and glued in place. Take care the caps are close to the legs and seat board but not putting pressure on them. Additionally ensure the legs and seat rotate freely and are not glued in place to the caps.


Prior to gluing the feet on you can cut the bottom to sit flat on the ground. Dry fit the chair and identify which angle is the inside of the foot so that when cut the new cut side will sit flat on the floor.

If you don’t care to glue it is possible to use pegs to attach the feet and arms, should you decide on this method I would advise looking for information on a technique called drawboring to help achieve a tight fit.

Over the course of the summer I taught a series of classes online aimed at getting people started in woodwork for medieval furniture and building a usable tool kit. This fauld stool is one of the projects I taught. If you would like to look at the video for this class as well as a number of other classes I taught at EarlySweden on YouTube. This class is available here.


3 thoughts on “Fauldstools

  1. Well written instructions. Very clear. I will give them a try and let you know how the folding stool turns out.


    1. I would use then as a start point and modify. Check to see if the height, width, and depth of the seat are comfortable. For strength i would contemplate going to 1.5″ thickness on the pieces. You may also want to contem0late going to a steel dowel rather than wood.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s