I would like to make a wooden stool, but I don't know how thick the legs need to be for it to be safe and sturdy.

I have 70x35mm pine and I plan on resawing it to get ~30x30mm legs.

Is that enough material? Are there any general guidelines on how thick stool legs should be?


  • 2
    Welcome to WSE. While 30x30 legs will certainly be able to support the load, there are other factors which will also affect whether the stool will work well. How the legs connect to the seat, the type of wood, the location of any leg connection braces, the angle of the legs relative to vertical, will all bear on the stools success. A sketch of your plan and a bit more information about your project may lead to better answers from posters on this site.
    – Ashlar
    Dec 23 '20 at 0:42
  • If you aren't going by a plan or following a YouTube build etc. I'd suggest doing so as then you basically have no worries since the legs shown will usually be a little over-engineered for strength (to give a safety margin). Do remember that all wood varies, and these days when you buy 'pine' it may not be pine but any generic softwood (as in the US where construction wood is referred to as "SPF", for spruce, pine, fir which are just 3 of the numerous species you might actually be getting). But that said, a ~30mm round leg in anything but the weakest wood sounds fine.
    – Graphus
    Dec 23 '20 at 8:33
  • BTW I am visualising a 3-legged stool here, you didn't specify! If instead you're building a stool with a square seat with straight legs at each corner the answer to "Is that enough material?" should be an unreserved Yes! But, as @Ashlar says other construction details still matter, and they matter more and more if the stool is for example hip height versus a low stool (AKA milking stool) which is what I automatically visualised, along with the other details he mentions — splay, braces, seat/leg joints.
    – Graphus
    Dec 23 '20 at 8:39
  • Thanks all, I don't have a plan written down yet but I am thinking square seat with four legs. It will be primarily used for sitting at my workbench.
    – poida
    Dec 23 '20 at 11:05
  • 2
    As I'm fond of saying, you don't have to reinvent the wheel — find a plan or an existing build and just copy it. And anyway if you're not a professional woodworker, or an experienced amateur, it's best not to design stuff yourself if there are weight/safety issues.
    – Graphus
    Dec 24 '20 at 9:49

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